If you love all things wine, as we do, you might be wondering how you can learn more about the process. Thankfully it’s now possible to do some wine making at home. In this post, we share our tips on how to choose the best wine making kits. There’s no need for vast acres of vines or a wine cellar. Just a wine making starter kit and patience.
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Super Short History Of Wine Making
The argument over who first started making wine has been around as long as wine has been made. Wine, or some variation of a fermented drink made from grapes, has been around since 7000 BC.
The question of who invented wine stirs up great national pride with countries like Georgia and Armenia laying claim to being the first. Regardless of who gets credit for making wine first, let’s just be happy somebody did.
The Best Home Wine Making Kits
We include detailed home wine making kit reviews below, but if you are short on time, feel free to use the table below to see our best picks. We recommend using Amazon for making your purchase.
First, we find Amazon to have the best at-home culinary kits in terms of price and quality. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
What Are At Home Wine Making Kits
Unless you have access to a vineyard equipped with all the necessary wine making equipment it’s going to be difficult to make wine. However, with the increased popularity of at home brewing (making) kits, making wine at home is easier than ever.
There are a number of at-home wine making kits on the market. Kits for beginners and for experienced at home winemakers. Want to try making sparkling wine? There are sparkling wine as well as white and red wine making kits. If you are looking for something different, fruit wine making kits are another option.
Best Wine Making Kits – Reviews
Begin your at-home wine making journey with the Master Vintner Wine Making Starter Kit. Master Vintner has been a leading name in at-home wine making since 1993.
Their starter kit includes everything you’ll need to produce your own wine. The centerpieces of the kit are Master Vintner’s unique Big Mouth Bubbler and glass carboy. These two make transferring liquids and clean up a breeze. The kit also includes yeasts, cleaning equipment, testing agents, and corks. All you need is juice and bottles.
The team at Master Vintners wants you to succeed. To help you along the way, they include free phone and email support. They also back up their product with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The Vintner’s Best Starter Wine Making Kit provides first time winemakers with all the tools they’ll need to get started. Included in each kit is an eight-gallon plastic fermenter with an airlock and a six-gallon carboy to make your wine in. You’ll also find sanitizer and measuring equipment along with siphon tubing and a bottle filter. 30 straight corks and a double lever corker are also included.
The kit can make up to six gallons, approximately 25 bottles of wine. Easy-to-follow instructions and a satisfaction guarantee come with each kit.
Made in the U.S.A by Home Brew Ohio, this at-home fruit wine making kit will have you serving up your own vintage in no time. The small batch (one gallon) kit comes fully equipped for first-time and seasoned at-home winemakers.
An easy-to-follow instruction and recipe booklet will guide you through the winemaking process. All you need to do is supply the fruit and Home Brew Ohio has done the rest.
Each kit comes with yeast and other additives to transform the fruit into wine. Additionally, the kit comes with a two-gallon plastic fermenter with an airlock, a one-gallon glass jug, a siphon, and a straining bag. A one-year warranty is included with each kit.
Making your own wine at home is easy with Wild Grapes’s Premium DIY Wine Making Kit. Wild Grapes offer their wine-making kits in a variety of styles including California Cabernet Sauvignon, California Moscato, Pinot Grigio, and Chilean Merlot.
Each kit can produce up to six gallons or 30 750 ml bottles of wine. Only the highest quality ingredients including wine base (juice), yeast, and refining agents are used.
Whether you are an experienced at home winemaker or just starting out, the Home Brew Ohio Winemakers Depot truly is the ultimate at home winemaking kit.
This kit comes packed with all the necessary equipment and additives to make wine at home. At the heart of the kit is a six-gallon glass carboy and an eight-gallon fermenter with an airlock. These containers allow for smooth, controlled mixing of ingredients. In addition, the kit comes with a hydrometer, siphoning hoses, cleaning tools, and sanitizer.
When your wine is ready to be bottled, the kit has a double lever corker and 30 corks to seal in your creation. Made in the U.S.A., the kit is backed by one year warranty.
The Craft A Brew Chardonnay Wine Kit is the perfect entry into the art of at-home winemaking. Craft A Brew is one of the leading names in at-home beer brewing and winemaking. They know what at-home winemakers, especially first time winemakers, need and have included these in their kit.
Made in the U.S.A., each Chardonnay Wine Kit comes fully equipped including fruit juice. The kits produce up to 5, 750ml bottles of wine. Inside you’ll find a wine yeast for fermentation, a one-gallon glass carboy with an airlock, transferring tubing, and additives. Easy-to-follow instructions will have you enjoying your own wine in as little as four weeks.
From one of the leaders in at-home winemaking, North Mountain, comes their 32-piece fruit wine making kit. Everything needed to make fruit wine of all varieties at home is included.
Using North Mountain’s step-by-step instructions and recipe guide, each kit can make up to 30 gallons of fruit wine. The equipment and additives included are a five-gallon fermenter with an airlock, a three-gallon glass carboy, yeast, and yeast nutrients. All the measuring and sanitizing equipment you’ll need to ensure quality fruit wine is also included.
