Frozen Must... Worth It?

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by ericsmithcpa, Aug 14, 2019 at 3:05 AM.

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  1. Aug 14, 2019 at 3:05 AM #1

    ericsmithcpa

    ericsmithcpa

    ericsmithcpa

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    I have an empty fermenter now has been just asking me for something to ferment... I'm kind of tempted to try frozen must pails in order to have the experience of working with something a little bit closer to "grapes" rather than a kit, but they seem pretty pricey for what they are (5 gallons of squished grapes that they say yields 3 - 3.5 gallons, or about 18 bottles of wine, and sells for $230). The most expensive concentrate kits are under $200 bucks and yield around 6 gallons of finished wine.

    Is frozen must twice as good?
     
  2. Aug 14, 2019 at 11:43 AM #2

    jgmann67

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    The big plus to frozen must is access to higher quality grapes. Unless you have an Uncle that lives in the Stags Leap District, you’ll never see grapes like those otherwise.

    Are they worth it? I’m going on my 5th year making wines and haven’t bought one yet... mostly because (like you) I can’t get the math to work.

    If you really want to dive in to the deep end of the pool, try your hand at “wine from scratch.” California grapes will be available in September.

    Three lugs will yield 6-7 gal of wine and cost about the same as a premium kit (all in with grapes, yeast, nutrients, etc.).
     
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  3. Aug 14, 2019 at 3:02 PM #3

    ericsmithcpa

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    Wine from scratch - that sounds like what I would want to try. Is it difficult to get good quality grapes shipped outside of California/Oregon/Washington? I don't really want to buy a literal ton haha!
     
  4. Aug 14, 2019 at 3:21 PM #4

    mainshipfred

    mainshipfred

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    Let others on the forum know where you live. There are many sources for grapes in lugs and someone near you will sure to chime in.
     
  5. Aug 14, 2019 at 4:00 PM #5

    jgmann67

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    It's not difficult for me to get good quality from CA, OR or WA shipped. There are places in NJ, Southeast PA, and Northern VA, all within driving distance of my home in Central PA. Fred's right - depending on where you live, you could be in the same boat.

    The most prevalent are grapes from Lodi. But, you'll see grapes for sale from the Suisun Valley and Napa in CA, and areas in other states where there are good quality grapes. Granted, you'll pay a premium for higher end grapes. Lodi red grapes run in the $40's/lug; while higher quality will cost you anywhere from $60 to $90/lug (lugs are typically 32 lbs each).

    The buckets of must are a little different - they tell you more precisely about where they're from, sometimes down to the vineyard; and, I think they hit the top end of the quality scale. Check out winegrapesdirect.com for some examples.

    My advice - If you're going to go down the road of "wine from scratch," educate yourself about the process. Download the winemaking guides, ask questions on the forum and put together a solid winemaking plan based on the wine you are going to make. You should have all of your supplies (yeast, tannin, enzymes, oak, MLB, nutrients... everything) on hand before you bring your grapes home.
     
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  6. Aug 14, 2019 at 4:34 PM #6

    ericsmithcpa

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    Fabulous, thanks gents. I'm in Houston... I'll ask around and see what I find. :)
     
  7. Aug 15, 2019 at 1:10 AM #7

    Lwrightjs

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    Hey! I'm in Houston too. There are a couple of vineyards around (Baytown and Santa Fe, are close to me in particular).
    Most of them will sell you grapes and may even let you in on their process. The vineyard in Baytown is particularly welcoming to new hobby winemakers.
     
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