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Advice for 1st wine

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Nugentjr87

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Hello all!

I recently bought a Winexpert Moscato kit and will be making it tomorrow (Friday night). I've been brewing beer for several years and have advanced quickly - my wife and I are looking to dive into making wine as something to do together. Im looking for any advice to make a great tasting wine - in addition to the instructions that's came with the kit.

How important is fermentation temp control?
Any need to proof the yeast?
Will this kit produce a wine similar to what I can buy in a store, or will it be dryer? Or sweeter?
Is it okay to primary ferment in a bucket? Is glass better?
What type of water is recommended? I'm thinking of using store bought spring water .

Your help is appreciated.
 

meadmaker1

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Get a hydrometer
Learn how to use it.
Write down readings or take pictures of it.
Dont expect it tp happen quickly
It will be as sweet or dry as you choose
 

Nugentjr87

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Get a hydrometer
Learn how to use it.
Write down readings or take pictures of it.
Dont expect it tp happen quickly
It will be as sweet or dry as you choose
Thanks for the advice. Very familiar with a hydrometer from brewing beer. Can I assume a lower gravity equals drier?
 

mainshipfred

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I've never made beer but I can only imagine some things are similar. Wine kit instructions are sometimes kind of confusing.
A bucket is fine, infact that's what most of us use.
Wine and beer yeasts are probably similar, there is a temperature range for all yeasts as you already know.
If you follow the instructions it will probably be dry but you can backsweeten if you like.
When I make kits I always use spring water, tap and well water have always been a topic of debate.
As far as quality, better kits do make better wine.
From what I understand the biggest difference in beer and wine is the time it takes to drink it. Even though you kit instructions might say 6-8 weeks, don't believe it.
You can drink whites (your Muscato) and low cost kits sooner then reds or higher end kits.

Good luck!
 

Donatelo

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For me , the hardest thing to learn is patience. Let your wine age. Beer is made to drink early, but wine takes a lot longer to become that "Elixir of the Gods". It can be a wonderful thing to produce the fine wine that blesses your tongue, but it does take time.
Lower Sg does = drier. But you need to find the taste that you like. Do you want a sweeter wine or a drier wine? Finding the taste that you personally like is a matter of exploration. welcome to our world!









eixir of the Gods
 

bkisel

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Welcome to the forum!

I've made that kit several times as it is one of my wife's favorites.

  • Keep the temp within a few degrees of the range that is on the instruction sheet.
  • Just check the yeast expiration date on the packet and you're good to go. I've never had an issue with kit supplied yeast.
  • Don't know about dryer or sweeter... but because you made it it will taste better! :try
  • For many if not most of us here our primary fermentation is done in a bucket. Don't know of any advantage in using a glass vessel for primary.
  • You probably can't go wrong with store bought spring water.

Good luck!
 

Trevor7

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Kits are fun and you will learn lots. My first venture into winemaking resulted in a wine that I was so proud of, that it was gone before it really matured - this hobby will help you develop patience. I too use store-bought spring water. Like beer brewing, remember to sanitize everything! One big advantage of wine making is that you don't have to boil the wort, and risk an overflow. Welcome to the team!
 

Noontime

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Have fun! And everyone's advice has been spot on. my 2 cents...

How important is fermentation temp control? The cooler the temperature, the less aromatics get blown off and flavors are cleaner, resulting in better wine (especially in whites). The fermentation will take a little longer, but its better to keep it cool (lower end to middle of the yeast temp recommendation).

Any need to proof the yeast? Nope, just toss it on top. Creating a starter improperly may cause more harm than good (you certainly can, but for this first one it's not necessary at all)

Will this kit produce a wine similar to what I can buy in a store, or will it be dryer? Or sweeter? The kit comes with a second bag of juice to back sweeten. We made this kit a few years ago and it was semi sweet; about middle of the road for a fruity white like moscato. You don't have to add the whole thing if you want it a little dryer, or you can add a little more sugar if you want it sweeter. This being your first kit, I recommend just doing everything as the directions say.

Is it okay to primary ferment in a bucket? Is glass better? Bucket is fine, and primary in a glass carboy just makes things harder.

What type of water is recommended? I'm thinking of using store bought spring water . If your tap water tastes OK than you can use that, but you can always eliminate that variable in your wine making by using bottled water. If you don't taste anything in your water then you wont taste anything in your wine, but if you have any little funk going on you might taste it.
 

Noontime

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And as others have said, the kit is marketed as ready to drink in a few months, but you will be rewarded if you wait. The first kit is almost impossible not to drink (we've all been there), but since you have experience with beer making you might have a better shot. :h Until we built up a considerable "library" of wines, our early batches we would drink one every few weeks, so we still had some left after a year +. And what an education that is... you can get a good idea of how it develops (and can go through weird stages when it's young) and see the massive improvements time can make, when everything really starts integrating.
 

ceeaton

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If you use the type of sanitation needed to make a "clean" batch of beer, you will be fine (I've made beer since 1990). I think wine fermentation is a bit more forgiving than that for beer, since there is more alcohol to protect the wine from nasties growing in it. One ally is potassium metabisulfite (also know as Kmeta), something you don't normally use in beer production. Beer is normally drunk pretty young, wine on the other hand is usually better when aged. If oxygen gets into the wine after fermentation, it can help acetic acid bacteria to grow (the stuff that makes wine into vinegar). Do searches on this site to help you learn how to properly maintain good levels in your wine so that it protects it from oxidation and types of acerbacter from growing in your wine. Most kits come with a large dose of the stuff, so make sure you follow the directions and use it. And most of all, have fun, it's great that you and your wife can make it together. My wife likes picking the variety of wine, then she likes drinking the wine. I get to do the stuff in between (like making it, for example).
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Nugentjr87 - and welcome. Have never made a wine from a kit (I make country wines and meads) but there are two significant differences between wines and beers.
1. Fruit sugars are for all intents and purposes,100 per cent fermentable. Your beers finish with a gravity of about 1.010- 1.015. Wines are likely to finish, all other things being equal, below 1.000 so they will be brut dry. If the kit comes with stabilizers (K-meta and k-sorbate) and a pack to back sweeten then this will provide more sweetness before bottling.

2. Fruit wines are a little less susceptible to spoilage than beers. Grain is a haven for all kinds of souring bacteria but fruit tends to attract yeast, not so much the bacteria. This means that wine makers are far less neurotic (OK, anxious) about testing the gravity of their wines and returning the samples back into the fermenter. If your sanitation protocols are good enough for brewing they will be OK for wine making - except that wine makers tend to use K-meta both as a buffer against oxidation (at a lower concentration) and as the preferred agent for sanitation. I think brewers opt for Star-san but that does nothing to inhibit oxidation.
 
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