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.


Nick Q
11/14/2010 3:59:11 PM

I really like the looks of this wine maker. The compact size makes it easy to store and clean, and 12 bottles of wine is a nice size for a batch. I've made several batches of wine using other kits which make around 30 bottles each, and that is a lot of work to bottle and takes up a lot of room to store. I now have something to put on my Christmas list!


John Roane
11/5/2010 8:50:45 AM

I have used kit wine and thought they were great until I tried fresh squeezed grapes. While kit wines will do, it’s best to make wine from grapes or grape juice. It’s easy to buy grapes but then you need a press, and that's expensive. However you can order grape juice from Calif. its fresh it’s refrigerated and shipped in refer trucks. If you can't find a source look into your local Italian Organization many of them have source for wine, grapes, and or juice.


Nebraska Dave
10/29/2010 7:53:30 PM

@Hank, I too have had some dismal attempts to make wine. My only success was a combined effort with a neighbor. He knew nothing about the process and I knew enough to be dangerous. We decided to use a common fruit that was in season which happened to be mulberries. After the process was complete, we bottled up the brew and sampled a sip. It was delicious. The next time I went to the stock pile only one bottle remained so he must have thought it was delicious as well. I always wanted to make another batch but alas 25 years have passed and I’ve still not brewed up some Mulberry wine. If your $99 winery works, I might have to give the mulberries another try. I did pick a few mulberries just to eat last year. They are a bit of a nuisance as a tree here but the fruit is a quite useable fruit for jellies and such. I’m trying to be more mulberry friendly but every time I find a purple mulberry bird bomb on my truck, it’s hard to remain friendly toward the common mulberry tree. Have a great autumn season.





mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE