Just do Kits?

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by bkisel, Jul 22, 2013.

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  1. Jul 22, 2013 #1

    bkisel

    bkisel

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    Do any of you experienced wine makers just do kits? There is something about keeping it, wine making, simple that appeals to me. Also, there seems to be enough brands and variety of kits available to keep one busy for years on end.

    Or, must one move on from kits because that is just the way it is? What would be the appeal?

    Thanks...
     
  2. Jul 22, 2013 #2

    kevinlfifer

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    I only do kits for grape wine. But I do Skeeter, and a variation on that with left over freezer fruit.

    Both adhere to the KISS system.
     
  3. Jul 22, 2013 #3

    jamesngalveston

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    I have only done one kit...and it was a white zin, (for my sister).
    I can buy that stuff all day long, if I wanted a grape wine.
    To be....Tasting a wine made from fruit of any kind is the appeal.
    Go into a wine store, tell them you want some wine made from figs.
    they will just laugh more then likely.
    But if you tasted mine...you would be tossing those kits. and looking for figs. Maybe not if your a grape wine person.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2013 #4

    DoctorCAD

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    I may be the exact opposite of James, as I really only like grape wines. The rest, just a taste here or there is good enough to keep me happy, but I always come back to grapes.

    Done lots of kits, lots of concentrates, lots of fruits and one pure juice.
     
  5. Jul 22, 2013 #5

    jamesngalveston

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    I will say this...even if a kit is 150, and you get 30 bottles of good wine.
    its a lot cheaper then buying 30 at 15 to 20 bucks each...for sure.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2013 #6

    tingo

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    I agree with the doc. Grapes are it for me. But I hardly ever describe to the KISS method myself. Im not knocking it, it just isnt for me. Im more of a MIAPAP, make it as precise as possible. Fresh grapes allow me to have control over certain factors. But then again I am limited to seasons where you are able to ferment year round.
     
  7. Jul 22, 2013 #7

    shoebiedoo

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    I think Making wine should be what you want it to be, Fun. If you're happy with kit's I don't see any reason to move on. On the other hand if you find a supplier for Juice buckets it doesn't hurt to try one. they're usually under $60 so if you end up like it, all the better. if you don't then you haven't wasted too much time as I would dare say you will drink the wine anyway.
     
    Tess likes this.
  8. Jul 22, 2013 #8

    bkisel

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    Would that be ~$60.00 for 23L of juice? What would the yeast, fining and clearing agents cost. Could you make a wine on the level of a high end kit that you're paying $100.00+? I'm not cheap but I am frugal; that would be a substantial savings over both store bought and high end kit.

    Thanks...
     
  9. Jul 22, 2013 #9

    Sammyk

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    WE do both but do not care for straight grape. We do some muscadine in the fall from our grapes. If we can get fresh fruit at a decent price I like to make fresh fruit wines. But we have found that we really like Orchard Breezin a "mist" type wine. If you add about sugar up front, about 4 to 5 pounds, it raises the ABV. Everything is included, kmeta, sorbate, bentonite, more fining agents and fruit pack. The Cornucopia from Amazon includes corks, labels and sleeves and most of them are really good plus all of the above in the Orchard Breezin'.

    Check out this thread
    http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/f84/cornucopia-2-kits-we-love-sale-priced-amazon-39228/

    We both adore the coconut and the Strawberry Merlot. Our grown daughter buys them for us to make for her and her friends too.
     
  10. Jul 22, 2013 #10

    BobF

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    Nothing wrong with kits at all. All of my grape wines are kits. I have an orchard and a desire to experiment, but really good true wines can be made from kits - and a lot easier than fresh unless you live in an area where your favorite varieties are being grown in quantity.
     
