Other what size kits do you make?

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What size(s) of kits do you make?

  • 1 US gallon / 4 liters

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6 US gallons / 23 liters

    Votes: 13 100.0%

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Reading a response from @crushday in a red wine kit poll, it occurred to me to ask what size kits people make. I realize due to lack of availability, the main response won't be 1 US gallon kits. I'm curious how many folks make the small kits.

Add a post that says why you make the size kits you make.

EDIT: The poll didn't go through on the first try, but I was able to add it.
 
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Rocky

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I do the same as Cmason1957. Typically, 18-gallon batches of reds and whites unless the wine is a special, then it would be a 6-gallon batch. I do this mostly because I have the space and the equipment, and I feel making 16 gallons takes about the same or disproportionally less time.
 

Bmd2k1

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I do the same as Cmason1957. Typically, 18-gallon batches of reds and whites unless the wine is a special, then it would be a 6-gallon batch. I do this mostly because I have the space and the equipment, and I feel making 16 gallons takes about the same or disproportionally less time.
Curious what kind of vessel(s) are you using for fermenting and aging 18gal batches?
 
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Curious what kind of vessel(s) are you using for fermenting and aging 18gal batches?
Last fall I used 32 gallon Rubbermaid Brutes. They were nearly 3/4 full, so I'd not use them for 4 kits.

If I make multi-kit batches again, I'm thinking of fermenting them separately in 7.9 gallon primaries, so I can do the 2 week initial maceration, and may use different yeasts in each batch.
 

Rocky

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Curious what kind of vessel(s) are you using for fermenting and aging 18gal batches?
I use a 20-gallon Brute by Rubbermaid for a primary fermenter and 5- or 6-gallon carboys as secondary fermenters and for bulk aging.

Here is a current example. I made a triple batch of Trebbiano-Riesling in a 20-gallon Brute and have it in secondary fermenters of 5-gallon and 1-gallon. I still have to clear, stabilize and add some amount of the sweetener pack.

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wineview

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I generally make increments of 6 gallons. That is true for kits, juice buckets, and from grapes. I do this mainly due to having mostly 6 gallon carboy. Although I do have several 5, 3, 1 gallon ones and even a 2.
I make six gallon as well because I have a lot of six gallon carboys. I have found by the time I rack from bucket to carboy I need to top off quite a bit because the six gallon kit isn’t really six gallons after primary and my six gallon carboys require at least an extra 750 ml to get the volume up the neck. This year I am trying to figure out how to use combinations of my fives and one three with the sixes. A two gallon would be sweet but I can’t seem to find any.
 

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For the past several years I have been making 18 gallons of 3 different juice buckets or FWK. Ferment in 20 gallons (should go bigger but it's what I have). Rack into 2-6 and 1-5 gallon carboys ea pending loss to skin packs and lees.
This allows me to drink some after 1 year and keep the rest aging for awhile longer...
 
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I make six gallon as well because I have a lot of six gallon carboys. I have found by the time I rack from bucket to carboy I need to top off quite a bit because the six gallon kit isn’t really six gallons after primary and my six gallon carboys require at least an extra 750 ml to get the volume up the neck. This year I am trying to figure out how to use combinations of my fives and one three with the sixes. A two gallon would be sweet but I can’t seem to find any.

I avoid the big top off by increasing the initial volume some, along with the initial sg, then add some extra tannins during fermentation. I seldom have to tip up much. And I almost always make multiple kits of the same varietal at the same time.
 

Poochops

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a bit of insight from across the pond and my first post too! i read this forum with envy to be honest, I’m an all grain beer brewer (which we're really good at in the UK) who has been making wine from kits in addition to beer for a few years.
I read about you guys fermenting 100 litres in bins and ageing in 6 gallon carboys, or even on oak for years, and tbh I can only dream! You can buy fresh grapes at harvest and buckets of frozen juice, some of you even have your own vineyards!
It's like a wilderness in the uk by comparison! We can get all the winexpert ranges here and they’re regarded as the best. There’s literally 1 (one!) brave and intrepid importer in the uk of some of the mosti mondiale range and he sells very competitively but most winemakers here have never even heard of his store or MM. We also have the ‘on the house’ range which is a local branding of one of the big North American producers by all accounts but idr which.
Other than those, who produce mainly 23 litre kits, we have some cheap ranges that are utter garbage tbh but keep the budget conscious entertained somehow. One example is a kit that makes 23l out of 3 litres of concentrate with kilos of sugar added and sell for less than the equivalent of 20$

We can get a limited range of winexpert 1 gallon kits (4.5l,) but making just 6 bottles is a pain in the arse so I’ve only ever done two which were whites, PG and chardonnay. They taste ok to be fair, but for not much more money per bottle I can buy much better in the supermarket (grocery store!)

so in the uk I doubt there’s anyone at all that makes more than 23 litres (5 uk gallons) at a time. There might some who start a number of kits at once, but it’ll be in individual 30 litre buckets, not 100l rubber dong growlers or whatever you call them 😂
 

