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Home Wine Kits

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Wandering through Wilko's the other day buying bleach for 58p (£1 in Poundworld LOL) and noticed they do home wine kits. Was tempted to give it a try! They say drinkable wine within a few weeks I think.

Anyone tried making their own wine at home? I nothing at all about the process.

Then again I'm off to France shortly and will doubtless return with a few bottles of Merlot. Not interest in home brew beer kits as not really a beer drinker.

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Anyone tried making their own wine at home? I nothing at all about the process.

Can't speak for the cheaper Wilko kits though they're meant to be palatable.

I've done many a California Connoisseur kit:

http://www.homebrewcentregy.com/California_Connoisseur_White.html

and they come out very well. Works out about £1.50 a bottle after initial expenditure and they're easily comparable with a £6-7 bottle of wine.There are kits you can spend£50 on and I imagine they are very good but I'm not that fussy so it seems a little extravagant to me.

I would guess the cheaper kits are comparable with country style wines (blackberry, elderflower, elderberry that kind of thing), and won't be quite as good though I've never made anything that wasn't good enough to drink (with the added benefit of getting pissed cheaply). I've bought middle European & French wines that are far worse than anything I make.

The process is simple enough; sterilize equipment, make kit up (normally with quality kits just add water to concentrated grape juice), add yeast, leave to ferment, fine or filter, bottle, leave for a while (though they'll be OK straight away just better if left) and drink.

Bottling is a bit of a faff, but you can use less labour intensive methods than 75cl bottles but it looks nice that way. Worthwhile doing IMHO but don't have the space at the minute.

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Don't know about the kits per see but friends of mine collect blackberries, sloe berries, and various other berries in the Summer/Autumn and make the most wonderful gins, wines, etc, over the winter.

Certainly something to ocnsider getting into if you are into that thing.

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You don't need a kit....all you require is fruit, yeast and sterile conditions. ;)

True, but kits make it easier for the beginner (or lazy).

I've tried the wilco kits and found the elderflower to give good results - equal to a cheap but passable supermarket wine circa £4.50 a bottle, but at about £1.80. Didn't like the chardonnay style wine though - but that may have just been me. I use 4.5L demijons and wind up with at least 4L of usable wine. I saved some marks and sparks 1L wine bottles to syphon the wine into and then cork them.

So you need to budget for demijons, bung + air trap, syphon tube, corks and corker, and sterilising powder, and a half a bag of sugar per kit. Obviously most of that lot is re-usable.

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I did a couple of small wine kits a while back - one was perfectly drinkable, the other tasted like syrup. You just need to experiment to find something you like.

Since asking the exact same question on here some time ago, I've got well into all grain beer brewing. Two things that I think are equally important whether it is beer or wine:

1. Temperature - you need a stable 18-20c temperature for the wine kits that I did. Other kits may vary, but stability is the key. Look on Ebay for a Brew Belt to get you started.

2. Water - the quality of your water will make a massive difference to the finished product. Most people recommend Campden tablets at the very least - only a couple of quid.

If you get into any sort of home brew you can have masses of fun. I really only do beer now but I've gone from a basic brewery setup to full on water treatment and a temperature controlled fridge, which the wife just loves :P It's fantastic to decide to brew something based on say, Spitfire, and 6-8 weeks later be drinking something surprisingly close to the real thing - for a fraction of the cost.

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Hmm some interesting comments made. I'm really only an occassional red wine drinker, I can make a bottle last almost a week, sometimes its just nice to have a glass and blurr the edges a bit, so brewing my own "hooch" might be the way to go, and paying £4-6 at the local supermarket/costcutter is and expensive way of achieving that really.

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Wandering through Wilko's the other day buying bleach for 58p (£1 in Poundworld LOL) and noticed they do home wine kits. Was tempted to give it a try! They say drinkable wine within a few weeks I think.

Anyone tried making their own wine at home? I nothing at all about the process.

Then again I'm off to France shortly and will doubtless return with a few bottles of Merlot. Not interest in home brew beer kits as not really a beer drinker.

I made the 6 bottle (8 pints) Young's 'Merlot' Kit from Wilkinson's. There was a 6 bottle kit and a 30 bottle kit. The 30 bottle kit was considerably cheaper per bottle but, obviously, if it does not work out you have 30 bottles of wasted wine.

Ideally you also need:

- 2 demijohns (as you have to transfer from one to the other at some point during the process).

- 1kg of sugar (I bought some un-refined cane sugar in Asda for about 3 quid).

- A syphon is useful for transferring the wine from one demi-john to the other and for bottling the wine at the end of the process.

I followed the instructions to the letter and it took about 3 weeks to make the wine. It wasn't perfect but it was as good as a cheap wine from the supermarket. If you don't like it much just use it as cooking wine -it's only 6 bottles after all. If you do like it then buy the 30 bottle kit and make some more.

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Wandering through Wilko's the other day buying bleach for 58p (£1 in Poundworld LOL) and noticed they do home wine kits. Was tempted to give it a try! They say drinkable wine within a few weeks I think.

