Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

I have my wine making kit-now what?

I just recieved my deluxe winemaking kit and I have no idea what to do with it.

I need how-to help

Thanks

  1. Open box
  2. Find instructions
  3. Read instructions
  4. Make wine
  5. Drink wine and think “This is terrible!”
  6. Purchase a brewing kit

:cheers:

Good one, dobe :smiley:

All of the kit wine I’ve drank has been far superior to “country wines” that I’ve made from fruit, etc. As dobe said, your kit should have full instructions, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it. Brewing beer is a bit more complicated, but also more rewarding (I think) and also a much faster process.

Which kit specifically are we talking about? Always good to know.

As pointed out, the instructions will most certainly get you where you need to go.

Don’t be shy in posting specific questions on the winemaking board. Quite a few of us check it regularily.

Steady / Warmish fermentation temps go a long way.

When they insrtuct you to degass, do a very thorough job.

The timetable specifide in the instructions is a guideline which can be played with. If things take longer than expected it is not usually a big deal (depending which kit).

If you don’t plan to filter, I would suggest leaving the wine a little longer than instructed before bottling to prevent sedimentation in the bottle.

The instructions you received may be as incomplete or as bad as some instructions for making beer. Go over each step in the instructions and look for confirming proof of validity on the internet.
Finding what is missing will be the hardest part. You will find the advice you need in the search.

All the above (with the exception of the “terrible” comment!) and I’ll add relax and just do it.

HomeBrewTalk has a wine making forum also. I haven’t spent any time in it, but you may find some helpful information about the hidden pitfalls of wine making.

There is a brewing TV episode you can watch as well. They don’t go through crazy detail but it may help you to watch someone else do it. Don’t forget youtube, there are tons of videos there as well.

I would agree with the “terrible” comment in the context of terribly cheep winekits. But usually you get what you pay for. Anywhere from terrible, to mediocre, to half way decent, to pretty decent.

Sometimes you will have to qualify “pretty darn good” with “for a kit wine”. But now some of the better producers are working to remedy the need for that qualification. Eclipse series wines are the closest thing yet.

I made two wine kits for the first time ever at the beginning of last year and both turned out excellent. They weren’t cheap kits but calculated out they are about $5.00/bottle and taste just as good or better than anything you can buy in the store for 3 or 4 times the cost.
I did the Cellar Craft Showcase Cabernet and the Eclipse Pinot Noir both costing around $150 each.
Both are crystal clear in the glass, the Cab being deep ruby red and the Pinot being a lighter more cheery red.
Just picked up the Eclipse Chardonnay that I’ll be starting this weekend which I hope turns out just as well as the first two.

Let’s not get offended. It was a joke… but in all seriousness, GOOD homemade wine is a tough nut to crack. I’m sure some have had great success, but I’ve had a lot of crappy homemade wine. I’ve been told it really comes down to the grapes/juice used. On the other hand, I’ve had lots and lots of great home brew. It’s much harder to make a good wine than it is to make good beer.

Follow the recipe and read up on wine making in books or on forums like this. It’s not hard to do. Just hard to master.

Let’s not get offended. It was a joke… but in all seriousness, GOOD homemade wine is a tough nut to crack. I’m sure some have had great success, but I’ve had a lot of crappy homemade wine. I’ve been told it really comes down to the grapes/juice used. On the other hand, I’ve had lots and lots of great home brew. It’s much harder to make a good wine than it is to make good beer.

Follow the recipe and read up on wine making in books or on forums like this. It’s not hard to do. Just hard to master.[/quote]

No offense taken, I just haven’t run into a bad one yet. (I haven’t tried any of the really cheap ones). I just encourage anyone who is hesitating to just follow directions and go for it. I’m sure making it really shine is a whole level (or levels) of skill.

I think one of the main things to do is to really do a good job of driving out the CO2 so the wine doesn’t oxidize. I did the wine whip as the directions called for but also fabricated a normal wine saver (that we use to extend open bottles of wine) and just kept pumping the crap out of it. You’d be surprised of the amount of bubbles that I kept getting out of the wine that I had already degassed.

