Are the equipment kits a good deal?

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jeeptp75

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I am interested in getting into wine making. I figure why not, I love drinking it why not make it. I have been involved in hobbies in the past where I get into it buying some type of starter kit but then the move involved I get I discover there are better ways to do things and end up buying new and or better equipment never using the entry level equipment again. Does this happen with the wine making equipment? Am I going to get into this then discover down the road that there is a more popular way to make wine other than using the buckets and so on that you see in all the kits online? What type of things should I be looking for now since I dont own anything at all that i need to make wine.

Thank You,

Tim
 

Minnesotamaker

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I'd recommend it for beginners. It allows you to get started with all the basics. You could buy upgraded things right away, but if you find that the hobby isn't for you, it could be money wasted. I still have most of my beginner stuff. I don't use it all the time, but I keep it for a back-up. Equipment kits vary by retailer, so this answer might not fit your specific situation, but with the equipment kits my students get, 90% of the stuff will be used for many years.
 

jeeptp75

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Any suggestions on what additions a beginner might want to purchase that doesnt normally come with most kits?

Thanks again for the info
 

steviepointer

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wine thief
mixer you can put in a drill
temperature strip
brew belt (if it's cold..like in a basement)
 
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Minnesotamaker

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If you are really confident that this is going to be a long term thing for you, upgrading from a hand corker to a floor corker is one of the best bangs for the buck in my opinion. Much of the other things I'd suggest are extra items that you'd purchase in addition to the equipment kit. You'll find you'll need more carboys and primaries, more airlocks, a long handled spoon if it isn't in your kit, and a bottle rinser/sulfiter.
 

jeeptp75

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Thanks for all the great and quick replies. Im going to check my local wine making equipment shop for pricing and so on before purchasing anything. As much as I would love to place an order right now online for kit and know its on its way to me!
 

Wade E

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I would say get a floor corker(Portuguese is nice but Italian is the way to go, I have the port and it does a very nice job but if yo wnt to use some synthetic corks down the road youll need the Italian which has Brass jaws compared to the Nylon jaws). I would also suggest getting a Auto siphon instead of the racking cane. A bottle tree(not the economy because you cant mount the washer on top of that tree) with vinator on top, A drill mounted stainless steel Fizz X. These are the main things I would change when getting set up and this will hold you off for quite some time from making anymotre purchases unless you have good funds and then i would cond=sider purchasing an electric way of pumping and or bottling. Lots of us are buying electric vacuum pumps on Ebay for about $85 dollars to do transferring of wine, degassing, filtering, and bottling of wine. This is very handy if you have a bad back but letrs get you making the wine first! I would call George (the owner of the link Im listing below and tell him you want to customize an equipment kit to start off with Just give him the list below and tell ask him to sustitute some of the stuff and tell him what budget your on, he will not steer you in the wrong direction(trust me, he may even talk you out of some of this). Tell him I sent you. Youll also get a 1st time buyers discount by going there!
http://www.finevinewines.com/index.htm
 

Slyder73

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Any suggestions on what additions a beginner might want to purchase that doesnt normally come with most kits?

Thanks again for the info
-Extra potassium metabisulphite to make sanitizing solution. Most kits don't come with any or come with a small package only.

-Carboy brush.

-Bottle brush, especially if you are just starting and collecting old used bottles from friends, co-workers etc. You'll get a lot with dried up crud that needs to be cleaned out.

-Bottle sanitizer (can't remember the name), it sits in your sink with sanitizer in it and you press the bottles onto it and the sanitizer squirts up into it. Makes bottling day much easier.
 

Wade E

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The bottle sanitizer is what I referred to as the Vinator and someone referred to as the sulfiter.
 

djrockinsteve

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Tim, is there anyone near you who makes wine that you could talk to and watch as they make some wine? I watched my neighbor when he bottled then weeks later he started a new batch. I took notes and he gave me a list of things I needed. It wasn't much and I found some carboys on craigs list. The floor corker you don't need now, but an Italian or Portugese corker will make your life a lot easier.