Khristyjeff

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a bit of insight from across the pond and my first post too! i read this forum with envy to be honest, I’m an all grain beer brewer (which we're really good at in the UK) who has been making wine from kits in addition to beer for a few years.
I read about you guys fermenting 100 litres in bins and ageing in 6 gallon carboys, or even on oak for years, and tbh I can only dream! You can buy fresh grapes at harvest and buckets of frozen juice, some of you even have your own vineyards!
It's like a wilderness in the uk by comparison! We can get all the winexpert ranges here and they’re regarded as the best. There’s literally 1 (one!) brave and intrepid importer in the uk of some of the mosti mondiale range and he sells very competitively but most winemakers here have never even heard of his store or MM. We also have the ‘on the house’ range which is a local branding of one of the big North American producers by all accounts but idr which.
Other than those, who produce mainly 23 litre kits, we have some cheap ranges that are utter garbage tbh but keep the budget conscious entertained somehow. One example is a kit that makes 23l out of 3 litres of concentrate with kilos of sugar added and sell for less than the equivalent of 20$

We can get a limited range of winexpert 1 gallon kits (4.5l,) but making just 6 bottles is a pain in the arse so I’ve only ever done two which were whites, PG and chardonnay. They taste ok to be fair, but for not much more money per bottle I can buy much better in the supermarket (grocery store!)

so in the uk I doubt there’s anyone at all that makes more than 23 litres (5 uk gallons) at a time. There might some who start a number of kits at once, but it’ll be in individual 30 litre buckets, not 100l rubber dong growlers or whatever you call them 😂
Thanks for posting. Very interesting.
 
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a bit of insight from across the pond and my first post too!
Welcome to WMT!

It's good to hear a different perspective on winemaking. Stories like yours give me a reality check -- in North America we have so many options, and it's a reminder to hear from folks who don't have that.
 

Poochops

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Welcome to WMT!
Thank you very much!
my impression is that in the UK there are many country wine makers that have mastered their art and fully understand the processes to get great results, a friend of mine has got it bad, he has I’d say over 150 4.5l Demi johns of fruit wine and mead at various stages of ageing at any one time, that’s a lot of wine!
He doesn’t do grape concentrate wine though and isnt even inclined to try.
It's a little off topic but a WE private reserve kit here has 14l of concentrate and costs £120. if my process is on point I’ll get thirty bottles so that’s £4 each and I’ll have used 2-3 bottles of previous kits to fill up headspace in Demi Johns which is what 99.9% of us use for racking and ageing. Wine in our supermarkets starts at about £4 and there are drinkable ones at that price esp whites, so I think many people here are disinclined to make high end kits because of the price and a lack of understanding of the process. The kit says it’s ready in 8 weeks but at eight weeks it tastes horrible and many people who try then think it’s a waste of money.
I’m not making cheap kits because I’m getting too old for bad wine but one thing I learned on here and which makes perfect sense when you think about it, is the need to age considerably esp reds. I’ve got 25 gallons ageing in Demi johns at any one time, and about 130 bottles in racks. (the other thing in the uk is space, our houses are tiny compared to yours!) and after almost two years I’m yet to drink any of it! my first kit a mosti mondiale Nebbiolo is only just starting to come good and I haven’t even tried any of the other reds yet.
Finally we like a drink in the uk! Not many newbies here are going to wait two years for a tipple! It’s my beer brewing experience that gives me the understanding that timing is so important, that and an inherent enjoyment of the process for beer AND wine. Oh and loads of patience.
 
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It's a little off topic but a WE private reserve kit here has 14l of concentrate and costs £120.
I checked the current exchange rate, and £120 is $146 USD, which is about right for the WE Private Reserve. I haven't made that one in the reformulation -- I have made the Reserve and have been pleased with them.

The literature may say the wine can be bottled in 8 weeks ... which as you note, doesn't mean it's ready to drink. 😉

The secret to aging wine is to make more than you drink. I produce a mixture of types, including quicker drinking wines to enjoy while others are aging.
 

Poochops

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The literature may say the wine can be bottled in 8 weeks ... which as you note, doesn't mean it's ready to drink. 😉
Absolutely right, Im drinking my whites while my reds are doing time. I racked a MM pino noir last week and I’ve got their shiraz to set going. These were 10litre kits on special offer at 2 for £80 which is an absolute bargain. It’ll be interesting to see how they turn out compared to the bigger kits but that won’t be for a long while yet.
 

Jovimaple

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This poll hasn't gotten much traction, although I'm not surprised that no one as selected "1 gallon" yet.
I HAVE made 1 gallon kits, but there aren't many available and as others have noted in other discussions, it's about the same work, aside from needing to wash more bottles, as a 5 or 6 gallon kit.
 
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I HAVE made 1 gallon kits, but there aren't many available and as others have noted in other discussions, it's about the same work, aside from needing to wash more bottles, as a 5 or 6 gallon kit.
One thing that WMT has made me aware of is the widely varying needs and interests of our members. For me, 25-30 bottles of a batch is a bare minimum, and for my longer aging reds, 15 gallons is not enough.

For some members, making a gallon or 2 per year is sufficient, and for some members making wine is a crime. That last part freaks me out.

A friend asked me how much wine I had in bottle. My response of "20 to 30 cases, but I don't know" freaked them out. Having 60 gallons in barrel and carboy REALLY freaked them out. They were proud of having 6 bottles.

Based upon my listening to our membership, we winemakers are far different from non-winemakers in terms of what we have on hand.
 

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