  11. Jul 23, 2013 #11

    shoebiedoo

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    I'm not trying to sway you at all but I'm saying Juice buckets, if you can get them in your area, are another option for sure. while I don't look at cost real close, the most impressive batch I've made is a 6 gallon batch of Barolo that initially cost $54. I added a grape pack for a cost of $20 and with oak and everything else I would say my total investment was less than $90 totally, probably less. I have a Malbec with even less than that (using raisins instead of a grape pack) that's really good too. depending on where you are, this is a good alternative. it all depends on what's available to you. I'm sure others in this board will help you with availability, depending on where you live. the caveat is, it a seasonal proposition (fall and spring).
     
  12. Jul 23, 2013 #12

    vernsgal

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    I have only done kits for the past few years. I must have hit the 50th kit mark by now.Spagnol's has a yearly sale that I usually pick up 12-15 per year. I have to say, this year I have started on fruit as well. Will continue with my kits
    ( most of them tweeked to some extent) maybe just not so many. lol
     
  13. Jul 23, 2013 #13

    tonyt

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    I only do kits. 40 so far in five years. I have five or six that I do every year and another six per year that I try new kits. I usually do a few limited kits when they come out. I have a long list of kits I still want to try. Just did my first Cabernet this year and still have not done a Merlot, but one day I will.
     
  14. Jul 23, 2013 #14

    TheGoodLife

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    I just do kits. I've tried the Skeeter Pee and Dragon's Blood but they're just not my cup of tea.
     
  15. Jul 23, 2013 #15

    Bartman

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    I think you will find most folks on this forum, just do kits or do mostly non-grape fruit wines, including those who have there own fruit sources. Not many commercial-level winery folks on here, and fresh grapes are hard to come by unless you live near the source or have a good local supplier. I am fortunate that in Dallas, Fine Vine Wines coordinates shipments of fresh grapes from California each October, so I can get fresh grapes in small quantities halfway across the country.

    Kits are usually seen as the 'gateway drug' to winemaking :) because they are so simple and hard to mess up, plus they include all the stuff you need in one reasonably priced package. I had made about 30 kits before I 'graduated' to frozen juice buckets which can be even *simpler* than kits (depending on the brand - I have made only Mosti Mondiale's which are pre-balanced and pre-inoculated with yeast). Then I jumped to fresh grapes, but still make kits and frozen juice too. The appeal to me is similar to the difference between making a cake from a box mix or making it from scratch: both can be delicious, but I am much prouder of something I have made from 'scratch'.
     
  16. Jul 23, 2013 #16

    GaDawg

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    I live in West Georgia, if I want a Merlot I make a kit or I don't get my Merlot! I only make kits, I also only make what I (and the ladies) like to drink:se
     
  17. Jul 23, 2013 #17

    MrKevin

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    I also only do kits, but I and dying to make wine from fresh grapes and as soon as I can figure out a way to get them to Alaska without costing me hundreds of dollars in shipping alone, I will.

    Kevin
     
  18. Jul 23, 2013 #18

    kevinlfifer

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    I see that the most of us in this thread only do kits, not necessarily because we are adamant that that's all we want to do, but because of convenience. I for one have wanted to try Luva Bella juice but my schedule has never allowed me to make the run. As for fresh grapes, I would try it but again, getting them would be a hassle. That's where it supposed to bee fun concept kicks in. So, until getting raw materials other than kits becomes simpler, I will remain a kit guy.
     
  19. Jul 23, 2013 #19

    Turock

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    In 24 years of winemaking, I've never made a kit wine. We cut our teeth on grapes. If you just want to make kits, no problem. There's no need to do other wines if you don't care to. But there is nothing like a well-made fruit wine because they are hard to find in wine shops and wineries.

    There's just something very gratifying about making a wine from fruit that tastes EXACTLY like the fruit.
     
  20. Jul 23, 2013 #20

    Sammyk

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    Turock hit the nail on the head for us. We love fruit wines from fresh made fruit because it is not something that is readily available to buy. Fresh fruit it is not always available or the price is too high to buy fresh. Until we made muscadine from our own grapes we rarely if ever drank wine. But the muscadine and our blueberries got us hooked on drinking and making wine.
    The mist type kits with bumped up sugar also fits what we like to drink, not too dry and not too overly sweet by bumping the sugar.
     

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