Advice needed MYO winekit, when and what flavours to add?

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Howdy folks, hope everyone is supping well and staying safe. This is my first post after making my first ever red wine kit (first of many I am sure) and I am looking for some advice please.

A little bit of background before I ask my question. I managed to get hold of two short dated red wine kits and I made one of the red wine kits a while back and am happy with the 30 bottles I now have stored away, they will last me a good while. So I now have a second one of the exact same kit to make ASAP as it is almost at its Best Before date. I don’t have another 30 empty bottles though but do have 6 empty demijohns, so what I will be doing is racking the kit into 6 separate 5L demijohns once secondary fermentation is complete, filling right up to the top to make sure there is no air trapped in, and then bottle them all at a later date.

My questions are these:

I want to add different flavours into each of the demijohns after fermentation just to experiment a bit, what is the best way to add flavour after fermentation has finished? Is it actually possible or does it have to be added at secondary fermentation stage?

I am guessing that adding certain actual fruit would be dangerous as it could blow up the bottles? Would any fruits or flavours be completely ok to add Into the demijohns after fermentation has ended? I do have some muslin bags that I could fill and use in the demijohns.

What other options do I have to add flavour, can any suggest any extracts or additives that I can get hold of in the UK please? And cheapish if possible as I am skint!

Also I am open to recommendations of what other flavours work well in flavouring red wine, what have you had success with? I was thinking peach in one DJ, cherry in another, pineapple, mango etc...

I hope this makes sense, let me know if you need any more info at all from me. Any help as always guys would be fantastic!
 
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Johnd

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Howdy folks, hope everyone is supping well and staying safe. This is my first post after making my first ever red wine kit (first of many I am sure) and I am looking for some advice please.

A little bit of background before I ask my question. I managed to get hold of two short dated red wine kits and I made one of the red wine kits a while back and am happy with the 30 bottles I now have stored away, they will last me a good while. So I now have a second one of the exact same kit to make ASAP as it is almost at its Best Before date. I don’t have another 30 empty bottles though but do have 6 empty demijohns, so what I will be doing is racking the kit into 6 separate 5L demijohns once secondary fermentation is complete, filling right up to the top to make sure there is no air trapped in, and then bottle them all at a later date.

My questions are these:

I want to add different flavours into each of the demijohns after fermentation just to experiment a bit, what is the best way to add flavour after fermentation has finished? Is it actually possible or does it have to be added at secondary fermentation stage?

I am guessing that adding certain actual fruit would be dangerous as it could blow up the bottles? Would any fruits or flavours be completely ok to add Into the demijohns after fermentation has ended? I do have some muslin bags that I could fill and use in the demijohns.

What other options do I have to add flavour, can any suggest any extracts or additives that I can get hold of in the UK please? And cheapish if possible as I am skint!

Also I am open to recommendations of what other flavours work well in flavouring red wine, what have you had success with? I was thinking peach in one DJ, cherry in another, pineapple, mango etc...

I hope this makes sense, let me know if you need any more info at all from me. Any help as always guys would be fantastic!
You can add flavors in the primary, the secondary or after the wine is finished. If adding in primary or secondary, while AF is still active, any sugars that are a part of the flavoring you use will be converted to alcohol, raising the ABV %. If you add flavoring with sugars in them after fermentation is finished, you can use potassium sorbate, at the proper dosage, to prevent the added sugars from triggering AF, thus preventing a change to your ABV% and / or bottle bombs.

There are a myriad of things that can be added to wine to affect the final product. You mentioned fruit and / or fruit flavors, which are fine, but you should try to match them with the flavor profile of the wine varietal. For instance, if you're doing a Cabernet Sauvignon that typically has lots of dark fruit flavors, you could enhance those notes with blackberry or black cherry, but peach wouldn't sound good to me. Study up on the varietal to see what sorts of flavors complement it and try those. Fruits like raisins or black currants can be added to give those notes to a Cabernet Sauvignon, and won't have a notable effect of ABV%.

Other options include:
  • tannins, both in secondary and after fermentation, they add no sugar, provide structure, and there are various tannin products available and made for addition at different stages
  • oak adjuncts, in primary, secondary, and after fermentation, no sugar, provide oaky taste to the wine, available in chips, beans, staves, and from different regions (American Oak, French Oak, Hungarian Oak, etc)
  • sugar, added after AF, and after applying sorbate, will add sweetness to the wine, the degree of sweetening depends upon how much you add, sugar will also serve to enhance and bring out the fruity flavors already present in your wine
  • glycerin, added after AF, no need for sorbate, will do much the same as sugar, giving the wine a sweetness and bringing out fruity flavors

These are just a few ideas that come to mind. With any additions, whenever possible, you should try the additions on a small scale to see how much you prefer (bench tests), than expand the amount to suit your target vessel. There is a thread on the forum called "Tweeking Cheap Kits" by @joeswine , you should peruse that as you consider what you want to try, and I'm sure that Joe will offer you some additional ideas if you ask him.

Welcome and good luck!!!!!
 
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You can add flavors in the primary, the secondary or after the wine is finished. If adding in primary or secondary, while AF is still active, any sugars that are a part of the flavoring you use will be converted to alcohol, raising the ABV %. If you add flavoring with sugars in them after fermentation is finished, you can use potassium sorbate, at the proper dosage, to prevent the added sugars from triggering AF, thus preventing a change to your ABV% and / or bottle bombs.

There are a myriad of things that can be added to wine to affect the final product. You mentioned fruit and / or fruit flavors, which are fine, but you should try to match them with the flavor profile of the wine varietal. For instance, if you're doing a Cabernet Sauvignon that typically has lots of dark fruit flavors, you could enhance those notes with blackberry or black cherry, but peach wouldn't sound good to me. Study up on the varietal to see what sorts of flavors complement it and try those. Fruits like raisins or black currants can be added to give those notes to a Cabernet Sauvignon, and won't have a notable effect of ABV%.

Other options include:
  • tannins, both in secondary and after fermentation, they add no sugar, provide structure, and there are various tannin products available and made for addition at different stages
  • oak adjuncts, in primary, secondary, and after fermentation, no sugar, provide oaky taste to the wine, available in chips, beans, staves, and from different regions (American Oak, French Oak, Hungarian Oak, etc)
  • sugar, added after AF, and after applying sorbate, will add sweetness to the wine, the degree of sweetening depends upon how much you add, sugar will also serve to enhance and bring out the fruity flavors already present in your wine
  • glycerin, added after AF, no need for sorbate, will do much the same as sugar, giving the wine a sweetness and bringing out fruity flavors

These are just a few ideas that come to mind. With any additions, whenever possible, you should try the additions on a small scale to see how much you prefer (bench tests), than expand the amount to suit your target vessel. There is a thread on the forum called "Tweeking Cheap Kits" by @joeswine , you should peruse that as you consider what you want to try, and I'm sure that Joe will offer you some additional ideas if you ask him.

Welcome and good luck!!!!!
thank you so much Johnd thanks for taking the time to reply, that is all really wonderful advice, I am really excited about all the possibilities out there to make my own wines in the future and I will definitely bookmark joes great thread too.
Cheers 🥂
Dave
 

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