Winemaking Equipment

December 28, 2007 at 8:54 am (Kit Wine, Winemaking, Winemaking Tips) (, )

I really recommend you start with a wine kit, and not a super expensive kit. I just picked up a Winexpert Vintner’s Reserve kit to make 6 gallons of Piesporter (white) for about $60. It seems a bit pricey until you realize it makes 30 bottles of really good wine.

To make the wine, you are going to need a few things. The up-front cost is the big outlay, after that it’s really minor, especially if you know a few tricks. Assuming you are making a 6 US gallon (5 Imperial gallon) kit, this is what you need to make that first batch:

  • Fermenting Vat – a 7 gallon food-safe plastic tub
  • Airlock & Stopper (get a bunch, they are inexpensive)
  • 6 Gallon Glass Carboy
  • Wine/Beer Hydrometer
  • Rubber Stoppers – several, with 1 hole, sized to fit the fermenter and carboys
  • Big Plastic Stirring Spoon
  • Some Food-Safe Rubber Hose
  • Corker
  • Siphon and Bottle Filler
  • Bottle Brush and Carboy Brush

Find a local store. You can go mail order, but a local guy is going to give you all the advice you need and the price will be the same. Shipping a wine kit or carboy is going to eat up any money you save going mail order. You can find the stuff in a kit from your local retailer for under $100.

Start saving wine bottles. Ask your friends, but make sure they rinse them and store them upside down, otherwise you are going to spend your life cleaning bottles. You can purchase bottles, but expect to spend about $0.75 per bottle. Not bad until you are on your 4th batch of wine and realize you’ve just invested $100 in empty bottles.

There are few other items I would strongly recommend:

  • Iodophor sanitizer – read up on cleaning up
  • Potassium Metabisulphite
  • One-Step or other recommended cleaner

This will get you started. I’ll post another page of what you want if you get hooked.

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2 Comments

  1. Evan said,

    What can you tell me about aging in oak barrels? If the wine is not put in oak like the big winemakers do – what are the differnces?

  2. Scott said,

    Evan,
    Not all wines want or need the oak flavor you get from aging in a barrel. Personally, I’m not a fan of oaked wines. However, if you purchase a Chardonnay or other oaked kits, you will find that it comes with oak chips. The chips are added to the wine to add the oak flavoring, then are discarded when you bottle. You can also purchase toasted oak chips to give a different flavor. If you choose to experiment with these, follow the recipe instructions. Older barrels don’t have the fresh surfaces that new chips have, the chips are liable to add more flavor than you anticipate.

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