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Beverage Making Beer, wine, mead, soda, cider, spirits, cordials, etc.

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Old 07-04-2013, 03:43 PM
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Default Wine-making kits and supplies

Hey, folks. We have a young orchard which is not yet producing. I was looking at it last year and thought, "What are we going to do with all this fruit? You can only use so much jam". Then I remembered, "Oh yeah, wine". <big grin> I made wine several decades ago, but gave my equipment away to another newbie when we moved back to the city. All I remember from that book is their basic recipe was any fruit plus some white raisins.

I'd like to gather my supplies now, even though I can't use them, instead of needing them later and not being able to get them. From reading the other threads I see Grendal likes Midwest Supplies, and I am looking through their kits, now. What are your favorite suppliers and books, and recommended kits?

Any other suggestions or hints for a (re)beginner? How long will yeast and other supplies last if I stock up on them? How many additional carboys and fermenting containers would you recommend to handle the output of a small orchard? Which corker is okay for bottling 5-gal of wine? Which would be better if I had to bottle, say, 20 gallons in a week?

Last edited by S2man; 07-04-2013 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:09 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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Usually every big town will have a local homebrew dealer. I happen to have a couple close to me so I get my beer brewing stuff from them. They also carry wine making stuff so when I make an occasional batch of wine I can get my stuff there too.

Depending on how long before you make your first batch, you might hold off on stuff like yeast. I've used dry wine or champion yeast and I know they have a shelf life.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:52 PM
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The nearest suburb of the big city is 45 minutes away; So I'll probably go via the internet.

After spending some time looking at wine-making supplies and kits, I get the feeling I won't wait until my orchard starts bearing to begin making wine Now, I just need to find space for a new hobby...
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:41 PM
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It's easy to get started and doesn't take much, but then I'm not a wine expert. I prefer brewing beer.

My first wine was frozen white grape juice concentrate, water, sugar, 100% cranberry juice, and wine yeast. I served it at Thanksgiving and everyone liked it. But then my family would not be considered wine snobs or anything close to that. So saying they liked it is not saying much.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:01 AM
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I make wine but in 1 or 2 gal. batches. I rarely drink. I still have wine from when I made it four years ago. Most of it is given away or used medicinally. Yes, I mean actually medicinally, usually to relieve coughing or the occasional extreme anxiety. I never had carboys or kegs or siphon hoses or any of that. I just use 5 gal. food grade buckets for the primary fermenter (drill a hole in the lid and put in a rubber stopper with an airlock in it) and a plastic spigot on the bottom. After primary fermentation it's drained off into 1 or 2 gal. glass bottles that also accept a rubber stopper fitted with an airlock (the cheap clear plastic airlocks that have an inverted plastic cone inside them to let the gas bubble out). For bottling I use glass beer bottles or small 125 ml. bottles and use a bottle capper and metal caps. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, but nothing large either. Never needed a carboy. I have a hydrometer and a couple of mesh fermentation bags, and that's about it.

I order a few packets of yeast every year or two to have on hand. It generally lasts a couple of years in the refrigerator. Never tried freezing it. Never used all the additives other than Campden tablets, acid balance, and pectic enzyme. I think that's all.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:18 PM
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You I wish at times I drank--I would love to make wine,etc.
Fasinating venture and it would be great fun to make different flavors.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:25 PM
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Annie I think you can make it as easy or as complicated as you want. As Molly said you don't need anything fancy.

I use 6.5 gallon buckets with an airlock for brewing beer, but at a thrift store I happened on to a 3 gallon square bucket with a spigot that was designed for wine making. It didn't have an airlock because even when the lid was snapped in place it wasn't air tight. I've found in wine making the airlock doesn't get nearly as much use as in beer making.

