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Bayfishr

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Hello all, im super new to win making. Was going to distill, bought cheap lil chinese still off amazon and the found out you cant distill ANY alcohol at home. Federal law. So i decided to turn that still into the most expensive homemade crab steamer pot ever! So i decided to do wine instead. Beer is a lil too choicy in ingredients for me. Can anyone recommend where i should start first? I have done research on equipment and want to do it the absolutely most simplest way. No computers or electronic gadgets. Anyone else go the rugged route?
 

ChuckD

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Welcome to WMT. It’s a great bunch of people here. You should spend some time browsing through posts on the beginner wine making forum. Others may join in with some beginner tutorials they are working on.

You can put as little or as much time and effort as you want into your wine. However I have found that just a little more effort than the minimum will really up your game. By that I mean get a hydrometer (not electric) and a pH meter. Add some good sanitation practices and a few additives and you can make some really good wine without going overboard.

Oh, and this is a distillation free zone. Apparently they take that very seriously.

ETA: what bay are you fishing?
 

Bayfishr

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Chuck, thanks sooooo much. Im a fly straight and narrow guy so the distilling was a shock and yet an "uh oh", what have i done situation. But quiclkly corrected. So..... Wine. I live in Pikesville, Maryland and not close to any fruit growers. Corn is all i see and some soybeans. I must find the resources i need to get what i want/need for nearly free. U can laugh but i do this with all my projects. And have been 100% successful. Patience is the key.
So i want to duplicate a wine i had with a steak dinner at a hotel. All i remember is the red wine going great with my steak. Bite of meat, sip of wine, repeatedly. Found out it was called TURBO WINE. so fruity without being overly sweet. They stopped selling in stores and have to buy a crapload to get so decided to try to duplicate. Where should i start?
 

Bayfishr

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Tuebo wine is made on the eastern shore here in maryland somewhere. Cant find makers
 

sour_grapes

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ChuckD

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Where should i start?
I’m fairly new to wine making and have only made fruit wines (and one wild grape). From what I have read a grape based wine that is fortified (added sugar to produce higher alcohol than grapes normally would produce) is not too difficult. I’m not sure how easy it is to copy a commercial wine. In my experience every new batch is an adventure… it’s part of the fun!
 

VinesnBines

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The internet tells me that your desired wine is from Layton's Chance: https://shop.laytonschance.com/product?productid=FFC1F328-4C13-4159-8203-38D94DDBBBD9

It is evidently a high-alcohol, very sweet wine. I think from Concord, based on the description of "Joe's Cool Red" (i.e., NOT the turbo version), but not sure.



I see Turbo Red is the higher alcohol Joe's Cool Red so as Sour-Grapes says it appears it is a sweet Concord. I don't think it will be hard to replicate. It will take time because Concord needs time to mellow. You can start right now with a Concord juice.
 

Bayfishr

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C
Welcome to WMT. It’s a great bunch of people here. You should spend some time browsing through posts on the beginner wine making forum. Others may join in with some beginner tutorials they are working on.

You can put as little or as much time and effort as you want into your wine. However I have found that just a little more effort than the minimum will really up your game. By that I mean get a hydrometer (not electric) and a pH meter. Add some good sanitation practices and a few additives and you can make some really good wine without going overboard.

Oh, and this is a distillation free zone. Apparently they take that very seriously.

ETA: what bay are you fishing?
chesapeake. Mainly patapscoe river
 

live4artwine

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Welcome. I lived in Bel Air before moving here to PA. Also lived in Pasadena for awhile. Still work in MD. My start in wine was with wine kits. It helped me understand a lot about the process.
 

hounddawg

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Hello all, im super new to win making. Was going to distill, bought cheap lil chinese still off amazon and the found out you cant distill ANY alcohol at home. Federal law. So i decided to turn that still into the most expensive homemade crab steamer pot ever! So i decided to do wine instead. Beer is a lil too choicy in ingredients for me. Can anyone recommend where i should start first? I have done research on equipment and want to do it the absolutely most simplest way. No computers or electronic gadgets. Anyone else go the rugged route?
did i hear sweet,, lol, most of these ladies and gentlemen are beyond good, first big no no, any distil talk and zero politics', and you just ask your questions, i was raised the old hillbilly ways, but i have tried the old with some new, you need a triple scale hydrometer, a fermentation vessel, made from food grade plastic or stainless steel, as well as some carboys, on the front forum page are threads that learns you the terms we use, how to use your equipment,, i don't use electronic equipment , except for a cheap PH meter, i go barebones except when my back went,,, i do now use, a vacuum pump .. @vacuumpumpman has a very good system, i uset to use a 14 gallon food grade barrel for ferments, the extra space really helps to keep your wing off the floor, lol , the triple scale is a glass tube so you will know your specific gravity = SG ,, potassium subsulfate, and potassium sorbate, and some yeast, you can get concentrates www.colomafrozen.com ,, or use fresh fruits or berries or grapes, oh WELCOME TO WMT
so ask away,, i tagged a few names so if the wish they can help you,
Dawg

@winemaker81 @Scooter68 @sour_grapes @cmason1957
 
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Here's my thoughts on a good way to start. Buy one of the Island Mistt Wine kits. Great way to learn the basics of winemaking. I like to add about four or five pounds of sugar to them to kick the alcohol level up to about 10 or 11 % abv. They take about four to six weeks and you are ready to bottle and drink. Then branch out to what kinds of things you might like.
 
