Wine Education

Home wine makers have a lot of options when it comes to making wine. This section outlines your options and helps you decide which source of wine will be best for you. The five basic choices are:

1. Grape Juice Concentrate Kits

“The best way to make wine at home”
This is our favorite option. These kits are almost foolproof and make exceptional quality wine with a minimal investment in equipment. If you haven’t tried a “box wine kit,” you are missing out on one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to make wine at home. There’s a huge selection of wine styles and grape varieties and each comes complete with all the ingredients except for water. All the uncertainties of acid testing and sugar adjustments have been taken care of in the manufacturers’ state-of-the-art processing plants.

The kit manufacturers search the globe to find the best grapes. They buy grapes from California, Oregon, and Washington as well as France, Spain, Italy, Australia, and Chile. Most box kits are engineered to make 6 gallons (23 Liters) of wine. Now you can even buy online. More!

2. Limited Edition Grape Juice Concentrate Kits

“The pinnacle of wine kits”
Each year, from January to April, Brew King and RJ Spagnols release special wine kits. These 16-liter kits produce 6 gallons of the very best wine, and each comes complete with detailed directions and even 30 labels for your bottles.

These unique varietals are available for just one month, starting in January. More info, including pre-ordering for 2011, click here.

3. Fresh Wine Grapes and Juice

“A good way to make wine at home”
Available in the Spring from South America, in Autumn from the West Coast, we offer fresh wine grapes and juice so you can make wine in both the spring and fall! While it’s still a little early to preorder, here is what we offered last year:

2010 Central Valley California Grapes and Juice, Premium Juice

2010 Premium Grapes from Lake County and Yakima Valley

New: Italian Grape Juice

In the autumn, as the vines ripen, we carry fresh juice and grapes from California. The exact date of arrival varies depending on ripening and shipping, but we expect arrival to start around mid-September. When the first refrigerated shipment arrives, hundreds of home vintners come out to seize this seasonal opportunity! While the quality and consistency of fresh grapes varies more than our more reliable kits, you’ll be creating wine from scratch. The fresh grape season lasts less than four weeks, so call or use our Web site to ensure you get the variety you want.

Jason’s 2009 hunt for premium fresh grapes.

Remember too that we rent wine equipment, including crusher/destemmers, presses, and wine corkers. Please call us for prices and availability.

Making Wine from Fresh Grape Juice Instructions

4. Frozen Red Grapes and White Grape Juice

“The best option for experienced winemakers”
The best grapes make the best wine. Peter Brehm Vineyards selects grapes from premier growing areas of California, Oregon, and Washington. Peter Brehm closely monitors the ripening to ensure that grapes are harvested at the optimal time.

Like starting with fresh grapes, the red/black varieties come with the grape skins so you can decide when to remove them. These 5 gallon buckets of grapes will yield approximately 3½ gallons of wine. The white varieties have already been crushed, pressed, and allowed to settle for 24 hours before the juice is frozen and shipped. The white juices will yield approximately 5 gallons of wine.

We offer Brehm products once, sometimes twice a year. We start taking reservations as early as summer for December delivery. When interest is high we sometimes get another delivery in late winter, so if you’re interested, please give us a call in Montgomeryville or send us an email.

Brehm’s 2010 Selection

Click here for details, and to reserve online. Select varieties available year-round.

Latest availability, statistics, etc. from Brehm Vineyards.

5. Fresh Fruit, Including Concord Grapes

“An interesting way to make wine at home”
It’s wine, but not as you know it. If you’re looking for something unique, not found in stores, and you’re willing to take a risk, you can ferment your homegrown concord grapes, fruit, dandelions, or honey. Keystone Homebrew Supply carries a wide variety of yeast, nutrients, equipment, and spices for the country winemaker.

Blackberries, Red Raspberries, and Elderberries
In the early spring and fall we sell locally grown, frozen red raspberries and elderberries. Click here for more information.

Making Your First Wine

To make wine with one of our many box kits, we suggest you get our Winemaking Equipment Kit. It comes complete with all the basic equipment you’ll need along with some simple directions. Includes:

  • Primary fermenter (a food grade plastic bucket with airtight lid)
  • Secondary fermenter (a 6 gallon glass carboy)
  • Airlock
  • Hydrometer
  • Auto Siphon/Tubing
  • One-Step cleaner/sanitizer
  • Hand corker
  • Corks

Although not required, we also suggest purchasing a large plastic spoon, carboy brush, and bottles. You can reuse store-bought wine bottles if cleaned with One-Step and a bottle brush. Shop now!

Once equipped, you’re ready to pick your first box kit. We have dozens of wine varieties on hand and we are happy to order your favorite if we happen to be out of stock. Choose from a worldwide selection of grape varieties and styles. With an equipment kit and a few box kits of grape juice, you’ll be on your way to stocking your wine cellar.

Refractometer Calculator (Excel spreadsheet)

Check out this cool new tool for winemakers using refractometers: here.

New Wine Yeasts

Click here for details.

How-To Articles on Wine

Here is our growing collection of directions, tips, and techniques on home winemaking from our newsletter. Click here.

Wine Tastings

Still not sure if you want to make your own wine? Or maybe you’ve made wine that you’re dying to share?

In either case, come to our next wine tasting. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-timer, start from kits, or have been crushing your own grapes since prohibition; everyone who makes wine is welcome! All wines made from grapes, apples, pears, honey, etc. are welcome. Everyone who brings wine gets a $5.00 coupon to Keystone Homebrew Supply.

These homemade wine tastings are great opportunities to learn about winemaking and to experience different wines. Be sure to bring a lawn chair if you want to relax. We provide cheese, crackers, and other snacks.

These events are free but we request that you sign up by calling the store (215) 855-0100 so that we have enough snacks for everyone.

Click here for upcoming wine tastings.

See the fun we had at some of last year’s wine tastings.

Check Out Our Events Page

For the Most Recent Winemaking Offerings

Click here.