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Old 10-07-2015, 10:19 AM   #1
Zintrigue
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Hello everyone. I stumbled upon this site in a search for "when to add chocolate to my wine." As you can see from my screen name, I'm rather fond of Zinfandel. Red, of course.

Admittedly, I've never made wine before. I've been interested for some time. I found a very basic recipe here. I realize most of you will scoff at the rudimentary simplicity of this, but as I've yet to actually make anything I figured I'd start simple and small.

Except I'm going to be using table grapes instead of juice.

I couldn't find a demijohn anywhere near me, so I purchased a large 4L glass jar of Carlos Rossi Sangria in store ($8!) and siphoned the rather disgusting drink into a milk jug, leaving me with a perfect sized demijohn!

Anyway, I'll probably have loads of questions to ask. If I get good at this wine thing I may purchase the supplies to take it seriously.

Here's to the adventure.

-Zin

 
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:44 AM   #2
sour_grapes
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Welcome to WMT, Zintrigue!

Good luck with your experiment. I think you should do as you proposed, but please be advised it is very likely that it will not produce wine you enjoy drinking. But you will learn something.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:51 AM   #3
wineforfun
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Welcome.

I would like to add you need to consider adding some sugar back into that wine you are making when it is finished. It will at least make it drinkable and somewhat enjoyable.

My son and I did the same thing you are doing when we first started a few years ago. I did not know about WMT and about backsweetening so our finished product was not very tasty.

After you finish with your current wine, look into a winemaking kit, ie: primary bucket, hydrometer, racking cane, chemicals, etc. We started with a 1 gal. kit just to get started and learn the proper processes. You can get them online for approx. $60-$70.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:01 PM   #4
Zintrigue
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Thank you both for the advice, I really appreciate it. I look forward to the learning experience.

Adding more sugar will probably happen, just to make it drinkable.

Will a winemaking kit help me achieve a product similar to the ones I get from wineries? Or can these flavors only be achieved by commercial equipment?

-Zin

 
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:37 PM   #5
wineforfun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zintrigue View Post
Will a winemaking kit help me achieve a product similar to the ones I get from wineries? Or can these flavors only be achieved by commercial equipment?

-Zin
Yes and yes..............possibly. If you buy a higher end kit, 16L-18L juice, then you will end up with a bottle of wine comparable to a $15'ish bottle of wine.

Now that is a much better bottle of wine than say Barefoot, YellowTail, etc. but nowhere near as good as some higher end wineries.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:03 PM   #6
Zintrigue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wineforfun View Post
Yes and yes..............possibly. If you buy a higher end kit, 16L-18L juice, then you will end up with a bottle of wine comparable to a $15'ish bottle of wine.

Now that is a much better bottle of wine than say Barefoot, YellowTail, etc. but nowhere near as good as some higher end wineries.
Well that's not bad! Barefoot is one of my favorite table wines. For the price, it tastes the least like rubbing alcohol out of the lot.

What is the difference in a higher end kit versus one of the cheaper ones? Specific additives? Sheer volume (which somehow makes the product different)? More specific tools? I order everything from Amazon (Prime!) and have found that, despite so few options, I am somewhat overwhelmed and clueless.

I do apologize for all of the questions. I should probably find a book on this and save everyone's fingers the trouble.

-Zin

 
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:14 PM   #7
wineforfun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zintrigue View Post
Well that's not bad! Barefoot is one of my favorite table wines. For the price, it tastes the least like rubbing alcohol out of the lot.

What is the difference in a higher end kit versus one of the cheaper ones? Specific additives? Sheer volume (which somehow makes the product different)? More specific tools? I order everything from Amazon (Prime!) and have found that, despite so few options, I am somewhat overwhelmed and clueless.

I do apologize for all of the questions. I should probably find a book on this and save everyone's fingers the trouble.

-Zin
I agree, Barefoot is a decent lower end wine, unfortunately for my pocketbook, my taste has moved beyond that.

The main difference in the higher end kits is they contain more juice than the cheaper ones. Most higher end kits will have 16L of juice and a 2L grape skin pack.
The cheaper ones won't have a grape skin pack and maybe only 10L of juice. You have to add water to make up the difference, therefore diluting the juice and flavor.
On the other hand, the cheaper kits are usually ready to drink quicker than the higher end kits.

