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Oct 23, 2006
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I'm really itching to try my first kit, the problem is I don't have all the equipment yet. I think I'm going to use my beer fermentor, I know it might give some flavor, and only make about 5.5g from the vinters reverve kit then rack to a 5G carboy which will hold 5.25G.

Would this completely ruin the wine? It would just be a little concentrated which I figure might give it slightly higher alcohol and a little more body. If this is just a really bad idea then I'll hold off a few months till I can get the correct equipment.

For the price of an extra carboy and maybe another plastic primary I'd wait. Wine Kits aren't cheap in comparison and it would be a shame to get one and not have the correct equipment to do it justice. The extra carboy can also be used for your beer of course too!
I agree with caplan on this one. I understand your wish to dive right in. I did this with beer and found I made water because I didn't wait and use the right equipment with the right measurements. Anyway, with how wine goes, if you don't follow the instructions just right, at the end when you bottle, you will wonder what it is you are bottling since it won't taste right. If it doesn't taste right, who will you give it to?!? I guess that doesn't matter if you drink it all yourself.
Wine kits are concentrates that are calculated at an exact measure. If you do not re-hydrate them correctly you will indeed get a product that more than likely will not resemble what you desire. If money is tight, look around at bakeries to see if they get any products in larger buckets. They probably won't as most come in a 5 gallon bucket but it don't hurt to ask.

One other thing you can do is find food grade pail liners that will fit in a new trash can but in reality, after you obtain these you will probably spend more than a new primary cost. Even though it is controversial and you get ragged for it by many, I have used new kitchen trash cans for a primary without the liner in them. I am not advocating this and this is my disclaimer. I am just saying I have done it with no ill results when I have made fruit wines that required large amounts of fruit that would over flow my 7.9 gallon primary.

Many feel that the type of plastic that most trash cans are made of is not food grade and can leach plastic aromas into the wine. I will add that I bought a 10 gallon primary from a wine supply store and it is the identical plastic my kitchen garbage pail is. Same code emblem on the bottom.

One thing you can do if you just have a 5 gallon carboy is to rack 5 gallons of the 6 gallons to it and rack the final gallon to a one gallon carboy such as an apple cider jug or any glass container that a stopper and airlock will fit in that didn't hold vinegar or other caustic substance prior. I have done this quite a few times when all of my 6 gallon carboy's are in use.

As others have said. Try to have the proper equipment before hand to make your wine. It appears a large percentage of the members here are cross over beer makers that want to utilize their beer equipment to its fullest but if you really want to make a quality end product that rivals or tops many commercial wines, please obtain the correct equipment before making a batch. In the long run, it will pay for itself quite quickly if you drink a decent amount of wine in the savings between commercial wines and the cost to produce by kit.

Smurfe :)
Ok thanks guys. I recall exactly where it was but I found a video on a site showing how to make the kits. The guy said he prefered to only make 5 Gallons with a 6 gallon kit. That was why I was asking. I've been playing with 1 Gallon batches of apple juice and I'll probably try some concord juice next just to see.

Why are wine kits 6 Gallon and beer recipes 5 Gallon, this seems really retarded to me, why not make thing more universal??
Well if you want to get really technical they are 5 gallons. Most, if not all kits are made in Canada. The kits are 5 Imperial Gallons which is 6 US gallons LOL. I really don't know why there is a difference. The original wine kits where you bought the concentrate in a can and used your own ingredients were concentrated to make 5 US gallons. Email Wine Expert and ask them why. I am sure they will give you an answer.

Smurfe :)

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