My Mom wants me to make some wine...
...and she'll buy the additional equipment.
In addition to basic beer brewing stuff, what do I need?
7.9 gal primary
a floor corker
Some bottles and corks
I have a wine thief and a some 6.5 gal carboys for the secondary.
Do you use a bottling bucket in wine making? Doesn't seem to be included in any equipment kits. If not, what's a good way to bottle?
Also, is there an online resource like Palmer's "how to brew" for wine making?
You can use the same fermenter and carboys as beer. A bottling bucket is not used as you usually syphon the wine into bottles from a carboy, directly after filtration.
Unfiltered wine will usually have too many suspended solids to look 'sparkling clear' in bottles and might have residual CO2 still in solution. Both are considered flaws in a decent wine.
Use the instructions in the wine kit, they're complete and clear. Kit wines are not rocket science. :D
I seem to remember Lorenae posting a while ago about some good wine making info available online. She might be of help.
TX also started up WineMakingTalk.com...
The best site for winemaking is Jackkeller.net. Click on the winemaking page, and then you have to scroll all the way to the bottom to click in winemaking basics. Or try this link, as this is the way I saved it: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp
If that works, that's the easiest way to get the info. His site is difficult to navigate at first, but don't give up!
I'd say there are just a few other things you need for winemaking (depending on what you're making). Notably, chemicals that we don't use for beer. Campden tablets, acid blend (if needed for your recipe) and sorbate come to mind.
I do use my bottling bucket and bottling wand when I bottle. Makes it much easier. You are usually adding sulfite when bottling, so I mix that up and rack my wine into it then bottle the way I do beer. Also, headspace is more of a concern with wine, so you might want to get a 6 gallon or 5 gallon carboy, too. Each time you rack, you'll lose a little bit of wine to sediment (lees) on the bottom. So, you might go from a 6.5 gallon primary to a 6 gallon secondary. You want no headspace for wine, since the fermentation is mostly over and it's clearing and aging in the carboy. I use sanitized glass marbles if there is just a little headspace, or top up with a similar wine. If you are making merlot, for example, when you have headspace, you can just add a commercial merlot to top up with. You could use water, but then you'd be watering down your wine.
I've never done a wine kit (I make fruit wines mostly), but I think that the directions on them are very clear. If you buy a kit, all the chemicals that you need should be included. They even tell you when to rack, etc.
The winemakingtalk.com site is up, and another forum I use all the time is:
Here's another great tutorial on wine. Pictures and a sense of humor...This guy is a pisser.
Thanks everyone - very helpful stuff
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