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Old 03-27-2008, 06:19 PM   #1
CEMaine
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Hi All
I have been brewing for about 12 years or so but am now just contemplating moving into wines. Can anyone suggest good references for a beginner? I am looking to make Old Vine Zin (SWMBO's fav), Pinot Noir and Chianti (my fav).
Any suggestions are welcomed.



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Old 03-27-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CEMaine
Hi All
I have been brewing for about 12 years or so but am now just contemplating moving into wines. Can anyone suggest good references for a beginner? I am looking to make Old Vine Zin (SWMBO's fav), Pinot Noir and Chianti (my fav).
Any suggestions are welcomed.

I would look into some wine kits through a brew store rather it be a local one or an online one. Im sure there is a kit that will suit your tastes and your Swmbo's tastes.


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Old 03-27-2008, 06:29 PM   #3
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If Yooperbrew doesn't pop in here PM here, she can give you a whole bunch of good advice for getting into wine making.

Here's her profile if you want to PM her....

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/member.php?u=4189
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:51 PM   #4
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there's also another http://www.winemakingtalk.com/ one of txbrews other sites
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:22 PM   #5
Yooper
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I like the wines I've made with kits, and, while no one will ever confuse the "cheaper" kits with fine wine, I'd say that they are very good. I think a $60-$70 kit that makes 6 gallons would be comparable to a $7 or $8 bottle of wine. These kits make 30 bottles.

Some of the higher end kits have crushed grape skin packs to really enhance them. Those would be like a $12-$15 bottle of wine.

I've done the Winexpert Vintner's Reserve kits in valpollicella and shiraz, and think they were very good. I haven't had the pinot or chianti kits, but I imagine they would be very similar. These are the $60 range, I believe. They call these "30 day kits", meaning you can bottle in 30 days and they will improve for up to 6 months or so.

The Selection Estate series by Winexpert are more expensive, and meant to be aged just a tad. They would be very good in a year or so.

There are many other kits out there- Cellar Craft makes a nice one that I know of. All of them seem to be good. If you like sweetened fruity "wine cooler" types of wines, there are kits called "Island Mist" that I've sampled before. They are good, if you like that kind of thing. Since that's not my thing, though, I haven't made any myself.

After you make a few kits, it would be easy to then buy pails of the juice from the wine store, and ferment that. I'd do a few kits, first, just to get the process down. The kits don't require any acid testing or adjustments at all.

I like Jack Keller's website on winemaking. It's hard to navigate at first, but it really helps explain the ins and outs of winemaking. He has many recipes, too, if you're interested in country wines. Here's a link: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp

Feel free to ask any questions, and we can try to help!
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:18 AM   #6
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There are quite a few wine kits out there. Let me tell you that if you want a good wine I suggest going with the bigger kits like 15 liter up to all Juice. RJ Spagnols makes a great Old Vine Zin and so does Cellar Craft. These wines take a good year to be drinkable unlike beer though so be advised. I am actually a moderator on a wine forum from Texas. Mosti Mondial also makes great wine kits. I dont really care for the W.E kits as In my opinion they dont compare well to the others ive mentioned although they do have a few that are good. I also must say that wine is easier to make then beer but the end product you must wait for.

 
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
CEMaine
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Thanks for all the input so far.

I have been doing some reading online and have noted the need for warmer temps to ferment red wines. Temps around 70 to 80, is that correct?
If indeed this is what is needed, I would probably be making the wine in July or August. SWMBO and I are cool temp people. I cannot imagine keeping the house anywheres near that!
In my brewing, i tend to use the temps to my advantage. I do most of my lagering in the mid to late winter (like now) and ales in the summer. If I were to do a couple of trial batches in July, I could be opening in February or so. Late winter is just when I need more wine!
SWMBO will certainly want to know how soon can you start drinking the product.
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Primary 1 - Nada
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Secondary 1 -
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Bottled -
Drinking - Oak Pond Somerset Lager, October Fest & Nut Brown. Ocean House Coffee Porter. Iron Clad Pale Ale Cascade 2011.

 
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:07 PM   #8
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Well, wines do ferment slightly better at warmer temperatures- but I still make wine all year long. Most wine yeasts have a very large range of acceptable temperatures, so you should be fine. My house is at 62 degrees in the winter- and I've made several wines this winter.

Wine kits will generally have a target drinking time- like I mentioned the Vintner's Reserve kits are considered 30-day kits, and drinking within 3-6 months. The "better" kits are usually ready in a year or so.


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