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Gram1289

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I apologize in advance as I’m sure all of these topics have been covered in the past. I’m new to making wine and just have a couple of questions. I’m starting my third kit and I’d like the wine to taste better in the end, however I don’t have a super developed palate so my standards are fairly low. My first two kits were a Weekday Wine Pinot noir kit, and a Winexpert Sangiovese kit. I drank both of them super young and they both had a similar taste. The tongue tingling taste, as well as a chemically taste. I’ve read in these forums that the tongue tingling is potentially due to insufficient degassing? So what about the chemically taste? Maybe I’m just not aging the wine nearly enough, but I assumed it wouldn’t matter for my amateur palate. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

crushday

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@Gram1289 - A couple pieces of advise that will certainly improve your wines: 1) Keeping making wine and take copious notes... Keep track of what you’re doing and write EVERYTHING down. 2) Add the component of time to your process. IMHO, you’re simply drinking your wares too quickly. You’ve sited a couple evidentiary examples such as the “tongue tingling taste” and the “chemically taste” that are dead giveaways. Don’t get in a hurry. Time, Time, Time. 3) Buy the most expensive kits you can afford. Kits with the most juice cost more but in general taste better - and, take longer to taste better. 4) As long as you’re practicing good sanitation and know how to use a hydrometer and are not back sweetening, you can skip the sorbate. Sorbate is likely the main contributor of your chemically taste, as you describe it. Sorbate makes sterile the yeast so they can’t propagate any longer. Since your previous kits are red wine typically enjoyed dry (.993 or less hydrometer reading) there’s no real fear in seeing a re-fermentation beginning once bottled dry. Lastly, I’d like to reiterate that time is your best friend. Slow down and let your wine become all it can be by letting it just sit there in proper cellaring conditions. There’s not a man or woman on this site that hasn’t had to learn that - in most cases, the hard way. Keep it up...
 

Chuck E

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I apologize in advance as I’m sure all of these topics have been covered in the past. I’m new to making wine and just have a couple of questions. I’m starting my third kit and I’d like the wine to taste better in the end, however I don’t have a super developed palate so my standards are fairly low. My first two kits were a Weekday Wine Pinot noir kit, and a Winexpert Sangiovese kit. I drank both of them super young and they both had a similar taste. The tongue tingling taste, as well as a chemically taste. I’ve read in these forums that the tongue tingling is potentially due to insufficient degassing? So what about the chemically taste? Maybe I’m just not aging the wine nearly enough, but I assumed it wouldn’t matter for my amateur palate. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Many people say that all kits have a "Kit" taste. Perhaps that is what you are describing. You have to find more descriptive words for what you taste. Tartness/sweetness deal with the acid to residual sugar ratio. Tannins will show up on your tongue as a sort of "dryness". "Fruitiness" is the underlying taste of the source fruit, and this can be impacted by the sweetness. "Mouthfeel" has to do with the thickness of the liquid; for example, the difference between whole milk and skim milk. All of these "tastes" can be modified by wine making techniques to some degree. You have choices to make the wine the way you prefer it. Each winemaker figures that out for themselves over time.
My personal opinion is that all homemade wine benefits from bulk aging. Wines I have made, always taste like too much alcohol when they are new. Aging seems to smooth out the taste to me. Now I seldom bottle any wine before it is one year old.
 

mainshipfred

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Like you I never had a very sophisticated palate but I believe it can be trained to improve. The others are on point with proper aging of the wine and higher quality kits.
 

Gram1289

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@Gram1289 - A couple pieces of advise that will certainly improve your wines: 1) Keeping making wine and take copious notes... Keep track of what you’re doing and write EVERYTHING down. 2) Add the component of time to your process. IMHO, you’re simply drinking your wares too quickly. You’ve sited a couple evidentiary examples such as the “tongue tingling taste” and the “chemically taste” that are dead giveaways. Don’t get in a hurry. Time, Time, Time. 3) Buy the most expensive kits you can afford. Kits with the most juice cost more but in general taste better - and, take longer to taste better. 4) As long as you’re practicing good sanitation and know how to use a hydrometer and are not back sweetening, you can skip the sorbate. Sorbate is likely the main contributor of your chemically taste, as you describe it. Sorbate makes sterile the yeast so they can’t propagate any longer. Since your previous kits are red wine typically enjoyed dry (.993 or less hydrometer reading) there’s no real fear in seeing a re-fermentation beginning once bottled dry. Lastly, I’d like to reiterate that time is your best friend. Slow down and let your wine become all it can be by letting it just sit there in proper cellaring conditions. There’s not a man or woman on this site that hasn’t had to learn that - in most cases, the hard way. Keep it up...
Thanks, that’s great info! I’ll probably leave the sorbate out of my next batch. You said the tongue tingling was evident of a young wine? Or is that a degassing issue?
 

Chuck E

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Thanks, that’s great info! I’ll probably leave the sorbate out of my next batch. You said the tongue tingling was evident of a young wine? Or is that a degassing issue?
The degassing reveals itself like Champagne fizz.
 

Gram1289

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Many people say that all kits have a "Kit" taste. Perhaps that is what you are describing. You have to find more descriptive words for what you taste. Tartness/sweetness deal with the acid to residual sugar ratio. Tannins will show up on your tongue as a sort of "dryness". "Fruitiness" is the underlying taste of the source fruit, and this can be impacted by the sweetness. "Mouthfeel" has to do with the thickness of the liquid; for example, the difference between whole milk and skim milk. All of these "tastes" can be modified by wine making techniques to some degree. You have choices to make the wine the way you prefer it. Each winemaker figures that out for themselves over time.
My personal opinion is that all homemade wine benefits from bulk aging. Wines I have made, always taste like too much alcohol when they are new. Aging seems to smooth out the taste to me. Now I seldom bottle any wine before it is one year old.
I can definitely say that my first two batches lacked the tannin flavor on the tongue that I’m used to tasting in dry reds that are store bought. The other flavors I’m less certain about but I would probably say a bit tart, and some residual fruitiness.
 

DoctorCAD

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You're going to hate this, but I just had my last bottle of 2010 Cab Franc from a kit. It was exquisite. At 2 years, it was not good, at 5 years, it got better. The only reason I had enough to last that long was that it wasn't that good early.

I wish I had another case...

Time is the best thing you can do.
 

Rocky

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Hard to add anything to what @crushday posted above. De-gassing will contribute to eliminating the "fizziness" but time in aging will do more. Time will also let the wine develop and that is what @DoctorCAD was citing. You say you are new to the hobby. Well, this is a hobby where patience is truly a virtue. As Archie Bunker noted, "Romania wasn't built in a day."

Stay with it, learn from experience, reading and discussing with others and you will be fine. Lastly, welcome to the forum.
 

cmason1957

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Winemaking is certainly the procrastinators hobby. There are only one or maybe two times while making a particular wine that, I think I'll wait another week is a bad thing to say. one is as you near the end of fermentation. Not sure what the other one is, maybe I'll think about it some more. Tomorrow.
 

mainshipfred

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Winemaking is certainly the procrastinators hobby. There are only one or maybe two times while making a particular wine that, I think I'll wait another week is a bad thing to say. one is as you near the end of fermentation. Not sure what the other one is, maybe I'll think about it some more. Tomorrow.
I'll remind you tomorrow if I think about it and have the time.
 

Gram1289

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Thanks for all the advice folks. I guess I’ll just keep making batches and letting them age. Maybe in about six months I can start drinking my first batches.
 

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