WineXpert Island Mist Green Apple Riesling

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May 19, 2009
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Just finished bottling the GA Riesling and wanted to share how it came out.
I took Wade's advice and added about 6 cups of sugar to get a SG of 1.075 (although he seems to likes 1.08). Followed the rest of the directions but never topped off in secondary. It bubbled and roared for 7 days with a slow start. Next time I'll spend a few bucks and get better quality yeast. Ended up with SG of .995 and then I added 90% of the F-Pack to bring the SG up to 1.01. I also racked the final wine into another carboy at Step 4 to ensure no accidental gunky lees got into the bottles. Learned my lesson from the Shiraz and Merlot I made previously.
The results:
Much better than my wildberry shiraz!! This has restored my faith in Island Mist line. The shiraz was watered down in wine and overall too much corn syrup fake taste although after a month of aging that strong fake taste mellowed out and isn't too bad.
This Riesling had a strong full texture with light crisp finish with an overall feeling of Gewürztraminer. It has a very subtle hint of green apple flavor but not as overwhelming as I'd imagine. Has a bit of peach, apricot, and apple flavor with lots of aroma of sweet green apple. Medium sweetness at first but finishes dry. Has nice legs in the glass (my Shiraz had no legs!). The higher alcohol content is much better whereas my WBShiraz had about 5% (hence nice legs).
This wine taste very very sweet when it is warm and could almost pass as a moscato. I haven't had the chance to taste it fridge chilled, only with an ice cube or two added. Two "ice cube chilled" cuts out a some of the sweetness and tones down a slight amount of other fruit flavors but enhances it overall making it perfect. I like lightly sweet wine but this is just barley on the edge of too sweet so an ice cube will help water it down slightly.
Next time:
I'll probably add 1/2 the F-Pac into the primary with sugar to bring the SG up to 1.08 and get better yeast OR add the sugar then only add 1/2 the f-pac at the end. I may want to consider topping off the carboys with wine to help drown out some of the sweetness.
Sure wish I could share it with you all! :b
that sounds real good. Is it ready in 4 weeks? What wine would you recommend to top off with? I've seen these kits for about $74 so I was afraid to try. Now I think it sounds like a good value! Will only adding 1/2 the F pack result is a slightly dryer wine?
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When you say "better yeast" what are you thinking about getting, and why?

After this wine "ages" for 2 weeks it tends to sweeten up more. Next time I think I"ll add half the f-pac up front and the other half at the end and I think that would make it a drier wine.
$74? Gees I'm in AK where everything is more expensive and these kits cost $68 for me. These kits are ready in about 4 weeks and you can drink them immediatley.
Actually I didn't top up with anything. maybe controversial. I ended up with about 27 or 28 bottles. Yeah it was short but I think this wine had better body and actual wine flavor than the previous wildberry shiraz I made. I got this suggestion from the wine shop and they said not to worry too much since it is only about 2 weeks where there is some air space and it isn't like I am bulk aging or anything. It worked for me is all I have to say.
good to hear from you again Jake. Really glad to hear it worked out,, I live up the road from you and can relate to the prices.

I'd be curious to know what you have down there for brew supplies.

Pretty limited here in Fairbanks but the people who own the LHBS are friends for a long time and they will order anything I need and will try to match whatever I can find online.

BTW, I think we may be the only mebers from Alaska! There was a poster from Anchorage a while bak. Taylor something. He had a kot of great ibfo on brewing SAKE.

anyway, Wade brought up a good point a few threads ago regarding kits. Remeber you are pretty much paying for the juice. So instead of paying $100 for a kit, pay $50 for the juice and do the rest youself.

I share your thoughts on the availability and prices on fruit here. You may have a better price down there but sometimes the availabilty is still lacking.

I have made a bunch of wine using frozen concentrates, some nice wine can be made with this, but you need good juice to start with, obviously.

It's great your wine has turned out well for you. Thats always the first step to becoming a true addict!

Good Luck, take care
Hey Troy! I moved here from Sacramento last Jan and got interested in home brew just because everything is so damn expensive up here! I was used to having Napa and Lodi just a 45 min drive away from me at the time and took it for granted.
Fruit is expensive up here and not worth making wine from it. I'd rather go pick some free blueberries or crowberries. I was planning on some wine from those berries this year but the locals picked them all before I could get my hands on a decent amount. I found several sweet blueberry patches out on Steese before Eagle Summit. I spend part of my summers there because my research sites are near it. Picking enough fruit to make wine is kinda a pain though, even with my handy dandy berry picker.
The brew shop in town is Arctic Brew Supply and they ship to Fairbanks and the bush. If I have enough room in my car this summer I'll have to drop off a bottle or two for you to enjoy.

When you say "better yeast" what are you thinking about getting, and why?


The yeast that comes with this kit is Red Star brand. If you buy the higher quality kits you get the better brand of yeast (can't think of name right now). Red Star is great for making bread in my opinion. Well it will do just fine making the wine but so far with my experience it is slow at starting fermentation. I used a different brand, a champagne yeast, on my wildberry shiraz because the red yeast was taking forever to start fermenting. I added in the nicer brand and it started bubbling within 2 hours! I'm willing to spend an extra buck or two for a better brand of yeast than Red Star to begin fermentation sooner when all the juice concentrate is evenly mixed. Just my opinion.
Well Red Star is a brand of wine yeasts, and I know that some folks prefer Red Star to Lalvin (which is probably what you are thinking about).

Personally, I am never in a hurry to get my wine finished, so I wouldn't spend the $1 on yeast (actually there's Lalvin EC-1118 and RC-212) sitting in my wine supplies right now), as long as the ferment hasppened and finished.

BTW, this is the first time I've heard that WE includes Red Star in their Island Mist kits. I'm sure that the EC-1118 will do fine.

When you said better yeasts, I wondered if you meant Wyeast liquid yeast. IMO, that would be overkill for an IM kit, so I asked the why.

Thanks, Steve
Im not out to bash any yeast but must say that Ive never ever had a problem with Red Star yeast but 3 Lalvins in the past failed. It was a bad batch and was recalled eventually. i use Red Star all the time and prefer it to most lalvins but just like anything else we all have our own opinions. I have never stepped up to the expensive liquid yeats though with wine, only beer.
Hey whatever works, works. I've not had as positive experiences with Red Star yeast brand that's all. It's good to hear that others have had good luck with it then. I'll keep that in mind when I dispense advice. I agree and think liquid yeast would be overkill.
I don't speak a whole lot of yeast but I have always used the Red Star brand, Used a Lalvin once and really couldn't see a difference either way. I tried the Montrachet and didn't think it was all that great.

Just to mess around I used it to make a buttermilk bread a while back and have to say, I ws quite surprised, it was pretty darn good.

I like the Cotes de Blanc, and the Premiere Cuvee, I have tried their Pasteur Champagne and it too has always worked good.

As long as these three are available and work for me, I don't think I will experiment with any other yeasts, don't see any reason to. Besides, I am still trying to figure out the whole wine making thing first, then I may look into othere yeasts. The discussion on yeast in itself can be almost overwhelming. Alot to choose from out there.

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