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Anyone out there making there own wine?

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    Anyone out there making there own wine?

    I started making wine from kits back in 2010 and haven't looked back. They are excellent compared to the moderately priced wines you get commercially. For about $3.50 a bottle you can make a wine that is as good if not better than the $30-40/Bt wines that are out there. Of course if you are used to spending $100/Bt maybe making your own wine wouldn't be the way to go.

    #2
    This is interesting. You say as good as $30-40 wines, I rarely splurge on any wine over $25-30. Usually my go-to cabernets are Behringer (CA) at roughly $9, Haras Hussonet (Chilean) at about $15, Coppola at about $12, and Louis Martini (Napa) at about $25. All time favorites splurgers are California-Napa's "Textbook" and "Castella De Amorosa". If I could make anything on par with those for $3.50 I'm in. Do you grow your own grapes or do you order them, how does that work?

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      #3
      Aaron, I usually buy a kit that makes 30 full bottles. I usually buy from Midwest Supplies in Minneapolis. I have dealt with them for the last four years I have been active. I also buy some stuff from the local kit wine shop. Most wine kit stores also sell Beer Brewing kits. You will need some extra equipment but if you like wine it will amortize itself quickly.

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      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Please elaborate on "kit" for those of us not in the know. Do you use your own grapes, or does this include grape juice, or is it a concentrate like how beer brewing suppliers will sell cans of malted barley to just dump in

      #4
      The kit includes about 2 gal of concentrate and then depending on the particular flavor may have oak chips to simulate being in an oak cask for aging

      Here is the basic procedure :

      In your fermenting bucket you add the concentrate and with the temperature of your water bring the level up to the 6 gal mark. Stir well and check you temp between 70-75*F. Sprinkle the yeast packet across the top of the concentrate/water. Do not stir, put the lid on airtight and add an air lock. Keep in a cool space for at least 7 days or until it reaches the specific gravity it calls for. Rack (wine term for siphoning) to a carboy (wine term for q large 6 gal. bot.) and let settle for about 2 wks. Then remove about 1/2 gal of raw wine and add other flavorings and chemicals stirring as per directions. Add a portion of the raw wine removed to bring the level up and then install an air lock and let set at 70-75*F for about a month till it completely clears all the way to the bottom. Then bottle, label and let age for at least 6 mo. My traditional wine take a solid year to mature and break down the tannins so it smooths out. I use split bottles which are 1/2 the size of the standard 750 ml bottles that most wines are bottled it. That gives the wife and I each a nice full glass of wine with no left over wine to cap or drink before it turns to vinegar. So one batch will give me 60 splits or 30 full size bottles. Some flavors I will do 40 splits and 10 full size for the batch but mostly I just do splits

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        #5
        Excellent post Dr (Reade?)! Thanks for the detail. I've always wanted to try my hand at wine making but where do you start for crying out loud. This will surely help many who search for and read this post in the future.

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          #6
          There are many different types of Kits out there. The ones from Midwest I can say out of the 5-6 kits I have made there hasn't been one we did not like. The Island Mist kits are kind of fruity tuity but are ready for consumption immediately after bottling. That is great for those without any patience to allow proper aging (12 mo. min.). The regular Kits need to age about a year to fully develop their flavors kind of like smoking a pork butt except a lot longer. Usually after the first year you have enough aged that it wiill easily carry uou till the next batch and more is ready unless you are a wino and then there will never be enough. Ha!! It takes about $100 of equipment to get started and then you will want more and better equipment if you stay with it and will eventually have about $400 in equipment. The most expensive item being a floor mounted corker ($150-200) which is worth it's weight in gold.

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            #7
            In January I will be making a 6 gal batch of white and a 6 gal batch of red for the year. We like wine but, we are not heavy wine drinkers. And these wines will take a year to mature.

            My dilemma is deciding which red and which white to make this year.

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              #8
              The closest I get to making wine is mead(once in a blue moon),however I've been a home brewer since the 90's. Midwest is a good outfit for necessary supplies and I use them frequently. A lot of my brewing gizmos came from there. Maybe one of these years I'll take the plunge and do some wine.

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                #9
                Homebrewing beer is my other food-related passion! I originally wanted to start with wine, but I got discouraged by the wait (such patience I have!). Good beer can be had within 6 weeks usually, of course some age longer. I haven't done much of it recently, but I really want to get started again.

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                  #10
                  So it takes about 6 weeks to brew beer?? But, I understand it is best immediately after it is bottles. You don't let beer age it gets skankie?

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                    #11
                    Actually what makes beer skankie is when sunshine interacts with the hops in a clear or light colored bottle (I am long time brewer) -- age is not that bad, if you get hold of an old one it just tastes old... optimum drinking time is 6 - 8 weeks

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                      #12
                      Groupon had an offer from Keystone Homebrew Supply - buy the groupon for $30 and get a $65 beer making equipment kit. They also did a wine kit, but I went over what equipment I already had and figured the beer kit was the best buy. Course that stipulates that I can find my other wine equipment (though I may be able to score some from my mom, she hasn't made wine in years). Most recently (5 years ago?) I was invited to a NJ beekeeper mead party where everyone had to bring a quart of honey. I was invited because I was friends with the organizer and had given him the "gold medal" of meads. I have a jug of that which has been aging since.

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                        #13
                        I've been making wine for about 15 years, but not from kits. I use whatever I can get my hands on. I have 9 rhubarb plants that give me an annual harvest for about 10 gallons if I want to invest the time and energy to make it. I have a couple grape plants, but have only harvested grapes a couple times, as the weather in western Nebraska is not too conducive to the variety I have planted. I've made sour cherry, grape, kiwi, apple, peach, chokecherry, strawberry, raspberry, etc. My sour cherry won best of show at the Nebraska State Fair one year, so of course whenever I offer wine, everybody wants that.

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                          #14
                          I own a U-Vint so I make a lot of wine. I'd compare my wine to anything in the liquor store. My most expensive kit and brew service is less than 8$ a bottle. And it doesn't have the sulfites that store bought wine has.

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                            #15
                            My brother in law does. He's got a cellar under his back patio that was originally a bomb shelter with maybe 10 barrels aging in there. He buys hundreds of pounds of grapes at a time. His wine is very good.

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