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Beginner's Guide

Information to help you get started in Home Winemaking

Thinking about getting started in winemaking? Considering buying a winemaking equipment kit as a gift? The following information may help you make your decision.

There are 3 different products needed to make wine at home:

  • An Equipment Kit
  • A Wine Recipe Kit (Juice)
  • Wine Bottles


Equipment Kits

The most important part of getting started is choosing an equipment kit. Midwest Supplies' equipment kits provide all components needed to make wine, whether you choose a 1 gallon or 6 gallon batch size. Read each of the descriptions to determine which equipment kit is right for you. Making wine is easier than beer as boiling ingredients isn't required and the results are very consistent with our wine concentrate kits. Patience is needed though as two stage fermentation is required, resulting in a standard fermenttion of 2 - 6 months.


Master Vintner® Wine Starter Kit (U7620)

Designed for 6 gallon wine recipe kits. Easily become an expert by learning from one—the Master Vintner® Wine Starter Kit delivers exclusive first-class instruction from over 50 years of combined experience. The time-tested techniques of industry leader Tim Vandergrift are delivered in an easy-to-follow how-to DVD. Kits includes Big Mouth Bubbler™ 6.5 Gallon Primary Fermentor, Your Choice of Glass or Plastic Secondary Fermentor, Tim Vandergrift Instructional DVD, Big Mouth Bubbler™ Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Clean Bottle Express™ Degasser, Universal Drilled Bungs (x2), Air Locks (x2), Auto Siphon Racking Cane, Tubing & Clamp, Bottle Filler & Tubing, 24” Plastic Spoon, Carboy Brush & Handle (Glass Only), Bottle Brush, Impact Corker & #8 Corks, Lab Thermometer, Hydrometer, Test Jar & 3-Piece Thief, Sodium Metabisulfite, OneStep and 2 Fermometers.

Note: This kit does not include ingredients. It will work with any of our 6 gallon wine recipe kits.

Master Vintner® Small Batch Wine Kit ( U7810)

Great things come in small packages; in this case 1 gallon. Without experience or anything but a passion for wine, you can make top notch, cellar-worthy wine in your kitchen. Master Vintner® combines essential equipment that’s easy to use with expert instruction that’s easy to follow. You’ll walk through the essentials of winemaking with exclusive techniques from world-class winemaker Tim Vandergrift. Small Batch equipment kits include your choice of one gallon recipe kit: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, World-class instructions from industry expert Tim Vandergrift, Little Big Mouth Bubbler™ Glass Primary Fermentor, Stopper, Airlock & Fermometer, 1 Gallon Glass Jug Secondary Fermentor, Cap, Airlock & Fermometer, Hydrometer, Test Jar & Thief, Mini Auto-Siphon & Tubing, Stainless Steel Stirring Spoon, Corker & Corks, Bottle Filler & Tubing, Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Oxygen Wash Cleanser & Sodium Metabisulfite Sanitizer and equipment instructions.


Master Vintner® Fresh Harvest® Fruit Winemaking Kit (40295)

If you thought wine was all about the grape, think again—Master Vintner® Fresh Harvest® has everything you need to turn fresh fruit into 1 gallon of remarkable wine. You just provide the fruit. The list of fruits you can use to create wine is endless. Fresh Harvest® has enough supplies to make up to 15 one-gallon batches, perfect for experimenting with different varieties! Kits includes: Winemaker Recipe Handbook, 2 gallon plastic fermentor w/ lid, 1 gallon jug, tubing, airlock, screw cap and straining bag, sanitizer and campden tablets, pectic enzyme, acid blend, grape tannin, yeast nutrient, stabilizer, and all-purpose dry yeast, racking cane and tubing, hydrometer. Not included: fruit, corker, corks, and bottles

 

Winemaker Toolset (WK1006U)

Supplementary wine making tool kit includes wine thief, auto siphon, hydrometer test jar, fermentor thermometer, and a de-gasser. Perfect for upgrading your existing home brewing equipment to make wine.


Fresh Harvest® Fresh Batches Bundle (8214)

Recommended add-on kit for any of our standard starter kits includes items to both improve wine quality and requisite equipment to make wine from fresh and frozen fruit. Included are the Winemaker Recipe Handbook, 3 packs of Montrachet dry yeast, acid blend, wine tannin and yeast nutirient, and much more.


Wine Recipe Kit (Juice – concentrate)

Midwest offers a large selection of 6 gallon wine recipe kits. All of the Winexpert wine kits that Midwest sells are basically made the same way. No kit is any easier or harder to make than the other. The kits range from the Vintner’s Reserve series around $60 to the Selection Estate series around $132. Simply put, the more money you spend on a kit, the higher quality of wine you’ll make. The Vintner’s Reserve series is the most popular line of wine kits in the world with your cost per bottle around $2.00. Just choose the style of wine you would like to make and you’re ready to go.


Wine Bottles

Our wine equipment kits yield a six gallon batch of of wine which will fill 29-30 standard 750 ml wine bottles, equal to roughly two cases of 12 and six additional bottles. Please note that shipping glass bottles can get expensive due to shipping weight. Many winemakers will collect empty wine bottles as they drink them, rinse them out and use them for their wine. Most folks buy one or two cases of bottles when getting started with winemaking.
***Most winemakers who accumulate 10 cases of bottles typically will have purchased 5 new cases and cleaned 5 cases of used bottles.***


Other winemaking accessories that complement an equipment kit include: