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Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

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May 12, 2009
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Hudson Valley, NYS
just joined the forum. I'm from Northeast PA (USA) and and am about to start making wine for the first time. I have all the equipment from past beer making ventures (which I didn't like) and have what I need to make wine from a kit (that's how I'd like to start). Can anyone suggest a good kit to start with? I like Cabernet Sauv or Shiraz mostly and would like to start with one of those. Thanks!!!
1st WELCOME to a great Forum!
I would start you first kit with a wine you like. For the 1st kit start with one that you can bottle soon like a 4-8 week kit. This will get your feet wet. Be prepared to start another right away. Better get 2 different kits.
Do you have a local source? Most LHBS also carry wine kits. start there.
Let us know what you got and keep us informed of your progress.
Thank you!
I was really asking about "brands" of kits. I want to at least make sure I'm starting off with a decent kit. Yes, I do have a local home brew store and I'm aware of all the internet sources for kits as well. Thanks!
Great! Thank you.
I'm very excited to get started. First thing to do is build a simple warming chamber as my basement doesn't really get above 66-68 degrees. I saw a simple design for one - basically a foam board box with a lid that has a 100 watt bulb plugged into an outllet connected to a baseboard heater type thermostat. Perhaps a sheet of aluminum foil to keep the light directly off the fermenter.
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You could also look into a brew belt, they are relatively inexpensive and they say thew work well.
Ive been using them on glass carboys for 4 years now never with an issue, my basement is about the same as yours so I have 4 of these belts and use them all the time. Just dont wrap 1 around a carboy that is in the lower 40's at that time or the temp change may cause it to crack kind of like a windshield with the defroster on a very cold winter day. I would suggest getting nothing smaller then a 15 liter kit if you are looking for a good red wine, the white wines you can get away with the 10 liter kits. I have read that the Mosti 10 kits make a decent wine

or the Cellar Craft 5 Week Showcase series
Welcome aboard. Most of your beer equipment should cross over just fine. Make sure your fermenter is big enough if using a bucket. Many beer fermenters are 6.5 gallon and wine fermenters are 7.9 gallon. It will be tough to keep some kits fermenting in a 6.5 bucket without a blow over. Most beer kits are 5 gallon while wine kilts are 6 gallon.