Winemaking

  • Wine Equipment Kits

    Wine Kits

    You want to try your hand at making wine? We have just the thing for you!

    We offer three wine equipment kits. Plus, with a purchase of a Complete or Deluxe equipment kit, you get a free Intro to Winemaking (in-store) class. You probably wont have any of this equipment or ingredients at home so a kit is really the best place to start. If you've inherited some equipment bring them into the store and we can go over them together to make sure everything is still in an usable condition.

    Be cautious of second hand equipment. Rule of thumb; is it plastic, does it smell, is it sticky/moldy? If you answer yes to a few of these then you need to replace them, and remember, when in doubt, throw it out! Tubing and buckets are usually the first to go and need replacing.  Stainless Steel will last forever so don't throw it away if it's dirty! Just soak it in some cleaner (PBW) for a day or until clean.  Once you've gone through all your inherited equipment, make a list of what you need, and stop by the store. We'll help you find everything you need!

    Every kit starts with a Basic and then adds additional items.

    Beginner Winemaking Starter Kit ($150)  Complete Winemaking Starter Kit ($179.99)  Deluxe Winemaking Starter Kit ($259.99)

    • Sodium Metabisulfate                                      Corks                                                                Fizz X Agitator Rod
    • B-Brite                                                              Double Lever Corker                                        Portuguese Floor Corker
    • Siphon Tubing                                                  Wine Thief
    • Carboy Brush                                                   Test Cylinder
    • Wine Bottle Brush
    • Auto-Siphon
    • Bottle Filler
    • Hyrdrometer
    • Adhesive Thermometer
    • Cylinder Lock
    • 7.5 Gallon Fermenter
    • 6 Gallon Glass Carboy
    • 6.5 Universal Stopper
    • Wine Whip

     

    That's that folks. The fall grape season is almost here so next months wine post will discuss what and when you can look for fresh Northern Hemisphere Grapes.

     

  • The, not so many, different ways to make wine

    Last week I told you about the many different ways to brew beer, this week is about the (not so many) different ways to make wine. Pinkies up!

     

    Concentrates Kits

    Just getting into winemaking? Then I'd start with a kit. These concentrate juice kits range in quality and size from 1 gal to 6 gallons. They come with easy to follow directions and all of your ingredients and additives pre-measured. In this way, all variables are removed, making them perfect for beginners. The process of wine making is the same all the way through with just a few additions when you get to grapes.

     

    Concentrate Kits with Skins

    Some kits will give you grape skins to experiment with, allowing you to have some influence over the outcome of your wine. Grape skins are arguably the most important ingredient of red wine because the tannins and color compounds in the skin are necessary to give red wine it's color. They also have the added benefit of increasing the body of the wine. The process of grape skins giving wine it's color is called Maceration and happens during fermentation.

     

    Juice

    So you've done a few kits and you're looking for the next step; Juice! This option is literally a 6 gallon bucket of juice that you can buy either shelf stable (has been sulfited and pasteurized), fresh, or frozen. These are raw products and again have many options in quality. The juice we sell is all acid and sugar adjusted. Typically the lower quality juices you have to buy yeast for, others come with yeast packets and the higher quality juices (Mosti Mondial) are pre-yeasted. Fresh Juice buckets don't typically come with any extra ingredients, so you'd have to buy them separately, But their shelf stable counterparts do come with everything you need as a kit.

     

    Grapes

    The cream of the crop for winemaking is using fresh grapes straight from vineyards around the world. There are two harvest seasons; Spring and Fall. Spring season brings grapes from south of the equator (Chile and South Africa) and usually arrive late spring, and the Fall season brings grapes from north of the equator (California and Italy). You're now limited to when you can make certain wines, but it's worth it due to the superb product you're now using and the degree of control you can have.

    Making wine from fresh grapes means you need to have a way to crush/de-stem and press the grapes. We offer the crushing and de-steming services here! Otherwise this means a lot of manual labor or money spent on some pretty expensive equipment that will make the process much easier. You also need to buy all the ingredients needed on your own. Typically for juice and grape we recommend enzyme and nutrient additives that will help boost your wine which I will cover in a future article. We have instructions here in store, but what you add is up to you now! You have complete control.

    Of course, with this complete control there are now more ways to make mistakes, but we're here to help! If you buy our product then we offer free wine consultation. Bring in a sample and we'll give you some feedback. We're here to help you make the best wine possible!

    chilaen grape

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