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Sean

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Hi All,

Does anyone know the key differences in production parameters/characteristics of wine making at home vs what would be done in a commercial facility?

- Temperature
- Chemicals
- Duration
- Yeast
- etc

I use kits only the moment so the comparison Im looking for is against that specificity.

I always find there is a "home made" taste about my wine that I dont find in commerical wine purchased from the store. Looking to see what might be driving that.

Thx
Sean
 

jgmann67

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The biggest differences are the quality of the juice and skins and the oak. Commercial process is less reliant on clearing agents, uses more kmeta. You might want to do a wine from fresh grapes at home and compare the three for yourself. Kits v. Fresh grapes v. Commercial
 

salcoco

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commercial wines are aged longer than most people who make wine kits. if wine kits are aged , assuming reds, for two to three years they may be more comparable with commercial.

Commercial wineries will usually use a yeast that is more compatible to the grape profile then what is available in kits. Kits use a more generic yeast to insure success.

Also when making red wine juice contact with the skins i very important, not always available in a kit.
 

dralarms

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I've never had a commerical wine that even came close to tasting as good as home made.
 

Sean

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Thanks for the info.

Do you know how the commercial guys do the clearing? The kits all come with chitosan for clearing. What do the pros use? Do they just leave it for a few years and just wait for it to clear on its own?

Sean
 

meadmaker1

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I believe blending comes into play as well.
I tryed to demonstrate to a frend how blending affected flavor and feel, but I could tell he lost faith in the product even though he noticed and tasted the difference and liked it. I offered to bottle thst blend for him but he declined. So I gave him a bottle that was the same blend that I had bottled and labeled,but didnt tell him it was blended. Later he told some other freinds that this bottle was the best he ever had??????
Too bad we all cant keep bulk storage of everything we ve ever made.
 

sour_grapes

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One obvious difference that you didn't mention in your initial post is that kits have been concentrated.

On this forum (and others), the difference between kits and wine from fresh grapes is often referred to as "kit taste" or "KT." Some claim to taste it, others claim they don't. I don't believe any consensus has ever been reached regarding its origin.
 

NorCal

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I manage a community vineyard and sell grapes (50 tons) to local wineries, as well as make my own. Their bottles sell between $25-$35 per bottle. I'm pretty fastidious in every step in my wine making, but their wine would be superior to mine every time.

At every step, their equipment, experience and knowledge is better than mine. Specifically, lab equipment, whole berry destemmer, automatic berry sorter, glycol tanks for cold soak and auto adjusting temps during fermentation, gentle presses, better and more expensive barrels, 55-60 degree storage, 2 year storage before release. That and a degree from UCD and a network of knowledge and willingness to share, like none other.
 

Smokin_Paul

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One obvious difference that you didn't mention in your initial post is that kits have been concentrated.

On this forum (and others), the difference between kits and wine from fresh grapes is often referred to as "kit taste" or "KT." Some claim to taste it, others claim they don't. I don't believe any consensus has ever been reached regarding its origin.
Sure there is difference in the juice but I don't think it makes a difference in the outcome, or at least it doesnt have to. I've made wine from kits to fresh juice and many of my kits have been the best. I do often mod the kits. I almost always add some sort of yeast nutrients and other ingredients that make the yeast happy and speed the process just like the commercial wineries. I think the "kit" taste is just unhappy yeast not having what they want so they and up synthesizing what they need. If the yeast have everything they don't do anything extra that affects the flavor.

I have two batches of Sangiovese. One a WE Vintners Reserve kit I tweaked plus added Zante currant raisins. It makes a delicious plumy wine, no kit taste. The other is made from fresh frozen Chilean juice. No raisins added and it's got strong hints of cherry and is also delicious. If i made the kit like the fresh juice it would.taste different but there would be no "kit" taste. Well at least the way I make it. If i added raisins to the fresh juice it would have more of the plum flavor but it would still be different.

It also makes a difference how the juice is concentrated. I've made highly concentrated kits that were as good as, or better, then WE Eclipse kits. It's more about the artist and less about the tools.
 
