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hardcore

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I'm completely new to this. I've always wanted to brew home wine but never have. Now is the time. I'm researching proper equipment and procedure. I live in Jersey and will be taking a trip to Freehold to a supply store this weekend. I'm looking for a list of equipment to get started with. Essentials and the like. Or... do I pick up a starter kit? If so, is there one better than another? Or, are there things I should make sure the kit contains?
Thanks for your help and hello again.
J.
 

cpfan

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OK hardcore. I have a couple of hundred questions for you.

Personally I say starter kit. But there are MANY different starter kits depending on the store, main business of the store, etc. Since I know nothing about this store, here are some suggestions.

1. Get a floor corker, not a hand corker.

2. If you plan to make wine kits, get a 6 US gallon (23 litre) carboy.

2a. If you might eventually do wine kits with grape skins (you probably don't know what I'm talking about), get a primary that is a minimum of 7.9 US gallons. I prefer 10 US gallons.

2b. It doesn't matter if the primary takes an air-lock or has a loose fitting lid. Actually the primaries that I recommend do not take an air-lock.

3. If you don't plan to do wine kits. What do you plan to make?

4. Make sure that you get a hydrometer. and a spare hydrometer. They break easily. Get the retailer to explain and demo the use of a hydrometer.

5. I really like the Fermtech auto-siphon to make starting a siphon simple. The Fermtech Thief simplifies using the hydrometer. But these are not essential.

Welcome to our nice little wine forum and to a wonderful (but addictive) hobby. Might as well buy your second and third carboys now. Especially if you can talk the dealer into a Boxing Day discount.

Steve
 
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hardcore

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thanks for the info. most of this is still greek to me. i'm going to a supply store in freehold nj (brewapp.com) this friday. i'll pick up what i can.
 

cpfan

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OK I looked at their web-site and I wish you good luck. Is there another store somewhere that you can go to? I'm serious!!!

First, they appear to be more of a beer place than a wine place.

Second, they are a Brew on Premise. Some BoPs do not like the home winemaker, and do not have much equipment to sell you. And don't like to take the time to explain things, like hydrometers.

Third, their BoP products are based on 5 US gallon batches (18.9 litres).

On the good side, they sell Wineexpert kits, This is a good brand. One that is designed to make 23 litres (6 US gallons).

Steve
 
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hardcore

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not sure of any other places within a decent distance. i'm hoping for the best. i saw a vintners best kit on that site. my buddy is into beer brewing. we're going for that reason as well. again, thanks for the info. i'm getting gassed up! this seems to be an addictive hobby. i'm trying to wean myself off the terrible ducati habit i've already formed ;-) wine might be slightly less expensive.
 

TheTooth

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not sure of any other places within a decent distance. i'm hoping for the best. i saw a vintners best kit on that site. my buddy is into beer brewing. we're going for that reason as well. again, thanks for the info. i'm getting gassed up! this seems to be an addictive hobby. i'm trying to wean myself off the terrible ducati habit i've already formed ;-) wine might be slightly less expensive.
If you buddy is a brewer, he can help you with the hydrometer. I'm living proof that a brewer knows just about everything they need to know to make a kit wine. Beyond that, we need a lot of help. Acid levels? Really? ;) :D
 

TheTooth

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not sure of any other places within a decent distance. i'm hoping for the best. i saw a vintners best kit on that site. my buddy is into beer brewing. we're going for that reason as well. again, thanks for the info. i'm getting gassed up! this seems to be an addictive hobby. i'm trying to wean myself off the terrible ducati habit i've already formed ;-) wine might be slightly less expensive.
Wait... you want to do this INSTEAD of the Ducati habit? That's crazy talk. You should do both.
 

hardcore

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i was wrong to say wean off. ducati is in my blood. i should have said in addition to my ducati habit :D

my buddy is just getting started with beer brewing. its safe to say we are both at the beginners level and will be learning together
 

hardcore

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i'm headed off to borders book. gonna pick up some reference material. thanks all. i'll be hangin around here for a long time it seems.
 

TheTooth

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Cool... books are always good. If your buddy doesn't already have it, I STRONGLY suggest a copy of "How To Brew" by Jim Palmer. I think it's the one book every homebrewer should have.
 

wingnutooa

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indeed there's no reason you cant enjoy alcohol and anything that consumes ethyl...its just not advised you do it at the same time :)

and the drinking with your left hand and driving with your right excuse doesnt work...
 

hardcore

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wing... i would never think of doing both. i'm not much of a drinker at all. i'm more interested in the craft of wine making and not the alcohol itself. to all... have a happy and healthy new year. enjoy the night but please dont drink and drive
 

hardcore

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oh and i picked up...
the backyard vintner
and
the home winemakers companion

so far so good.
 

Wade E

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2 good books! Cpfan has given you very good advise on equipment. I couldnt have said it any better!
 

hardcore

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ok today went well. its a start.
my buddy and i went down to the brewers apprentice this afternoon. i came back with...
6.5 gallon fermenting bucket with lid
6 gallon glass carboy
auto siphon
tubing
wine whip
carboy brush
hydrometer
hydrometer test jar
wine thief
air lock
selection international french merlot kit
one huge smile
 

cpfan

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auto siphon
selection international french merlot kit
one huge smile
WELL DONE!! Wish we lived close. That's a Merlot that I haven't done. Got two Merlots on the go and a thied ordered for arrival SOON.

Steve
 

gawine

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you recommend how to brew for rookie wine makers? the cover has a beer mug on it so not sure how much wine info is inside?

*cpfan: the primary you mentioned, if i get a 6 gallon kit hopefully i will get the size primary you recommended for wine kits with grape skins

*oh, and the floor corker over the hand corker? most kits i've seen come with the italian or portugese corker I think? all hand corkers.. is that big of a difference and how much more $$ is the floor corker? i see hand corkers in kit or about $19 by themselves
 

arcticsid

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Remember, one step(as I have recently learned on this forum) is a good cleaner, but for sterlizing equiment you want to use sodium metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite, there may be some other sterilizers out there but these are the ones most mentioned on here. I have also heard about several people using the non-chlorinated "oxi-clean" for cleaning equipment and bottles. Good luck on yournew hobby, I think you'll be hooked in no time, no, I'm sure of it. Patience.
 

Wade E

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Did you say you got a 6.5 gallon primary, that wont be big enough to do 6 gallon kits in! You will have a mess! You better not put an airlock on it our you will have wine on your ceiling and you better put something big under that primary as it will spill over! What does it say on the bottom of this bucket! If it truly is a 6.5 then I would bring it back and get a 7.9, even those are usually tight on red wine kits without grape skins. Some kits will do fine and some will really foam up, trust me!
 
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