Artful Winemaker: Foolproof Home Wine Making Kit Part 1


| 10/27/2010 10:47:00 AM


Tags: winemaking, homemade,

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.My Artful Winemaker kit arrived in the mail last week – the company claims that it will make an artful winemaker out of all of us, if we follow the instructions carefully. I have high hopes – sufficiently high that I plan to blog about every stage of the process as I muddle along. I really enjoy red wines with grassfed meat, so I chose the Cabernet/Shiraz grape juice concentrate for my first attempt. If all goes as planned, I should have drinkable wine in as little as 28 days. I’ve tried making homemade wine a few times in my life, but without exception my experiences were anything but artful – but I have a good feeling about the process this time.

 Artful Winemaker Package includes everything you need to make 12 bottles of quality wine in one month.  

My Artful Winemaker winemaking package ($99.99 until 12-31-2010) included a fermentation vessel (complete with integral thermometer), clarifier, yeast, disinfectant, 12 wine bottles with corks, foil cork covers, and labels, winemaking book, instructional DVD, assorted utensils and, perhaps most important, quality varietal wine grape juice concentrate sufficient to make 12 bottles of hopefully the good stuff.

Even though I am a guy, and even though I have a strong penchant to assemble things that need assembly without looking at the instructions, I decided to hedge my bet against yet another failed attempt at making homemade wine by reading the instruction booklet. I was pleasantly surprised by the instructions – they were clearly written by someone who knows how to write and how to make the wine thing happen. It took me about 10 minutes to get the Artful Winemaker assembled and disinfected. It took another few minutes to steep the giant tea-bag-like sachets of shredded oak chips in water and dispense the grape juice concentrate and water into the fermentation vessel. The last steps included tossing the steeped oak sachets, primary clarifier and yeast into the mix, installing the cover and airlock and placing the entire works where the sun won’t shine on it.

 Artful Winemaker early in the winemaking process -- courtesy Karen Keb 



That’s it for step one of the process. It’ll be a couple of weeks before I proceed to the next phase of the process. In the meantime, I like to look in on the Artful Winemaker from time to time to see the yeast at work. So far the mudroom doesn’t smell like a brewery and the airlock isn’t foaming over (ask me about some of my early beer-making experiences). But there is definitely evidence of yeast doing what yeast does ….

rj
11/22/2010 6:42:41 PM

I have been looking for a long time to see if anyone else had a artfulwine making system. I got mine about a month ago and I have 5 more days to go before I start to bottle the wine. I have the merlot. The whole thing was just too easy to do. I will let you know how the wine comes out. The only downfall of the system is that you can only uses their winekits. So you are limited in what you can make. I would like to know if anyone out there has used this system to make other kits.


rj
11/22/2010 6:41:07 PM

I have been looking for a long time to see if anyone else had a artfulwine making system. I got mine about a month ago and I have 5 more days to go before I start to bottle the wine. I have the merlot. The whole thing was just too easy to do. I will let you know how the wine comes out. The only downfall of the system is that you can only uses their winekits. So you are limited in what you can make. I would like to know if anyone out there has used this system to make other kits.


Dan Scharfman
11/19/2010 4:42:34 PM

I've been considering this particular set-up for awhile - can't wait to see if your works.







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