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Malkore

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I'm looking for a good online 'how to' for red wine making.

I'm an established beer and mead maker, so I understand all the basics of fermentation, sanitation, etc.

But as I understand it, I might need a separate hydrometer, a 'wine only' primary bucket of 7 gallons, and things like 'add bentonite' and degassing are a bit foreign to me.

I plan to do a merlot for my first batch, and going with one of the pre-fab kits from the brew store (no access to grapes or a press at the moment).

thanks in advance.
 

cpfan

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Malkore:

I would suggest a separate primary with a minimum size of 7.9 US gallons (in case you do some grape skin kits in the future). If you have glass carboys, no problem there, but they should be 6 US gallons.

I don't know what you mean by 'pre-fab' kits, but if you are talking about a kit from one of the decent manufacturers (Vineco, Winexpert, Spagnols, Cellar Craft, Mosti Mondiale, Wine Kitz), then just follow the instructions. Most of them have copies of their instructions available online for you to study/review.

If you are planning to make a kit, I do not recommend that you read most of the books or online articles about wine making. Once you have a couple under your belt, then you can start reading that stuff.

Steve
 

Malkore

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I do indeed mean a kit like the Wine Expert, etc.

I'll hit their website and see what I can come up with. And I did plan on a 7+ gallon primary bucket since the wine kits from Northern Brewer (and the other LHBS) all include a bucket of that size.


The wife does a lot of cooking with red wine and I'm tired of $10-$15 bottles being half used just for a sauce. I figure if I can produce 30 bottles for $100 (especially since I already have 95% of the equipment like a thief, auto siphon, and wine bottles from mead making) that its worth a shot.
 

St Allie

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@Steve,

('pre-fab' is short for pre-fabricated)

Allie :)
 

cpfan

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@Steve,

('pre-fab' is short for pre-fabricated)

Allie :)
Knew that Allie, but never heard it used to refer to a wine. there are some new types of kits in the US market that include some equipment. I was wondering if he meant that.

Steve
 

cpfan

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Malkore:

For a cooking wine you can probably make do with a lower end kit. When I had the Ferment on Premises, I made some white wine (cheapest kit in the store) for a chef. He thought it was wonderful.

You should look for a Vacu Vin (or other brand) vacuum pump. It takes the air out of the bottle, and the wine can be saved for future use. We use them ALL the time.
http://www.vacuvin.nl/Vacuum_Wine_Saver_215.html

Warning the picture shows the new style stopper. It doesn't seem to work as well in screw cap bottles as the old style stopper (probably VERY Tough to find).

Steve
 

Malkore

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I picked up a Vinter's Select - Chianti over my lunch hour.

And I do have one of those wine saver vacuum things (but only 1 stopper). We aren't wasting wine right now, just going through enough that I wanted to try to be economic about it :)
 

Wade E

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Its OK to do wine in a beer primary but making beer in a primary where wine was made will give off a taste so I recommend getting a new one. All you other stuff is fine.
 

cpfan

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Its OK to do wine in a beer primary but making beer in a primary where wine was made will give off a taste so I recommend getting a new one. All you other stuff is fine.
Gee I think the other way. Do a nice aromatic white in a beer primary and pick up a bit of the beer nose? YUCCCH.

Steve
 

cpfan

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I picked up a Vinter's Select - Chianti over my lunch hour.
This seems like another new brand to me. Is there a company name on the box? I didn't get any hits in Yahoo search.

And I do have one of those wine saver vacuum things (but only 1 stopper). We aren't wasting wine right now, just going through enough that I wanted to try to be economic about it :)
I think we've got 7 Vacu Vin stoppers and 2 pumps. Often 2-3 in use. Plus a few stoppers in another brand (but these were used for another purpose).

Steve
 

Malkore

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I DID buy a whole new primary bucket just for wine. I don't want hoppy reds :)

The brand is Wine Expert...I think its Vinter's Reserve, not 'select' (didn't have the box near me). It was $63 for the ingredient kit so it may not make award winning chianti but it'll let me get my feet wet for under $3 per bottle of finished product.
 

cpfan

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Yep Vintners Reserve Chianti should make a decent 'everyday' wine. It won't be a big full-bodied wine, but it should be just fine.

Steve
 
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