Mixing 2 kits in a 6 gal batch

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Berry Juice

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Has anyone ever made a 6 gal batch using 2 kits? 1 cab & 1 merlot (Wild Grapes brand)
The reason I'm asking is that I have noticed from my last 3 kits, the Cab & Merlot seem flat, no body.
Only the Syrah (6gal) + Merlot (1 gal) kit mixed together (6 gal total) turned out pretty well flavored.
What can I expect if I do this?
Thanks for all your comments
 

salcoco

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being flat means to me that the ph and/or acid are not correct. did you do any measurements? if not sprinkle some tartaric acid in a glass of wine. kinda like you were salting food. see if there is any advancement of taste. if so a bench trial would be in order to determine he exact amount required.begin with 10 grams of tartaric acid into 100ml of water. collect 100ml samples of your wine. add one ml of acid solution to the first sample , two to second three to third etc. do taste test. one ml of solution is equal to one gram per liter in finished.wine. once acid amount deteremiened make up one liter let is sit for about a week and taste. if fine do the rest of the finished wine.
 

kyle5434

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I'm guessing the Wild Grapes kits should probably be treated like the Fontana kits - made to 5 gallons instead of 6, and with some tweaks (see the "Tweaking cheap kits" thread).

In addition to that, the suggestion above to check/adjust the acidity (you want a pH of ~3.3 to 3.5 in most cases) is a good one.
 

Berry Juice

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Ok, i will get some ph strips today as well as tartaric to test with.
I've been following all the kit tweeking and tried in a few, but they just don't hit that wine note. Coming out a little sour. hoping after resting 6 months they will come around. So far, all these kits that say ready to drink in 28 days doesn't taste like wine much. So I have about 150 bottles counting on time to work its magic....
Will it change or once its in the bottle thats whats going to come out??
 

kyle5434

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In my experience, the "28 days" claim is bogus. Really young kit wine has a "twang" to it. Assuming the pH is in range, you should start to see a more conventional wine flavor profile from a highly concentrated kit like this at around 4 months, and you'll probably be pretty pleased with it after 6 months. If you made these kits to 6 gallons, and didn't add any tannins, it will probably still lack some of the body you were expecting, but you might be surprised at how decently it turned out at the end of that initial 6 months.
 

kyle5434

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The purists will likely consider this heresy, but I don't think it really matters. Tartaric, citric, blend, etc.,...just something to take you lower in pH if you need to.
 

Berry Juice

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OK, I will check the ph on a batch of merlot I have working now since all the others have already been bottled.
Or are you suggesting that I uncork them and rerack to adjust ph then rebottle?
 

kyle5434

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My 2 cents - if you made them all more or less according to the manufacturer's instructions, you could check the merlot batch just to see if it's close. If it is, it's probably safe to assume the other batches are too, in which case I wouldn't bother messing with them. If the pH of the merlot is too high (say, 3.7 or higher), then that's your call as to whether you want to re-bottle the others.

If the other batches seemed a bit tart at bottling, you're probably OK to simply let them age in the bottle for a few months.
 

salcoco

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the acid problem will occur when you combine your batches as you suggested in original post. normally tartaric is used for grape wines, malic acid for apple wine and citrus acid for berry wines. Acid blend is good for all other fruit wines.
 

Berry Juice

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Ok, decided to just mix half Cab half Merlot and make 2 batches.
I picked up some french oak chips,
Question; when and how much do I add to each 6 gal batch.

Also just ordered a PH meter. ranges from .1 to 14. My wine supply store only had test strips from 4 to 6 something. i didn't think this would answer my ph levels if i want a 3.4ph
 

Ajmassa

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Ok, decided to just mix half Cab half Merlot and make 2 batches.
I picked up some french oak chips,
Question; when and how much do I add to each 6 gal batch.

Also just ordered a PH meter. ranges from .1 to 14. My wine supply store only had test strips from 4 to 6 something. i didn't think this would answer my ph levels if i want a 3.4ph

Cab/merlot should be a winner. Could always make em solo and blend later too.
But with kits you really shouldn’t need to adjust acid anyway. And definitely TA numbers can’t be trusted since they’re balanced in different proportions than typical grape wines. But good to have a meter regardless. http://morewinemaking.com/public/pdf/wphmeter.pdf
Sounds like your following instruction to a T and then bottling. A few tweaks to the process can help. Bottling after 4-8 weeks limits your options. And then your just hoping it comes together. Bulk age lets you monitor and adjust. And then bottle knowing it’s good and that it will get better.
Adding oak chips to the ferment will help for body and astringency without concern for overoaking. (Via sacrificial tannin). Anywhere from 1-4oz per 6 gal I’ve seen.
Adding oak in aging will give the oak taste. I liked the spirals. 1 per 6 gal for 2-3 months. http://morewinemaking.com/public/pdf/oakinfopaper09.pdf <—breaks it all down.
You can forego the sorbate addition as well. Not needed when fermenting dry. Eliminates any potential chemical type bubblegum taste it’s known to cause sometimes.
Time is probably the biggest thing tho. Age for as long as you can stand. They really do come around after a while. If you aged in bulk for 12 months and another 6 in the bottle you’ll see a HUGE difference.
I like to buy a case of 375mL bottles and maybe fill 6 of em per batch. Allows you to just have a taster and see how it’s maturing.
Toss in anything to the ferment to help it. I like this additive pack specifically for 5-6 gal batches. (Just discard the lallezyme if no grape skins) https://morewinemaking.com/products/additive-pack-brehm-frozen-fruit-reds.html
Boost the sugar to 1.100 too. With extra tannin added you can fit in the extra abv. If doing all that it will need more time but surely make the wine bigger- like a cab/merlot is meant to be!
 
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