Today I started Brew 19. It's a Cabernet Sauvignon kit, from Wine Expert's Selection Estate Series. The last kit I bought from them made excellent wine, so I decided to get more. This is a 16 liter kit. Specs:
- Serial Number: 0406705 (in case something goes wrong and I need to call the company later)
- Grape: 16L Cabernet Sauvignon
- Water: 3L
- Additions: Benotite, Oak
- Yeast: Lalvin Bourgovin RC 212, 5g powder
The specific gravity was 1.102. The wine will probably be 13% ABV when the time comes.
I ordered two more kits from Northern Brewer. A Chilean Carmenere/Cabernet, and a Nebbiolo d'Alba. These two are limited edition specials. They release four a year, once a month, from January to April. Northern Brewer has a special where they will send it with free shipping if you preorder the kit. This is important, because my normal supplier, Morebeer.com doesn't ship the 16L wine kits for free anymore. (Not that I blame them, those are 40 pound kits!) Free shipping on these two kits will save $65.
One problem with these kits: it's best if you let the wine sit in the bottles for 6 months before opening. My first batch didn't last that long. It was very good. :-) I think the only solution is to make lots of it to start with, and count on buying wine for the next six months. Once the "pipeline" is established, it will be a lot easier, since there will be stuff that's "ready" while the new stuff is sitting around getting good. The downside: 1. waiting is not one of the American virtues, and 2. I figure I'm going to need at least 120 empty bottles in order to get up to capacity. I have 30 now. Needless to say, I'm starting to encourage my friends to save their bottles for me.
While I'm at it, there is sad news to report about Brew 18... some uninvited molds had a party and drank it all. I suspect it was the problem with the oxygenation---I forgot to oxygenate the wort until three days later when I noticed there was no fermentation going. Live and learn.