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Anyone out there making there own wine?

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  • smokin fool
    commented on 's reply
    Your story sounds like mine, but made it with my buddy and his dad.
    They were Italian and knew what they were doing, when the dad passed the wine making went with him.
    Too bad he made some smoking reds.

  • josh_karpf
    commented on 's reply
    We age for up to a year in the carboy (and also cheat a little by adding wood chips). We add the most appropriate yeast, monitor temperature and sugar very closely, and rack three or four times as needed, but can be loosey-goosey with sterilization. Maybe our wine would be better if we were stricter about that, using metabisulfite ("meta") more liberally. But there's also the social element to it; no one wants to be too anal-retentive. I HAVE heard that beermaking requires MUCH more sterility.

  • efincoop
    replied
    We used to make wine often and I still have all the equipment. Not sure why, but we got away from it. I think it was combination of things. Collecting the bottles, cleaning & sterilization, storing the resting bottles, cleaning the carboys all became factors as our lives got busier. Perhaps we weren't using the best quality kits, but I never felt our home wine was much better tan the $10-$12 stuff sold in stores. Now your thread is making me want to make a batch to see what I may have been missing. I still have all the equipment, just need to invest in a kit & some corks. Like I said, it has been quite a few years. Do most of you age in the carboy, or in the bottle?

    Leave a comment:


  • Donw
    commented on 's reply
    Very cool. What I appreciate is your long term commitment to learning and developing your skills if I’m reading your photo of your notes correctly. Good luck and well done.

  • Murdy
    replied
    I've made a couple batches of country wine (fruity and sweet,) and some hard cider, good stuff, but definitely not in the same category as finer varieties.

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  • josh_karpf
    replied
    One of my greatest pleasures is winemaking with friends. Been doing it since 2001, a few hundred bottles a year.

    But despite all that slow (yet drunken, and occasionally baked) learning, you have to love the process to like our wine, which can run toward the sweet or vegetal.

    This year we're trying Italian (from concentrate) and California red juice (already half fermented on arrival, to our surprise) in addition to our usual squeezing from grapes (usually barbera, cab, merlot, muscat, pinot, sangiovese, and zin; last year we also tried amarone). There's also a vine in the house's backyard that yields six bottles a year. The juice can lead to a much better balanced wine, but less complex. Then again, complexity does not favor our plonk. We also make port; adding the brandy also smooths out the flavor profile. But I prefer the wine. My tolerance has gone way down over the years anyway.

    Last night we gathered to taste the latest and some bottles from 2011, 2001, and 1999 (the last surprisingly good, a merlot/barbera/grenache blend with notes of mushroom and dried ginger). Here's this year's vintage, now awaiting bottling in a month or two, after which we begin the cycle again: https://www.flickr.com/photos/595312...57673526153317

    Attached Files

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  • Mark V
    replied
    I have made my own wine, I agree you can make equal to a 30 dollar bottle. I also made champagne, was more impressed with that. My favorite was mead, and the favorite out of that was blackberry. I aged a lager for a year once (that took some patience and willpower) and it was fantastic! All I can say is that it was smooth.

    Leave a comment:


  • phecksel
    replied
    One of my favorite subjects I started down the path to making my own beer. Ended up going to Windsor Onterio, which Huskee may want to consider. Got to Jakes Windsor Brew http://www.jakeswindsorbrew.com/ and tasted some of their wines... Holy crap, the store bought stuff is crap in comparison. They use the winexperts kits, do 90% of the work for me, I just have to bottle it.

    Here's the critical part, most (but not all) of the wines have to "rest" in the bottle, some for years. We have their most expensive ($209 Cdn for 30 bottles) wine resting right now. I can't stand it, and in a couple of weeks a couple of bottles of this Cab are going to be decorked. I have 17 different types of wine, ranging from a white zin that does not need to rest, to carbonated fruity wine coolers, to stuff that I let set for several years. I have an entire batch of a "lesser" Cab that is IRC 3 years old. Once these two bottles get opened, that will be it, until the rest of the older Cab is finished.

    I've even experimented with cork material, which was interesting. The stuff that doesn't need to rest, with a synthetic cork is good for a couple of years. Natural cork, not so much. Craziest, Piesporter, which is no longer being offered. I watched that wine change significantly over a period of 24 months, which is where it peaked.

    One thing I've learned over the years, if you find the perfect wine pairing with a certain food, the flavor of both the food and wine will explode. It's a dramatic occurrence. Luna Bianca is an excellent example as it pairs unbelievably well with turkey, and yet doesn't do well with Chicken.

    I would venture to guess with the high end Cab we did, that wine in a store would probably be well north of $50 per bottle, and in a restaurant, well north of $150. It's that good.

    Leave a comment:


  • SoCal Chris
    replied
    I have been making wine for maybe 6 years now. The wine ingredient kits really make it almost idiot proof. A while back I found a good Chardonnay that my wife likes so I have been making it for her, I got tired of bottling it so I got a small keg and just started kegging the wine. I set up a tap in the garage fridge so now she can just take her glass out there and fill er up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Attjack
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NukeGuy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr ROK
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Atalanta
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • smarkley
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Marauderer
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

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