Once your wine is ready to bottle, you can use the 100-pack of wine corks and double lever corker to seal up your creations. Not included in the kit are fruit for the wine and bottles.
What’s Included In A Home Wine Making Kit
With so many kits available, it’s important to look for what’s included. Here are some of the pieces of wine making equipment to look for.
The fermentation process is the most important stage when making wine. Look for a wine making kit that comes with a large capacity, at least three gallons, fermentor with a lid. Fermentors made from glass are the best choice as they are easily sterilized.
Sterilizers and Cleaners
Getting things right in the beginning is one of the keys to making wine at home. If you don’t properly sterilize and clean all your equipment at the beginning, you risk contamination and really bad wine.
Easy Start Siphon
During the wine making process, you’ll be transferring liquids between containers a couple of times. Using a built piston to move liquids, an Easy Start Siphon saves time and energy while reducing spills.
We talked about how important yeast is in making wine. Having the right yeast is equally important. Not all yeasts are appropriate to use when making wine. Specific strains of yeast are best used in making beer, not wine. The yeast found in wine making kits has been carefully selected for making wine and only wine.
Why Buy A Homemade Wine Making Kit
There’s something special about calling yourself a winemaker. Perhaps it’s the grand notion of a vineyard in the south of France or in Tuscany. Surrounded by rolling hills covered with vines and basking in the warm sun. That’s the life, right? Well, it’s also a very, very expensive life.
Making wine at home might not be Tuscany, but it’s the opportunity to explore your creative side. Much like cooking, winemaking is an art form and with any art form, you’re going to need the right tools to get started. The right-at-home winemaking kit will provide all the tools and instructions you need to make wine.
Not everyone can go out and buy a vineyard. But thankfully purchasing an at home winemaking kit is affordable. It also alleviates all the guesswork on how to make wine.
How Is Wine Made
For as long as wine has been made, the process of making wine has changed much. That said, modern technology has made its way into this ancient process. Amber and I have easily visited over 100 wines in our travels and the process still fascinates us.
Improved growing techniques produce more grapes in the vineyard. Advanced wine presses squeeze more juice from each grape and improved cooling systems protect grapes from spoiling. These are just a few examples of how winemakers are incorporating technology in making wine.
But how do grapes go from the vine to the bottle? Here’s an abbreviated look at how wine is made.
After basking in the sun for months, it’s time to pick (harvest) the grapes. When to harvest might be the most stressful decision a winemaker has to make. Harvest too soon and maybe the grapes don’t have enough sugar to help with fermentation. Harvest too late and perhaps the grapes lose some of their flavors. Environmental factors like heat and rain only add to the stress level of winemakers on when to harvest.
Immediately after the grapes have been harvested, they are pressed. This is to ensure the grapes are at their freshest and yield the best juice. Pressing grapes in wine making has evolved over the centuries. Today, some winemakers use advanced wine presses that calculate the exact amount of pressure and time needed to press the grapes.
Fermentation is the process that turns ordinary grape juice into wine. Yeast is added to the grape juice to begin the fermentation process. Feeding off the natural sugar in grape juice, yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol. Depending on the amount of sugar in the juice, the fermentation process can take upwards of 30 days to complete. To produce sweet wine, the fermentation process is stopped before all the sugar is converted to alcohol.
This is the process of filtering out any impurities in the newly produced wine. Impurities include any remaining dead yeast cells, stems, or seeds that might have slipped past any filtering. Winemakers use either a course filter, egg whites, clay, or other compounds to catch these impurities.
Bottle And Age
After clarifying the wine, the last step is bottle and age. Today, bottles are not the only opinion for wine. Boxes and aluminum cans are other options winemakers have to package your wines. Aging wine allows it to rest and for its natural flavors to develop. Aging is done in a cool, dark place to ensure sunlight and warm temperatures do not damage the wine.
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FAQs-Best Home Wine Making Kits
Making your own wine at home requires a fair amount of equipment and ingredients to get started. These can be sourced individually or you can purchase a wine making kit. You’ll need to source grapes or more easily, juice from grapes. Sterilizing your equipment, combining grape juice with yeast, and fermenting are the next steps. Rounding things off will be bottling and aging.
In the long run, making your own wine can be less expensive than buying from a shop. Getting started with the required equipment will be a one-time larger cost. Over time the per bottle price for homemade wine can average between $3-5.
The answer to this is no. Much like commercially produced wine, the alcohol level does not increase in strength over time. The percentage of alcohol in the wine is set during the fermentation process. When the fermentation process is completed, the resulting alcohol level is the level at which the wine will remain.
Like any home brewing or distilling, there is a risk. These risks are elevated if the person doing the brewing or distilling is new to the process. Using a good quality home wine making kit and following the instructions carefully should avoid many of the risks. That said if something doesn’t seem right, do not consume the homemade wine.