Wine Kit Selection

Discussion on the ingredients for making wine.

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Wine Kit Selection

Postby ValonaBrewingCo » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:32 pm

Wine kits look pretty easy so I'm thinking of trying it out to fill in the weekends between brewing. There seems to be quite the range in terms of price and selection. I'm really only interested in making wine if it can make some really good stuff and I don't want to waste my money on the wine equivalent of Mr. Beer. Anybody out there have some suggestions?
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Re: Wine Kit Selection

Postby fossilsrocks » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:54 am

Try one of the Vintners Reserve kits. They make a very good quality wine & are priced well. You'll like the results, and then you can decide if you want to spend the extra $ on the more expensive kits. Just follow the instructions to the letter. Anyone who can brew beer can make wine from a kit; it is actually easier.
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Re: Wine Kit Selection

Postby pclemon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:33 am

I agree with Fossil. In general the kits that are less concentrated (more juice) are better - and more expensive. Follow the directions and it's quite easy. Not sure what you mean by "really good stuff" but (again, in general) you can make the equivalent of a $12-15 commercial bottle of wine for $3-4.
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Re: Wine Kit Selection

Postby thetooth » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:06 am

I'll throw my agreement with fossil in here too. Wine is definitely easier to make than beer. It's basically the same as making a beer, but you start with pre-packaged wort. :lol:

The biggest difference is the number of times you rack it to new carboys, and the patience you need to have before you enjoy it. You won't be happy with any wine until it ages at least a few months... and the more expensive the kit, the longer it needs to age before it's ready.

The said, my suggestion is to start with a cheaper vitners reserve kit, make it, wait a few months and try it. If it's decent to you, give a more expensive kit a try.

We buy plenty of wine in our house, and I think the pricier all-juice kits make better wines, and I enjoy drinking them. I put them on par with a $20 bottle of wine, only I can make them for $4 or $5 per bottle. While the cheaper kits are drinkable, I equate them to a $5-$10 bottle of store-bought wine. I still make these quite often because my wife loves using them for cooking wine and at $2-$3 per bottle, it's much cheaper. She uses a lot of cooking wine, so I figure a batch saves us $150 in groceries... and I'm still playing with the process of winemaking.
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Re: Wine Kit Selection

Postby ValonaBrewingCo » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:30 am

Cool, thanks guys! :D
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Re: Wine Kit Selection

Postby pclemon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:53 pm

thetooth wrote:The biggest difference is the number of times you rack it to new carboys


I used to do the "Ferment, rack, finish fermenting, rack (add sulfites, etc), wait 2-3 weeks, rack, let clear and bottle.

What I do now is:

Ferment out (3-4 weeks), rack & put in additives, let sit until clear & bottle. Only caution is, especially for whites, make sure you don't move the wine much while putting in a position to rack off to bottle otherwise you'll end up with sediment in the finished product.
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Re: Wine Kit Selection

Postby ppaluszewski » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:25 pm

I like the Cellar Craft International Showcase Collection kits. These come with fairly large "crush packs" and high juice/solids content. However, I deviate from the instructions and included ingredients and choose my own yeast, enzymes, oak, and perform MLF, several rackings, extended bulk aging, etc. RJ Spagnols is also supposed to have some good juice, and I've made Vintner's Reserve stuff before (per instructions) with the crush pack, although I would have expected better. My opinion is that for the time and effort you will put into the process, go for the best kit (usually 18 liter and with a crush pack) that you can get. If you really want to take it to the next level, consider doing a bit of research and try more advanced techniques and be patient. The wines I have been making lately rival $20+ bottles.
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