wine making kits?

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Jan 27, 2009
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hey i am brand spanking new to this site and i havent actaully started making wine yet.... i was looking at a few different equipment kits and wasnt really sure which way to go. any suggestions? i need something that will work well with fresh fruit come summer... i have grapes growing in my backyard (the lady that lived here before us made awsome wine i hear) and a strawberry patch that will be fun to turn into wine. i just dont know what im doing yet
With grapes you are going to want a big fermenting bucket like the size of a trash can, you can get a Brute trash cn at Home Depot or Walmart but make sure it is food grade which is determined by a Triangle on the bottom of the bucket with a 1, 2, 0r 3 inside. If ou dont think your going to need that size then a 10 or 7.9 gallon bucket will do but when using fruits they can take up lots of room and with some fruit when I do a 6 gallon batch I have to split it into 2 buckets so that when it starts fermenting it doesnt overflow.
Hi kitten
I agree with Wade on the large container. Though now would be a good time to get a wine starter kit and get your feet wet doing a kit wine. Around here we have some local Home brew supplrres (LHBS) that sell the starter kit for about $99 which includes a 7 gal bucket,corker,stirring spoon filler siphon and recipe book (might have included a 6gal carboy too,but can't remember) Anyways can add the large container later for the fresh fruit / grape wines. I think kits are a great way to get the basics down under a semi-controlled process. In fact by the time grapes or strawberries are ready for harvest ,you could have a couple batches in the bottles using kits. That way you ge a better understanding of the process....just my .02 worth.. :)
I agree with bein_bein here.... I started with kits [still make kits] but now have made some wine from concentrated juice & want to try fresh fruit once I get this concentrated juice wine down pact!!

just my opinion~~
hey thanks for all the great input.. wouldnt have thought i needed trashcan size but ill have to grab one.... as far as kits go i wanted to go ahead and try one now so i dont botch like 80 lbs of grapes come summer... was looking at EC krauss or grape and grainery....dont know for sure yet though.... is there a specific brand that is better than others?
is there a specific brand that is better than others?
IMO, there are three tiers of wine kit manufacturers.

Better: Vineco, Winexpert, RJ Spagnols, Cellar Craft
Good: Wine Kitz, Heron Bay (I'm not real familiar with these)
Not so Good: the rest inc SunCal, Paklab, Advintage

Obviously different people, different opinions.

Most manufacturers make several lines varying from decent to great.

wine .

ask the vendor they can help you on which might need only three months to taste ok or some might be up too a year before they are even drinkable . so you can try some .. wont have to wait long .. . also if you go the garbage can volume they have some plastic liners you can get so you dotn have to try and clean the big plail just use it for the stiffness and throw out the liner .. but still sanitize the liner ..
With grapes you are going to want a big fermenting bucket like the size of a trash can, you can get a Brute trash cn at Home Depot or Walmart but make sure it is food grade which is determined by a Triangle on the bottom of the bucket with a 1, 2, 0r 3 inside. QUOTE]

When buying or scrounging plastic pails for your primary fermenter, after checking the number in the recycling triagle, its a good idea to stick your nose in and sniff. If it has a strong odour, pass on it.

You really don't need a pile of equipment to make wine, and since you have 6 or 7 months till the grapes are harvested, keep an eye on craigslist, local classifieds or garage sales for used stuff. There's alot of people who lose interest and want to get rid of it.

to get started you need

1. primary fermenter (big bucket as mentioned above)+clean plastic sheet and string or rubber band to cover

2. secondary fermenter-- Glass or plastic carboy or demi-john or several of them, depending on the size of your batches. You need an air lock to fit. Don't use water bottles, as apparently some can let oxygen get to your wine (a bad thing).

3. a length of food grade hose to transfer or "rack" the wine from one container to another.

That's it..
well you need things for stirring, crushing grapes, and measuring ingerdients, but just about any kitchen has something that will work.

THe problem is that once you get started, you'll want hydrometers, corkers, filter machines, bottle washers...etc etc etc......
I would not use a plastic primary bucket that I did not know what was in there!!!!! Chemicals can be absorbed nto and leach out of plastic.
i live in central pa... no supply stores around that i know of.. tried to yellowbook it but all that came up are local wineries... anything i get will most likely have to be online.
Central Pa = are you anywhere near Lemoyne?? There is a wine/beer store there!
and they carry Spagnols and Winexpert, you almost can't go wrong. Unfortunately the starter equipment kit that is pictured SUCKS (to be polite).

What's wrong? It's a 5 gallon set. For Spagnols & Winexpert wine kits, you need a 6 US gallon (23 litre) kit. If the retailer says that making the kit as 5 US gallons is better, then (IMHO) they are WRONG. Often 5 gallon equipment is a sign that the retailer is more into beer than wine.

Hopefully, it's just a picture, and they also sell 6 gallon equipment kits.

BTW, I really like the inclusion of the auto-siphon. That makes the job easier for a rookie. A good retailer in Calgary says that including the auto-siphon in his starter kit has increased the number of customers returning for a second kit because it was a good experience.

I got my starter kit from online and just get kits & fruit juice cans [Vintner] there.. Sorry I guess I should have read the whole thread!! :(

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