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amorgan

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Winemaking - All You Need!

Does anyone know someone in Southern CA looking to start Wine Making? I’m not proud of it, but I want to bail out and sell all my equipment and supplies. I live at the top of the grapevine off I-5 between LA and Bakersfield and would be willing to drive a reasonable distance to find a good home for all these supplies.

I made a first batch and it was surprisingly drinkable! But not great. I received mostly polite comments on the taste but most friends were impressed that I was making wine at all. I decided to go all-in and improve my process with the second batch and it was a disaster. My quantity was too small for my bigger carboys, I had to make adjustments, and the processes recommended by good people making good wine were confusing to me and varied widely. I got busy with other things and lost interest. I have more than I care to calculate invested, hoping to get $250 for everything. Or best offer.

Ann

For sale:

Two 3 gal carboys
Two 1 gal carboys
Two 5 gal fermentation buckets
Siphon & racking tubing
Wine thief
Two hydrometers
Portable refractometer
Wine acid test kit
Five air locks for carboys
Mesh strainer
PBW
Citric acid
Potassium metabisulphote
Potassium sorbate
Yeast nutrient
Campden tablets
Pectin enzyme
Clean bottle drainer
New bottle capper
Old school bottle capper
Wine bottle labels
How-to book with recipes
Leather-bound journal



 

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amorgan

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i hate to see someone quit, not trying to nudge you one way ore the other, but this forum can walk you threw the process, to where ,, you can make killer good wines, the hardest ingredient is patience,
best of luck to you,
Dawg
Thanks so much for the kind words and offer to help with your experience and advice. I think I was overwhelmed with all the details. I’m sure with lots more experience the process wouldn’t seem so complicated. Now I’m rethinking! Let’s see how this goes.
 

hounddawg

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Thanks so much for the kind words and offer to help with your experience and advice. I think I was overwhelmed with all the details. I’m sure with lots more experience the process wouldn’t seem so complicated. Now I’m rethinking! Let’s see how this goes.
do you do grape wines or country wines, it doesn't matter, on here you can learn, yes it is very overwhelming,, but it is like a pie, you just take one bite at a time, before long you will find it just keeps getting easier,, on the front forum page, there are threads of common terms ,, reading a hydrometer, and more, now since you are new, the best place to post your questions is called beginners wine thread, most all the vinters keep an eye out, to help new wine makers, aw heck no you look at the whole process at once and it looks impossible, but it is not, don't worry about the process, you just ask your questions one by one, they will be answered, don't look at the whole pie, just that one bite, and before you know it , you will be helping the newbs yourself, and again patience is your most important ingredient, one thing i know for a fact, this group loves to teach anyone that wishes to know, only 2 hard and fast no no's no talk of distilling, and no politics ,,
Dawg
 

Jovimaple

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@amorgan I started just over a year ago and made several small batches. I managed to save 1 bottle of each for a year and am now opening those. 2 have been ok. One I dumped out. The good news is that in the last year I have learned so much by reading this sites so I have some ideas of what to do better next time!
 

Raptor99

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I managed to save 1 bottle of each for a year and am now opening those. 2 have been ok.
A 2/3 success rate for the first year is awesome! I started making wine 3 years ago, and I have learned so much since then, much of it here. Like someone else on this forum said, my first wine was the "wine of 100 mistakes." By the time I age my wine for 1 year and test it I've already learned 3-4 ways to improve the next batch. It is a continual learning process. I have a long list of new things I want to try when I have the chance.
 

Jovimaple

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A 2/3 success rate for the first year is awesome! I started making wine 3 years ago, and I have learned so much since then, much of it here. Like someone else on this forum said, my first wine was the "wine of 100 mistakes." By the time I age my wine for 1 year and test it I've already learned 3-4 ways to improve the next batch. It is a continual learning process. I have a long list of new things I want to try when I have the chance.
Oh, I have done a lot more than 3 but I am starting to open those that I aged a year. I did two 3 gallon kits and about ten 1 gallon batches within 2 months. I had to get a 3 gallon carboy for the first kit, and one thing led to another and I now have spent a lot of money on my new hobby and have done multiple kits, several batches of skeeter pee and dragon blood, 1 juice bucket (another one that I don't care for), and have a freezer full of raspberries and peaches waiting to be juiced and made into raspberry and peach wines soon. 🤣😂🤣 And a husband whom I call my enabler because he doesn't get mad when I convince myself I need one more carboy! (I let him pick out kits he wants me to make - that helps, too! 😁). Not to mention a FWK Barbera that might get bottled tonight and 2 FWK Frutta kits that are due some attention soon.

I also have a bunch of vanilla and chocolate extract that I made, as well as some orange extract. I used some orange in my craisin wine, and I am continually shocked by my mother because I think she will like one kind of wine and she ends up being a fan of one I didn't expect her to like much at all, the craisin orange being one of the latter. Dad is less picky, I think. He was just surprised at how much kits cost but it's been 40 years since he quit making wine and everything costs more.

So far, the favorites of my friends and family have been Skeeter Pee (I call mine Lemon Thunder), a key lime take on Skeeter Pee, and then probably the kit wines. I recently bottled my first tomato batch with a second that could be bottled at any time. I am very pleased with the first batch so far (I haven't tasted since bottling day) and I plan to plant at least double the # of plants this year compared to last year.
 
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Raptor99

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Oh, I have done a lot more than 3 but I am starting to open those that I aged a year.
There is a built-in delay to this hobby. By the time you finish aging one batch, you have started many others. I didn't want dump my first batch, so I used it to practice bottling for the first time. By the time it was 1 year old I had started about 15 gallons of other experiments.

I used some orange in my craisin wine, and I am continually shocked by my mother because I think she will like one kind of wine and she ends up being a fan of one I didn't expect her to like much at all, the craisin orange being one of the latter.
At the end of 2020 I made some cranberry orange wine from fresh cranberries and orange pulp/zest. That was a bit hit last Thanksgiving.
 

amorgan

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Wow you guys are ambitious! I think I put off starting new batches, straining, racking, etc. because all the cleaning and sanitizing of the buckets, carboys, and tubing is such a pain. I would welcome any hot tips to make cleaning and sanitizing faster and easier?
 

ratflinger

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Wow you guys are ambitious! I think I put off starting new batches, straining, racking, etc. because all the cleaning and sanitizing of the buckets, carboys, and tubing is such a pain. I would welcome any hot tips to make cleaning and sanitizing faster and easier?
It shouldn't be, it's just part of the process, but not painful. I use a bottle washer that attaches to the faucet, then I put a few cups of EasyClean in the carboy and swish it around (fully) for 30 sec and then drain. If there is stubborn residue then a brush is used. If the carboy is being stored for a bit I just add some k-meta solution and put on a non-vented stopper. Carboy is now clean and ready. Hoses get flushed with EasyClean when I am done with them and then again when I am getting ready to use them. I mention EasyClean as that is what I use, but you can use any no-rinse cleaner that you want.
 

Raptor99

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Wow you guys are ambitious! I think I put off starting new batches, straining, racking, etc. because all the cleaning and sanitizing of the buckets, carboys, and tubing is such a pain. I would welcome any hot tips to make cleaning and sanitizing faster and easier?
I have gradually accumulated more equipment. Here's my procedure at the present time:

* I wash all equipment including bottles and carboys immediately after use and store them clean and dry. I wash them with Dawn dish soap and then triple rinse them to remove all traces of the soap.
* Before racking and bottling I use the All-in-one wine pump to pull Starsans solution through my hoses into my carboy to sanitize both
* I don't do any straining or filtering, but I do use a nylon mesh bag in the primary to contain the fruit pulp.
* Before bottling I use a spring loaded bottle washer like this Amazon.com: FastRack Bottle Rinser (Sulphiter), 1-(Pack) (B013S1RZLY),Multicolor : Home & Kitchen to sanitize my bottles. It goes very quickly. I put my sanitized bottles on a rack like this to drain: Amazon.com (also useful to dry washed bottles)
* The AIO pump makes racking and bottling much easier. Plus I don't have to lift or carry full carboys.
* To clean my hoses, I use the AIO pump to draw soapy water through the houses, then rinse them in the sink by letting plenty of warm water run through them
* For most wines clearing is just a matter of time. I bulk age my wines and don't use any clearing agents.

