Costco wine kit - a waste of time??

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Hfxhomebrewer, Mar 1, 2014.

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  1. Mar 6, 2014 #21

    LeChat

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    Maybe this is not available in the states?

    Here is the link:

    Link to kit


    Mods-please feel free to remove if this is against forum rules.
     
  2. Mar 6, 2014 #22

    SouthernYankee

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    See I knew you would get the info. you wanted over here. We had this same discussion at the sister site (Homwbrewtalk) and I pointed him this way...
    Let the wine folks give good advice...:hug
     
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  3. Mar 6, 2014 #23

    Jocelyn

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    Okay now im concerned my wine went into the fermenting pails at the same time on Saturday (the double Costco kit) went in there today one is bubbly like crazy on top the other ones bubbles are almost all gone (but still sounds fizzy) my main concern though is they both smell sour I like sour but they smell like viniger and I wonder if somehow I messed this up? or is that normal?
     
  4. Mar 6, 2014 #24

    kevinlfifer

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    Hfxhomebrewer and LeChat,

    I wish I could get those kits at that price!! I've gotten pretty good at tweaking the Paklab stuff.

    Le Chat if you are in primary already, and you diluted to the full 6 gallons (23L) then If your primary is still 1.01 or so add 4 ripe cut bananas for body. When you transfer to secondary add, 1 cup or so oak chips, 3-4 TBS tannin, and 1 lb raisins to increase the body and fruit forward. see JOESWINE.

    If anyone wants to tell me the shipping costs and feels like sending me a kit, I'll paypal you the funds. To Ohio.

    If you make these to 23L without a tweak they are thin, but so are the WE VR kits.

    They drink earlier than many kits, but aging helps them like any wine.

    Switching the yeast to 71-b-1122 seems to help as well.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2014 #25

    LeChat

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    Just for fun, and since I am such a nice guy:), I checked how much it would cost to ship a kit like this to you kevin:

    Shipping the unit is 57$ (!) gotta love the Canadian shipping system....

    Probably not worth it at 58$+57$ shipping + probably some custom charges...

    At least I tried!

    Oh and thanks for the tips, I will make sure to read up on what you are suggesting. I haven't ordered mine yet.
     
  6. Mar 7, 2014 #26

    kevinlfifer

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    Thanks

    I am going to see if the Windsor Sam's has them and if my US membership is good there.

    Only 38 mi away as the crow flies but 2-3 hours thru Detroit and customs

    How many Liters of concentrate per bag are these kits?
     
  7. Mar 7, 2014 #27

    Hfxhomebrewer

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    I believe each bag has 7l of concentrate. It would be awesome if you could use your US membership! Heck it might even be worth the $40US to buy a $50CDN membership and make the trip a couple of times per year to stock up, if these aren't sold/don't go on sale in the US. It won't take long for you to make that $40 back!

    SouthernYankee, yes the folks here gave the advice I needed!! Though reading some of the comments it sounds like the kit can be modified to make the wine better than straight from the box. If someone is going to drive from Ohio to Windsor to get the kit it can't be that bad!!

    The mother-in-law makes Cheeky Monkey all the time at a u-vint location, and she 'trunk ages' it i.e. it's aged for as long as it's in the trunk on the drive home. I wish that was a joke. It is AWFUL. All I could smell was nail polish remover lol However I did ask for a bottle so I could age it and compare, it's in the basement and I think is now 9 months old, maybe a little more. I will crack it open one day soon and see what the aging does to this kit.

    Cheers all!!
     
  8. Mar 18, 2014 #28

    LeChat

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    Just an update to say that my Vino Europa Costco kit is bubbling along nicely. I started with the Merlot bag.

    I ended up adding 2 lbs of fresh merlot grapes, 1 lbs of raisins, 2.5 TBS Tannin FT rouge and about an ounce of Oak Mor to the fermentation. SG was at 1.082, I think that my fresh grapes (which I crushed in the pail) bumped this up a little bit.
     
  9. Mar 18, 2014 #29

    cpfan

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    These are at Costco not Sam's Club. All of the Canadian Sam's Clubs closed in 2009 (and there doesn't appear to have been one in Windsor).

    I'm fairly sure that a US Costco membership is valid in Canada. I use my Canadian membership in the States whenever I get near one (Why o why are there no Costcos near Buffalo NY?)

    These kits are similar (and maybe not as good as) the ones sold on amazon.com, such as Vino d'Italiano or Reserve du Chateau.

    Steve
     
  10. Mar 18, 2014 #30

    etownmickey

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    If there's a problem with the costco membership across the border (or even if you only shop costco 1 or 2x /y and don't want to spring for a membership) the work around is to use a costco gift card... They'll give you a day pass to use your card and will allow you to spend as much as you want
     
  11. Mar 19, 2014 #31

    kevinlfifer

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    Sorry, meant to type Costco, I have both memberships and brain froze.

