3 gallon kits are hard to find

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pditt13

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Does anyone know of a good quality 3 gallon kit? I started with 1 gallon kits to learn about the process, and now I would like to start making larger quantities. Since this is just a home hobby, I would rather have 15 bottles of two different wines vs. 30 bottles of one but all I can find is kits that make 6 gallons. One gallon is not enough. Freezer space is limited to freeze half the juice since i already did that with a shiraz juice AND I don't know how well freezing holds up for the next batch anyway. Any suggestions?
 

Gilmango

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If you bought two kits which blend well together you could make 4 different 3 gallon wines. For instance a Cabernet and a Merlot kit, 1 100% Cab, 2 100% Merlot, 3 67 or 75% Cab, balance Merlot, 4 exact opposite of 3. If you added a 3rd wine you could do even more combinations (another Bordeaux varietal, or Sangiovese, etc.). I would prefer to do the above with Finer Wine Kits as we know that they are 100% varietal, whereas other kits are usually already blends (and the manufacturers do not tell us what the blend comprises).

Or, with a single kit you could do two different yeasts, and/or oak one and not the other, use fining agents in one and not the other, ferment with and without skins/raisins/fpac, ferment at different temperatures, bottle one in 6-8 weeks and bulk age the other for a year before bottling. All sorts of variations which could make for interesting differences without even blending kits.
 

pditt13

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If you bought two kits which blend well together you could make 4 different 3 gallon wines. For instance a Cabernet and a Merlot kit, 1 100% Cab, 2 100% Merlot, 3 67 or 75% Cab, balance Merlot, 4 exact opposite of 3. If you added a 3rd wine you could do even more combinations (another Bordeaux varietal, or Sangiovese, etc.). I would prefer to do the above with Finer Wine Kits as we know that they are 100% varietal, whereas other kits are usually already blends (and the manufacturers do not tell us what the blend comprises).

Or, with a single kit you could do two different yeasts, and/or oak one and not the other, use fining agents in one and not the other, ferment with and without skins/raisins/fpac, ferment at different temperatures, bottle one in 6-8 weeks and bulk age the other for a year before bottling. All sorts of variations which could make for interesting differences without even blending kits.

I can definitely do that. I have a 3 gallon Shiraz that has been bulk aging for about 6 months now. Thinking I will start a cab. Thanks!
 

franc1969

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I wouldn't think there would be too many smaller kits, not very cost effective or space effective. I ended up with one 5-gallon carboy and one 1.5- liter bottle from one '6 gallon' kit. My carboys hold 1 to 3 quarts more than marked, incluing the 3 gallon.
 

Gilmango

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Go to Williams Brewing…..


They have 3 gallon wine kits, both white and red.
Very interesting kits and concentrates from Williams, I think that they may be getting their concentrates from the same place in Lodi where Finer Wine Kits does, as some of the language is very similar:

William's California Wine Concentrates are made from 100% Central Valley varietal wine grapes, picked at their peak and gently concentrated with minimum heat (never exceeding 180 degrees F.) under vacuum to 68 Brix. Sugar has not been added, nor is sugar needed to make 5 gallons of full-bodied varietal wine.

The 192 ounces [= 5.68 liters] of concentrate included in each pack is enough to make 5 gallons of wine with an alcohol content of 12 to 13%. Contains sulfiltes, so you do not need to add them before fermentation. Our California Wine Concentrates are also acid balanced, so you do not need to add acid or do an acid titration test (unless you want to).

IMMEDIATE REFRIGERATION IS REQUIRED ONCE THIS CONCENTRATE IS RECEIVED
 

Jay204

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I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but my suggestion is to bite the bullet and do a couple regular 6 gallon kits. This hobby has a way of snowballing, and before you know it you'll be making 4 kits at a time wondering if you should attempt making wine from grapes.

Remember, you can age these wines. If you drank a kit over a 3 year period, for example, that would only give you 10 bottles each year from that kit. If that's still too much for you, find a friend that would be interested in making it with you or paying you for half the bottles.

The blending option is a great idea. However, you may end up with 60 very similar tasting bottles, as opposed to making 2 very different kits and not blending them. Just my thoughts.
 

Benjie

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I'm making a 5 gallon merlot and 5 gallon chardonnay from Williams Brewery. So far they smell great, and the sg was 1.10 and 1.15
 

Scooter68

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I think others alluded to it but perhaps you might have more luck finding 6 gallon kits and split it into two, as long as you don't try to keep the second half around for long after you break the seal.
 

pditt13

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Thanks for all the comments... I did bite the bullet and bought Finer Wine Super Tuscan 6 gallon. I also bought a 6 gallon carboy and 7 gallon fermenting bucket. You are right, it snowballs... but i love making wine. Not that great at it, but learning.

That said, I have another question. My very first kit that my son bought me (he is the reason i am here) for my birthday was an inexpensive 1 gallon Merlot. Just learning, I followed instructions and topped off with water. That merlot is ok but very watered down to the taste. I won't even say it is ok, since it is watery to the taste and i don't like it. I have 3 bottles sitting on my rack. Can i use it to top off my Tuscan or could I be ruining a potentially good wine.
 
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Thanks for all the comments... I did bite the bullet and bought Finer Wine Super Tuscan 6 gallon. I also bought a 6 gallon carboy and 7 gallon fermenting bucket. You are right, it snowballs... but i love making wine. Not that great at it, but learning.

That said, I have another question. My very first kit that my son bought me (he is the reason i am here) for my birthday was an inexpensive 1 gallon Merlot. Just learning, I followed instructions and topped off with water. That merlot is ok but very watered down to the taste. I won't even say it is ok, since it is watery to the taste and i don't like it. I have 3 bottles sitting on my rack. Can i use it to top off my Tuscan or could I be ruining a potentially good wine.

My rule of what kind of wine to top up with is the same rule I use for what wine to cook with. Only use wine you are willing to drink for either. I probably would purchase an inexpensive Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot to top up the Super Tuscan. and I would use your wine over just water to top up. I am able to avoid much topping by allowing some of the lees (gunk) to be sucked up by each racking I do. It fell out once, it will fall out again.
 
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I disagree with Craig (@cmason1957) to some extent. If a wine tastes bad and/or has a serious defect, I won't cook with it. However, I cook with wine that is drinkable but I'm not thrilled with. Boiled wine tastes mostly alike.

So I'd cook with a wine that tasted watered down. This includes marinades. Having several cases of wine that is not my favorite means I am NOT shy about dropping half a bottle into a marinade, or using all wine when making a roast or in the crock pot.
 

VinesnBines

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A reduction sauce cooks out the water. A watery, thin wine may turn out as a good sauce and if not, very little lost. Or try mixing some fruit juice and ginger ale with the wine. Try one glass and see how you like it. I wouldn’t top up my good batch with it either.
 

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