Best grape skin kits?

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Dec 28, 2008
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Hello, I have my first wine kit, a WE Trinity Red in the secondary and for my next wine want to do something of the best quality. Based off what I've read kits with grape skins seem to make the best wine possible. That being said any thoughts/comments on which one I should make next? Thanks!
the grapeskin kits will need a long time to mature either in bottle or bulk aging. just so you know. 1+ years at least.

what is your budget and what brands are available locally to you?
nearly every manuf makes something with skins, raisins, dried skins or crushed grapes.
also don't rule out frozen musts and fresh pails - chilean product will be in shortly and that will likely make a better end product than any kit for about the same price.
yeah, I'm okay with waiting, rather have a good quality product and when you average it out per bottle it's still a great savings. One vendor told me you could drink under a year and it would still be better than the less expensive kits, it would've just not realized it's full potential.

One LHBS has RJ Spagnols and WE. I noticed a site in FL where I could order Cellar Craft at good prices. Budget wise, I don't have one, I expect to pay up to $170 or so for these kits which is worth it when averaging out price per bottle. That's $5.60 per bottle vs $10 we pay on daily drinker bottles from the store!

Desire a full body flavorful red!
The RJS Cellar Classic Winery Series are excellent but the En Primeur is even better. I do the Winery Series myself, the EP shoukld really be Cold stabilized due the higher quality dropping wine diamonds.
After doing lots of digging I see there are some wine kits that have the grape skins and are not even 18L, that's cool. So may go with RJSags Delu Ranch Cabernet, cellar craft Amarone or Red Mountain or WE Sonoma Valley.
i like the W.E. out of any the least. They seem to always take the longest to come around and get rid of that sweet taste that is associated with the W.E. kits(Jolly Rancher). All of the others Ive only heard good things about. I have heard that then Cellar Craft produces an oily film, it goes away and now they actually include something in these kits to rid this problem. I would not be worried about this as its nothing and the wines are awesome.
So far my favorite skins kit was an RJ Spagnols Barolo Kit. I cannot remember right now but I believe it was a Grand Cru kit. I cannot look it up now because of the firewall here at work.
My favorite so far has been the Cellar Craft International Quartet Syrah (Shiraz) kit. It's still very young (still in carboy), so I'm going off of early sampling and comparing it to what I've had at barrel samplings at wineries. I think it's very good at this point. I haven't been in the hobby long enough to have any grape-skin kits that have aged a couple years to give a complete evaluation, though.
In making a grape skin wine kit. Are there any other pieces of equipment needed? And the kits come complete with everything that you would need? Yeast and so on.
I didn't need any more equipment to make mine. The kit included everything I needed. It even came with a muslin bag to put the grape skins in if you didn't want them floating in the must.
In making a grape skin wine kit. Are there any other pieces of equipment needed? And the kits come complete with everything that you would need? Yeast and so on.

You may need a larger primary, depending on what you currently own.

They are standard kits , ie they include yeast, oak, etc. I'm not sure if all grape skin kits include cheesecloth bags. The first Cellar Classic Winery Series kits included one smallish bag. Two would have been much better.

Personally I have some stainless steel kitchen goodies (chinois and skimmer)that I use to remove the skins from the primary, as I prefer to free float the skins.

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Everything is included but I agree with Cpfan with the fact that the muslin or cheese cloth fermentation bag given is way too small but does work, its just a pain to try and get it all in that small bag and when it is in there it doesnt allow for great exposure to all skins.
Good info, Thanks guys. My primary bucket is 7.8 gallons, is that big enuff?
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I'm not trying to highjack your thread but I noticed some of you have made the Cru Brand kits . Have you done any of thier white wines or only reds ? The reason I ask is our local store is having a sale starting tomorrow on the Grand Cru kits also the Vintner's Reserve and World Vineyard they are all 4 week kits so that tells the quality .What we are looking for is something half decent to hold us over until some of our other wines have aged . I have made liebfraumilch and have a Gewurztraminer in the carboy now so probably not one of those at this time . So any input would be great .

Cru is not really a brand, there are three lines offerred by RJ Spagnols with Cru in the name. Grand Cru, Grand Cru International, and Cru Select. Personally I am a big fan of the Cru Select line, but that is not what you are asking about.

When I ran a Ferment on Premises, the Grand Cru Chamblaise (Chablis style) was the best selling white. Most customers drank it young (like within hours or days of bottling), and most were repeat customers. New customers would come in and say "I would like to make that white wine that so-an-so makes here."

The 7.8 primary will work but it will be tight, thats what I use all the time but its made me panick once or twice.
The 7.8 primary will work but it will be tight, thats what I use all the time but its made me panick once or twice.

+1... I did just fine with my 7.8 gallon primary, but it made me want to find something bigger for next time. Luckily, none of the wine I've made so far has really foamed up on me like the kraussen layer on fermenting beer.
Steve guess maybe I should have said line of wine .Chablis style makes me nervous about making so much of because whenever we try it in restaraunts we don't like it but we have said that it might because the bottle was open too long before they served us with it . Wish i could find someone local that has made some I could try .
You could make it and then if you dont like it make sparkling wine out of it, it will turn a bland wine into a great sparkling wine believe it or not. Just dont add sulfite or sorbate before making the decision.
Ok Wade I need to get more details sometime about how to make sparkling wine I'll start a new post about that ,guess I was going to do a search first to see if the info was already here .

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