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I live in Pikesville, Maryland and not close to any fruit growers.
Welcome to WMT.

Hey, just go a bit north and west into PA and you run into one of the best fruit growing regions in the East. I live in Adams County and can get about any fruit that grows on a tree (I think most of them do, but I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer). Have fun making some wine, best site on the planet to learn how to do it!
 

hounddawg

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Here's my thoughts on a good way to start. Buy one of the Island Mistt Wine kits. Great way to learn the basics of winemaking. I like to add about four or five pounds of sugar to them to kick the alcohol level up to about 10 or 11 % abv. They take about four to six weeks and you are ready to bottle and drink. Then branch out to what kinds of things you might like.
i never reply to kits since i have never did one, but there was a reason on a nueb to tag you, i know you are one of many that knows how the cow ate the cabbage,
Dawg
 
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I have done research on equipment and want to do it the absolutely most simplest way.
"simple" often equates to laborious and (eventually) irritating. As @hounddawg said, you want a hydrometer. It is the one piece of equipment that's never argued against. Without, you're guessing on things such as "is the fermentation done?".

Oh, and this is a distillation free zone. Apparently they take that very seriously.
@Bayfishr, as you've already learned, distilling in the USA is illegal without a commercial license. The site owner bans discussion to avoid unnecessary and unwanted attention.
 

Retired teacher

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Here's my thoughts on a good way to start. Buy one of the Island Mistt Wine kits. Great way to learn the basics of winemaking. I like to add about four or five pounds of sugar to them to kick the alcohol level up to about 10 or 11 % abv. They take about four to six weeks and you are ready to bottle and drink. Then branch out to what kinds of things you might like.
I agree 100%! Also, the RJS Orchard Breezin’ is very similar. I have followed the advice of cmason1967 and bumping up the abv and they have been very popular.
I’ve learned SO much from the wonderful folks on this site.
Welcome to WMT!
 

JustJoe

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Welcome to WMT!
I started simple as you would like to do and it worked out very well. I had been making beer so I already had a fermenter, a couple of carboys, a thermometer and a hydrometer. I have a small woods around my house and I saw wild grapes growing there so a few years ago (maybe 10 years) I thought I should try making some wine.
I picked what I thought would be a lot of grapes and put them right into the fermenter. I quickly realized that my "lot of grapes" was just a start on enough to do one 5 gallon batch. I went back out to the woods and picked every grape I could find, then went to a nearby wildlife area and found and abundance of wild grape vines. I finally picked enough to fill the fermenter (a 7 gallon bucket) to about the 5 gallon level. I went to the local home brew store to get some yeast and they filled me in on the yeast options (they kept it simple with a recommended yeast, EC 1118, and an alternative) and told me about the need for Kmeta (potassium metabusulfite) or, to keep it simple, campden tablets.
I crushed the grapes as well as I could in a pot and dumped them and the juice into a brew bag I had in the fermenting bucket and tied the bag shut. I crushed the camden tablets and added them. I tested the juice with the hydrometer and found that the wild grapes were much lower in sugar than what would be needed to get wine so I added sugar, a lot of sugar. After adding a couple of pounds of sugar it was getting hard to get it to dissolve so I mixed up syrup using 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water and added the syrup to the fermenter bringing it up to over 6 gallons before the hydrometer finally read 1.090. The next day I added the yeast and covered the fermenter with a towel and let the yeast do its work.
2 days after that the towel was soaked with purple juice and the foam was running down the sides of the bucked and all over the floor. The brew bag was inflated like a beach ball so I took the longest stirring spoon in the kitchen and used it to push the bag down. It took a lot of pushing to get all of the air (actually CO2) out of the bag and once it was pretty well deflated the must (fermented juice) level was down to a little over 5 gallons. I checked again several hours later and the bag was inflated again but it had not overflowed so I punched it down again. Did this a couple of times ever day until it stopped inflating. I also checked the SG each time and saw it moving steadily down. When the bag stopped inflating I squeezed out all the juice I could with my hands and removed it.
I siphoned the wine into a carboy and put an airlock on it and let it sit for a few weeks, The SG dropped to about 0.995 and the stayed there. Then using a siphon, I bottled it. Two weeks after that I opened the first bottle and tried it.
It was really wine. Not the best wine but my excitement over making my first wine made it seem much better than it actually was.
The process was so much fun and the reward of getting a few gallons of wine so good that I got serious about it and acquired things like a Ph meter a dozen carboys, a pump, yeast nutrient and potassium carbonate, a floor corker and tons of free advice from all of the people here at WMT.
Now I make 30 to 40 gallons each year of several different kinds of wine from the garden and the woods. You can look at the forum for Danger Daves dragon blood and Skeeter pee for some additional good ideas. I give a lot of wine to friends now and they all seem to like it, maybe because the price is $0.00 but every year I learn more and the wine gets better so I think they really do like it.;)
Since I had been brewing beer I didn't need to buy any equipment but, if I had nothing my total investment would have been less than $100 for a fermentation bucket, a carboy with an airlock, a hydrometer, a brew bag and some tubing for siphoning, The cost of materials for that first batch was less than $2 for yeast, a few cents for campden tablets and $5 for sugar.
 
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