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Old 01-31-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
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Wine making

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I picked up the book, Home Winemaking Step-by-Step by Jon Iverson at a winery last year while on vacation. I eager read it, suffered sticker shock, and the book is now quietly occupying space on my book shelf.
Well, over the holidays the topic of wine making came up and a couple relatives said that they make wine, and it's not really that difficult. Has anyone done it? Can you make good wine yourself? Any tips or suggestions?

I saw an ad yesterday on PBS Create for a complete wine kit for $65. I'm tempted, but it sounds too good to be true.

TIA

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Old 01-31-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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Do NOT buy the kits!!! They are overpriced, poor quality, crap. Do an internet search in your area for wine making supplies or brewing supplies. Make a visit to the store and ask advice. Most of the store owners are wine or beer makers themselves and will gladly spend some time with you and help you pick stuff out. They will not try to pull the wool over your eyes as they want you to become a long term customer.

Also, start saving bottles! Tell your friends to as well!
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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I don't know what area of the country you are in, but while I was in a little Pennsylvania town just north of Morgantown, WV, they had a foil package of red or white wine makings. Just add 5lb of sugar, put it in a gallon container, arrange someway for the expansion to come out(1/4 in plastic hose) and put it in a closet(dark place) for two weeks. My white wine was "wino" approved by the local town drunk. Instead of giving him a couple of bucks, I gave him a glass of this stuff. Must have been 20 proof! Haven't seen the makings in the stores here, but I haven't been looking......I definitely recommend the wine making/beer making stores.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:38 PM   #4
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Do NOT buy the kits!!! They are overpriced, poor quality, crap.
...
Thanks, I knew that but needed someone to remind me. I looked at their website, said "no way" and shut down my computer. I went about my business and started to have doubts.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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I did it a few years ago. Had an over abundance of kiwi's, so made kiwi wine. Went to a wine and beer store and got great info and tips ( forgot them all, but were very helpful at the time). It was a great experience. Kids had a lot of fun bottling wine. Not sure how well it tastes, since i really dont like wine. But, its fine to cook with .
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:27 PM   #6
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I found a home brewing shop in a nearby town that also does wine making. They offer a package deal on a basic set of equipment. It's not prepackaged, they just assemble the pieces for you, and you get a discount versus buying everything a la carte.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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Excellent! Did you ask plenty of questions?
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:36 AM   #8
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Excellent! Did you ask plenty of questions?
Definitely.

I checked out their website last week and must say I didn't have high hopes. I went down on Saturday to scope the place out and was pleasantly surprised. I went back on Monday night and made my purchase.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:09 PM   #9
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They all seem to be better brewers than webmasters!
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:41 AM   #10
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...
Also, start saving bottles! Tell your friends to as well!
You got that right. A 5 gallon batch makes 29 bottles. 29

Unfortunately, my only wine-drinking friend will be starting his first batch any day, so no luck there. Maybe I need to start lurking around the recycling center. Would begging for empty wine bottles be considered panhandling?

On the bright side, this will prevent me from making the beginner's mistake of bottling too soon (it will take me months just to get enough bottles).
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:13 AM   #11
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When I did my thing, i found the guy at the store to be very helpful ( both on the phone and in person). I was obviously a beginner, and had absolutely no idea what i was doing. It was a fun experience. I just wish I liked wine. Now I have about 20 bottles of wine siting in my basement.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:42 PM   #12
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This will sound yucky BUT upscale restaurants will have bottles in the trash. OR, you can go ask the local hotel bar to save bottles for you for a couple of bucks.
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:57 AM   #13
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This will sound yucky BUT upscale restaurants will have bottles in the trash. OR, you can go ask the local hotel bar to save bottles for you for a couple of bucks.
That's not too far out there. I was already considering dumpster diving at the recycling center, but I'm concerned about the legality of it. I know trash is considered abandoned property (which is why the cops can go through your trash without a warrant) but I'm not sure that applies to recyclables. Although the glass bin at the recycling center would not be as nasty as a restaurant dumpster.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:11 PM   #14
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You could always ask. Tell them that you are skipping the middle step and just using them again as is.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:38 PM   #15
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If you have kids that drink juice, or even if you do, the non-alcoholic sparkling ciders found in the supermarket are bottled in wine-quality bottles and aren't that expensive. Having one class of sparkling juice per day is healthy, and you'll have a nice collection of bottles in no time.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:52 AM   #16
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You could always ask. Tell them that you are skipping the middle step and just using them again as is.
Good idea. I'd just have to figure out who to talk to.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:26 AM   #17
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Well, my wine making co-conspirator solved the bottle problem. He parked at the recycling center with a sign saying, "Wanted: Wine Bottles" and ended up with several dozen. He's offered to loan me the sign and as soon as the weather gets a little nicer, I'm going to try it myself.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:01 AM   #18
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For extra bottles you can also go to a local bar or fine restaurant and ask the person behind the bar if they would save some bottles for you.

I disagree about the wine making kits being too costly. We have been making wine from the Vintner's reserve wine kits for over 4 years now. Our average cost per bottle now that we have had the bottles and equipment comes to less than $4.00 a bottle. We get about 29 bottles out of a 6 gallon batch of wine.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:32 PM   #19
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For extra bottles you can also go to a local bar or fine restaurant and ask the person behind the bar if they would save some bottles for you.

I disagree about the wine making kits being too costly. We have been making wine from the Vintner's reserve wine kits for over 4 years now. Our average cost per bottle now that we have had the bottles and equipment comes to less than $4.00 a bottle. We get about 29 bottles out of a 6 gallon batch of wine.
I didn't say they were to costly. I said you could buy better quality for less at a brew store. Some stores assemble kits and they end up being great quality but most of the ones you see advertised at high volume sites are not exactly top of the line.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #20
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For extra bottles you can also go to a local bar or fine restaurant and ask the person behind the bar if they would save some bottles for you.

I disagree about the wine making kits being too costly. We have been making wine from the Vintner's reserve wine kits for over 4 years now. Our average cost per bottle now that we have had the bottles and equipment comes to less than $4.00 a bottle. We get about 29 bottles out of a 6 gallon batch of wine.
I also have been making wine from various kits (most kits coming out of Canada) for several years. I only had one batch that I personally did not care for, so gave 30 bottles away to friends who love it.
Over the years I have gotten all the "goodies" for making wine, and YES I do ask people to return my bottles.

The last batch I made was a Cellar Classic kit, was rather expensive at $145.00--, but it was a Spanish Tempranillo, smooth as silk ,Cabernet-----well worth the price.

I have better luck with the dry full body red wines, than I do with the white.

And its fun, and I always have wonderful wines to give as gifts which I wrap up in "wine motif" dish towels..........
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