Anyone tried making their own wine at home? I nothing at all about the process.

Then again I'm off to France shortly and will doubtless return with a few bottles of Merlot. Not interest in home brew beer kits as not really a beer drinker.

I've been making wine from home brew kits for a while and the results have been a bit mixed on the whole. I've had stuff that was as good as 5-6 pound bottle and stuff that was only really good for cooking, making mulled wine, sangria etc. Some random observations:

- getting the temperature right for the first fermentation (in a big bucket) is key.

- adding enough yeast nutrient is second most important. Without it, the wine will come out too sweet, which totally wrecks a red.

Also, whatever the kit says, you need to wait at least 3 months and preferably 6 after bottling before drinking it. It's hugely satisfying when it works though, and you can't beat it for the price.

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When I was abroad I told the natives there that we're not allowed to make our own spirits and whisky in the UK, they roared with laughter and thought I was wrong.

Was I, then? Because this book is due out ... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Distillers-Handbook-Whiskey-Cordials/dp/1604332123

What is the law on this? I thought it was a blanket ban

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I obtained 6 demijons from the local recycling centre 50p each....all but one was in perfect order, I bought the rubber corks and air locks in wilco for a few pence and a white plastic bucket for £2.....the yeast inc nutrients was about £3, also bought some camden tablets for a few pence....all the equipment including some plastic tube serialised with baby bottle serialisation tablets from the chemist....white granulated sugar is the only other ingredient required.

Blackberry wine picked for free.

Pear wine fallers given free.

Elderberry wine picked for free.

Plumb wine from neighbours tree so free.

Value apple juice from supermarket topped up with pressed apples from local tree.

Many wines contain sulphates.....when you make your own you know exactly what you are drinking.

cjberry-first-steps.jpg

This is a good book to get you started if interested. ;)

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I obtained 6 demijons from the local recycling centre 50p each....all but one was in perfect order, I bought the rubber corks and air locks in wilco for a few pence and a white plastic bucket for £2.....the yeast inc nutrients was about £3, also bought some camden tablets for a few pence....all the equipment including some plastic tube serialised with baby bottle serialisation tablets from the chemist....white granulated sugar is the only other ingredient required.

Blackberry wine picked for free.

Pear wine fallers given free.

Elderberry wine picked for free.

Plumb wine from neighbours tree so free.

Value apple juice from supermarket topped up with pressed apples from local tree.

Many wines contain sulphates.....when you make your own you know exactly what you are drinking.

cjberry-first-steps.jpg

This is a good book to get you started if interested. ;)

Yes, Mr Berry's book is good and can usually be found in charity shops etc.

You can make dirt cheap wine for about 20-40p a bottle.

You don't need demijohns, bungs or anything.

Just buy one of those big 5l bottles of water from the supermarket, the kind with a carry handle, and a balloon.

Sterilise everything with Milton's tablets or bleach (I prefer Milton's tablet's as they don't smell so much and don't need rinsing).

Buy a kilo of sugar.

Buy a packet of 20 herbal teabags in a flavour you like. I find the dark fruity ones work best. For a dark red wine, 40 bags are better. To save money you can bulk out the flavour using ordinary value teabags, but if you use more than about 10 you get a very dry tannin flavour. Teabags work well because unlike raw fruit they are already dried and pre-filtered so you don't need to cook or use secondary fermentation.

Put the teabags in a saucepan of hot water (about 3l) and let it stew for half an hour or so. At the same time let the sugar (1kg for a sweetish wine, 750g for dry/medium wine) dissolve in 2l of water. Let the whole lot cool to lukewarm and pour it into the plastic bottle (don't do it when it's too hot or the bottle will melt).

Add a teaspoon of yeast (you can use bread yeast but yeast from wine shops or Ebay is usually better) and a teaspoon of nutrient (from wine shops or ebay).

Put the balloon over the top of the bottle and pr1ck the balloon with a pin.

Fermentation will start in a few hours and the balloon will inflate but air can still escape (positive pressure keeps out the bad air).

When the balloon goes limp, the fermentation is over and you can bottle the wine. You can usually drink it straight away but it generally tastes better after 6 months or so.

I've never had a bad wine with this method.

Note: if you don't have a balloon handy, you can use...ahem...a 'gentleman's contraceptive appliance'. Make sure you are a good Catholic and stick a pin through it though. My girlfriend's dad nearly had a heart attack laughing when he saw this bubbling away by the bathroom radiator...

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When I was abroad I told the natives there that we're not allowed to make our own spirits and whisky in the UK, they roared with laughter and thought I was wrong.

Was I, then? Because this book is due out ... http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/1604332123

What is the law on this? I thought it was a blanket ban

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrewing#Legality

You need a licence to distill in the UK, granted by the government. Unlikely to be granted I'd say!

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Yes, Mr Berry's book is good and can usually be found in charity shops etc.

You can make dirt cheap wine for about 20-40p a bottle.

You don't need demijohns, bungs or anything.

Just buy one of those big 5l bottles of water from the supermarket, the kind with a carry handle, and a balloon.

