The Wine Pages: Homebrew winemaking
Have you ever thought about how much money you spend on alcoholic drink? By home brewing you can make enough home made wine to significantly save a lot of money over a couple of years. With the current economic recession and uncertainty, it is a good way to save.
My local home brew shop, the owner of which I am unsurprisingly friendly, has been telling me of late how good business is because a lot of people are turning to homemade homebrew wine as a way of saving money.
If you are a medium or heavy drinking, stop and think how much money you are spending on drink. A couple of bottles of wine a week can easily set you back £500 a year. Add in a couple of pints of beer a week, and the total can easily reach £600 to £700 a year. Saving some of this by not drinking is one option, but most of us would rather send our children barefoot than give up drinking!
Now, let us consider the simplest way of making homemade homebrew wine. Wine kits are very popular. They usually contain everything you need - grape juice and chemicals - to make a fair batch of wine. Prices range from £30 to £120 for a 30 bottle kit. Kits that cost about £45 give a perfectly good wine, certainly something you would pay £4 or so for in a shop.
Add to this the cost of a fermenting vessel or two. 5 gallon fermenting buckets can cost as little of £10, and you normally need a couple of them.
So, for example, let us say I drink about 120 bottles of wine a year. Not an usually amount if there are two of you, and you entertain or cook with wine. Let us spread this over two years. 240 bottles. The basic kits will cost you £360. Add to this 3 fermenting buckets, £30, corks and hand corking machine, £30, and sundries such as a racking tube, glue, a funnel, airlock etc, say, £20. This is a total of £440 over two years. That is £4.20 per week, or £1.80 per bottle. I've chosen a mid priced kit. If you use a cheaper kit this drops to £1.50 for cheaper kits. I've also given high estimates for the other costs.
If you are paying £4 or £5 a bottle for wine, this adds up to a saving of £600 over two years.
Making wine from kits is the most expensive method. If you manage to get access to free fruit, such as apples or blackberries, the cost drops even more. MAking blackberry wine costs about 30p a bottle. If you can get hold of apples and make you own apples press (not hard) and make cider, all it costs is the price of a packet of yeast.
If you want to save some money, home brew wine making is the way to go!