Good Red Kits

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Tatt11

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Dear All,

I hope everyone is doing OK? I am new to hear and new to homebrewing, I am just purchasing all of my equipment, the kit also comes with the wineworks superior Malbec, I am getting this through Love Brewing. Firstly has any made this kit before and have any tips or can share their thoughts? Can anyone recommend some good Red kits?

Regards
 
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LED_ZEP

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Beaverdale are a good bet, they're about the standard of a table wine but this is ok for the price (£40ish for a 30 bottle kit) and for £10 more the Kenridge Classic kits have a little more concentrate. After this you're getting in to the expensive stuff, I'd get a little experience under your belt before spending £70+ on a kit.
 

Tatt11

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Beaverdale are a good bet, they're about the standard of a table wine but this is ok for the price (£40ish for a 30 bottle kit) and for £10 more the Kenridge Classic kits have a little more concentrate. After this you're getting in to the expensive stuff, I'd get a little experience under your belt before spending £70+ on a kit.
Hi,

Thank you for the advice really appreciate it, yes I definitely want to gain more experience before going into the expensive stuff, I will take a look at them two what kind of price would you be looking at in a supermarket fire the quality of wine? Have you ever tried the Vintners Reserve Wine Kits? Do you know what that are like they are around £50.

Regards

Matt
 

LED_ZEP

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I've not tried the Vintners but in general with the reds you get what you pay for. Look at the amount of concentrate they contain as a guide but price wise £35-£40 kit = A £5 bottle and it goes up from there (don't bother with cheaper ones for reds). Lastly read the reviews on here, reviewers tend to be realistic in expectation in relation to price.
 

2131tom

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LED_ZEP is right, you do get what you pay for. Although I've had some Youngs kits turn out OK, Beaverdale are more reliable. Going up another rung though, I'm currently stuck on the Kenridge brand. I've tried various types and, at around £45-£50, they're more pricey but it's still under £2 a bottle for wine that has proved reliable, I certainly like, and everyone I've given it to has enjoyed.

About 3 months ago, after thinking about it for a while, I went for a £70 (it was on offer!) Kenridge Australian Whisky Barrel Shiraz. Now, that is something special. Even on bottling it has a much smoother, fuller taste but I'm trying to resist drinking it for another couple of months.

As it's coming up to the summer fruits season, you might try (say) a very cheap (it'll cost you the sugar, yeast and usual nutrient , sterilizer etc. only) blackberry wine. There's lots of recipes and they'll all generally produce an enjoyable wine, if you're especially careful about handling and hygiene, and wouldn't disgrace any table, if you get it all right.

You can of course go a little off the wall, if you want. For a very cheap dessert wine (and to test the ability of the Lalvin EC-1118 yeast I was using), a couple of years I brewed a demijohn of a mixture of sultanas, sugar, brown sugar and a large mugful of stewed tea ('for bite'), with the starting SG set to go to the maximum alcohol the blurb on the yeast packet said it would go to (around 18%). It did that, and produced a very drinkable after dinner dessert-style wine that's great with cheese and biscuits, or you can glug as a substitute for sherry ..... !
 

rbunsen

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I have made a number of the Beaverdale red wine kits and enjoyed them all. I agree with the above comment about cheap kits. I made one, which was also in sale, so very cheap. I drank it, but my wife wouldn't. I probably wouldn't buy another cheap wine kit.
 

Tatt11

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Thanks for all your replies, I really appreciate them. Yes a few people talk about the beaverdale selection, I have also been looking at the winexpert varieties again not the really expensive ones to start with. Has anyone had any experiences with these kits??
 

andycole

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Hi
I have been making wine on and off for about 30 years and the most recent red kits I made were the Winexpert Selection International series Barolo. I have never tasted a better wine at any price. Made or bought. At less than £3 a bottle it’s ridiculously cheap. I have bought £30 Barolo at a restaurant that was nowhere near as good. However I have discovered only yesterday that these kits are being replaced by a new range with less concentrate and costing 50% more (about £120 for a 30 bottle kit).
I have no hesitation in recommending the selection series kits if you can afford them, and by which I mean you are confident that you are going to do it right and not waste your money. But at the end of the day, it’s no more difficult making an expensive kit than a cheap one, just a bit scarier if you are new to it.
Apart from the selection kit I also tried the Kenridge classic 30 bottle Barolo which was still good wine and half the price.
 

andycole

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Beaverdale are a good bet, they're about the standard of a table wine but this is ok for the price (£40ish for a 30 bottle kit) and for £10 more the Kenridge Classic
I hope double posting is allowed, sorry if not!

just wanted to put my recommendation of the Selection kits into perspective. They produce wine which is many times better than table wine, so if a £40 kit produces table wine quality, then £80 for Winexpert selection series is extremely good value by comparison. I made 60 bottles of red and white and served it at our wedding. Everyone complimented the wine. I then did the same thing for my sister in laws wedding 2 years later and the same compliments. But I think people outside the hobby don’t realise how good home made wine can be.
anyway good luck with your journey into winemaking.
 

