Other Anyone Familiar with Kits from www.williamsbrewing.com?

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Johann

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I was looking at thise and wondering, it appears that they are all Califonia concentrates, not as big as some of the other Kit producers...

Any thoughts?
 

Wade E

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Just took a look and 5 liters of juice to make 5 gallons of wine is not good, maybe a white but not a red wine.
 

cpfan

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In the past I believe there have ben some problems with inexperienced wine makers having troubles with the instructions. I don't recall any discussion of the actual results.

Steve
 

Wade E

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My brother in law made wine from the Sun Cal cans and it was nasty!
 
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Just took a look and 5 liters of juice to make 5 gallons of wine is not good, maybe a white but not a red wine.
agreed. IIRC, are grape wines supposed to use very little water anyhow? i've only made concord from juice, but we only used ~3 gallons for a 7 gallon batch. was only going to be 1 for a 5 gallon batch, but the acid was too high. have not tasted it to speak for the flavor, but it's dark and i imagine it's full-bodied. we were wanting as much flavor as possible as we are making blends with it.

we have a horde of "wild" concords on our property and wondering if it will be worth it to make wine with. the vines are in trees and over posion ivy and black raspberries.
 

Wade E

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Ive had some concord wines and I like them myself.
 

Johann

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Thanks for the feedback, I was thinking it might be OK for a 3 gallon batch but don't want to risk it if the canned concentrates generally don't come out as good. I have had 1 Great batch (Riesling Ice)and 1 good batch (Pinot Nior) so far (rushed the red a little...)

Still learning....
Johann
 

phermenter

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I was looking at thise and wondering, it appears that they are all Califonia concentrates, not as big as some of the other Kit producers...

Any thoughts?
It's probably crazy to be kicking this thread back up to the top nine months after it died of disuse, but since no one else who chimed in had actually made one, here goes:

I did a William's merlot kit for my first kit. Started it almost exactly two years ago. Aug. 1, 2008. It made a pretty respectable if unspectacular merlot. (I still have a couple bottles left to try at two and three years.) Most casual wine drinkers like it fine. To someone who's used to trying and assessing a lot of different wines, it may seem a little simple and one-dimensional.

As far as the kit goes, it is by far the simplest one I've made. The directions have you mix water into the concentrate, dump on the yeast, rack in a month or so, then bottle a few months later. Note there is no degassing called for and no stabilization routine. Presumably it has enough k-meta in it to see it through a couple years in the bottle.

One big plus: This is the only kit I've seen that makes a realistic timeline part of the basic directions. They say to bottle after about 6 months, then wait another 6 months to one year before drinking. Don't you wish other kit makers would be so honest?

When you look at the amount of concentrate and the amount of water added, remember this is pure concentrate, unlike most kits, so adding that much water doesn't give you a diluted wine.

While I've made about 15 more kits in the past two years, I have not made another William's kit. That's partly because this is a hobby for me, and months of doing nothing doesn't give me the feeling of accomplishing something. But at $2.50 per bottle, I would not hesitate to get another one based on the cost and results. It's also a great company to do business with (I know from my beer brewing days).

Jim
 

deboard

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Thanks for the hands on advice phermenter.

I'm a big fan of concentrates, I have a lot of fun experimenting with them, and it gives me an inexpensive way to learn some stuff.

I have never used a williams concentrate, but the Sun Cal riesling made a pretty good strawberry riesling when I added 10lbs of strawberries and adjusted the recipe down to 3 gallons. I'll also say that I have had a Strawberry Riesling made from an Alexander's Riesling that was just as good as mine, and the Alexander's Riesling is A LOT less expensive.

My Barbera concentrate with 10lbs of tart cherries turned out very interesting as well. It needs some age, but I like it enough. The 20lbs of blackberries that I added to an Alexander's Pinot Noir might be the best one yet though. Because I used so many blackberries it ended up pretty complex with a few subtle flavors.

I always adjust the recipe down to 3 gallons, the 5 gallon just doesn't cut it unless you use more than 1 can.
 

Wade E

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Just remeber that the less juice you get the less total dossolved solids there will be and this is what makes a wine have much more body. Dont be fooled by some juice buckets that are sold that are 23 liters. Im pretty sure only the Mosti Mondiale All Juice kits are all juice while others are juice and water so you dont have to add any water.
 

cpfan

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Im pretty sure only the Mosti Mondiale All Juice kits are all juice while others are juice and water so you dont have to add any water.
I agree that the MM AJ is the only all juice. But some of the others are juice with concentrate and maybe a little water. I think Vineco Vinterra and Spagnols Premier Cru fall into this category.

Spagnols Bolero line is said to be concentrate and water with maybe a bit of juice. Not sure about some of the other brands.

Vinterra and Premier Cru cost more than Bolero, as might be expected.

Steve
 

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