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wine Wine making, getting started

I have always had a fondness for wine. And it usually becomes most profound when I am savoring a glass full.
I was fortunate to be offered a bottle of cranberry wine a couple years ago which became an absolute hit at the Thanksgiving day dinner table. And sometime early that same year I had a chance to taste some mead for the first time. Actually I was able to try a multitude of meads, some of which I thought were amazing. I have always considered German whites to be my favorites but have over the years found even a place for the ultra dry reds. 
 
There is no sticky for wine making as maybe there should be.
so where does one start? is there a list or starter kit (and not a cheapo one) that will really aid one in getting started? What are your recommendations and what to stay away from.
 
i love wine also and prefer dark red wine but i enjoy whites also. i know nothing about making wine so i`m no help to giving any advice. there must be wine forums that have all the knowledge that you seek. my wife is Portuguese and they take their seriously and i knew a couple of portuguese guys that made wine every year.  one was an old-timer and every single bottle he opened up had a funky, musty, almost moldy taste to it but the alcohol was there. the other guy was a younger guy that i rented from and when the grapes were ready for harvest he went and got a pickup truck full and would ask me to help carry them down to the basement. a couple/few months later he would bring me down to the basement to taste his wine. he made a white, a red and a rose which was a blend of the two. it was fantastic and he was pouring into tall water glasses. talk about LIT! anywho, that is my experience with homemade wine. i wish you luck in making some and keep us posted on your progress.
 
Best way is to find your local supplier and talk with them and find a decent book, does not have to be expensive, look up recipes on the net to get a feel for ingredients.
Stay away of campden tablets (sulfur) even though their commonly used, if you clean then you dont need them, cleanliness is key.
Generally 1 lb of sugar makes 5%/gall alcohol so you can regulate to the percentage you want with fruit and sugar. go as natural as possible.
Do you have an Italian center near you, thats also a good place to get ingredients and probably cheaper.
 

WarrantMan

Extreme Member
CAPCOM,
 
Dragonsfire is spot on. I agree with every word.
 
I'm a hobby guy for some seven years or so. Initial start up is not expensive really. It is fairly easy, but can't be rushed. My general rule of thumb is 6 months from start to consumption. Of course, aging thereafter only adds to enjoyment.
 
When I started, I only had a few things. Two plastic 5 gal. carboys (from water dispensers) a rubber stopper (with a hole) to fit the carboys, small plastic/rubber hose and a plastic airlock.  These four pieces of hardware are absolutely necessary. Then, the materials needed are whatever fruit/grapes you are going to use, sugar, water and yeast. As you progress in experimentation you can get more serious and purchase other stuff if you choose, but I would start basic and work outward as you go.  I mention 5 gal. carboys as that is what I had and most recipes you find will be attuned for this. You could go smaller, but you will need to adjust recipes accordingly. The need for two identical vessels is because periodically you need to siphon one into the other (racking) to leave behind sediment from the first, to clear the wine.
 
Do as Dragonsfire suggested - get a book to guide you.  Through my experimentation I have discovered this to be absolute: the amount of fruit/grapes used will determine flavor, the amount of sugar and particular yeast strain will determine alcohol content.
 
I recycle bottles to use in my deal. Friends readily provide them, knowing they will get some back "full" in return. Bottling is another aspect, but again I would go cheap at first to feel it out (such as a hand corker $20) and if you decide to go further along - get a more expensive one.
 
I'm by no means an expert, but would offer to you all that I know. I posted some of my stuff in the winemaking section and will revisit this thread and give what I can. It is a cool venture and it really isn't that difficult. Just takes patience more than anything... But in the end it can be quite gratifying - when you pour a glass for yourself or give a bottle to a friend and know that this creation is yours!
 
Cheers  :cheers:
 
I havent made my own wine but it seems like such a long process to get average quality wine - especially if you want to age it as WarrantMan said above.

Perhaps we are spoilt for choice of really good wines in South Africa but it hasnt ever really appealed to me to try.

If you do try, let us know how it goes. Good luck
 

WarrantMan

Extreme Member
HydroPepper said:
I havent made my own wine but it seems like such a long process to get average quality wine - especially if you want to age it as WarrantMan said above.

Perhaps we are spoilt for choice of really good wines in South Africa but it hasnt ever really appealed to me to try.

If you do try, let us know how it goes. Good luck
 
Not picking bud, but in all politeness I must offer response.
 
Just as "craft" beer differs from the corporate mainstream, "craft" wines do likewise (don't really know if that's a true term or not.)  But in effect it is the same. With a little time and effort, one can make some really amazing wines not available elsewhere. Speaking off the cuff and coming from my own hand, do you have available tomato, muscadine, peach, pear, watermelon, persimmon, lime, strawberry, blueberry, tea or fig wine?  Most likely not. Yet such things exist amongst wine "crafters."
 
Speaking for myself only, I don't try to make "average quality" wine that can be bought elsewhere cheaper. Quite the contrary. I produce wine that usually cannot be purchased anywhere else at any price. Therein is the satisfaction and the reward.
 
Like cooking a great meal and folks complimenting you, like publishing some written works and folks complimenting you, like people complimenting you on your hot sauce etc.. Making wine is tangible. People can hold it, smell it and consume it. 
 
Believe me when I say, there is little that compares to your own creation that you can hold in your hand and cherish. Likewise, the feeling that arises when someone tells you that they had an intimate evening with their partner when mentioning your wine as part of the experience.
 
I can't legally sell my wine so I give it away for free. But to me, no one could name it's value. It is priceless.
 
WarrantMan said:
 
Not picking bud, but in all politeness I must offer response.
 
Just as "craft" beer differs from the corporate mainstream, "craft" wines do likewise (don't really know if that's a true term or not.)  But in effect it is the same. With a little time and effort, one can make some really amazing wines not available elsewhere. Speaking off the cuff and coming from my own hand, do you have available tomato, muscadine, peach, pear, watermelon, persimmon, lime, strawberry, blueberry, tea or fig wine?  Most likely not. Yet such things exist amongst wine "crafters."
 
Speaking for myself only, I don't try to make "average quality" wine that can be bought elsewhere cheaper. Quite the contrary. I produce wine that usually cannot be purchased anywhere else at any price. Therein is the satisfaction and the reward.
 
Like cooking a great meal and folks complimenting you, like publishing some written works and folks complimenting you, like people complimenting you on your hot sauce etc.. Making wine is tangible. People can hold it, smell it and consume it. 
 
Believe me when I say, there is little that compares to your own creation that you can hold in your hand and cherish. Likewise, the feeling that arises when someone tells you that they had an intimate evening with their partner when mentioning your wine as part of the experience.
 
I can't legally sell my wine so I give it away for free. But to me, no one could name it's value. It is priceless.
No offence taken
Some of those flavours sound devine and I would be interested to taste those

Perhaps my comment came from my I have no patience personality and couldnt dream of waiting that long to make some wine.
Even growing peppers is a exercise in patience and teaching me to slow down

I didnt mean to offend when I said average wine. We have some world class wine here in a South Africa and I suppose I didnt think of the unique craft flavours you mentioned above. I was just thinking of wine from wine estates compared to home made wine.
Point taken.

I will still follow this thread with interest to see what wine gets made.
 
I hope I haven't missed another thread with updates or everyone posting their home made wine results.
 
What are y'all up to? How's the progress? Keen to see what is happening out there
 
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