I can't get down with the white kits

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jdammer

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Well I'm bottling a sauv blanc right now. It was over $100. It was my fifth white wine kit and I just don't like them that much. I don't know if I'm messing up the process but my Winery Series Grape kit Merlot turned out pretty well. Made in May last year and it's finally losing its kit smell.

I think next fall I will trying buying juice and some testing equipment and start making some from real juice.

Not really sure why i'm writing this. Mostly because I'm bummed. Owell. All my beer turns out great! :)
 

robie

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. Made in May last year and it's finally losing its kit smell. :)

This is the first time I recall anyone mentioning "kit smell". Instead of KT it's KS.

You know, I can open a bottle of wine, which is made from a kit, take one whiff of it and tell you if it is not yet ready to drink. Just because it does NOT have that "kit smell", doesn't mean it is ready. However, if it does have that smell, I can assure you it is nowhere near being ready.

For me, this is why some red kits, which claim they are drinkable in 6 months, are not at all drinkable - IMO. It takes longer than that to get rid of the KS. I just can't enjoy drinking a wine with that smell, regardless of how it might taste.

It is interesting how the "KS" will diminish in time, though. Until then, me no drinkie.
 

jdammer

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It is interesting how the "KS" will diminish in time, though. Until then, me no drinkie.[/QUOTE]

How long on average does yours take? For whites?
 

Wade E

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Which white kits have you made that you didnt like out of curiousity?
 

robie

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It is interesting how the "KS" will diminish in time, though. Until then, me no drinkie.

How long on average does yours take? For whites?[/QUOTE]

In whites, I only make summer wines, which even after a few months taste fine. I just don't drink enough white wine to take the time to make a kit. A 6-gallon white kit would last me about 4 years. Anyway, I can buy Nice Legs Chardonnay for $6.50 a bottle and it takes care of any white attacks I might have.

For reds, now this is strictly me, it takes at least 18 months; 24 months is better, though. Some brands seem to take longer than others, too.
 

jdammer

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Well the first one was the the Vintner's Reserve Mezza Luna White. I messed it up though. ( The reason I found this board ) I added the f-pack to the primary. So it was a little lethal.

Second was the Vintner's Reserve Washington Riesling. It actually wasn't that bad. Taste was good but the smell bothered me.

Next was the Mezza Luna again cause I wanted to do it right.

I guess I only made four. Last one was the 16L Sauv Blanc from RJS. I aged for about 6 months and wasn't topped up all the way. Maybe that was the problem. I did just bottled it but the sample from the thief before racking was disappointing. Maybe I was low on sulfites and it oxidized. I think if I do it again I will be anal and buy testing equipment.

Maybe it will change over the next six months in bottles? I added some K-Meta right before bottling.
 

robie

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Maybe it will change over the next six months in bottles? I added some K-Meta right before bottling.

You will likely be pleasantly surprised at how it will change in 6 months to a year. Patience - patience - patience!!!

Try it again in 6 and let us know.
 

Wade E

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Do yo like dry whites, I dont really and always sweeten my white wines. I also dont really like Sauv. Blanc.
 

EngineJoe

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What, to the best you can describe it, is the kit smell?

With beer, extract brews are said to have an "extract smell", which sort of reminds me of pen ink. It doesn't really fade with time. There's also an extract taste -- a sort of caramelization character. Again, it doesn't really go anywhere. Just two of many reasons to brew with 100% grains.

But what about kit smell/kit taste? Glad to see it can pass with time, but what is it like in the meantime?
 

ffemt128

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Do yo like dry whites, I dont really and always sweeten my white wines. I also dont really like Sauv. Blanc.

We generally used to drink whites or blush wines. Not a big dry white person myself either. My Chilean Sav Blanc we back sweetened to 1.004, it made a big difference for us.
 

jdammer

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What, to the best you can describe it, is the kit smell?

With beer, extract brews are said to have an "extract smell", which sort of reminds me of pen ink. It doesn't really fade with time. There's also an extract taste -- a sort of caramelization character. Again, it doesn't really go anywhere. Just two of many reasons to brew with 100% grains.

But what about kit smell/kit taste? Glad to see it can pass with time, but what is it like in the meantime?

Well. It is hard to describe. It's almost a flat smell. Like whatever aroma is supposed to be there really isn't. It's just a little off putting and really doesn't let me enjoy it as much as I could.

I've only done extract brewing. I actually have my mash tun cooler kit coming this friday. First all grain batch this weekend. :) I've never noticed an extract beer smell though.
 

jdammer

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Do yo like dry whites, I dont really and always sweeten my white wines. I also dont really like Sauv. Blanc.

I love Sauv Blanc and Chardonnay. I drink plenty of Riesling as well though. Sauv Blanc always has such an awesome grassy and grapefruit tone to it. Especially the Marlborough grapes.

So I like a wide variety.
 

ibglowin

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Did you by chance add the sorbate? Many folks describe kit taste or KT as a bubble gum taste which most definitely sounds like the aroma of sorbate.

I make mostly reds but have made 4 whites in the last 18 months and just started a CC Showcase Riesling at the first of the year. Without a doubt none of them would be what I call good at 6 months. At 9 months they were just so so. At 12 months I would say they were pretty good and certainly drinkable.

At 15 months I would class them as very good, open at will. :b
 

EngineJoe

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Thanks for the info on the "kit" effect. Glad to know it clears.

I've only done extract brewing. I actually have my mash tun cooler kit coming this friday. First all grain batch this weekend. :) I've never noticed an extract beer smell though.

Have fun with the all-grain! After the first couple of times, when you're just trying to keep track of all the steps, it gets to be a lot of fun.

As for the extract "twang", it comes down to oxidation. How noticeable it is depends on a couple of factors: (1) it is less of an issue with dry extracts and very fresh liquid extract. So if you've had access to fresh bulk liquid or been using dry, that minimizes the effect (so much so that many people can't really pick up on it). It becomes obvious with older extract. (2) strongly flavored beers (IPAs, stouts, etc) do a good job hiding it when it's there. Lagers, for example, are much less forgiving.

The other issue, caramelization flavors from extract, is directly related to how much water you're boiling to make the wort. The less liquid, the denser/higher gravity the boiled wort is -- thus more kettle caramelization.

You can make award-winning beers with extract; but it helps if you can boil full volume and get fresh extract.

Have we gotten off-topic? :i
 

jdammer

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It shouldn't be too bad. I've watched my buddy do all grain a few times. He fly sparges though and I plan on batch. A little different calculations will be involved. I'm glad I never noticed the extract taste before. Wish I could say the same for wine :)
 

Wade E

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All I can say is to try a better kit as those that you mention are the lower grade kits and thats probably the problem.
 

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