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-   -   Why buy a kit? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/why-buy-kit-228963/)

Cold Country Brewery 03-01-2011 02:27 PM

Why buy a kit?
 
Is there something I'm missing here? I just bought my wife a kit that makes 3 gallons and it was $80.00. It was just juice, yeast and some additives. Why don't you just buy the yeast and additives, and add a couple gallons of Jucey Juice?

jake_up 03-01-2011 03:18 PM

The juice, yeast and additives are meant to produce a certain style of wine. The bulk of the $80 is probably in the juice. Certain grapes make really good wine, they are called European grapes, or more formally, vitis vinifera. Typically juices in the US are made from American grapes - vitis labrusca. You can make wine from an off-the-shelf juice (I made my first wine from welch's grape juice), but no matter how good you are at it, it will probably be a pretty lousy wine. American grapes have what is called a "foxy" aroma that is very unpleasant if it isn't well controlled.

WIP 03-01-2011 03:26 PM

Jake, you are right on about the types of grapes, other than the vinifera deal. Just because a grape is grown in the US doesn't make it a labrusca variety. Cabernet is a vinifera variety no matter where it is grown.

IrregularPulse 03-01-2011 03:36 PM

Because you're trying to mkae wine, not prison hooch.

Reaver 03-01-2011 05:17 PM

There are two extremes. Those who make wine from anything. And those who make wine out of "Quality Ingredients" (define as necessary).
I will be perfectly happy to make Country Wines. Those you make with various types of fruit and juices. But I also plan on making wine from kits that will most certainly be a good quality becuase I will start with a quality kit.

Personally I would suggest people ease into the hobby instead of jumping in wallet first. It will give them room to make mistakes, and grow. It will allow them to figure out what they like/dislike and allow them to play! It's up to the Brewer/Vinter

jake_up 03-01-2011 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WIP
Jake, you are right on about the types of grapes, other than the vinifera deal. Just because a grape is grown in the US doesn't make it a labrusca variety. Cabernet is a vinifera variety no matter where it is grown.

Yeah, I was just referring to the origin - a way to distinguish them if you aren't into Latin names. Thanks for the clarification. Vinifera is grown everywhere possible, not just in Europe.

mmadmikes1 03-01-2011 09:08 PM

First off, $80 for a 3 gallon kits is in my opinion to much. Being said I have now made 4 kits after years of being a "from the grape" freak. Reason is simple, I cant store enough grapes to ferment year round and there is also the ability to obtain juice from places I could never get any other way. I do make fruit and berry wines also but I love big reds.

WIP 03-01-2011 09:33 PM

$80 for 15 bottles is about $5 a bottle. If the wine is good, and you can make it yourself, why not. I have seen kit wines go for well over that. If the general public could get their hands on good juice of grapes for lower prices (seems like you do), that would be better, but for now, everyone is buying juice out of Cali that is slave to all of the costs involved with buying a packaged good.

At the winery we end up paying about $3.75 a bottle for the grapes alone, but we are buying from the best farmer in TX.

mmadmikes1 03-02-2011 06:03 AM

There are some real good 6 gallon kits out there for $90 to $125 . That is simply far better deal. I agree kits make it easier to get juices. Living in Washington I am a little spoiled at ability to get fresh grapes. I do drive to Cali in Oct for some good grapes too. That trip the grapes get K-meta

Cold Country Brewery 03-02-2011 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mmadmikes1 (Post 2694374)
First off, $80 for a 3 gallon kits is in my opinion to much. Being said I have now made 4 kits after years of being a "from the grape" freak. Reason is simple, I cant store enough grapes to ferment year round and there is also the ability to obtain juice from places I could never get any other way. I do make fruit and berry wines also but I love big reds.


It was from a local wine store. I could have bought the same kit online for 55.00 + shipping, but I'd rather support local business. It was also a "sparkling wine" kit that she had to special order in from a new vendor, so I'm sure she didn't get much of a price break on it.


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