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Apr 17, 2017
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Hey everyone. New to the game of wine making and am in the process of buying equipment. There's quite a bit of information out there (I feel like I've read 1000s of posts) but I was hoping with what you all know now, what would of been the ideal set up to start with? Brands, quantities of supplies, etc. a comprehensive list of supplies. Thanks.
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1. Hydrometer
2. A secondary fermenting vessel, like a demijohn or carboy with a bung and an airlock

Thats all you really need to get started in my opinion but i'm no expert, i'll leave others to fill out the shopping list. But you know, just start and you learn as you go...
a good ph meter. if money not an issue. Vinimetric 300 they also offer a set up with burret, spinner etc that is a good start on a mini lab for acid testing.

A good pump, try All-in-one-pump good for racking and bottle filling. with filter attachment great for filtering.

siphon. small gram scale,

for fermentation
Go-Ferm a yeast hydration helper
Fermaid-K a yeast nutrient
Potassium Metabisulphite for sanitation and bacteria inhibitor
Potassium sorbate for use to inhibit fermentation after sweetening.

A good book on making wine

visit winemaking.jackkeller.net this web site has man many notes on wine making and techniques also a bunch of recipes. good learning web site.
A bucket, food grade plastic...and what salcoco said.
I started with a batch of Skeeter pee and dragons blood. The ingredients, tools, process is well documented. Understand why you are doing every step along the way. A six gallon bucket, hydrometer, 5 gallon carboy, airlock is about all you need. Check Craigslist, almost always available for 1/2 cost of new in my neck of the woods.
Welcome to the forum!

Has a thermometer been mentioned yet? You'll want to pitch your yeast into the right temperature must and keep your fermentation going within a given temperature range.
If you plan on making 6 gallon kits, then you will need:

1) Hyrdometer
2) Instant Read Thermometer (get temp of must right before pitching yeast)
3) 7.5 gallon pail or larger for fermentor
4) two 6 gallon GLASS carboy
5) Starsan
7) racking cane and tubing
8) airlock w/ bung

If you are making fruit wine, then 5 gallon glass carboy is ok, but you will want one of the largest carboys for racking (rack to larger carboy, and then rack back).

wine pump with bottling attachment, and the head space eliminator (one for each carboy).
Small siphon is great for getting juice from the kit to the pail.
Fastrack bottle dryer
floor corker
Latching cooler to use as a gas chamber to keep stuff sanitized.

From the kitchen you will use:
measuring cups
measuring spoons
plastic spatula (for stirring). I prefer plastic because I can keep it in a gas chamber to keep it sanitized for when I need it.
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If i may, i'll make a philosophical and pedagogical observation by way of anecdote on the question of starting.

When i made my first bucket of wine, in 1990 in the far eastern mountains of southern australia i had a bucket, fruit, water and sugar and nothing else. Making wine is as complicated as you need it to be. The process is essentially pretty simple. After a while, you want to make better wine, more drinkable, clearer, ABV specific, smoother, more balanced, able to age, and to do all that you start trying to understand the finer points of the process, the chemistry, and from that you start to get an idea of the craft. But to start with, a lot of folk just need to begin and see how it goes, from the absolute basics. Other folk will want everything set out and organized to a tee before even considering a start. I guess its a question of learning styles and that's probably something MstrRogers will need to consider.

Making wine is fun, for me, and it always has been and also its pretty cheap. If a batch doesnt work out, it's a learning moment, not that much lost but knowledge gained. I'd say, just give it a go, see what happens. Start small, dont spend too much money (although you do need a hydrometer), and build up as you go.

That's my two cents worth anyway...but my learning style is to plunge on in and go from there and i know that is not everyone's learning style so i guess that's something you'd need to think about.

Also, take advice and seek help from experienced home wine makers...there are a lot on this forum that have helped me no end.

Go for it!
I completely agree that starting out simple is the way I would go. Bucket, hydrometer, thermometer, carboy, and airlock. There are certainly things that will make it easier as you continue, but for me it was always important to understand the problem before finding a solution. An auto-siphon is probably the only "extra" I would recommend. I also think doing a kit the first time out really helps, giving all the ingredients and instructions. Once you get familiar with the process and why you do things, it makes it so much easier to do your own thing after that.
First question is how much are you planning on making at a time and is your budget for this limited or wide open. You can get a decent start for small batch making for under $200.00 but that number can go a lot higher if you make larger batches and plan on doing more than one to batches at any given time.

Equipment you need really depends on the budget you set. When you start adding a couple of the pieces of equipment listed you are going to be spending a lot closer to $1000.00 than $200.00.

Biggest thing you need to bring to the hobby is PATIENCE. Without that, don't even start. Delayed gratification is the name of the game. One way to deal with that is while you are working on your first few batches, shop the local shops for the types of wine you want to try your hand at making. Write down your impressions, likes and dislikes about those wines and keep that handy when you start future batches or adjust ongoing batches.
I would suggest using a carboy hood instead of a drilled rubber stopper/bung. All the rubber stoppers I've tried stink of cheat rubber and make it hard to smell the wine. They run 2-3 $ and will fit an airlock with no problem.
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I bought an entire winemaking equipment bundle off of Craigslist. They came with all the stuff, but I'm sure they are out there.

That's it.
Do you find it's easier to use the second glass carboy to do the final rack before bottling instead of the primary bucket?

As you age the kit, you will be racking. I assumed you would be going from one carboy to another carboy. You could rack from carboy to pail, clean the carboy, and then rack back. Then you would need only one carboy.
You don't mention what type of wine you want to make - From Grapes, Fruit (Peaches, Berries, Plums etc)

Also what size batches do you want to start with and end up making?

To start simple you can invest in a "Starter Kit" of hardware and add on. Most of those will provide enough basic chemicals for 10 - 15 gallons of wine.

Then add on some other very helpful equipment like pH tester or titration kit, a second hydrometer (Yes, most of us have broken one and found ourselves in the middle of process where we need that thing)
You can get bottles from most recycling centers for free, including some 4 liter (1 gallon + 6 ozs)

There's an almost endless list of supplies that are: Need to have, Good to have, and Nice to have. A lot depends on batch sizes and how much wine do you think you will be making (Number of batches) What ever number you come up with..... you will probably do more.

This is a great time of year to get started if you want to make fruit wines. Fruit stands will probably give you a break on prices for over-ripe fruit (The best fruit to use for wine making because the sugar content is at it's peak.)

The one thing you cannot buy that is probably the most important thing to have....... PATIENCE. :ft

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