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Old 03-30-2006, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Questions about winemaking

My LHBS store guy has suggested a couple of times that I should consider making wine in addition to homebrewing beer. I haven't tried it yet, possibly mostly because I don't like drinking wine as much as I like to drink beer.

I do have some questions, though. First, from what little I know about it, am I correct in thinking that it is more expensive than brewing beer?

Second, the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me in making beer has been the discovery that I like the beer I make better than almost any beer I can buy in the store. How does that work with wine? Can I make wine from extracts that I will like better than what comes from commercial wineries?



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Old 03-30-2006, 08:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
I do have some questions, though. First, from what little I know about it, am I correct in thinking that it is more expensive than brewing beer?
You have the equipment already so it's just the ingredients you need to buy. A decent wine kit (which your LHBS is probably recommending) does cost a bit compared to an extract beer recipe of the same volume. But wine is more expensive commercially than beer so you have to offset the prices against like for like rather than a 'wine versus beer equation'. Home brewed beer is cheaper and often better than shop bought versions - same goes with home brewed wine!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
Second, the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me in making beer has been the discovery that I like the beer I make better than almost any beer I can buy in the store. How does that work with wine? Can I make wine from extracts that I will like better than what comes from commercial wineries?
I make 'country wines' that don't even involve grape extract (i.e wild picked fruits like blackberries/elderberries etc) that have turned out better than many commercial wines. Develop a little patience and it's well worth the effort!


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Old 03-30-2006, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplan
A decent wine kit (which your LHBS is probably recommending) does cost a bit compared to an extract beer recipe of the same volume. But wine is more expensive commercially than beer so you have to offset the prices against like for like rather than a 'wine versus beer equation'. Home brewed beer is cheaper and often better than shop bought versions - same goes with home brewed wine!
Yup.. the PERCENTAGE of savings is much greater with wine.

I can brew an good beer for about 40% the price of buying something similar.
I can brew a good wine for about 20% the price of buying something similar.

woohoo!

edit: at my LHBS, they have 6 gallon wine kits that range in price from about $60 to $120. I bought one of the $120 ones, and this is to make a wine that (commercially) sells for $20 to $25 a bottle.
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:41 PM   #4
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Default How do to ingredients really compare?

If using a wine kit, are you using highly processed ingredients that are way different than what would be used at a winery? or is it the same exact stuff they are using?

it seems like you're basically buying grape concentrate that you let ferment???

do the wineries process they're grapes into a concentrate and ferment from that?


i too am interested in doing some wine making..

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Old 04-02-2006, 04:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrean
If using a wine kit, are you using highly processed ingredients that are way different than what would be used at a winery? or is it the same exact stuff they are using?

it seems like you're basically buying grape concentrate that you let ferment???

do the wineries process they're grapes into a concentrate and ferment from that?


i too am interested in doing some wine making..

The kit makers like Winexpert use pure varietal grape juice and concentrates, from different regions around the world. The lower end kits have more concentrate in the juice (requiring more water).

The higher end kits are almost straight varietal juice, with just a little concentrate mixed in. My Napa Valley Stag's Leap District Merlot required less than two gallons of water to top up to six.

As you might expect, the higher end kits age better and longer, and are more true to form.

Wine kits have come a long way, baby...
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
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Default thx for the reply

right after i posted, i saw the nice 3 page post that is basically a primer for getting started....

hmmmmm... 18 months aging....

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Old 04-02-2006, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrean
right after i posted, i saw the nice 3 page post that is basically a primer for getting started....

hmmmmm... 18 months aging....

Yes, that is a good thread. I don't know about 18 months. Like I said later in the thread, another person was loving his Stag's Leap (same kit) after being in the bottles 20 days. Six months plus sounds like it might work. It just depends how sophisticated your palate is. Mine isn't when it comes to wine. Some of the guys at winepress.us seem to be true wine snobs. Not that there's anything wrong with that..

The Island Mist kits and others in that genre, are meant to be drank shortly after bottling. Think Boone's Farm fruit type wines. Good summer by the pool wines. It just depends if you are wanting to make twenty dollar bottles of wine or six.
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:07 PM   #8
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Agree that the WineExpert (selection) kits are superb. They taste good after 3 months, but after about 8, they are really incredible. I'll put my 3 dollar bottle of Selection French Cabernet up against a lot of really expensive wines and blow them away in a blind taste test.

The big thing for wine is to buy a good kit, not a mediocre one, and to make sure you get the CO2 out... ie, do everything the opposite as you would to make beer.

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Old 04-11-2006, 07:42 AM   #9
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Making wine from fresh fruit is so in expensive.

If you can find a good source of grapes that is good to then you can be faced with the problems, and learn from them--- I haven't tried a kit yet(you can blend them), but I know when you create a recipe you get a great feeling of creaTING SOMTHING.( the same might go for blending some kits together, but when it's all you it's a great accomplishment.)

Yes you could start out with a Kit, but why not your neighbors apple tree, or wild grape growing in the wild that way if you mess up you won't be wasting to much money maybe time, but we all learn from our mistakes.(or do I )

What I can suggest though is doing a search for somthing like "making wine, vinting wine recipes, and I have a bunch of links that I've learned from",--It saved me alot of time avoiding many mistakes, but I have also bennifited from some of them!!



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