New wine maker on board

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I am new to wine making but have been brewing beer for about 2 years now.
I have been asked by various people if I make wine and if I would give it a try.

OK, so after many requests I ordered a wine kit and various pieces of equipment that were not already in my beer supplies. I have ordered an "Island Mist Black Raspberry Merlot."

I am now trying to educate myself futher on wine production. The kit did come with instructions but I was not sure I should use those or not.

Also, I was hoping someone could give me some ideas of where I can educate myself on the processes. Anything free is the best solution but if there are some books you feel are really worth the investment I'll look into those as well. I was hoping there were a few websites out there where I can gain some more knowledge.


Welcome to WineMakingTalk and our great hobby. I'm sure you know from the beermaking that it can be quite addictive.

If you're going to make kits, just follow the instructions, especially for the first couple of kits. Books (online or otherwise) will probably mess you up (even as an experienced beer maker).

A couple of items to be aware of:

Beer tends to ferment much more quickly than wine. Don't freak if it's slow to start. Don't go by physical signs of fermentation, use your hydrometer.

The kit you chose is a good choice for a first kit, primarily because it is ready to drink quickly. However it makes a sweet wine, and many people will find it too sweet. There are ways to knock down the sweetness but I don't recommend that first-time winemakers mess with the methods.

and BTW, thanks for spelling out clearly which kit you are making. So many people ask questions without saying which kit (or recipe or whatever).

Excellent! Thanks for the tips.

I'm sure at some point I'll want to stop using kits and go from scratch as I did with beer. I've done around 40 batches of beer and used like 5 kits. I was a chef for 15 years before I decided to return to school so these hobbies kinda bring me back to my cooking days.

I see you're from Canada. We have a 2 acre island just outside of Westport Ontario on a lake called Devil Lake. Been to Kingston many times. Awesome beer in Canada.

Thanks again for the advice.


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