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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Homebrewer looking into winemaking
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:17 AM   #1
hobomilitia
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Default Homebrewer looking into winemaking

I'm sure this has been posted somewhere, but I have searched and am unable to find much info...

I've been homebrewing for a few years now, and am looking to branch out a bit and occasionally try winemaking. Firstly, I don't really need to buy a starter wine kit, since I already have most of the equipment, but is there anything else besides a corker that I would need? I have a 6 gal glass carboy and a few 5 gal plastic ones. Should i invest in some different racking tubes?

I am mostly into red wines, any recommendations on any solid, but easier kits? I'm not entirely familiar with the aging process with wine, but is there anything like that that would be ready in about 5 or 6 months? I know red wines tend to take more time than whites, but most sites that I look at kits don't have the fermentation/aging times like beer kits often do.

Thanks ahead for any links or info.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:28 AM   #2
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Bump interested in this too

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:33 AM   #3
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I am not an expert on this and I don't play one on TV. But head on over to Midwest Supplies and see what they have. There's a lot of q&a there and lots of info!

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/winem...ncentrate.html

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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On the plus side you already know what clean is, you know yeast are alive and you can measure stuff and follow a recipe. Winemaking is slower than making beer, real patience pays off. A kit is a good way to start learning how to make kit wine, bit if you want to know how to make wine start from scratch or at least from juices. Balancing acids seems to be the hardest thing for beer guys to get their head around since you dont do it for beermaking. Get a simple titration kit to measure it and some acid blend. We also use potassium metablisulfite powder, stay away from the camden, the powder is much more useful. A simple Welches concord from concentrate is a good practice wine. You can even add some oak to it WVMJ

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:32 AM   #5
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I did a Pino Noir kit last February. Pretty self explanatory. Ferment for a month then Bottle. Aging doesn't really do anything since you clear it with chemicals before you bottle it. My advice is to use a bucket with a blow off tube. If you really wanted to you could ferment an extra month in secondary with oak chips. I tossed mine in during primary. Came out pretty good. I only have 4 bottles left

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:39 AM   #6
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When you say aging doesn't really do anything, does that mean that if I use a clarifying agent then it doesn't need to be aged? I was under the assumption that the balance of the tannins determines how long it needs to age. If so do you have to balance it in some certain manner to get it that way?

Thanks for all the good info though.

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobomilitia
When you say aging doesn't really do anything, does that mean that if I use a clarifying agent then it doesn't need to be aged? I was under the assumption that the balance of the tannins determines how long it needs to age. If so do you have to balance it in some certain manner to get it that way?

Thanks for all the good info though.
Aging doesn't do anything?? Take a bottle, stash it away for a year and try it, it does make a difference, clarified with chemicals or not.

Wines with large amounts of tannins do require more aging. After fermentation, wines do require "resting" where the flavor a all mellow out. Some are good after one month, some a year or more.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Hobo,
If you move into winemaking I would recommend investing in a pH meter. That way you can quickly and accurately determine your pH, but more importantly you can determine the TA when you incorporate the chemicals from TA test kit. It takes ALL the guess work out of it. If you plan to work with fruit, invest in a refractometer. And if you are serious about it, then a vacuum system like All-in-One will be your best friend, next to your hydrometer and its backup. There is nothing like vacuum racking, degassing and bottling--with no lifting of carboys required.
But in all reality when it comes to the making of the wine, making a wine from a kit is a good starting point, but in no way prepares you for working with raw ingredients. Kits go thru years of R&D, so it is simple and easy. But a basic understanding of terms and techniques is required if you want success. As to when that wine will be ready to drink that will be left to you. For me, I bulk age almost every wine, kit or non-kit, for a minimum of 12 months. My non-kit wines typically do not get exposed to fining agents because I find that time will naturally clear and degas a wine IF you do the right things up front.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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When Midwest had a groupon a while back I purchased a wine starter kit to get some additional equipment at a good price and it came with this

COASTAL RED (Red Burgundy) Wine Making Kit - Vintners Reserve

I really enjoyed it, nice and dry, dark as blood. Delicious.

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