Does the amount of liters in a kit necessarily mean better quality?

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skiboarder72

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I would love to hear people's thoughts on this. In the realm of commercially available 6 gallon kits, is a 18L kit necessarily better than a 16L and so on? If they take the full juice and concentrate it down to smaller and smaller quantities, at what point does it start to effect the flavor? I know you usually end up paying more for the less concentrated kits but does this directly mean better flavor/aromas/complexity in the end?

What are your thoughts?
 

phermenter

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In my experience, bigger is almost always better, though I don't think many would draw a line between 16 and 18 liter kits. I've only made 13 kits so far in 18 months (and four of them haven't been bottled yet), but I'm getting to where the smaller kits are almost a chore to drink because the big ones are so much more enjoyable.

There are exceptions to the rule. Chief among them are the Cellar Craft 12-liter grape pack kits. They don't cost much more than standard 10-liter kits but, to me at least, are clearly superior in quality.

I'm not 100 percent sure on this, so someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the smaller kits are almost all concentrate, whereas the bigger ones are concentrate and some honest-to-gosh juice. That's part of what brings more varietal flavor and noticable aromas to the bigger kits.

Jim
 

cpfan

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As a general statement, the smaller volume kits are poorer quality than the larger box kits. There are some exceptions, notably the 23 litre kits. For some discussion of 23 litre kits see http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6624

The difference comes from 2 sources. Concentrate versus juice. And quality of the original juice. The quality difference is the most important, ie a small kit from high quality concentrates (ie Elite Vintners) will probably be better than a large kit with poorer quality materials. Kinda makes sense, eh? You should read the following article.
http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/article/indices/25-kit-winemaking/90-big-kits-wine-kits

As a general rule you get what you pay for. But your personal tastes and budget must also enter into the picture. For example, you may enjoy a less expensive Merlot over an expensive Amarone, if that's the way your tastes run.

Steve
 

Tom

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I agree with Steve. Now if you do not have a Wine Pallet then I would suggest a nidrange kit for starters. The low end kits lack body and flavor. Once you start making and "tasting" you will move up to the better kits.
ENJOY !
 

vvolf34

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What do you consider mid range and high range? Price point? I started with a breeze kit, but have a $100.00 + Ice wine and $80 Piesporter and $100.00 Riesling going.
 

Tom

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What do you consider mid range and high range? Price point? I started with a breeze kit, but have a $100.00 + Ice wine and $80 Piesporter and $100.00 Riesling going.
Around a 15ltr kit. Low end (entry levrel) is 8 ltr. The "mist" wines are OK as a "Patio cooler" (mix with ginger ale). $100ish is a good starting point. Remember $100 kit is only $3+ per bottle
 

NSwiner

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Those would be the higher end kits . what brand are they wine expert , Cru etc ? I would say $60.00 - $80.00 mid range but these are Canadian prices they might be a little different in U.S. If you're lucky enough to come across a sale then that's great I brought a $73.00 kits for $56.00 saved $17.00 on the weekend during the winter sale . The breeze kits are cheaper but still taste good just less alc % and as you know quick to make up . If you scrool down this page there are similar threads and the first one explains it well for and has some other links to follow .http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5310
 

Wade E

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You cany really go by price range as some retailors may charge quite a bit for some kits that seem to sell fatsr and then not much more for kits that dont move as fast. cpfan pretty much hit it on the nail, Most 23 liter all juice kits arent as good as the 15-18 liter kits, they are a lesser qulaity kit in which they hve ust added the water for you. I dont find a big difference in the white kits as far as taste and body goes but a huge difference in the red wines.
 

vvolf34

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Hey alright thanks for the information.

Yeah I did the Mist kit as my first one, before I knew anything. But I have to admit, I ordered another one, Peach Chard so I can have something to drink while everything else is aging.
 
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