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Foul Grape Juice Concentrate

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jabrooks

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On Sunday I came home from the homebrew shop here in LA with all my gear for my very first batch of wine. The smell from the reconstituted juice was rather... off. It smelled slightly vinegary. Should I toss it? If so, should I call the shop and tell them they sold me a bad kit?


Just in case, I put it in primary and pitched anyhow. SG was 1.085. First bubbles in 12 hours or so, which seems a little early in comparison to what I have heard. At 1 day later, I'm getting about 1-2 bubbles per second.

Thoughts? Thanks for the advice.
 

Green Mountains

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The vinegary smell is of concern but then again everyones noses are different. What was the date code on the kit box? If I was going to return it for a refund I would have taken it back without the yeast addition.

That being said. Twelve hours is perfectly good. The fact that you're getting a few bubbles per second is awesome.

Who's kit and what varietal?
 

jabrooks

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The date code on the box indicated August of 2009, which I assume is still well within its use by date, correct? Its Chardonnay, a Vino de Vida kit.

To describe the smell of the concentrate, it was a little vinegary, and definitely didn't smell like I wanted a class of it. I knew not to expect Welches, but this stuff wasn't even close. Originally I assumed it was "musky" or "off" because maybe thats just due to the way it was pressed... possibly with skins, I'm not sure, but now I am starting to think I have a sour batch. What do you think?

Thanks for your help!
 

Green Mountains

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Guess I'd contact the place you bought it from. They may question why you pitched the yeast if you thought it was bad but who knows.

Let us know how this turns out.
 

jabrooks

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I called, the owner was kind of a jerk. I wasn't even able to get to the point to tell him I pitched already and he told me that "everything sounded fine" and I should ferment and see then. I asked how I would know if the concentrate had spoiled, and he quipped back with "years of experience".

They seemed pretty honest when I bought the kit; they even gave me a new yeast pack (I pitched both, per their directions) because he was worried it could have died due to age.

A little frustraiting as a first timer...

I will update in approx 2 weeks when its time to stabilize and rack to secondary.
 

cpfan

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They seemed pretty honest when I bought the kit; they even gave me a new yeast pack (I pitched both, per their directions) because he was worried it could have died due to age.
I have a Spagnols kit to start. It is dated 20090923 (ie Sept 2009) ,and the date on the yeast is 11-2011.

I have no idea what they were thinking to give you a second packet of yeast. Sure makes me doubt the knowledge of that store.

Steve
 

Wade E

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I would have said to ferment it also, That kit is not old and many people smell things much different and have never heard of a kit being bad in that way ever. Ive seen a few that were never diluted down after they have concentrated them and the starting sg was through the roof like twice but other then that no problems. Save your kit code just in case though as W.E. does guaranty their kits and they do take care of these problems if they are justified ,in other words, if you are still unhappy with the result they will usually send you out another kit to replace it but Im betting its just a new smell to you and hope thats true.
 

cpfan

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Wade: Vino del Vida is a Spagnols product.
 

jabrooks

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Was pitching both yeasts a terrible move? Worst case what happens?

I'm still not very sure of what effect quantity of yeast has on a batch. My guess is it will just ferment to extremely dry, correct?

Lastly, what sort of aroma should I expect when I rack into secondary? When does the wine take on the typical smell of wine?

cpfan: Is Spanols not reputable for their costumer service or something?
 
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Wade E

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Oops, Thats what I meant, both of these companies do a very good job customer satisfaction. Spanols has awesome customer service and I can attest to it! Its the bgrand I recommend over any other actually. Doubling the yeast wont hurt anything at all, youll just have more sediment on the bottom of the carboy. You should expect a slightly yeasty and harsh wine smell at that point.
 

cpfan

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cpfan: Is Spanols not reputable for their costumer service or something?
Don't know where you got that idea from my comments. I was basically questioning your dealer. I ran a store for 6 years. I would not have given you a free (under $1) pkg of yeast for that kit. If the date was 2008, I would have opened the box, and looked at the date on the yeast first.

Two packages of the same yeast is just overkill. Would not expect any difference in the outcome.

Steve
 

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