To make great wine it helps to have the right equipment. Let’s take a look at what you need to get started and where to get it from.
I’ve provided affiliate links to all of the equipment and supplies that I’m using to make my wine. By using these links Winemaker’s Academy does receive a commission. The price you pay is the same whether you use these links or not. So if you find this site helpful I encourage you to use the links and help keep it going. If not, then please don’t use these links.
For most of my equipment purchases I’ve used Midwest Supplies. I’ve compared their prices with other suppliers and found that they do have some of the lowest prices out there. More importantly though their customer support is top notch.
The first thing you’re going to need is a wine kit.
There are a ton of kits to choose from and they’re nearly all suitable for a first time winemaker. I started with the Vintner’s Reserve Shiraz. These are quality kits that are very affordable.
The kits come with grape juice concentrate as well as all the additives required to make the wine. Here’s a video I put together showing you what comes in a wine kit.
In general the price of the kit is an indicator of the quality of the juice it contains. Better grapes will end up in more expensive kits. When you’re just starting out you may be more comfortable with an inexpensive kit, I know I was.
Inexpensive kits produce good wine while more expensive kits will produce higher quality wine. So you’ll need to balance price based on your budget, comfort with the winemaking process, as well as the quality of wine you’ll produce.
What’s not included is winemaking equipment. That is sold separately. You’ll need to purchase a kit every time you want to make wine. Your equipment, however, is reusable and only needs to be purchased once.
Need help deciding which kit to buy? Click here for some helpful ideas.
Instead of having to pick out each and every piece of equipment you need to get started Midwest Supplies offers several different equipment kits, from the all inclusive (shown here), to the bare essentials.
I purchased a middle of the road equipment kit which included most everything I needed except for the 30 bottles as well as the list of items below. Click here to check out my equipment kit.
There are a few things you’ll need to purchase regardless of which equipment kit you choose.
- Carboy Brush – Used to really scrub out the glass carboy.
- Wine Thief – Used to pull samples from either the primary fermenter or the glass carboy.
- Test Jar – Used to test specific gravity
- Wine Whip – Used for degassing and mixing sediment back into the wine
To see the equipment up close take a look at this video I recorded where I show and explain what each piece of equipment is used for.
I mentioned before that Midwest Supplies has great customer service and I’m speaking from experience. When my first order came in I had a glass test jar that showed up in 700 pieces. Looking through my paperwork I found that Midwest Supplies gives you three days to contact them regarding any issues with your order. I called them up and told them about my test jar.
The gentleman who answered the phone was very polite, apologized for my shattered
dreams test jar, and sent out a replacement. No big deal. My new test jar showed up within days of placing the call.
More recently I was making a purchase online with some gift cards I’d received for Christmas. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how to use them so I just called them up. They patiently took down the gift card numbers for all my cards and input them for me so I could make my purchase.