Metallic Taste in all Reds?

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Sudz, Dec 29, 2017.

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  1. Dec 29, 2017 #1

    Sudz

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    I've been brewing and making wine for about 7 years. Beers are great, white wines are good but, I've never made a good red wine. My reds, mostly from high end kits from various mfg, all exhibit the same metallic taste at some level. They all are clear and bright with good color and have no identifying issues I've been able to discover. The whites have never exhibited this issue. This characteristic flaw does diminish with time but it never goes away totally.

    Any thoughts on what would cause this metallic taste unique to red kits? My reds made from fresh grapes do not have this trait.
     
  2. Dec 29, 2017 #2

    Snowcreek

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    Is there anything that you use in your red kits that you don't use in your other wines?

    I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but there are many more experienced folks that I'm sure will respond before too long.
     
  3. Dec 29, 2017 #3

    salcoco

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    many things can be different between grape wine and kit wine. tannin, acid level, ph plus the chemical used. if possible ,I would try a red wine kit without use of sorbate first to determine if that is the metallic taste. bench trials with different acid levels and even tannin levels may be fruitful. experiment with different additives as mentioned to pin point the problem.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2017 #4

    Sudz

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    Snowcreek, nothing in my process is different, just the ingredients in the kits. Salcoco, may have a point with the sorbate or other chems. Sorbate is used in the whites as well so I would expect to find the metallic there as well but I don't.

    Someone mentioned the kit reds are loaded with malic acid which may be a point I should consider. Not sure how to eliminate this however.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2017 #5

    Ajmassa5983

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    I think I might know what you’re talking about but difficult to describe. I wouldn’t say metallic. I call it “chemically”. A friend with a great palate who’s had every one of my kits describes as “rubbery/garden hose”.
    Whatever it is I taste it on all my kits too. Also on a white with red juice pack (SB rosè). It’s caused me to shy away from kits a little.
    Your right it does diminish in time, but needing to wait two or three years to enjoy an “8 week kit” (or at least hesitant to give out early) is a real PIA. Aging in a barrel might get you there quicker
    There was one batch that was absolutely amazing with no artificial taste. Pinot WE world vineyard 1 gal. I’m thinking since it was just a 1 gal (easily discarded and forgotten) and aging 1 yr in bulk may have actually aged quicker with the smaller volume
    The next kit I do, Nebbiolo, i’m going as natural as possible. No chems. ILess so2. And I’m not going to be scared to splash rack throughout or if is there a little bit of headspace here and there. Also no bs oak, planning to have a small barrel in time for some of this batch. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make the best damn kit Nebbiolo ever!
    At the end of the day ya gotta remember these are kits, and not the same stuff we are buying off the shelves. I’m also likely to take my first crack at frozen must sometime soon
     
  6. Dec 30, 2017 #6

    salcoco

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    malic acid is added to wine kits to give the balance desired by the manufacturer. if you try to get rid of it in a kit you risk getting a flabby wine. your taste might be what many others call a "kit" taste. Sorbate still may be the culprit , try the next one without using it.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2017 #7

    balatonwine

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    I make only one red wine, from gapes I grow, and it has a "metallic" taste when young. The taste ages out. IMHO, there really is no such thing as a fast and good red wine. They all have to age. And using fresh grapes can matter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  8. Dec 30, 2017 #8

    Ajmassa5983

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    Ive drank young wine from juice and grapes my entire adult life. I’m very familiar with how it tastes at different points of the process. But That’s different. That’s Waiting for a taste to develop into something more pleasant. This is waiting for a taste to be eliminated. —- I’ve noticed wine from grapes, juice, and kits all age differently with unique tastes along the way.
    And for the winemaker it’s difficult. Because your tasting at its peak, checking for it as it dissipates- always aware. But tasted by anyone else later in the process, they’d likely not notice it as something “that doesn’t belong”.
    I’m half tempted to send out a bottle to someone with a more defined palate for further analysis. How much $ to send a package from US to Hungary? Lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  9. Dec 31, 2017 #9

    balatonwine

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    I am sure there are excellent palates at this forum that are closer than me who can assist with such advise. :)

    But to answer seriously: I honestly do not know wine import rules into the EU, if it can be done direct by mail or if requires an importer. But you can always stick a bottle in your luggage to share, fly over the pond, and come for a visit. :)
     
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  10. Feb 12, 2019 at 1:14 PM #10

    jbo_c

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    Resurrecting an old thread, but the first post is exactly my experience. - wine from grapes fine, whites from kits fine, reds from kits have a distinct and distracting off flavor that age can minimize but never seems to go away entirely. It has kept me from making kits for years and I’m back to try again.

