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Old 01-15-2009, 12:02 AM   #1
NewBrew75
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Default I'm an extract beer brewer, what do I need to make wine?

I brew beer, and I figure I have lots of the things I need to make wine already. Currently I have two Ale Pale buckets, two 5 gallon carboys, and all the other gear needed to extract brew. How easy will it be for me to get into wine making?

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:06 AM   #2
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If you are doing kit wine, then very easy. You already have all the equipment.
Not much is really needed other than fermenters, hydrometer, carboys and racking canes.
And of course a corker.

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:15 AM   #3
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Can very good wine be made from kits?

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:35 AM   #4
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IMO no. Good wine needs the skins to make tannins present in good wine, along with a good amount of actual juice.
But me not being a wine drinker really don't know the difference between good and bad wine. Either I like it or not.

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:45 AM   #5
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IMO no. Good wine needs the skins to make tannins present in good wine, along with a good amount of actual juice.
But me not being a wine drinker really don't know the difference between good and bad wine. Either I like it or not.
Do you make wine?
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:23 AM   #6
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I've made some good wines out of kits. I've made some cheaper kits, which I would liken to a $5 bottle of wine. I've made some expensive kits (with more juice, no concentrate, etc) and I'd liken that to a $15-$20 bottle of wine. So, nothing great, but definitely enjoyable for table wine. My best wines have been "country wines", made from fruit I've picked.

If you like wine, making kits is a nice way to get into making your own. I make lots of wine, and we've really enjoyed every bottle.

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Old 01-15-2009, 03:31 AM   #7
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Well thats good, I've had some pretty good $20 bottles of wine. To be honest with you, I've rarely had a bottle over $30. I'm definately not a wino, but I enjoy the full spectrum. Anything you would suggest in the way of a good kit?

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Old 01-15-2009, 03:37 AM   #8
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Well thats good, I've had some pretty good $20 bottles of wine. To be honest with you, I've rarely had a bottle over $30. I'm definately not a wino, but I enjoy the full spectrum. Anything you would suggest in the way of a good kit?
Well, it depends on what you like. I like a variety of kits. The Vinter's Reserve kits are in the $60 range, and what I would consider decent and correspond to a cheaper wine, like a $5 bottle. They have all different styles. I've made chianti, valpollicella, shiraz from that brand. I've made some Grand Cru (I think that's the name) that have grape skins inside, and are excellent. That kit was $140 or so, I think.

One other thing to mention- those cheaper kits are meant for early drinking, like in just 3-6 months or so, although they are good for longer. They aren't tannic or oaky or anything that needs to age. The "better" kits are the ones you need to age a bit to get them really drinkable. So, I'd recommend either kind, depending on what you want.

My friend loves "wine cooler" type drinks and loves the Island Mist kits. Those are fruity low ABV drinks, probably like an Arbor Mist type wine. It's not my thing at all, but she loves them and has made several kits. If you like girly drinks like that, I think they are very good. I'm more of a table wine person, so make the dinner wines.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:15 PM   #9
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I started out with an inexpensive kit - Vinter's Reserve. I think this is a good way to start because you will probably be successful and you can drink it after a short period of time. I think they taste very good. You need to follow the instructions to the tee however. Don't take any shortcuts. Like Yooperbrew, I have enjoyed making country wines and meads.

I also started out, and continue, brewing beer.

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
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I began my homebrewing experience in Wines, not beer and I have made loads of kits as well as country wines. I have spent a lot of money in the acquisition of equipment and material to improve on my winemaking abilities just as many of the members here have done for brewing beer.

Kit wines are what you pay for. Pay for a cheap kit and you get good wine. Pay for Limited Edition kits and you get very good wine. Making wine from fruit and other fermentables can be made good and great depending on how much effort you put into them. I do not mean work, I mean preparing and getting the right recipe and technique together and patiently watching and tweaking where needed. Just as with beer, wine requires patience to develop into something wonderful.

I made my first Chardonnay from 100% juice and entered it into a competition in California this past summer and received a Bronze Medal for it. It is the SWMBO's favorite wine and I am trying to duplicate the results again this year. It required no more than the juice, yeast, some oak, the proper chemicals to make adjustments, the same equipment you should have now and time.

Get yourself a mid range priced kit and get it going. Most manufacturers gaurentee satisfaction if you follow the instructions and do not tweak the product, so you should end up with a wine you will enjoy a lot.

Good luck and prepare to become obsessed with wine making , just like you must be with homebrewed beer.

Salute!

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