    The gift card idea is a good one, thanks.

    LeChat,
    Those look like really good tweaks. Where did you get the merlot grapes?

    I have my Vino Italiano Cab in aging. So far so good. It is bigger than I thought so we will see in 9 mo or so where its headed.
     
  12. Mar 20, 2014 #32

    LeChat

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    @kevin

    I got my grapes last fall at a local wine supply store. As far as I know, it is the ONLY store supplying fresh grape anywhere near where I live.

    From what I read, the grapes are not what you would call premium (they are PIA brand) but I have been satisfied so far with the wine I have made from them. Funny thing is I haven't drank it yet, but I can tell it will be awesome!

    I froze about half a lug for future use in cheaper kits.
     
  13. Mar 21, 2014 #33

    DavidNW

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    I use Kenridge Classic wine kits and the end product is superb! Tried the cheaper kits, but they are not worth the effort. You get what you pay for as they say.
     
  14. Mar 24, 2014 #34

    LeChat

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    @david

    Yes, it is usually the case that paying more will grant you a better end product.

    I think that people buying the Cotsco Kits are more interested in the marginal quality per dollar of the product. That is, at what point paying an extra dollar will grant you less than "one dollar's" worth of quality? With a few simple tweaks, a poor wine can become a pretty good wine, pushing their value higher on the totem pole.
     
  15. Mar 28, 2014 #35

    kevinlfifer

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    LeChat,
    That's it exactly. Plus the Paklab kits seem to become drinkable a bit earlier, giving you a supply of everyday wine while you wait on the top end kits to mature.

    Another aspect of messing with the cheap kits is the fun of the experimentation. Like some of the cooking shows. Chefs are given half a goat and some parsley and a cup of cream, now make a gourmet meal.

    A friend said its like being given a cow and a knife while in a wheat field, make me a cheeseburger.
     
  16. Mar 31, 2014 #36

    Jocelyn

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    Just bottled our costco kits today, just followed the directions nothing added extra the taste pretty good actually!
     
  17. Jan 18, 2020 #37

    mark.wendy.kids

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    I make the Argentina Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon every year for 5 years now. An excellent wine especially for the price. I don’t alter it in any way. Many have commented that they can’t believe it’s home made wine. However I have had the very same wine made by others and it was really bad. In my opinion it’s in the quality and care taken making it, but that’s the same for all kits.
     
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  18. Jan 19, 2020 #38

    joeswine

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    Hi all, I have made a lot of cheap wine kits, never processed 30 bottles out of them usually 21 to 25 is the norm.
    They are designed for you to make a everyday decent drinking bottle of wine nothing more.
    More than that each kit gives you the chance to take your wine making skill's to another level ,(when you're ready).
    They give the beginner as well as the skeptic a chance to (think out side the. Box).
    To better understand how to us you hydrometer,. Simple syrup,tannins and fruit infusions in your wine.
    Yes they have a real place in the cellar dwellers game plan don't play them short.
    The key is 8n knowing your base wines taste profile and then adjusting the sauce to the way you want it to be in the end not just throwing stuff into a fermenter.without a real plan. someones stated( you get what you pay for), in wine making that's not always the case. It's about the process.
     
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  19. Jan 19, 2020 #39

    BernardSmith

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    Sidebar issue perhaps , but isn't the "process" the real secret to great wine making. Really first class ingredients are unquestionably important. Crappy ingredients can never make a great product but the difference between a very drinkable wine and a wine that is meh is not to be found in the list of ingredients and is always in your process. So I am always amused when folk are so focused on recipes (particularly when it comes to country wines and mead) and not on processes
     
  20. Jan 21, 2020 #40

    joeswine

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    Ya, that is my belief anyway,335,500 views on tweaking cheap wine kits, it doesn't hurt to have a great base wine but how many times have we read on different threads how an expensive kit didn't deliver what was promised that wasn't the process that was the MFG. base ,thin, poor color no taste ETC. You s a wine maker should always know what your wines bases PROLIE is,then plan accordingly
    I have made many a high end kit without to much tweaking and have walked away with a so, so wine, forget MFG.so I learnt quickly because I like to cook how to make the process work for me and me not to work for the process, it's easy the process almost always remains the same with a few exceptions ,so its the base that you need to learn how to adjust to the process.
    knowing how to use your wine tools is also a big part of every batch's beginning ,knowing your PH ,SG and other items key to wine making you need to have an understanding of as a home winemaker.
    FIRST ,KNOW YOUR WINES TASTE PROFILE, THEN PLAN YOUR WORK AND WORK YOUR PLAN. LET THE PROCESS BE YOUR GUIDE.
     
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