    I’m focusing on degassing as my expected culprit. Did you ever find a solution?

    Still would like to find someone local to exchange wines and thoughts with to help me eliminate the problem. Many people have success with kits and they fair well in competitions, so it must be me or something I’m doing.

    Jbo
     
  11. Feb 12, 2019 at 2:03 PM #11

    salcoco

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    as suggested previously the use of sorbate can give an off taste that some winemakers can discern. could that be the case here? I saw quite a few suggestions above hear you tried any?
     
  12. Feb 12, 2019 at 3:52 PM #12

    jbo_c

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    I’ve skipped the Sorbate and still gotten it, so that’s not the issue. Aged to 5 years and only very slightly diminished so age isn’t the issue. Never changed additives, but only used what’s in the kits, so I don’t think that’s the issue.

    I’ve never tried monkeying with the acid or tannin levels. Like the OP suggested, seems like that would be covering it up more than getting rid of it.

    If other people can make kits work, it seems like surely I could too. I’m hitting degassing with a vengeance this time around. If that isn’t it, I’m out of ideas until I can do some tastings with somebody who has a good history with kits.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Jbo
     
  13. Feb 12, 2019 at 4:44 PM #13

    Sudz

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    I never solved my problem.

    Degassing isn't the answer unfortunately. I ran experiments applying various levels of degassing with no detectable differences. I tried to focus on the specific differences from my reds and whites with regard to ingredients, additives, and process. I ruled out everything I could observe or measure other than grape skins. I've tasted wine from several lower quality kits and did notice the offending taste wasn't as significant. I did note the most significant difference between the kits was the addition of a red grape skin pack which is not a factor on white kits. However, I gave up making wine from kits before exploring this aspect further. Sad, because I had really enjoyed the hobby, Just not the results so much.
     
  14. Feb 12, 2019 at 4:57 PM #14

    jbo_c

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    Thanks very much for the feedback Sudz. I’m afraid I’ll end up in the same place as you, but I’m holding out hope.

    Fresh grapes aren’t available in the Atlanta area that I can find and frozen grapes/must are prohibitively priced.

    Wish I could find some folks to swap some kit wines out with so I can see if it’s my palate or my methods. At least if I knew for a fact it was my palate, I wouldn’t feel so bad about giving up.

    I keep thinking too many people do well in competitions for it to be a problem with the kits. I’ve never made a kit red that would get more than a passing glance in a competition. I keep hoping one day I can meet Tim Vandergrift with a bottle at a meet and greet and he can tell me how to solve all my problems. :)

    Jbo
     
  15. Feb 12, 2019 at 5:30 PM #15

    jbo_c

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    Interesting that, if I’m reading you right, you think it could be the grape skins. Most seem to think the skins kits minimize what they perceive as kit taste.

    I have detected it in both high end kits with skins and ‘lower end’ kits at 10-12 liters and no skins.

    The kits I’ve done that exhibited the least of it were the Cellar Craft Showcase kits. But it was still enough to be too distracting to drink.

    Jbo
     
  16. Feb 12, 2019 at 5:41 PM #16

    Sudz

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    I wouldn't place too much thought on my grape skins comment. I threw that out there because it was the only thing unique to my red wine efforts that I could identify and had not tested. I'm certain there are things I couldn't observe which may account for this issue. One possibility could be potential differences in juice preparations with respect to pasturation or process... not something I can see or measure without knowing much more than I do.
     
  17. Feb 12, 2019 at 6:37 PM #17

    cmason1957

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    I don't notice an off taste in my red kit wines. I often wonder, if the perceived kit taste phenomena has more to do with someone saying this is a kit wine and folks believe there is a kit taste issue. Suppose you were given two bottles, one a kit, aged properly, made by directions, etc. The other a $10 of so bottle. If you didn't know which was which, would you be able to tell.
     
  18. Feb 12, 2019 at 8:00 PM #18

    jbo_c

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    I could absolutely tell the ones I’ve made. My wife knows immediately if I made it even if she doesn’t see me pour. I’ve tried sneaking mine in on her. :)

    Jbo
     
  19. Feb 12, 2019 at 8:04 PM #19

    Sudz

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    I gather most folks out there don't taste it or they wouldn't be selling kit wines. I do know my wife and I taste it. I've only encountered this taste in one commercial wine one time. Trust me. I wish it wasn't there because I do enjoy wine making. Unfortunately, we can tell the difference between our kit efforts and store bought. I do concede that the ability "or curse" to taste this issue may be unique to specific people for whatever reason. Just my luck I guess...
     
  20. Feb 12, 2019 at 8:05 PM #20

    Sudz

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    Ha Ha... I've done the same thing and she catches me every time.
     

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