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This is the kit my friend found at Walmart which inspired me to finally try making wine myself. I didn't find the kit at Walmart and searched for a few days until I finally found it on the internet. During my searching I ended up buying a more conventional set of equipment from a local shop, so this isn't really my first attempt. Although, in the time frame of making wine, a difference of five days is negligible. So I consider this a co-premier attempt at making wine (WineBatch01). The equipment, ingredients, and instructions are similar but have enough differences to make them a complementary learning experience. It would be even better if I managed to make a decent bottle of wine.

Major Ingredient: Wine Concentrate - Merlot
Expected Quantity: 1 Gallon
Actual Quantity: 4 Bottles

Beginning (11-Oct-2005)  

Used half of the included sterilizer powder to sterilize all the equipment. Mixed concentrate with water and siphoned into the plastic container. Added the Bentonite & Yeast Nutrient. Sprinkled 1/4 tsp. of yeast into the container. Put cap and airlock onto the container.

The first real problem I see is that the opening on the container is skewed to the side, so the airlock is at an angle. I can't seem to find a way to straighten out the lid of the "cubitainer".

Day One (12-Oct-2005)  

Fermentation started. Lots of large bubbles have almost filled the space above the liquid. Airlock is not moving.

Day Two (13-Oct-2005)  

Large bubbles have disappeared and fermentation has become rapid. I can hear and see thousands of bubbles. The airlock won't keep bubbling since it is slanted to the side. I have to thump it whenever I walk by to get it to release some of the internal air pressure.

Day Three (14-Oct-2005)  

Rapid fermentation continues. The airlock has finally started moving on it's own.

Day Seven (18-Oct-2005)  

Fermentation has slowed. I can hear bubbles breaking the surface, but I can't see them, nor can I see anything happening with the air lock. The instructions say to start secondary fermentation on day ten, so I think it's on track.

Day Nine (20-Oct-2005)  

Dead stop. No new bubbles seem to be forming and the air lock is competely silent. Tomorrow is the time assigned for transferring off the sediment for secondary fermentation. Personally, I don't think there will be any secondary fermentation, but I'm going to stay true to the directions.

Day Ten (21-Oct-2005)  

Secondary Fermentation: Used the racking tip to siphon the wine into another sanitized container. Dumped sediment left and cleaned out the original container. I was able to straighten out the opening so that the air lock will sit upright. I then siphoned the wine back into the "cubitainer" and put the screw cap and air lock back on.

I managed to taste the wine at this point while siphoning. It tastes just like wine with a big bite. Almost exactly like WineBatch01 tasted at this same point. So I can deduce one of two possibilities:

  1. Both batches are in good shape
  2. Both batches are in trouble

I optimistically choose to believe in deduction number one.

Day Twenty-Three (3-Nov-2005)  

Stabilizing: Racked wine out of and back into the cubitainer. Yes, it tastes like wine now, although it needs to mellow. I added the Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulfite according to the directions. I then put the cap and air lock back on.

Day Twenty-Eight (8-Nov-2005)  

Clearing: Added the contents of the packet labelled "Gelatin, Tartaric Acid, Sulphur Dioxide Solution and Pectinase", stirred, and placed cap and air lock back on.

Day Thirty-One (11-Nov-2005)  

Bottling: Using the siphon tube and racking tip provided in the kit, I was able to get 4 1/2 bottles of wine out of the cubitainer. I used the T-corks included in the kit and a heat gun made putting the shrink caps on a triviality. Now I have to wait 6 months before opening one of the bottles. My plan is to open one at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years to understand the difference. The fourth bottle is going to my friend who started me on this journey.

 

Make Your Own Merlot Wine
Complete Wine Making Kit
Lakeview Valey Farms

A division of
Natural Science Industries
105 Price Parkway
Farmingdale, NY 11735-1318
(585) 671-1955

This kit includes:
- 4 x 750 ml Glass Bottles

- 4 T-style corks

- 4 shrink wrap cork covers

- 4 bottle labels

- Concentrated grape juice

- Tubing

- Racking Cane Tip

- Measuring Spoon, double ended: 1/8 & 1/4 tsp

- 1 Gallon Cubitainer with Cap (Collabsible plastic)

- 3 piece plastic econo Air Lock

- Packet, Bentonite & Yeast Nutrient

- Packet, Potassium Metabisulphite & Potassium Sorbate

- Packet, Gelatin, Tartaric Acid, Sulfur Dioxide, & Pectinase

- Packet, Sterilizer

- Packet, Wine Yeast

Cost: $30

Grand Overview of the Directions
- Day 0: Mix ingredients

- Day 1: Primary Ferment

- Day 10: 2nd Ferment

- Day 23: Stabilizing

- Day 28: Clearing

- Day 31: Bottling

Additional Purchases:
- Heat Gun, $20

 

   

 
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