I'm a newbie to wine making and I want all the info in one place...

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Feb 27, 2007
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I've just gotten into making wine and I have to say that I'm finding it really hard work trying to find all the relevant information all in one place about how a beginner would go about it.

I decided that if I'm feeling like this that there must be others out there feeling the same way???

So I'm going to try and put together something that is easy for someone starting out (brand new like me) to understand and that has everything that you need to know all covered in the one place.

Based on this, I thought I'd ask you all if you had suggestions for what should (or even shouldn't) be included?

Any suggestions/feedback would be greatly appreciated!


I guess it depends on what kind of wines you will be making, where you live, and what resources you have available.

1) If you are making a kit wine....follow the instructions. Ignore pretty much anything else you see/read with one exception...degassing.

2) If you live in most parts of Canada, and some parts of the US, visit your local Brew Shop. Should be lots of help there. Such as books, recipes, helpful staff.

3) You obviously have internet access. There are lots of good resources such as Jack Kellers site. Also this discussion form and winepress.us.

Not sure what format you're thinking about, but I'm not sure it'll be worth your effort. Regardless, good luck.

You can find all kinds of instructions within the threads to this forum here along with cpfan's suggestion of Jack Kellers site. When you buy a kit (which I suggest for your first time) it will step you through with all of the ingredients you need. Once you have that under your belt, you can learn more about the process and read what others did to extend or modify the process. Here is what I would do which is a bit more specific then posted:

1. Go to your local Wine/Beer Hobby Shop and buy a basic wine making kit. This will have all of your equipment you need and is about $100-150.
2. Buy a kit ($49.95 - more). The kit will have all ingredients so you don't have to worry about buying each separately and not adding enough of something. This kit also comes with simple instructions.
3. Read all of the threads in this forum on wine making and all those threads that relate to the phase/step your in. This will help educate you as you go, so you won't be hit with information overload. I also agree that degassing is not touched on too well in the kit instructions, so read up on this before you get to this step.
4. Have fun!

Good luck!
There are numerous books out there already that will hold your hand in winemaking. One that pops to mind for fruit/scratch wines is The Joy of Home Winemaking by Terry Garey. It is a little dated but is great for a starter primer. From Vines to Wines by Jeff Cox is a very good book if you grow grapes or make wine from fresh grapes.

If kit wines are your thing, as you have been told just follow the directions and you will succeed. The comment about degassing is correct as well. It isn't as easy as the direction imply. Don't worry about bulk aging, adding extra oak, or this or that. Just follow the directions and start with a good kit, give it time to properly age and you should do fine and be pleased.

These forums are great as well particularly if you are stumped on something and need some advice. Granted, you may get a mixed bag of answers as many have their individual preferences or tricks of the trade. Remember to that a recipe that works for others may not work to your liking so there will be ups and downs as well.

Find a good supplier to get your supplies and or kits from. Most will be very helpful. If you don't have a good local brew shop PM me and I can give you a few on-line dealers who are excellent. I like my on-line dealer so much I rarely use my local shops as they are very expensive, have sporadic operating hours and are really more focused on beer than wine. I can't even buy a wine kit locally and I live in a Metro area.

One last tip, if you make a wine and think you made a mistake, don't just dump it out unless there is an obvious defect like mold growing on the surface or a very foul odor. Give it a chance and many times you will be surprised. Wine is very forgiving. Granted, it may not be an award winning batch but you may like it just fine.

Welcome aboard

Smurfe :)
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I'm new too!

Just wanted to introduce myself folks.
My name is Matthew and I'm in Kentucky, no not horse country, I'm on the west side of the state near the Ohio River. Anyway, as I said, I'm new to this forum and new to wine making too. Started my first batch about a week ago, getting ready to rack over to the secondary. I'm using a kit purchased from E.C. Krause along with the required starter recipe. To this point I've been pretty happy with it. My only complaint is that the instructions that came with the kit sometimes contradict those of the E.C. Krause website.

So, wish me luck and feel free to give all the advice needed to bolster my wine making and drinking experience. (can't forget about the drinking)

I'm new to wine making as well, I think you pretty much found "all the relevant information all in one place", I have been using the search feature and going through as many post as I can, and asking questions along the way, as well as reading the recommended books and free PDF downloads, it's a great resource for a research junkie like me!!
have you place the doc yet? I'm looking for a venders that have starter kits for newbies.
Before I started, I got Winemaking for Dummies. It may not be the best but it gave me a good overall idea. some of it I still don't understand.

With that basic information, I now know what questions to ask and this is definitely the place to ask them
The EC Krouse web site has a ton of info on it. There is enough wine making info to fill a book, and it is free! They cover a lot of the bascis and questions. Kit instructions included. Free fruit wine recipies as well. Prices may be a bit high for supplies, but do ask for a printed sale catalog. More info in it that newbies can use. They were my best source for info when I was starting out.
I new too. I'm using a wine kit. Racked over to secondary a little over a week ago. Do I have to Waite the full 2 weeks to bottle if the SG is at the correct reading that the directions ay. I was hoping to bottle and give for presents. My son who brews beer thinks its ok. Thanks for any replies. Beth in buffalo, NY
I new too. I'm using a wine kit. Racked over to secondary a little over a week ago. Do I have to Waite the full 2 weeks to bottle if the SG is at the correct reading that the directions ay. I was hoping to bottle and give for presents. My son who brews beer thinks its ok. Thanks for any replies. Beth in buffalo, NY
Patience is a major virtue for wine makers (beer makers not so much).

Is the wine clear & stable? Is it fully degassed? If so, then yes you can bottle. But I am so doubtful that the wine is ready to bottle.

What kit are you doing (always a good idea to mention this)?

I am making an pomegranate wild berry Zinfandel wine kit. Everything is looking good as far as I know. There hasn't been any fermentation, no bubbles I. Lock, since I racked to secondary. Still have till next Saturday to go, that would be the 14 days from racking over. That's when I thought to take SG per my directions.
Books I suggest are "The Way to Make Wine," "From Vines to Wines," and "The American Wine Society Presents the Complete Handbook of Winemaking." The last one is written at a collegiate level of reading but there are some real gems in there. The first are written for an average level of reading. I would start with the first one to get the basics down. It includes alot of good recipes and basic ideas that are easy to understand. He has recipes for fruit wines as well. Well worth the money.
forgot to add yeast and have racked it 1 time .Its now 3 months along. Can I add yeast now?
forgot to add yeast and have racked it 1 time .Its now 3 months along. Can I add yeast now?

Welcome to our nice little forum. Your question doesn't really belong in this thread, and many people who might be able to help you probably won't read it here.

So create a new thread, and provide much more info than you did. For example, what are you making? what was the recipe (ie what did you actually do)? do you have any specific gravity readings?

Without further info, we are at a loss to know what to tell you. In general, adding yeast after racking is a waste of good yeast. OTOH, if the juice hasn't fermented yet, some yeast should be added.


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