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New winemaker in minneapolis

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kyleb

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I just found your forum last night and the information seems very helpful! I'm going to buy a fruit winemaking kit this week and attempt an apple wine with some cider from a local apple farm. I have 2 questions:

1) Whats the difference between hard cider and apple wine? Is the process for making both relatively similar? Ideally I'd like to end up with a sparkling cider/wine instead of a still, but I'm worried that might be too complex for my first try.

2) This is the kit I'm planning on buying from my local shop:

Product Description:
1 Gallon Wine Making Kit. This kit includes all the equipment, yeast and additives you need to make one gallon of fruit wine. There are enough additives to make up to 15 gallons of wine. Kit includes Winemaker Recipe Handbook, featuring 101 one gallon fruit recipes, 1.5 gallon plastic fermenter, 1 gallon jug, tubing, airlock, stopper, straining bag, sanitizer, campden tablets, pectic enzyme, yeast, acid blend, grape tannin, and yeast nutrient. (Fruit, corker, corks and bottles not included).

(I couldn't post the link because I don't have enough posts.)

Is there anything you would recommend adding to the kit for my first wine making experience? I'll probably get the corker/corks/bottles right away also. Or I may skip the bottles and use the empties from my normal wine habit.

Thanks!
 

Tom

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1st welcome to a fine group.
2nd you will be disappointed when you only wine up with 4-5 bottles. In the book you mention I would double the fruit per pound as its gonna be a light flavor wine.
I would suggest you get a wine kit big enough to make 6 gallons of wine. IF your local shop don't offer it try http://www.finevinewines.com/ and ask for George. In addition to kits you want extra K-meta or Camptom tabs, Sorbate and clearing agents. It dont cost that much more to make a 3 or 6 gallon of fruit wine.
Is fruit wine the only thing you want to make? Fruit season is almost over so fresh/frozen will cost more.
What other wines do you like? maybe we can steer you towards a good one.
What brands does your shop sell?
 

gonzo46307

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Welcome to the forum...:b

I agree with Tom, the one gallon equipment kits will get old real fast. It's just as much work to do a larger batch. I did a few one gallon batches when I first started at the beginning of the year, I quickly moved on to larger batches once I got addicted...er...obsessed...:h

Peace,
Bob
 

St Allie

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Hello and welcome Kyleb,

I started out with a 1 gallon kit.. Sadly this hobby is obsessive and you will outgrow a 1 gallon kit almost immediately.. It will certainly give you enough equipment to have a go.. without a huge outlay in funds however.

how much are they charging for the kit?

Allie
 

Wade E

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I also agree, save up enough money and buy equipment to at least make a 3 gallon batch, Its not much more and making a 1 gallon batch of wine or a 3 gallon batch is the same amount of work and if you listen to us about using a little more fruit per batch you will love the results and be sorry you only made 3 gallons. If you insist on buying the 1 gallon kit it wont go to waste as almost everything can be used with maybe the exception of that bucket and in my opinon that bucket is to small for a 1 gallon batch with fruit and must.
 

cpfan

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Personally, I would recommend getting the equipment for a 6 gallon kit. Especially the primary, siphoning equipment, etc. Perhaps get a 6 gallon kit and add on a gallon jug. You should be able to source a gallon jug elsewhere, for example, does the cider come in a glass jug? If you want a smaller primary, head to your local ice cream shop, they should have some nice food grade pails.

I would skip the bottles, especially if they are being shipped.

Steve
 

Wade E

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I agree, Ive only bought a few cases of bottles and thats only because they were the special bottles for ports that are called Bellissima and almost impossible to find otherwise. All my others I get around for free at either my dump or from friends or a local restaurant.
 

davew

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Hi Neighbor! We're lucky here in Minneapolis to have a few great home brew shops. I know both Northern Brewer and Midwest Brewing Supplies have some great 6 gallon kits that have everything you need to start.

The only thing they don't come with is a cleaning agent like one step or BBrite. Some folks here just use oxy clean.
 

kyleb

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More info.

Davew: I live close to midwest so I'm heading over there this week to get the stuff.

The 1 gallon kit is $35 and the 6 gallon kit of $72. I could get the 6 gallon kit and then get a smaller carboy for my first batch right? From what I've read it seems like I can use the 7.5 gallon plastic fermenter even if I'm only planning on making 3 gallons of wine. Or maybe I should just buy everything ala cart and get only what I plan on using for this first batch.

As far as what I see myself making in the future, I think i'm mostly interested in fruit wines at the moment. I want to make wine from raw ingredients that I can grow/buy here in Minnesota. Making grape wine from a kit doesn't appeal to me at the moment but I won't say it never will.

I'm interested in making apple wine/cider and mead this fall and seeing where that takes me.
 

Tom

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I would talk to someone at the store. Good chance they will work something up for your needs. I buy from them via the net as i'm in NJ
 

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