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wine / beer making

(14 Posts)
AuntyQuated Tue 08-Feb-05 17:05:55

would like to but my dad a wine and/or beer making kit as part of his retiremnet prezzie.

can anyone recommend somewherer to get on plaese?

have founf one online but maybe crap, just don't know


anorak Tue 08-Feb-05 18:02:33

Hi Aunty

I make my own homemade wine, using country wine recipes with all kinds of fruit, veg, etc. I used a kit once and the result was so horrible that I threw it down the sink.

It's all the chemicals they put in, to make the process quicker. It ends up smelling and tasting of sulphur and gives a rotten hangover.

I don't use chemicals in my homebrew, it means the process takes a long time but the result is better and does not give a hangover.

There may be better kits around but I wouldn't know. I'm never going to touch one of those again to find out!

The website I use is called They are great for all the equipment and some ingredients I need. They reply quickly and will email you with any answers to problems. But I also bought the evil kit from them .

anorak Tue 08-Feb-05 18:05:27

Maybe better to buy him a few bits of equipment so he can brew his own without a kit? If so the basic equipment necessary would be:

Large plastic bucket with lid
Long spoon for stirring
Recipe book
Plastic demijohns with plain lids and grommit lids
Fermentation locks
Sodium metabisulphate for making sterilising fluid.

AuntyQuated Wed 09-Feb-05 13:33:09

thanks anorak

it was art-of-brewing that i had been looking at

which of these starter kits would you recommend? click on beginners equipment pack

i'm still very tempted to get him one of the kits to make it, just to get him started. think the idea of doing it from scartch would put him off.

are they quick to deliver?

thanks again

anorak Wed 09-Feb-05 13:40:56

Hi Aunty

I would get the one gallon starter set if I had to choose for a newbie. I've been making wine for years and I've never attempted more than 2 gallons at a time. 5 gallons is massive, not for a beginner.

As I've said I can't recommend the kits - ugh. Aren't you afraid the taste will put him off?

Making from scratch with fruit is very easy. Ginger wine is the easiest to do. I'll give you my recipe if you like.

Art of Brewing are very quick to send your order, 24 - 48 hours is usual.

AuntyQuated Wed 09-Feb-05 13:52:10

have been having another look- what about the juice and the additive pack, or is it the addirives that do the damage?

oh, plesae, would love your recipe for ginger wine.

anorak Wed 09-Feb-05 14:35:50

Ginger Wine

Take 6oz root ginger and bruise with a hammer. Whizz 1lb sultanas in a food processer to mince them a bit. Put the ginger, sultanas and a tea bag in a muslin bag and tie the neck with string. Put the bag in a large plastic bucket with a lid.

In a big saucepan, dissolve 2lb sugar in plenty of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon marmite. Pour into the bucket.

Add the juice of 5 oranges to the bucket.

Take some all-purpose wine yeast and make up according to the instructions on it enough yeast for 1 gallon. Add to the bucket. Top the bucket up to I gallon, making sure it is no fuller than 4 inches from the top, stir and put the lid on.

Leave the bucket in a warm place for 10 days, stirring twice a day.

At the end of 10 days, pull out the muslin bag and discard the contents. Strain the liquid through a sieve and funnel into a plastic demijohn. Fit a cap with a grommit. Make up a little sterilising fluid and put in a fermentation lock which you then fit through the grommit.

Leave in a warm place for 4 - 5 weeks. Check the fermentation lock to see if fermentation has stopped. When it has, wait two weeks to make sure. Then siphon the wine off its sediment into a clean demijohn. Fit with a fermentation lock and leave a couple of weeks to guard against secondary fermentation. Then replace with a plain cap and store the wine somewhere dark to mature for up to 8 months.

Rack the wine again and bottle it.

AuntyQuated Wed 09-Feb-05 14:42:27

thanks anorak, have printed it off to put in with the gift. ought to be ready just in time for Christams. will aklso give him a supermarket voucher to buty all the ingredients!!

what do you think of the juice and additives?

anorak Wed 09-Feb-05 15:03:43

Don't know what you mean. I looked on the website again but didn't see anything answering that description.

AuntyQuated Wed 09-Feb-05 15:09:54

sorry - it is under kits, but then says you need to buy the additives as the 'kit' only contains the juice.
will look for a link or reference

AuntyQuated Wed 09-Feb-05 15:11:31

can't do a link for it but it's a fair way down the wine kits - 6 bottles list and have cut and pasted this

VINOPAK CHARDONNAY WHITE 1g 600ml (Reference #143)
Please note there is no yeast, stabilisers or finings included with this product, the pack contains juice only. For a complete set of these items use the "Search" button to order a "RITCHIE ADDITIVE PACK for 4.5 litres (6 bottles)".

Price: £7.19

AuntyQuated Wed 09-Feb-05 15:11:55


off to pick up from school

anorak Wed 09-Feb-05 15:52:06

Oh, I see.

The juice is special grape concentrate you can only get in homebrew shops. You can use it instead of the sultanas and sugar in my recipe.

The finings and additives are only necessary if you are in a hurry. These chemicals stop the fermentation and speed up the wine clearing. They also impart a taste and smell and give you a headache.

If you simply wait longer, fermentation stops naturally and the wine clears on its own.

AuntyQuated Thu 10-Feb-05 11:00:55

thanks for your help..
i have finally ordered the beginners equipment pack, the grape concentrate and the additive pack (was only £2) and have printed off your recipe. i hope he enjoys it.

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