No worries on the questions, I still have plenty of my own. There are A LOT more experienced members on here than myself.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:31 PM   #8
heatherd
 
Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zintrigue View Post
Hello everyone. I stumbled upon this site in a search for "when to add chocolate to my wine." As you can see from my screen name, I'm rather fond of Zinfandel. Red, of course.

Admittedly, I've never made wine before. I've been interested for some time. I found a very basic recipe here. I realize most of you will scoff at the rudimentary simplicity of this, but as I've yet to actually make anything I figured I'd start simple and small.

Except I'm going to be using table grapes instead of juice.

I couldn't find a demijohn anywhere near me, so I purchased a large 4L glass jar of Carlos Rossi Sangria in store ($8!) and siphoned the rather disgusting drink into a milk jug, leaving me with a perfect sized demijohn!

Anyway, I'll probably have loads of questions to ask. If I get good at this wine thing I may purchase the supplies to take it seriously.

Here's to the adventure.

-Zin
Welcome!!! This hobby is really fun and rewarding.

There are also lots of recipes on this site. Also, you might try our two threads for skeeter pee and dragon's blood. Those are quick and easy recipes that lots of people have made successfully - plus if you have questions you can ask the folks in the forum for help.

I agree about proper equipment being useful. The things I think you'll need first are a hydrometer, fermenting bucket, auto-siphon, and bottle filler. First and foremost, the hydrometer, as that will tell you when your brew is done.

With wine, you can definitely make stuff that rivals $10-20 bottles. It takes patience, but is do-able. Maybe you'll take the plunge and make Zinfandel for your next batch!

Best of luck!
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:45 AM   #9
Zintrigue
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Oct 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wineforfun View Post
I agree, Barefoot is a decent lower end wine, unfortunately for my pocketbook, my taste has moved beyond that.

The main difference in the higher end kits is they contain more juice than the cheaper ones. Most higher end kits will have 16L of juice and a 2L grape skin pack.
The cheaper ones won't have a grape skin pack and maybe only 10L of juice. You have to add water to make up the difference, therefore diluting the juice and flavor.
On the other hand, the cheaper kits are usually ready to drink quicker than the higher end kits.

No worries on the questions, I still have plenty of my own. There are A LOT more experienced members on here than myself.
Oh wow. I was unaware that the kits contained the actual juice; I figured I'd be on my own for that part as the pictures I skimmed didn't show anything of the sort. I'll have to put that on my Christmas list. Thank you for the information.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherd View Post
Welcome!!! This hobby is really fun and rewarding.

There are also lots of recipes on this site. Also, you might try our two threads for skeeter pee and dragon's blood. Those are quick and easy recipes that lots of people have made successfully - plus if you have questions you can ask the folks in the forum for help.

I agree about proper equipment being useful. The things I think you'll need first are a hydrometer, fermenting bucket, auto-siphon, and bottle filler. First and foremost, the hydrometer, as that will tell you when your brew is done.

With wine, you can definitely make stuff that rivals $10-20 bottles. It takes patience, but is do-able. Maybe you'll take the plunge and make Zinfandel for your next batch!

Best of luck!
Thank you! Yes, I did notice in my in-depth searches of this process that it's dauntingly complicated for a first timer. I stumbled upon this video
of a gentleman from the-gift-of-wine.com giving a step by step and noticed his fancy fermenting bucket and three (!) demijohns. I didn't understand the hydrometer, but I'm hoping there will be instructions when I take that step. And the corker just looks like good fun.

Dragon's Blood sounds enticing. It's a shame I didn't know about it sooner, or I could have some ready for Halloween. I'll look those recipes up, along with the Welches Wine recommended to me in another thread. It's hard for me not to buy the entire proper kit right now and get to work! I know myself and I have to start small, though. I just made my first pickles recently. One jar.

Now I just need to find out where everyone gets their grapes until I can grow my own next year.

My dream is to have a cellar full of amazing wines. I hope they don't have to store at a specific temperature, because we have snow in the winters and blistering summers.

-Zin

 
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:28 AM   #10
wineforfun
Still Trying To Make The Perfect Wine and Now Trying To Roast The Perfect Coffee Bean
 
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So here is how you should do things, assuming you have the equipment and funds.
Get a good kit(as I mentioned earlier) and get it going and done. It will need 9-12mos. to really make it start to come into it's own.
While it is aging, then start up Dragon Blood, Welchs Super Sugar, etc. that you can have done and drinking within 3-4mos.
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