Which are the best home brew Wine kits?

There are loads of different home brew wine kits on the market, and it’s difficult to know which ones to buy. I’ve bought kits online and in shops, but one conversation I had with a staff member in a home brew shop stuck with me. I asked him which ones were decent kits, single variety rather than a blend of any grapes that are cheap… His answer was most kits over the sort of £35 mark will likely be single variety and are less likely to be padded out with other ingredients like Elderflower concentrate, he gave several examples of these but the ones we like are the California Connoisseur.

They are at the reasonable end of the single varietal kits market. Above this you can spend anything up to £120 (!!!!) for a single varietal, single estate concentrate. No matter how good the concentrate, we don’t think any concentrate is worth that much. So we went for the 23 litre Pinot Noir kit, and two of the smaller Cabernet Sauvignon kits, because we had the two fermenters and that’s the blend we were after.

Home brew kits come with everything you need to make the wine. Our kit’s even came with oak chips which could be added to age the wine. More like chemistry than an art… The instructions are pretty simple as well, but we like to mess around so used a Brix measure and a helpful conversion website, to calculate what water we needed to add to get a certain level of alcohol in each batch and then in our final blend.

The garage was too cold in the end… Spring in the UK for you…

At first we weren’t getting much in the way of a reaction, the airlocks weren’t bubbling at all… So we ended up putting an old oil heater in the garage, which soon got it going! If we were to start from scratch it would be better to go with two of the 11 litre fermenters inside on a desk. Rather than trying to heat a poorly sealed (or in estate agent speak: well ventilated) garage.

After a couple of days with the heater

Anyway, we are now about a week in, but only a few days into the fermentation so will update next week.