I never got involved with any kits as I was hooked immediately and dove in head first. I know some people don't take it as far as some of us.

That being said if you have any questions ask them here. I have learned a lot and it has been a big help.
 

granda

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hi tim, i started making wine about a year ago with a simple 1 gallon kit, i liked it so i more gear ,chemicals demijohns etc, im always adding to my stuff .
my wine kit came with
2 5l buckets
hydrometer
thermometer
2 airlocks
wine
i foend this to be enough to make a start so go ahead try it out if you like it upgrade alot of things arnt that expensive

p.s. i drive my wife mad now with all the gear i have now
 

boatbums2

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When I first started, I went to a Wine kit store. They were extremely helpful. The way I answer the question is: fermenting bucket, carboy, autosiphon, SG reader and vial for taking reading (tall tube on a Base to put juice and reader into), wine thief, bottle filler wand, carboy and bottle brushes, bottle tree and Vinator, the stainless steel Fiz-x, thermometer, bottle washer (hooks to sink in laundry tub and generates jet stream of water to rinse out bottles) I upgraded to a Portuguese corker and thankful I did. You can try hand corker for first batch and upgrade after that. This is basically equipment I started with and have used on every batch I make. Still a newbie at this. Oh yeah, bungs and airlocks.
 

Zoogie

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oK I will add my 2 cents :) after first batch you will become addicted lol ...so all the advise given is great and the equipment will all be usefull...I use a hand corker witch I consider excersise :) but the floor corker is on my wish list...good luck and welcome to the GREAT wine addiction club :) Zoogie
 

arcticsid

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Tim, all I have to add is. Someone mentioned extra potassium metabisulfite(k meta). The little 2 oz bags aren't going to cut it. We all agree 3 tbls per gallon for a sanitizing solution for your ferment bucket, spoons, funnels measure cups etc. Try to buy this in bulk if you can. For 5 gallons of wine ( to protect the must, not sanitizing, two different thoughts going here, don't mean to be confusing) you will typically add 1/4 tsp per 5 gallons. This is the same chemical refered to as "campden tablets". But for sanitizing, youre not going to want to crush up and dissolve and entire jar of these tablets just to clean your fermenting bucket.

Sounds like you got the info to get started and soon you will be obsessed!! LOL

I have said before, if you like to eat grow a garden and learn how to cook and if you like wine or beer, learn how to make your own. It isn't as difficult or intimidating as it first seems. For the most part it is actually quite simple, and quite satisfying and before you know it you will be able to amaze your friends!!LOL


Keep asking questions, we will all help you achieve satisfying results in your new hobbie.
Good Luck Buddy,

Troy
 
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Wade E

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Anothetr thing to add will be a cheap spray bottle, you can get that at a dollar store but the ones at Home Depot or a janitorial store are much better and will last a lot longer.
 

arcticsid

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What Wade means is to use this spray bottle (full of your 3 TBLS/gal sanitizing solution) to mist things like your hydrometer, mixing spoon, etc, before you dunk it in your wine.

No reason to soak these things, just give it a quick mist wait a minute or so and let it touch your wine.

Rinse of course afterward andd store it properly. Each time you need to use it....mist...mist.
 

jeeptp75

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Thanks for all the great info. I'm making sure to take notes and put a list together. Ill keep everyone updated on our progress as we move forward. Thanks again!
 

Wade E

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There is another thread on that but either will do just fine, There are pros and cons to each one. For example, the 3 pce. airlock is easier to clean and the "S" type airlock doesnt dry out as fast.
 

GhostHawk

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There is another thread on that but either will do just fine, There are pros and cons to each one. For example, the 3 pce. airlock is easier to clean and the "S" type airlock doesnt dry out as fast.
Thank you Wade. I use the 3 piece and like it but may just have to try out the S for aging.
 
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