The Range 'Make Your Own' Red

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Kit Reviews' started by Gorty, Sep 1, 2014.

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  1. Sep 1, 2014 #1

    Gorty

    Gorty

    Gorty

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    I have seen review for The Range 'Make Your Own' white, rose and cider so I thought I could add my review of the red. So far I have made two lots of 5 gallons of the red, with a third just started, one important thing, they warn you to put the FV onto a tray or the like as it can be quite an active ferment, they ain't kidding, luckily I use an oversize bucket about 7 gallons in old money, I also put it in the bottom of our airing cupboard which is heated by a simple electric bar heater with a thermostat set at 24 degrees centigrade.

    The kit contains red concentrate in a plastic pouch with five sachets of, yeast, oak chips, stabiliser and two finings and instructions in a side pouch of the container.

    Just a point to the unwary, make sure you stand the pouch upright before you cut it open, both pouches are opened at the same time.

    Add the concentrate with 5 litres of boiling water wash out the pouch, dissolve 3.5 kg of sugar and top up to 23ish litres with cold water, when the temperature drops below 30 degrees C add oak chips and yeast. As it was the warmest part of summer the cooling down took hours, so now I add 3 litres of boiling water and top up to 23 ish litres and the temperature is about 27 degrees C.

    Into the airing cupboard, the aroma of fermentation spread throughout the room, much to my daughter's disgust, it's in her bedroom!

    It actually took 10 days rather than the seven stated in the instructions, but it did ferment out to 0.994, start s.g. was 1082, calculates at 11.7 ABV.

    Out of the airing cupboard and add the stabiliser, and finings 'A' stir to degassfor several minutes, they say two but I found that four or five aided the clearing, wait for an hour add finings 'B' stir again for 10 seconds and put to rest in a cool place.

    After 3 days, checked to see if it was clear and had a problem, this wine is such a deep red you need to rack some off and use a torch to see if it's clear! Thankfully it was. I use lemonade bottles to bottle it into and get 11 by two litre bottles plus if you're as tight as I am you can carefully get about another litre off the lees to settle in the bottle.

    It is a little rough and very dry if drunk straight away but I add a small amount of lemonade to a glass. They do say that after two or three months it rivals commercial wines, one day I might even find out!

    Over all, considering the cost of the kit is £24.99 and four kilos of sugar is £2.76, 69p per kilo in Lidl, that's £27.75 for 30 bottles, about 93p a bottle, IMHO this is very good wine for an incredibly good price.
     
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  2. Sep 1, 2014 #2

    Chippy_Tea

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    I have made the Rose version several times and as you say they need a little time as they are a bit rough when new.
     
  3. Sep 2, 2014 #3

    the_kitchen_brewer

    the_kitchen_brewer

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    When I first started making wine I was surprised just how much it improves with age.

    I made the Beaverdale Chateau Neuf De Pape and bottled it a couple of weeks before Christmas. Opened a bottle on Christmas day and it was ok, but was kind of like drinking grape juice followed by a hit of raw alcohol.

    Wasn't in a rush to open another bottle and was sceptical that it would improve much - but opened one late January and wow - it was easily nicer than a lot of £5-£8 supermarket wines in my book.

    I'd have never believed that it can improve so much in such a relatively short space of time.

    I'm now making several kits at once to build up a bit of a stock so that some will hopefully get a chance to mature properly!
     
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  4. Sep 2, 2014 #4

    Chippy_Tea

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  5. Dec 31, 2014 #5

    Manxnorton

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    A great review, it has spurned me on to try a wine kit after 30 years of home brewing & wanting to try..
    I hope you don't mind me asking a couple of questions?
    I do not have any DJ's for secondary...so looking for making red wine straight from FV to bottle...is this ok?
    i have been looking for a sweeter red wine than what me and the good lady buys but no luck yet...how can this be achieved or any links to a kit..
    I don't know why after all this time I have not ettempted wine😳
    Many thanks for viewing.
    ATB
    Brian
     
  6. Dec 31, 2014 #6

    Chippy_Tea

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    I have made the rose version and assume the instructions are the same, you do not rack to secondary which makes life a lot simpler.

    With great prices and free next day delivery Tesco home brew is worth a look - http://www.tesco.com/direct/diy-car/home-brewing/cat5780015.cat

    Red kit - http://www.tesco.com/direct/carafe-classic-full-red-wine-kit-30-bottles/213-5147.prd

    Click & Collect is free when you spend £25 or more*, this applies to all locations. A minimum basket charge of £4 will be added to your order if you spend less than £25

    * Free Click & Collect when you spend £25 or more on orders placed on tesco.com/groceries or the Tesco Grocery Apps. Minimum basket charge applies to orders under £25. Collection at selected UK stores. The free Click & Collect offer may be withdrawn without notice.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2015 #7

