Damaged Wine Kit -- what to do with the juice?

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Timothy

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Hello -

I recently received a Winexpert California Gewruztraminer, ordered on Amazon, that came in damaged. From what I can tell, the F pack leaked and by the time I received the kit, there was mold on the box and inside the box as well.

2 pieces of good news: 1) Amazon is sending me a replacement; and 2) the main juice bag, the yeast and all of the additives appear to be undamaged (once I wipe all of the mold off of the outside).

I don't want to waste perfectly good juice, so I am looking for some guidance as to what to do with it. Should I add oak? Should I purchase some wine conditioner and add it when I would have added the F pack? Are there other ideas that people would suggest? To be honest, I am just not very creative when it comes to making wine. Other than a dalliance with Skeeter Pee a couple of years ago, I have always just stuck with following the directions that come with the kits. Additionally, while I know that Gewruztraminer is generally made with a specific grape, I can't say with any great confidence that the kit comes with Gewruztraminer grape juice. If anyone has some insight on that issue as well. Thank you for any help you can provide.
 

tradowsk

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I agree that you shouldn't let the juice go to waste.

So if you just lost the Fpack, then all you need to do is make something for backsweetening. You can use simple syrup (basic recipe: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, heat and stir until dissolved) or I think honey would be an interesting complement to a gewrutz. Or just leave it dry, it's up to your taste.

First off, you need to sanitize the outside of the juice bag. Give it a heavy dose of star san if you have it, or a kmeta solution if you have extra from a previous kit. You want to be sure you don't contaminate the juice when you open the juice bag.

Otherwise, just follow the normal instructions and substitute your own "Fpack" at the the end. The only difference here is you don't have a pre-measured backsweetener, so you will need to add a little, taste, add more, taste, etc. to get to your liking.
 

crushday

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This has happened to me a few times. If it were me, I’d make both kits and split the F-pack. I find the F-pack too sweet any way and only add half as a normal practice.
 

NorCal

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Most definitely cannot waist the juice. I‘ve never made a kit, but with my white wines, I only ferment the juice, so I’m not sure what was in the F pack for a white wine. Oh and I learned a new word today “dalliance”, thanks.
 

winemaker81

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IME, F-packs are sugar and flavoring, depending on the kit.

If the kit says "Gewurztraminer" then it's mostly Gewurztraminer in the juice bag. Nothing else tastes like it. However, I have made lower end Gewurztraminer kits and they had less varietal flavor than I expected, so the F-pack may enhance the flavor.

I have 2 thoughts on how to proceed:

1. Make both kits - the replacement according to directions and the damaged one minus the F-Pack. Give it a month or 3 and taste them. Gewurztraminer makes great wine in styles from bone dry to dessert. You may like the bone-dry version .... and if not? Make sugar syrup (I use the same ratio as @tradowsk) and sweeten to taste.

2. Make both kits, following @crushday's advice -- put half the F-pack in the replacement and freeze the other half (it should be safe to freeze, if anyone knows otherwise, please correct me!). Give it a month or 3 and taste both.

At this point several decisions can be made:

A) both are fine, toss the remaining F-pack (or save for another wine if you get experimental).

B) Dry Gewurz is good, sweet Gewurz needs more, so add the remaining F-pack to it.

C) Dry Gewurz lacks character, stabilize and add remaining F-pack to it.


I'd go with #2, as it puts off the final decision regarding how to use the F-pack until the wine is cleared and you have a much better idea of what both taste like.
 

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