[quote=“Brew1”]I did the Cellar Craft Showcase Cabernet and the Eclipse Pinot Noir both costing around $150 each.
Both are crystal clear in the glass, the Cab being deep ruby red and the Pinot being a lighter more cheery red.
Just picked up the Eclipse Chardonnay that I’ll be starting this weekend which I hope turns out just as well as the first two.[/quote]

I really like their Chardonnay. IMO it could be the best white wine kit Winex produces (but that can be very subjective).

The CCraft Cab is solid, but next time you do a Cab, I’d suggest the Eclipse - it’s their flagship wine for a reason.

For some reason I was not blown away by the Pinot Noir, but that could just be me - or the fact that great Pinot Noir is a tricky thing sometimes.

I will also add, that some of the basic Selection Whites are as worthy as the Eclipse series. You can never go wrong with Symphony.

Let’s not get offended. It was a joke… but in all seriousness, GOOD homemade wine is a tough nut to crack. I’m sure some have had great success, but I’ve had a lot of crappy homemade wine. I’ve been told it really comes down to the grapes/juice used. On the other hand, I’ve had lots and lots of great home brew. It’s much harder to make a good wine than it is to make good beer.

Follow the recipe and read up on wine making in books or on forums like this. It’s not hard to do. Just hard to master.[/quote]

There is a lot of terrible home made wine and kits out there. And you are very correct in saying a lot of it comes down to the must involved. This is why kits are the way to go if you want decent wine. And even with kits, there are lousy producers and some very lousy cheep products out there.

If you go with a solid producer and stick to their higher end kits, making decent wine is practically idiot proof…practically.

I’ve been following this topic and I have been wondering how long you guys are aging your wines? I have read that you really need to age your wines adequately in order for them to taste as they should (but I don’t know as I have yet to make a wine).

They are all a little different. For instance the Chardonnay I’m making this weekend they say to wait 4 to 6 months in the bottle. The Cabernet I made said to wait at LEAST a year and about the same for the Pinot. Some of the kits are made to be drinkable fairly quickly and some call for longer bottle aging up to two years.

It’s a good question, but the answer has a lot of variables and is wide open to interpretation.

Cheeper, short term kits…who cares. Won’t get any better after a few months.

Higher end kits, it really depends on the type of wine, and what you like. Each producer’s kits will be slightly different as well. For example, Winexpert has redesigned their kits over the past few years to show better young so people don’t have to age them as long if they don’t want to.

Cellar Craft (now owned by Vineco) have a lot of wines that are almost undrinkable under a year of age, and some that are virtually undrinkable over a year of age (IMO).

Most producers have suggested aging times in their product guides, but they tend to be more of a rough estimate than anything.

If you ever have a specific kit you would like to know about, it is always a good idea to ask around to see what other’s experiences have been as far as aging goes.

I tend to like white wines pretty young, when they have nice lively fruit and a good crispness to them. But there are specific varietals which pop much later.

Let’s not get offended. It was a joke… but in all seriousness, GOOD homemade wine is a tough nut to crack. I’m sure some have had great success, but I’ve had a lot of crappy homemade wine. I’ve been told it really comes down to the grapes/juice used. On the other hand, I’ve had lots and lots of great home brew. It’s much harder to make a good wine than it is to make good beer.

Follow the recipe and read up on wine making in books or on forums like this. It’s not hard to do. Just hard to master.[/quote]

had just as much crappy homebrew, even commercial brew

That’s a shame. I can 100% say I’ve had more good homebrew than crappy. I’ve had plenty of crappy. I’m in a brew club with close to 250 members, so there’s always some bad home brew around. But the good has far outweighed the bad.

But home made wine, completely the opposite. I can easily say I’ve had much more bad home made wine than good. This is the main reason I’ve never thought about making my own wine. I’ve had so much crap and a decent bottle of wine isn’t expensive… so I just never thought about making it.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com