It is still quite a bit of work, so I have to remind myself of the reward at the end of the process. Each person has their own preferences, so I'm sure there will be other opinions.
 

amorgan

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I have gradually accumulated more equipment. Here's my procedure at the present time:

* I wash all equipment including bottles and carboys immediately after use and store them clean and dry. I wash them with Dawn dish soap and then triple rinse them to remove all traces of the soap.
* Before racking and bottling I use the All-in-one wine pump to pull Starsans solution through my hoses into my carboy to sanitize both
* I don't do any straining or filtering, but I do use a nylon mesh bag in the primary to contain the fruit pulp.
* Before bottling I use a spring loaded bottle washer like this Amazon.com: FastRack Bottle Rinser (Sulphiter), 1-(Pack) (B013S1RZLY),Multicolor : Home & Kitchen to sanitize my bottles. It goes very quickly. I put my sanitized bottles on a rack like this to drain: Amazon.com (also useful to dry washed bottles)
* The AIO pump makes racking and bottling much easier. Plus I don't have to lift or carry full carboys.
* To clean my hoses, I use the AIO pump to draw soapy water through the houses, then rinse them in the sink by letting plenty of warm water run through them
* For most wines clearing is just a matter of time. I bulk age my wines and don't use any clearing agents.

It is still quite a bit of work, so I have to remind myself of the reward at the end of the process. Each person has their own preferences, so I'm sure there will be other opinions.
Wow thank you so much for taking the time to share your processes. Great suggestions. I’m rethinking my decision to sell out. All your responses are giving me an urge to try a new batch! Thank you.
 

hounddawg

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Wow you guys are ambitious! I think I put off starting new batches, straining, racking, etc. because all the cleaning and sanitizing of the buckets, carboys, and tubing is such a pain. I would welcome any hot tips to make cleaning and sanitizing faster and easier?
i use K-meta, and like said above clean your stuff immediately,, i make up a potassium metabisulfite = K-meta,,,, and yes if your budget allows it, a vacuum pump works great,,,, @vacuumpumpman has a very good system, that makes both racking/bottling as well as cleaning much easier,,,,,
Dawg
 
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Wow you guys are ambitious! I think I put off starting new batches, straining, racking, etc. because all the cleaning and sanitizing of the buckets, carboys, and tubing is such a pain. I would welcome any hot tips to make cleaning and sanitizing faster and easier?
If cleaning and sanitizing is too much pain, you're probably making it harder than it needs to be. I don't have an AIO pump, so my process is a bit different, but generally quite similar.

During and after winemaking actions:
  • Clean everything as soon as you are done with it -- do not let "stuff" dry on the equipment! This includes the counter and the outsides of carboys and buckets.
  • Run hot water through all tubing. I like to rack OneStep through the tubing.
  • @Johnd has a great tip for running a cleaning cloth through tubing.
  • Turn over buckets, hang tubing, etc. to dry.
Sanitizing (I normally use K-meta solution for sanitizing. The following work fine with Star San and other no-rinse sanitizers):
  • RUN A FAN while working with K-meta!
  • Get a 2 gallon food grade bucket. I put small equipment in it and pour K-meta solution through and over larger equipment (such as racking canes and thieves) into the bucket. As long as the solution is clear and stinks, it can be reused.
  • Rack K-meta through tubing and canes into carboys and buckets, pointing the tube/cane to douse all surfaces. Once all the tubing is done once, I pour from container to container, then back into the K-meta jug.
  • Supposedly K-meta solution isn't the sanitizer, gaseous SO2 is, and takes ~10 minutes. By the time all equipment has been doused and drained, and other preliminary actions are taken, everything has sat for 10 minutes.
  • Wipe all surfaces with K-meta solution to ensure they are clean and sanitized.
Bottles. I'm the odd one out on bottles, as I do not sanitize at bottling time. Commercial wineries typically don't either, most plunking bottles onto the filler line from the factory boxes.
  • All bottles get soaked in Oxyclean or similar cleaner and visually inspected. Anything that fails inspection gets a bottle brush treatment and resoaked until it passes inspection.
  • Rinse all bottles at least twice in hot tap water.
  • Let dry on tree until 100% dry.
  • Put upside down in clean cases. If the case is not clean, recycle it and get another one.
  • The bottle is dry and the mouth is closed by the bottom of the case.
  • At bottling time, visually inspect all bottles. If one fails, it goes back into cleaning.
I do not sanitize corks, either. Corks are kept in the original bag, as much air as possible is pushed out, the end doubled (or tripled) over and closed with a binder clip.

It is still quite a bit of work, so I have to remind myself of the reward at the end of the process.
This is wine that didn't fit in the carboy, right?. If everything did fit, open a bottle. :r
 

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