    Gorty

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    Hi Brian,
    Glad you liked the review, as Chippy said, you just make it in the FV, when done stabilise and fine it then after a week syphon straight into bottles ... job done.
    For a sweeter wine there are two options I would consider, use the stabiliser to stop the fermentation early, this would be a bit of trial and error to get it right and of course would result in a slightly lower alcohol content, or if the alcohol content is important to you use a sweetener or sugar after stabilising to get the sweetness you want, in both instances you would add the finings after getting the sweetness right.
    One important note Brian, this kit wine does improve with age, we, at last, left some about 3 months and it is much rounder, you might find this is what you are looking for, so if you made an initial batch and it's to your taste after 3 months, if you CAN leave it that long, OK, if not you could just top up your glass with lemonade.
    Personally I have found that the time it says it takes to ferment and clear are a little optimistic to say the least and leaving it a week after adding finings does produce a really clear wine, although it is such a dark red I don't suppose it matters.
    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2015 #8

    Manxnorton

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    Blummin 'eck fellaz:-) wasn't expecting such an in depth reply form yous thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
    I'll keep these replies handy when I go for it.
    To be honest time is not going to be an issue as I need time to get bottles and stuff ready.
    I am happy I don't need secondary's and will be able to trial with doing the sweet test.
    Letting them mature is not a problem other than our lass wanting to try a bottle lol. Unlike when I make my ale I can leave the wine...he says!
    Going to look at saucing the bottles and corks etc ready..
    Really fancy having a bash as soon as I can.
    Once again thanks So much
    ATB
    Brian
    Ps no doubt I'll be having a few questions to follow and lookin farward to an update when I brew :-)
     
  9. Jan 3, 2015 #9

    Chippy_Tea

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    I use 1.5 litre spring water bottles as I don't give my wine away and it makes bottling easier.
     
  10. Jan 5, 2015 #10

    Gorty

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    That's what the forum is all about Brian, giving each other a bit of help when we need it.

    Similar to Chippy I use 2l lemonade bottles, free and easy to store, only 11 or 12 instead of 30 per batch, and the tops can be reused as many times as the bottles. The only thing is they don't like very hot water, they tend to distort.

    I would keep a careful record of how you sweeten the wine and what FGs you have fermented to, there's nothing worse than getting something perfect to your taste and not remembering exactly what you did! Voice of experience there!
     
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  11. Jan 6, 2015 #11

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

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    Thanks guys,
    Having a relaxing break with the other half overlooking a gorgous Loch in Scotland....what do I do?? Wifi is for winners homebrewing research..my problem I have at the moment (apart from our lass keep mentioning the scenery lol) is saucing bottles...I have a lot of screw cap wine bottles left over from Christmas & New year but have looked long and hard and no one really likes the idea of re-using screw cap bottles. I get the whole seal thing and cleanliness....am I right in saying the neck of the bottles are totally different as to corked bottles??? As I would imagine everyone would be reusing them if all was ok?
    The price for corked bottles on Evilbay arnt cheap either...so the empty water container idea is what I'm liking...getting 30+ bottles corks and machine is pricey....plus I can use the spring water for the brewing...
    I'm even looking at local collect buy now for bottles on the way down from Scotland that'll please our lass ha ha....
    Definitely going to go for the larger kits no point in 6 bottle kits tbh, I would love to start off a decent stock as we are moving soon and my one criteria for the new house is Man cave/shed garage or even a spare room...she can have free reign of everywhere else lol
    Right guys ive woffled on long enough back to the piece and quiet might pop in the hot tub for a bit lol and a glass of Cassillero del Diablo ;-)
    ATB
    Brian
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  12. Jan 6, 2015 #12

    Chippy_Tea

    Chippy_Tea

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    If you still have the metal caps you can reuse them a couple of times but eventually the threads wear and then they are not airtight,

    The wall thickness of screw cap bottles is thinner than the corked version and inserting a cork in one could cause the bottle to crack.

    You can buy plastic stoppers at Wilko i don't know if there fit but don't see why not.

    Another solution is Novatwist caps - http://www.novatwist.com/uk/product-benefits.html
     
  13. Jan 6, 2015 #13

    Gorty

    Gorty

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    Spring water for wine making!!!!! Think of the expense, for goodness sake!

    Sorry Brian, I just had a moment there.... I've never even considered using spring water always trusted the old tap m'self, at least you know it's been through a good number of kidneys before you use it, unlike that bottled stuff, you don't know what they've put in it!

    As far as bottles go, if you have some of your family or relatives with zillions of ankle biters, they probably chuck away more clear plastic than you'll ever need.
     
  14. Jan 6, 2015 #14

    bigbeefy

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    ive looked on the range website but cant find anything at all

    can you post a link please
     
  15. Jan 7, 2015 #15

    Manxnorton

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    Ha ha just spurted out my coffee...the water is bad where I am so boiled is the way ahead...I did used to treat my AG brew water.
    Looks like the large festive bottle collection will be of some use after all with them nova tech caps and the remainder 2L bottles, thanks for the info guys much appreciated..
    Now it's pack bags and await the 3.5 hrs journey in the rain back down from Scotland..
    Looking at a new house this week with the other half and it has a garage so already claimed it for a man cave, fingers crossed, and a bonus 100 metres is a homebrew shop which I will have to check out.
    ATB
    Brian
     
  16. Jan 8, 2015 #16

    Gorty

    Gorty

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