Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ask Around Before You Buy!

Todd and I “found” wine together back in 2008.  We used to think that wine was always dry and tasted horrible until a trip up to the Thousand Islands in upstate New York.  We found that there are more than dry, bitter wines! 

Shortly after, we started making our own wine.  The wine we make is sweet and fruity, made from a kit like Orchard Breezin’ or RJ Spagnol.  On average it costs us less than $2/bottle to make.  Equipment is needed to make wine (glass carboys, hydrometers, holding buckets, etc.) but my mom bought it for me as a gift for my birthday one year, really helping to keep the cost per bottle of wine down.

This year, we decided we’d like to try to make beer.  It uses pretty much the same equipment as wine, except we’d need a very large stock pot (5+ gallons).  The Grape & Granary, a wine supply store in Akron, sells these pots for nearly $100.  While at the flea market a couple of weeks ago, we decided that we were on a mission to find a stock pot of this size.  We found one that was actually a turkey frier!  The price: $20.  We had the $20, but when Todd said that it was a turkey frier, I remembered that my father and my grandmother both have a turkey frier!  We passed on the stock pot and went over to my dad’s house. 

Low and behold, my dad actually had 2 stock pots that were exactly what we needed!  Why pay for something that you will only use twice a year when someone else already has one? 

So, we are in the processing of making our first batch of beer.  If it turns out well, we will be making a couple of batches to give away as gifts for Christmas.

This post has linked up with the Homestead Barn Hop!


  1. Visiting from the Barn Hop. We rarely buy anything new and when we look for things, like you, we ask around first. You did good.

  2. Found you on the barnhop. I "got over" my fear of asking. I think sometimes people are afraid to ask around because of the fear of looking cheap or greedy. My solution is, don't ask. Just mention. I always mention, in casual conversation, items I'm looking for. I've gotten so many items this way - and I don't offend anyone by making it sound like I'm just looking for a handout. I "just mentioned" to my Gram that I was learning to can and she said, "I'm DONE canning so you can have my jars." I got 7 boxes of quart jars by "just mentioning".
    PS I'm going to add winemaking to my list of skills to learn - I do love wine. I do not love paying $25 or more per bottle!

  3. I got a pressure canner from a friend who just wants the ability to borrow it back if need be - yea!!!!!!