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Brewer becoming vintner: book suggestions

I have all the common brewing books, but I wondered what some suggestions for wine books would be. If I had read Palmer, Jamil, Gordon Strong, and Charlie P’s stuff before my first few batches of beer, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. Are there a few similarly awesome books for home wine making? I plan to do premium kits and want to make top-quality stuff (not just the $50 kits).

Brown,

Your definitely on the track to study some first.
As far as books go the one I recommend always is the following:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/book ... erson.html

Definitely some of the best information I have seen regarding all steps of the process.

Regarding kit wines they are pretty straight forward as you do not have to pick, sort, destem, crush, either macerate or press, ferment the reds on the skins and then press etc… many more steps that go into fresh grape wine making. What happens with kits is you have all the must, skins if applicable, finings and yeast. You provide basically a fermentor and a tool to degas and then bottle. I am obviously being extremely brief here but I say the Iverson book will give you insight to whats steps go into full grape to bottle wine making and then you will be ahead of the curve in regards to what you are asked to do by the kit instructions.

In regards to then learning about kits you can find some of the instructions online to give yourself a leg up into what some of them call for. Its easy peasy stuff compared to all grain brewing.
I am on a quest to find some kit links for you I will post them up in another reply.

Heres the link to the wineexpert products, you will need to narrow down what wine your looking to make and which category it is in though. IE: Vinters reserve, speciale etc…

http://www.winexpert.com/kit-instructions

Here is one to cellarcrafts products.

http://www.cellarcraftwine.com/Instructions.htm

Some kits are better than others as you have already perceived. The one thing I recommend is if you want a simple cheapie table wine get a kit with a high water to must ratio( as most kits ask to add water to the must in the kit. ) If looking for something of higher caliber find the kits that offer the highest amount of must and red grape skins.
Here’s an example of what I mean as listed on cellar crafts site IE: 7.5 l of must on the cheapie as compared to 18 l of must with the “top” lines of kits they offer. Some is only perceived value though these kits take a while 6-18+ months depending on type etc… So do go out and “test” a certain grape or type of wine before jumping in on something that has “perceived” quality due to name.

http://www.cellarcraftwine.com/Product_Lines.htm

Here’s a classic example a buddy of mine did without asking for my advice and he is still p issy he made it without asking someone or trying the type first.
OK, so he and his wife like easy going red zins and blends and dont lean on tannic reds all too often.
So he picked up a Barolo kit and when talking to me about wines he wasn’t to happy with and thinking about dumping I told him to wait and let me try it first for faults before he dumps the Barolo as it is not an easy wine to drink when young as most commercial versions are very austere, tannic and woody initially and I will not drink Barolos typically until they are 10+ years old as they take time to meld. Now this applies to big bomber Barolos as that is the way they are made whereas well made young nebbiolos are delicious sometimes. So bottom line it wasn’t a bad kit persay it will just need a few years of age until the tannins and wood tame some.

G’Day

Most of the kits come with easy to follow instructions.

This is a good book.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/books-media/winemaking-books/techniques-in-home-winemaking.html

If you plan on making any fruit wines, this book has lots of great recipes to get you stared with fresh fruit. Easy to tweak the recipes for your taste.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/books-media/winemaking-books/winemaker-s-recipe-handbook.html

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