New to winemaking

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New to winemaking

Post: # 258222Post Stickweaver
Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:40 pm

Hi, I have never made my own wine before, but spurred on by a friends' blackberry wine I would really like to do this. I have an old 1980s book on country wine and have just bought 'Booze for Free'. Does anyone know if this latter book is suitable for the complete beginner? I am hoping to get to a homebrew shop this week.
Thanks

oldjerry
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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258224Post oldjerry
Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:04 pm

Well done Sticky mate,you're in the right place,just wait a bit................................

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MKG
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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258227Post MKG
Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:59 pm

You can get lots of books purportedly for the beginning wine maker. Some of them are good, and a lot (most) of them are books pushed out by publishers on a bandwagon - ie, they're as useful as a box of matches in a housefire. Booze For Free was, at least, written by a bloke who's actually done it all - he's tried it for himself and knows a bit about the results.

OK - I'm a tad on his side because I've sort of known him for a while. But I've made wine for a long time now and, as far as I'm concerned, you won't go too far wrong in following Andy's advice to get started.

The ideal, of course, is to build up your own body of experience. That's great, but where do you start? Andy's book is an ideal starter - better than most.

So - just in case you're not actually Andy in disguise - go for Booze For Free. Thoroughly recommended.

Mike
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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258266Post Andy Hamilton
Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:50 am

Ha, no that wasn't me in disguise!

I wrote booze for free as a guide to for a beginner. I added a massive glossary of brewing terms, terms that I've kept to a minimum in Booze for Free. The reason I did this was so that you can use it to understand all the other books out there too.

Each recipe I’ve written with a list of equipment alongside too, this is different to most brewing books and means you can look at it and decided at a glance if it looks a little too complicated.

Lastly there is a section on making wine, beer and cider just so you have the basics.

Of course I am going to endorse my own book on my own site, but really I did write it with everyone who might homebrew in mind. I want you to enjoy homebrewing as much as I do.

And MKG, cheers mate!
First we sow the seeds, nature grows the seeds then we eat the seeds. Neil Pye
My best selling Homebrew book Booze for Free
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The Other Andy Hamilton - Drinks & Foraging

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Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258513Post Stickweaver
Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:45 pm

Thanks guys!
I now have the book and went armed with it to the homebrew shop this afternoon to buy some equipment (excellent recommendation btw; Andy, I really like the logical layout and clear recipes). I read out the list of of stuff I needed from the book whilst the assistant scuttled off finding everything. However, when she asked what how much wine I intended to make to know what size fermentation bucket I would need - 6 bottles or 30 bottles - I said definitely at least 30 bottles. It was not until I got home and read p.29 more carefully that I discovered I had been rather over zealous in my ignorance and bought a bucket more suitable to beer making. Which brings me on to another question (if you don't mind): if a recipe says it makes a gallon and I want to make more in one go, do I just double up the ingredients? I plan to start with dandelion and then elderflower.

Great site and thanks for the friendly welcome :icon_smile:

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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258524Post MKG
Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:51 pm

Basically, yes - you can multiply ingredients to make whatever quantity you want. But that doesn't apply to yeast. The same amount of yeast (about one level teaspoon) will ferment anything between 1 and 5 gallons (it reproduces at a tremendous rate). You can use more if you like, but it would be a waste.

Don't write that bucket off yet, by the way. If you decide you like winemaking then you're very soon going to be making it in bigger batches.

Oh - and don't worry about asking questions. To a great extent, that's what this place is about.

Mike
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258579Post Stickweaver
Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:08 pm

Thanks MKG.

So far the large bucket is good for storing the rest of the kit! I have been browsing the 'what are you brewing' thread and was intrigued by the wurzel recipes. Due to investing in the homebrew equipment I vowed to my teetotal OH that I would not buy any more wine and just wait for my own stuff. Now I realise the stupidity in that and am about to go and buy some fruit juice! Can I mix apple and red grape juices or do they do things in different ways? (COMPLETE novice here).

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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258601Post MKG
Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:25 pm

You can mix virtually whatever you want to. Not every mixture, though, will be good. A good guide with juices is to mix a bit and then taste the result. You have to use your imagination to get past any sweetness in the flavour, but your finished wine will taste like that (actually a bit better).

As it happens, apple and red grape juice will be fine (and will give you something between a rose and a red). The apple flavour will be quite pronounced (fermented apple juice is cider, after all), but the wine should be well-balanced. It shouldn't need any acid adjustment either, so it's a good starter recipe.

Mike
Last edited by MKG on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

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Re: New to winemaking

Post: # 258608Post Stickweaver
Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:54 pm

Thanks again Mike. I plan to start this tomorrow morning so will let you know.

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