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JohnW

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Since you didn't specify red or white, pretty much any Sauvignon Blanc kit is ready to drink in a few months. I made the WineXpert Private Reserve Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Wine kit last winter and it was delicious in about 3 months.
 

Dan M

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I've made several of the Island Mist kits using the Label Peelers bumping strategy and they came out great, with an ABV of 9-10% and they are immediately drinkable. LP suggests a liter of grape concentrate and a pound of corn sugar. Are you guys using this type of sugar or just common baking sugar?
 

Mcjeff

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I've made several of the Island Mist kits using the Label Peelers bumping strategy and they came out great, with an ABV of 9-10% and they are immediately drinkable. LP suggests a liter of grape concentrate and a pound of corn sugar. Are you guys using this type of sugar or just common baking sugar?
I’ve used regular cane sugar. Corn sugar is cheaper, I figured that may be why, but this old thread talks about differences between cane sugar and corn. Pure Cane Sugar Vs. Corn sugar
Maybe a back to back experiment is needed😊
 

Dan M

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Thanks @Mcjeff , that was an interesting thread for a "scientist" like me (and I'm always up for a taste test). I conclude that the type of sugar doesn't really matter for wine; different story for beer. The cost isn't as big a factor for me as is the availability! Now the cost of the grape concentrate is $13-$15 plus shipping when I buy it at LP. If I go all sugar and no added grape juice, will the sweet wine taste as good? What do you think @winemaker81 ?
 

winemaker81

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What do you think @winemaker81 ?
I've been married for 30 years, so I learned to not think, as it gets me in trouble every time! 😉

Sugar only is going to increase alcohol, which improves shelf life and mouth feel, to some extent. Concentrate does that, plus provides more body and flavor.

The Island Mist wines I chaptalized (sugar only) were fine as they were, as they met my expectations. I wasn't looking for a complex wine -- fruit flavor and complex red/white aren't 2 things I'd put together.

If looking for a deeper wine, add concentrate. Personally, if I was adding concentrate to an Island Mist, I'd add enough sugar to bump the ABV to 11%-12%, so LP's advice of 1 lb sugar is too low IMO. If the body increases, aging time will as well -- but if the wine is below 10% ABV, it will have a shorter shelf life. I am concerned that such a wine would age oddly -- I have no proof of that, but knowing how wine ages makes me suspect it.

I have plans for fruit wines this winter, and am strongly considering buying an inexpensive red kit for the concentrate, which is a total of $8 USD per liter. Whatever I don't use, I'll freeze for another use.
 

Bmd2k1

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Any of the Island Mist, Orchard Breezin wine kits can be ready to drink in about the 4-6 weeks advertised. When I make these, I always increase the alcohol level up to about 10-13% ABV. I make them to the full 6 gallons, don't add much (other than plain white sugar) from outside the kit box. Everyone thinks you are a great winemaker and you just snicker about it.

The Peach Apricot (with mostly Chardonnay) one is a favorite of the non-wine drinkers at my house. along with the Black Cherry (Pinot Noir, maybe it's Malbec, who knows).
Sold! Gonna give the Peach Apricot Chardonnay a whirl and make some or all into a sparkling vino. Jack the ABV up per recommendations and use EC1118. Bottle in my 32oz swing-tops. I've had excellent success bottle carb'ing my hard ciders - so will utilize that protocol. Early2022 project.

Cheers!
 

Bmd2k1

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Any of the Island Mist, Orchard Breezin wine kits can be ready to drink in about the 4-6 weeks advertised. When I make these, I always increase the alcohol level up to about 10-13% ABV. I make them to the full 6 gallons, don't add much (other than plain white sugar) from outside the kit box. Everyone thinks you are a great winemaker and you just snicker about it.

The Peach Apricot (with mostly Chardonnay) one is a favorite of the non-wine drinkers at my house. along with the Black Cherry (Pinot Noir, maybe it's Malbec, who knows).
Do you make your Peach Apricot Chardonnay dry?

Cheers!
 

Bmd2k1

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I'm sure it isn't dry. I fermented according to directions, except for adding sugar to increase the abv to about 10-11% abv. Adding the entire flavoring pack after the fermentation completed.
Any idea what's in the fpac?
 

ceeaton

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Any idea what's in the fpac?
It's a bunch of sugar and natural/unnatural flavors. You add it, if you follow their directions, after you add the sorbate so it increases the final gravity to way more than dry (I believe in the 1.010-1.014 range if I remember right). I happen to have a Raspberry/Peach Sangria kit I keep forgetting to make in the basement.

I normally add half of the f-pack (I think there is some sorbate in it) after fermentation gets going so that the final gravity isn't too high since my wife is sliding to the dry side. I also buy the grape concentrate and it really hasn't made the wine take significantly longer to age. I have a few bottles that have hit 4 years old and they are very drinkable still. When I find one my wife squeals and says put it in the freezer so she can have a glass promptly. I think my normal final gravity ends in the 1.005 range (too lazy to walk down the stairs and look at my notes, sorry).
 

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