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Posted: 12/22/2005 8:44:40 AM EDT
With 3 days left and no ideas on what to get my dad for xmas, I think I may have found something.



Wine Making Kit
Enjoy the rewards of making your own gourmet wines at home. Equipment kit includes the gear you need to get started - fermenter/bottling bucket combo, glass carboy, racking/siphoning equipment, Portugese double lever corker, eight packs of C-Brite sanitizer and a pack of 30 Altec corks.
Must be 21 years of age to purchase. $69.99

Has/does anyone make their own wine. If so, how does it taste? Is it hard to set these up and tend them? My father keeps busy with work, but if this is something that I could set up for him in the basment and only needed tending once a week, he'd probably be up for it.

Is this kit a decent starter? Anything else I should be looking for in a kit?

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:49:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 8:50:29 AM EDT by gaspain]
Its not bad. But what kind of wine is it? Also, try to find a local wine making store to buy from.

also, check out morebeer.com for beer and wine making kits. Try to find the "Selection" brand, they are pretty good.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:49:15 AM EDT
I know nothing of Winemaking. But I do know beermaking. I'd suggest you go to Northern Brewer. I wouldn't buy brewing stuff from Cabela's, I'd stick to the specialists.

www.northernbrewer.com/wine-starterkits.html
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:50:57 AM EDT
Wine is EASY.

Add the juice, top up with water, aerate, pitch yeast, put the lid on it for 2 weeks, rack it to another fermentor for two weeks, add stabilizers and degass, then bottle....

Total work time? about 4 hours spread out over a month. Yield? 2 cases of wine that can be very very good....


GT
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:54:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 8:54:46 AM EDT by CR_OPSO]
My dad got into making wine about a year ago - he loves it. I think his homemade wine tastes better than anything store bought.

Just my 2¢

CR
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:55:15 AM EDT
My grandfather is big into wine making. Hes been making his own for decades.

Me? I know nothing about it, except that it tastes pretty good.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:57:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ASUsax:
I know nothing of Winemaking. But I do know beermaking. I'd suggest you go to Northern Brewer. I wouldn't buy brewing stuff from Cabela's, I'd stick to the specialists.

www.northernbrewer.com/wine-starterkits.html



+1 on Northern Brewer. All the beer kits I got from them turned out real good.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:03:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:

Originally Posted By ASUsax:
I know nothing of Winemaking. But I do know beermaking. I'd suggest you go to Northern Brewer. I wouldn't buy brewing stuff from Cabela's, I'd stick to the specialists.

www.northernbrewer.com/wine-starterkits.html



+1 on Northern Brewer. All the beer kits I got from them turned out real good.



The NorthernBrewer basic kit was almost exactly the same as what cabelas has but is $15 more expensive. Plus I can drive to Cabelas to pick this up in time for xmas.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:13:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 9:22:48 AM EDT by wolfman97]
Did it once with some concord grapes that grew in the backyard. You don't really need a kit. Get a big plastic garbage can or porcelain-lined pot (not metal because the metal can leach into the wine), stomp some grapes (or just about any other kind of fruit), add some yeast and sugar and let it sit for a while. There is a little more to it than that, but not much.

It was fun and easy enough that I would consider doing it again (for the enjoyment of friends, my own alcohol intake wouldn't make it worthwhile). The wine we produced had an interesting and unique flavor. Quite good. I guess we overdid the sugar, however, because it came out a little like rocket fuel. One friend who (shall we say) has considerable stability after consumption of alcohol found himself woozy after a couple of glasses.

You can make the stuff out of just about any fruit that produces juice, so you can produce all kinds of interesting concoctions that no one else will have. The only limit is your imagination. I would personally recommend experimenting with something besides the grape juice that comes with the kit. Why go to all that trouble just to get ordinary wine?

Sounds like a good gift to me, and it will give you both something interesting to discuss over the next few months.

ETA: In response to your question about how much time it takes -- not much. A few hours to set up -- which, for us, was mostly involved in crushing enough grapes to get the juice. Then you put the juice, yeast, and sugar in the pot, stir it, and let it sit. Some time later you may stir it again. After a while you strain the whole thing and put it in bottles or jars. Even a fairly busy person should be able to manage it.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:20:53 AM EDT
tastes just a little worse than Boons Farm. Usually the sight comes back in most people.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:23:18 AM EDT
I found another local store closer to home (than cabelas) that sells basically the same kit for $80. If you buy over $100 you get a free $10 gift certificate. I'll probably buy the kit and the bottles, then give him the $10 gift certificate and let him go up there and pick out the type of wine that he would like to make first. On their online store they have about 80 or so different brands/flavors to choose from, ranging in price from $69-$140 for the juice kit.

Since my dad works all the time and doesn't really have any hobbies besides fishing, this seems like it would be something simple for him to play with and not very time consuming. He also loves wine and that's the only alcohol he drinks.

QUESTION: About how long does it take to make the 6 gallons? 2-4 weeks I would guess?

Thanks for all the info so far!
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:05:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 1:06:49 PM EDT by ASUsax]

Originally Posted By michaelj1978:
I found another local store closer to home (than cabelas) that sells basically the same kit for $80. If you buy over $100 you get a free $10 gift certificate. I'll probably buy the kit and the bottles, then give him the $10 gift certificate and let him go up there and pick out the type of wine that he would like to make first. On their online store they have about 80 or so different brands/flavors to choose from, ranging in price from $69-$140 for the juice kit.

Since my dad works all the time and doesn't really have any hobbies besides fishing, this seems like it would be something simple for him to play with and not very time consuming. He also loves wine and that's the only alcohol he drinks.

QUESTION: About how long does it take to make the 6 gallons? 2-4 weeks I would guess?

Thanks for all the info so far!



If it's anything like beer, you're looking at 4-6.

ETA: I'm talking about the 'kit' as in the ingredients that actually go in the wine. The actual physical 'stuff' that you use to brew is pretty much the same.

With Beer, you usually have a week or two in primary fermentation, then another 2-4 in secondary. 2 seperate fermenters. But I'm not sure that Wine's quite the same, and some Beers are OK with only one stage of fermentation.

Homebrew is usually good. Usually very good. At worst, it's Ok. And that's usually the kit.

I suggested Northern Brewer as I have experience with the quality of the kits. Which is very, very good. I'd have a hard time believing Cabela's has good kits, with good ingredients. The local brewery shop might be a better option, but the quality of their kits may or may not be good.

Had I bought my first kit local, I might never have brewed again. Beer was mediocre at best. But I got a good quality kit from NB, and that beer was great... It was the second batch I got local.

JMHO, of course.
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