To show easy, when I made the wine with frozen concentrate I just dumped in the concentrate, added the proper amount of water. Dumped in some sugar and the cranberry juice to give it a nice color. Stirred it real good to get the sugar dissolved. Threw the yeast on top and let it sit on my kitchen counter for a month. From there I put it into bottles and the fridge. I didn't add any fancy stuff or filter it before bottling. So my wine is like my homebrew beer, it will have a bit of trudge on the bottom of the bottle.

People you like you tell them don't drink the trudge. Someone that comes by all the time to mooch wine, you let them drink it all. With all that leftover yeast in the trudge, it's kind of like drinking two bottles of prune juice. This way moochers think you're trying to kill them and decline any wine offers in the future.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2man View Post
Hey, folks. We have a young orchard which is not yet producing. I was looking at it last year and thought, "What are we going to do with all this fruit? You can only use so much jam". Then I remembered, "Oh yeah, wine". <big grin> I made wine several decades ago, but gave my equipment away to another newbie when we moved back to the city. All I remember from that book is their basic recipe was any fruit plus some white raisins.

I'd like to gather my supplies now, even though I can't use them, instead of needing them later and not being able to get them. From reading the other threads I see Grendal likes Midwest Supplies, and I am looking through their kits, now. What are your favorite suppliers and books, and recommended kits?

Any other suggestions or hints for a (re)beginner? How long will yeast and other supplies last if I stock up on them? How many additional carboys and fermenting containers would you recommend to handle the output of a small orchard? Which corker is okay for bottling 5-gal of wine? Which would be better if I had to bottle, say, 20 gallons in a week?
Well a 6 gallon carbouy works for 5 gallon batches. 20 gallons a week....First you need to see how much your working with....20 gallons a week translates to 240 gallons by the time the first batch of 20 gallons is complete and ready for bottling. Roughly.

Means you'll need around 52 carboys. Plus a equal number of 6 gallon buckets as a primary. 6 gallon buckets from uline...Be about 400 dollars for these buckets. Going the route of carboys, your looking at a price tag of around $1,663.48 not including shipping...which probably be another 800 dollars or so ontop of the price. So your grand total probably be a figure looking like this. 2,400.35 ish.... So yeah...uline for 6 gallon buckets save yourself 2 grand!

Well what about primaries...well if you went the carboy route again 2 grand plus. Your best bet might be going 5 55 gallon drums also from uline which be another 500 or so. Your best bet is just going with 10 55s. Be about 800 bucks max I think.

Then you'll need to be able to clean it all between batches lol.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:07 PM
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grendal, I didn't mean 20 gallons every week. LOL Just, which corker would be better if I had to bottle 20 gallons vs. five gallons...

After perusing several wine/beer supply shops I have a much better idea what I am getting into. One of them even had a nice downloadable winemaking book. It looks like a beginners kit is called for, then additional containers for each additional kind of fruit I would like to ferment. Off the top of my head: grapes, cider, apricot and berries would be nice.

I'll tell you what. After doing all that reading about winemaking, I don't think I'll just want to put the supplies on the shelf for a couple of years until my orchard is really producing. I started searching for you-pick-it places around my house for bulk fruit :-)
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by S2man View Post
grendal, I didn't mean 20 gallons every week. LOL Just, which corker would be better if I had to bottle 20 gallons vs. five gallons...

After perusing several wine/beer supply shops I have a much better idea what I am getting into. One of them even had a nice downloadable winemaking book. It looks like a beginners kit is called for, then additional containers for each additional kind of fruit I would like to ferment. Off the top of my head: grapes, cider, apricot and berries would be nice.

I'll tell you what. After doing all that reading about winemaking, I don't think I'll just want to put the supplies on the shelf for a couple of years until my orchard is really producing. I started searching for you-pick-it places around my house for bulk fruit :-)
Ah, I prefere the italian floor corker.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:02 PM
Primevci Primevci is offline
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floor corker for sure check out norther brewer also and brew brothers google for there website... look on craigslist for used kegs.. 15.5 gallon ss fermentors .. just pull the sankey tap parts out.. and use a 10 or 11 bung works perfect...
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