Inexperienced at making wine, question about "enhancing" kits.

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Slyder73

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Greetings everyone. I've been reading these forums for a few months now, joined up a few weeks ago, and have made my first 2 batches of Wine Expert kits.

I'm about to start 2 more batches but have a couple of questions.

I suppose first, is that doing correct SG readings my 2 kits came out at approximately 12% and 11.5% alcohol. The particular kits they were aren't as important as what I want to do next.

I have 2 more Wine Expert kits to start in the next week or so, a Wine Experts, "World Vinyards" Sangiovese, and a Wine Experts, "Vinters Reserve" Sauvignon Blanc.

What I'm wanting to know is if there is a way, with these kits to enhance to 14% to 18% by either adding sugars at some points, or mixing or adding yeasts that end with a higher alcohol content?

I'm asking without deep knowledge of terminology or procedure so I hope my question is clear to those with more expert knowledge. How can I enhance the final alcohol content to a bit more than the kit gives and still have it pleasurable to the palate?

Thank you for any suggestions and information. :b
 

rawlus

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18%? that may make your wine very un-winelike. rocket fuel, it may end up very harsh and not palatable. alcohol has a tendency to thin out the flavor profile of wine too.

but generally, you figure out what starting SG reading you need to get to the final alcohol level you desire and then add enough sugar in the form of simple syrup or bulk during the kit reconstitution process to get the desired starting SG.

grapestompers has a nice alcohol percent calculator you can plug in your test numbers and temps to determine your target starting SG.

some yeasts are not high alcohol tolerant, but many kits ship with EC-1118 which can do well in high alcohol environments up to 18% or so.

both of the kits you mention are smaller volume kits in terms of concentrate and dissolved solids so they may not be ideal candidates for high-alcohol wines. some might complain the sangiovese to be thin when made to kit directions so increasing alcohol another several degrees cold really magnify that effect.

keep in mind too that while most kit instructions indicate final SGs of 0998, quite often your wine ferments beyond that, sometimes as low as 0992, which affects your final ABV calculations. this makes accurate predictions of final alcohol a bit of a guessing game until the wine is finished fermenting. most commercial wines with a few exceptions run in the 11.5%-14% range.

more pleasure to the palate can be had with the addition of zante currants or banana soup, biolees, and other kit tweaks over adding sugar to get higher abv readings. IMHO anyway.
 

NSwiner

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I to was wondering why you would want 18% wine ????
 

djrockinsteve

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High Octane wine, the fuel of tomorrow. We can save the planet!
 

Slyder73

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Thanks for the replies. I'll have to look more into the science of this before I fiddle with things, as well as knowledge of the kits.
I'll have plenty of wine after these two kits and Rawlus mentioned that many find them not as satisfactory. I've read that in many threads on here.
As I already have the two wine expert kits I'll make them, however does anyone have suggestions as to a more full bodied, high quality kit? (ONe that would be available in Vancouver?)
 

cpfan

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however does anyone have suggestions as to a more full bodied, high quality kit? (ONe that would be available in Vancouver?)
Just about every wine kit made should be available in Vancouver. Each kit company seems to have one full bodied BIG RED. Talk to your local neighbourhood retailer(s) about what they recommend. If you wish, post their suggestions here, and you should get some feedback on them.

Vineco - Legacy Primo Rosso
Spagnols - Cellar Classic Rosso Grands (or Grande Shiraz or Grande Vieux Chateau du Roi)
Winexpert - Selection Original Luna Rossa
Cellar Craft - Rosso Fortissimo (only one with grape skins)
Heron Bay, Wine Kitz, Fontana, and Paklab probably have their own Big Red but I'm not too familiar with their lines.

Steve
 

Malkore

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the more expensive the kit (with WineXpert) the more body you get in the reds. you get more juice, and sometimes grape skins are included for primary.
 
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