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Rocky

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This debate probably has gone on since people first began making their own wine and comparing it to "commercially produced" wine. There are no "standards" of how a wine should taste. It is not like looking for a "standard meter" (which, as I remember from high school physics, at one time was marked on a metal bar and stored at a controlled temperature in Paris, France). Wine is a matter of taste and I will argue till the cows come home that if I like a wine, it is a good or great wine TO ME. By the same token, if an "expert" likes a wine which I find wanting, it is not a "good or great" wine TO ME. Call it cellar palate or just plain lack of sophistication but I do not like the taste of any commercial wines (at least the ones I would be willing to buy, i.e. under say $50 a bottle). All I taste are chemicals in commercial wines and my headache tells me it is not for me.
 

Boatboy24

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Thanks for the info.

Do you know how the commercial guys do the clearing? The kits all come with chitosan for clearing. What do the pros use? Do they just leave it for a few years and just wait for it to clear on its own?

Sean
The commercial guys don't typically use any clearing agents. I don't know exactly why, but wine from grapes seems to clear much faster and more easily than that from kits. Commercial wineries do filter though.
 

Sean

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Thanks Paul. That's really interesting. How much yeast nutrient do you add per litre? I would like to give this a go on the next batch and see what impact it has.


Sure there is difference in the juice but I don't think it makes a difference in the outcome, or at least it doesnt have to. I've made wine from kits to fresh juice and many of my kits have been the best. I do often mod the kits. I almost always add some sort of yeast nutrients and other ingredients that make the yeast happy and speed the process just like the commercial wineries. I think the "kit" taste is just unhappy yeast not having what they want so they and up synthesizing what they need. If the yeast have everything they don't do anything extra that affects the flavor.

I have two batches of Sangiovese. One a WE Vintners Reserve kit I tweaked plus added Zante currant raisins. It makes a delicious plumy wine, no kit taste. The other is made from fresh frozen Chilean juice. No raisins added and it's got strong hints of cherry and is also delicious. If i made the kit like the fresh juice it would.taste different but there would be no "kit" taste. Well at least the way I make it. If i added raisins to the fresh juice it would have more of the plum flavor but it would still be different.

It also makes a difference how the juice is concentrated. I've made highly concentrated kits that were as good as, or better, then WE Eclipse kits. It's more about the artist and less about the tools.
 

Ajmassa

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Well I guess everyone sees this differently. With respect to other opinions, I'd have to agree 100% with NorCal on this. The equipment, the knowledge, and the lab work are a recipe for better wine.
I don't claim to have a sophisticated palate, but I think there's a big difference from kits to commercial. To me the most notable difference is the nose. In my experience the majority of kits have little to no nose at all. But in comparison making wine from fresh grapes in even the most basic way possible will give you a wine with a nose that even high-end kits cannot produce.
I also find that a shame if you're not able to enjoy commercial wines at all. Staying away from the mass producers like yellowtail or cheap Mondavi, I've found some gems under $20. Whenever I buy wine I make it a point to get 1 bottle I've had and 1 I haven't (domestic and imported). It's hit or miss, but when you hit and really enjoy a bottle you bought for $16 it feels like a win.
And Using nutrients is definitely a good way to start making a better finished product. For just $5 you can order this pack of additives that will enhance the wine some. All the amounts and ratios to use are printed right on the bags as well as paperwork when delivered. The pack is sufficient for a 6 gallon batch.
https://morewinemaking.com/products/additive-pack-brehm-frozen-fruit-reds.html
 

Smokin_Paul

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It all depends on what yeast nutrients you use. I'm not around my winery (wine room) till the weekend but when I get back I'll look up what I've used and the quantities.

I also have been adding grape packs to most of my kits and fresh juice wines. I have tried a couple different sources but have settled on grape packs from US Elite wine supply out of Palmdale California. They also make awesome fruit packs for adding to wine. They also sell kits which are very good.
 

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