Sterilise everything with Milton's tablets or bleach (I prefer Milton's tablet's as they don't smell so much and don't need rinsing).

Buy a kilo of sugar.

Buy a packet of 20 herbal teabags in a flavour you like. I find the dark fruity ones work best. For a dark red wine, 40 bags are better. To save money you can bulk out the flavour using ordinary value teabags, but if you use more than about 10 you get a very dry tannin flavour. Teabags work well because unlike raw fruit they are already dried and pre-filtered so you don't need to cook or use secondary fermentation.

Put the teabags in a saucepan of hot water (about 3l) and let it stew for half an hour or so. At the same time let the sugar (1kg for a sweetish wine, 750g for dry/medium wine) dissolve in 2l of water. Let the whole lot cool to lukewarm and pour it into the plastic bottle (don't do it when it's too hot or the bottle will melt).

Add a teaspoon of yeast (you can use bread yeast but yeast from wine shops or Ebay is usually better) and a teaspoon of nutrient (from wine shops or ebay).

Put the balloon over the top of the bottle and pr1ck the balloon with a pin.

Fermentation will start in a few hours and the balloon will inflate but air can still escape (positive pressure keeps out the bad air).

When the balloon goes limp, the fermentation is over and you can bottle the wine. You can usually drink it straight away but it generally tastes better after 6 months or so.

I've never had a bad wine with this method.

That looks a good "quick and dirty" wine making hack Austin Allegro. I like hacks! :)

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I obtained 6 demijons from the local recycling centre 50p each....all but one was in perfect order, I bought the rubber corks and air locks in wilco for a few pence and a white plastic bucket for £2.....the yeast inc nutrients was about £3, also bought some camden tablets for a few pence....all the equipment including some plastic tube serialised with baby bottle serialisation tablets from the chemist....white granulated sugar is the only other ingredient required.

Blackberry wine picked for free.

Pear wine fallers given free.

Elderberry wine picked for free.

Plumb wine from neighbours tree so free.

Value apple juice from supermarket topped up with pressed apples from local tree.

Many wines contain sulphates.....when you make your own you know exactly what you are drinking.

cjberry-first-steps.jpg

This is a good book to get you started if interested. ;)

Will start getting all the basic kit together starting at Wilko's. Looks fun!

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrewing#Legality

You need a licence to distill in the UK, granted by the government. Unlikely to be granted I'd say!

Some say it's legal for personal use but I don't know. People I met in Poland were making all sorts of spirits at home, some tasted disgusting and it was hard to pretend I enjoyed them, just like a cheap cough medicine

That looks a good "quick and dirty" wine making hack Austin Allegro. I like hacks! :)

Yes, AustinAllegro makes it very enticing! I've copied and pasted it to a Word doc for future trying out - sounds really easy

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When I was abroad I told the natives there that we're not allowed to make our own spirits and whisky in the UK, they roared with laughter and thought I was wrong.

Was I, then? Because this book is due out ... http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/1604332123

What is the law on this? I thought it was a blanket ban

My understanding is that you cannot operate a still (i.e. evaporate the alcohol and then condense the vapour into a more concentrated form) but you can use yeast to ferment stuff. The trouble is normal yeast dies once the alcohol concentration gets to about 7% but if you use a champagne or wine yeast you can get up to about 20%. This basically means you can make things like Rum and mild spirits but just using yeast.

I made one last Christmas. It was very nice. Made eight pints on the stuff.

http://www.brewuk.co...uors-cream.html

This year I am going to try a coconut rum.

ClassicLiquorsFull_small.jpg

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My understanding is that you cannot operate a still (i.e. evaporate the alcohol and then condense the vapour into a more concentrated form) but you can use yeast to ferment stuff. The trouble is normal yeast dies once the alcohol concentration gets to about 7% but if you use a champagne or wine you can get up to about 20%. This basically means you can make things like Rum and mild spirits but just using yeast.

I made one last Christmas. It was very nice. Made eight pints on the stuff.

http://www.brewuk.co...uors-cream.html

This year I am going to try a coconut rum.

ClassicLiquorsFull_small.jpg

You certainly enjoy your tipple, Charlie. :D

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My understanding is that you cannot operate a still (i.e. evaporate the alcohol and then condense the vapour into a more concentrated form) but you can use yeast to ferment stuff. The trouble is normal yeast dies once the alcohol concentration gets to about 7% but if you use a champagne or wine you can get up to about 20%. This basically means you can make things like Rum and mild spirits but just using yeast.

I made one last Christmas. It was very nice. Made eight pints on the stuff.

http://www.brewuk.co...uors-cream.html

This year I am going to try a coconut rum.

ClassicLiquorsFull_small.jpg

Another I will copy & paste to Word - thank you :)

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I've made wine in the past. Personally I am not a fan of the tinned grape juice, and would rather use real grapes but as it can be hard to get the right types of grape and because professionally made wine is not that expensive to buy, I tended to go for UK fruits rather than grapes. The one thing I wouldn't recommend is Rhubarb wine, it was like paint stripper.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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