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Kit vs Natural and vise versa

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jmac

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We all know they each have their reasons. But so? which is it? And why do you?

If you do both, which do you really prefer doing?
 

Minnesotamaker

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I'd say there are pros and cons to each. I do both and I also do some blends. As for natural, there is something satisfying about growing or collecting your own fruit and turning it into a creation of your own. It is truly yours. In all likelihood, even when it turns out perfect, you can't replicate it exactly. It is more work, and while the base cash outlay may be lower, the labor is higher and the possibility for failure is higher. I like kits because they're safely consistent. They also have recognizable names for consumers with limited exposure to wine. They're easy to make and require minimal effort.

Blends. Sometimes I have a fruit in limited supply, or a fruit that is heavily flavored. I'll sometimes blend a kit with natural fruit to increase the output or flavor output of a cheaper kit. Be aware that you run the risk of losing your investment of the wine kit if it turns out bad.
 

Mismost

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I do not have a good source for cheap or free fruits...so I make mostly kits. I do make a plum from neighbors trees, but that's it.

I really like the ease and repeatability of the kits...you can make some pretty nice wines. I like quick cheap Mist type kits and I like the high end kits with bigger volumes and skin packs.....and the ones in between.

I like having them sitting there on my shelf ready to go....not waiting on spring or fall....not having to prune train pick crush grapes...maybe someday when I retire, don't have time for it right now, and the deer would eat most of it before it was ready.
 

FTC Wines

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I agree with the above. We make a lot of Apple, Peach, Mango, Blueberry Wine from fruit, all great. Do a lot of kits, mostly big Reds. Also all great. Started making wine from grapes in 2015, so far disappointing, 2016 to early to tell. We will do 200 + lbs of grapes in 2017. If our 2015 has not improved at the 2 yr mark we may go back to kits for our Reds. Roy
 

Bodenski

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I guess I make wine from fruit since it's not something I can easily get in the store. Although most of what I've done from fruit has been frozen fruit so far. I can't wait till this summer to see what I can get to make something from fresh fruit.

I know I'd have more success (probably) doing a kit. But then it's not much different than what I can get at any grocery store. But for stuff I might make that I'm planning on gifting more of, I'll probably get a nice kit make those. So I guess it depends on if I'm making it for me or if i'm making it to give away!
 

bkisel

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I do both. Like that I can inexpensively (I'm not cheap I'm frugal!) make fruit wines that are very well received by family and friends. There is likely some ego involved also, people seem more impressed with my having made wine from scratch than from a kit. Also, all of my fruit wines have been decent early drinkers not so much my kit wines.

With kits I really enjoy making different varieties. I especially enjoy making a red wine that I've never tasted before. Curious how I've liked a few of my low end kits as much as I've liked my higher end kits.
 

Brickhouse

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I'm new to the game, so only kits so far. But I imagine that's what I'll stick to. Mainly because neither my girlfriend nor I enjoy many fruit wines. We are into big reds. So we will probably stick to what we enjoy drinking.

Also, I prefer at this stage to just stick to directions based things. I open the kit, follow the directions, and produce a wine that is hopefully drinkable and good. I have yet to taste the fruits of my labor.
 

bkisel

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I'm new to the game, so only kits so far. But I imagine that's what I'll stick to. Mainly because neither my girlfriend nor I enjoy many fruit wines. We are into big reds. So we will probably stick to what we enjoy drinking.

Also, I prefer at this stage to just stick to directions based things. I open the kit, follow the directions, and produce a wine that is hopefully drinkable and good. I have yet to taste the fruits of my labor.
I felt the same way until I tried the DB recipe. Even though like you I prefer the big reds my wife and plenty of other family and friends really do enjoy the fruit wines. I've got a peach that my wife won't let me give to anyone else she likes it that much. My apple has been a big hit. Fruit wines that folks really like and that cost less for the consumable than the bottle and cork appeals to the frugal in me.

Also, most of the fruit wine recipes will also contain some direction much of which you will not need or will change up after just having a few kits under your belt.
 

kevinlfifer

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My wife and I like full bodied reds, I Started with WE kits and followed the directions to the letter. That's a good way to build your confidence and experience level.
Then I migrated to cheap kits that I tweaked the heck out of. I had a lot of success with that.
See Joe's treads on tweaking, he's King.
I then started getting juice buckets. I tweak them as well. I've found the wine made from the juice buckets is drinkable sooner than that from kits.
Currently, I order juice in 60 gallon drums and lugs of grapes to tweak with. This hobby can explode on you.

Spring is coming, Chilean Juice is near.
 

RobGlug

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We have a 'Trent', so I only make wines out of things I grow. Trent is our son-in-law and a wine buyer. (No, you can't have him.)

Also, kits down here are not so readily available. (Never seen them in Costco.) And since I also make everything else, bread, olives, jam, pickles, cheese, sausage etc I don't have time to make vast quantities of different types of wine as well.

We have an ornamental grape vine that has the most lovely scented flowers in early summer. One of the nicest perfumes we have ever smelled, so I decided to make it into some sparkling wine. I included some new leaves and stems (prunings) and am just about to bottle it and add a second fermentation for some fizz. I find the fizz turns out very well using my casual approach to wine making.
 

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