Tatt11

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I hope double posting is allowed, sorry if not!

just wanted to put my recommendation of the Selection kits into perspective. They produce wine which is many times better than table wine, so if a £40 kit produces table wine quality, then £80 for Winexpert selection series is extremely good value by comparison. I made 60 bottles of red and white and served it at our wedding. Everyone complimented the wine. I then did the same thing for my sister in laws wedding 2 years later and the same compliments. But I think people outside the hobby don’t realise how good home made wine can be.
anyway good luck with your journey into winemaking.
@andycole thank you for your advice really appreciate it. Yes I will stick to the £40, £50 ones on my first couple just so I am comfortable with the process then i will definitely move up to the more expensive kits, so you know what the winexpert selection series is being replaced by? Is there any good weebsites that tell you these kind of things or any good review sites on kits?

Regards

Matt
 

andycole

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The winexpert website has a section about all their replacement kits. You select the kit you used to use and it tells you what the new range is. That’s where I found out that The new range is 50 percent more. Unfortunately I don’t know of any good kit review sites. That is what I came here for actually. However an eBay dealer I spoke to said that the new range are all better than the old ones. But I guess they would say that.
back to the table wine comparison, the Kenridge Classic Barolo kit I made was definitely better than any table wine I have ever had, but then Barolo is the king of wines :)
 

Deathstar

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As above, the wife has been doing the Beaverdale kits for the red, and is not bad. She has just ordered a Pinot Noir to try that. The previous Beaverdale was a Cabernet Sauvignon. In our opinion, it’s better than the California Connoisseur reds. Though we prefer the CC in White and Rose.
 

LED_ZEP

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Just found out that as well as the Kenridge Classic kits reducing their concentrate from 10l to 8l Beaverdale have reduced their 30 bottle kit's concentrate to 6l. It's supposed to be more concentrated....
 

soupdragon

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Now my palate is well and truly shot but I can't bear the really cheap kits. The minimum I go for is the £30-40 bracket. Cellar 7 and the like. I do enjoy them but when funds allow I'll push the boat out and do a Beaverdale or California Connoisseur. Even I can tell the difference over the £30 jobs.
Got a Cellar 7 recovering from severely damaged yeast (another thread on that) at the moment but my next one is a Kenridge classic, was a present, and I'm looking forward to seeing how much better it is over the Beaverdale/Cal Con.
Basically one man's vinegar is sweet nectar to another so try as many as you can then decide for yourself 🍷

Cheers. Tom
 

darrellm

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Despite years of trying, all the brands, I've only managed very average reds from kits, even the expensive ones. Whites are fine, but just can't seem to make a good red so I've gone back to buying them from the supermarket.

If someone does manage to make a good red, please post here because I know I'm not alone in making some pretty average reds.
 

Willshill1

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Started doing 1 gallon Beaverdale kit autumn 2018 and was relatively pleased with it , 1 gallon easily handled, stepped up to 5 gallon Beaverdale and everyone was happy to drink it, I was less than impressed just drinkable wine nothing special, I want better , so stepped up to Kenridge, maybe slightly better, then Winexpert Diablo Roja which got good recommendations online , recently bottled and after a shop bought Rioja ran out I opened one and was very disappointed, however the next evening it was much better, I suppose comparing directly with a commercial product which had aged in oak for a few years wasn’t fair so I’ve come to the conclusion that’s what I need to reproduce quality red wines and am planning to do this soon when I’ve sourced a barrel and a suitable kit
 

Grendel

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Started doing 1 gallon Beaverdale kit autumn 2018 and was relatively pleased with it , 1 gallon easily handled, stepped up to 5 gallon Beaverdale and everyone was happy to drink it, I was less than impressed just drinkable wine nothing special, I want better , so stepped up to Kenridge, maybe slightly better, then Winexpert Diablo Roja which got good recommendations online , recently bottled and after a shop bought Rioja ran out I opened one and was very disappointed, however the next evening it was much better, I suppose comparing directly with a commercial product which had aged in oak for a few years wasn’t fair so I’ve come to the conclusion that’s what I need to reproduce quality red wines and am planning to do this soon when I’ve sourced a barrel and a suitable kit
How about oak chips?
 

Willshill1

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Tried them and maybe I didn’t use enough but not noticeable but have thought about oak staves but when I do it’ll be six months before I know the effects and then it’ll be positively back to square one again
 

Cwrw666

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I've made Beaverdale Merlot and Nebiolo, and California Connoiseur Pinot Noir. All were very good - about the same as a £5 bottle from the supermarket but I did make them all up to 4.5 rather than 5 gallons to up the body and ABV a bit. My Mrs gets through 2 to 3 bottles of red a week and she finds these kit reds perfectly acceptable (and she is quite fussy) which is great as it's knocked about £500 off our yearly food bill!
 
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