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cooknhogz

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I now have my first 2 wine kits coming and should be here next week. I’m not totally new to wine making but everything I’ve ever made was from fresh juice. They are Master Vintners Tropical Bliss Green Apple Reisling and Raspberry Merlot both in a 6 gallon batch. The reviews seemed great and the ABV low I’d prefer to bump to around 9.5 - 10% tops. Also, considering backing off to 5 1/2 gallons instead of 6 so it doesn’t taste to watered down. Good plan or anyone that have made theses kits have any suggestions or comments. Happy Holidays
 

jgmann67

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I now have my first 2 wine kits coming and should be here next week. I’m not totally new to wine making but everything I’ve ever made was from fresh juice. They are Master Vintners Tropical Bliss Green Apple Reisling and Raspberry Merlot both in a 6 gallon batch. The reviews seemed great and the ABV low I’d prefer to bump to around 9.5 - 10% tops. Also, considering backing off to 5 1/2 gallons instead of 6 so it doesn’t taste to watered down. Good plan or anyone that have made theses kits have any suggestions or comments. Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays!

I’ve made similar kits from WE. If you want your yield to remain at 30 bottles +/-, I usually boost my kit with some white grape concentrate and simple syrup. I also tend to dump half the fpac in the primary, the rest in clearing.

The WE kits are usually about 9% ABV. So, i usually target 12% ABV as my ceiling. These modifications get me there, while adding body, flavor and ABV without making the wines too sweet.
 

Kantuckid

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YEA!-My first post here. Old thread but on my subject. Couple questions here...
FWIW, I've made wine, grapes, concentrates & ingredient kits all three, now and then over a 50+ year period- so still an amateur overall.
I now have a Master Vinters- Tropical Bliss kit, White Zinfandel w/Strawberry flavor pack.
Reviews say the smell is strawberry more so than the actual taste.
I've read the reviews on the two sellers websites (Northern Brewer, etc.) and read some comments here too.
For now my general plan is to reduce the primary total water and juice pack to 5 gallons and from there?
I see the idea above to throw in half the juice pack into the primary.
One question:Is the flavor pack fermentable with my MV Tropical Bliss kit? I also have another option to make this wine a bit "bolder" (than pink "boonesfarm"-ha!) as I have one half of a bag of white grape juice concentrate stored in my freezer. I used the first half to back sweeten the "Wild Vines"-Australian Chardonnay I just bottled to an off-dry wine. (BTW, it was a great kit, better than some at much higher price points IMO! Amazon sells three of their kits.)
I won't be starting this wine for a week or so as fishing all next week.
Ideas?
 

Kantuckid

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Perhaps this post will catch someones eye and I'll hear something I can use?
I have learned that this kit has 4.18 liters of total "juice". Per a web chat, the sellers don't tell me the proportion of white zinfandel concentrate to fruit flavor pack though. It looks like ~ 3 to 1 ratio with mostly grape base. My plan is to use 1 gallon less in the primary to a total of 5 gallons to jump the flavor intensity. I read one review where the maker screwed up and put the flavor pack in the primary and said the wine turned out OK.
ideas for this Tropical Bliss kit?
 

jgmann67

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I’m hoping that Joe chimes in on this one. If he doesn’t, maybe post in the “tweaking cheap kits” thread.

If you’ve been doing this for 50 years on and off, you probably have a good feel for what you like.

Personally, I’d go the route I’m most comfortable with and know what I’ll get in the end. That is: make it a 6 gal kit, add a liter of juice concentrate (white or red, depending on your base wine), and half the fpac, then bump the abv with sugar to get me to about 11.5% potential abv. Ferment to dry, hit it with kmeta and sorbate, then add the other half of your fpac.

You’ll wind up with an off-dry wine with decent body and great flavor.
 

Kantuckid

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I have a half a bag of the grape concentrate in my freezer. I do like off dry wines but not really sweet, exception is for Sangria which we buy Lambrusco to make our own Sangria drinks using OJ, lime and lemon mixed in. I back sweetened the Chardonnay I just bottled with a tad of concentrate.
 

tjgaul

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Personally, I’d go the route I’m most comfortable with and know what I’ll get in the end. That is: make it a 6 gal kit, add a liter of juice concentrate (white or red, depending on your base wine), and half the fpac, then bump the abv with sugar to get me to about 11.5% potential abv. Ferment to dry, hit it with kmeta and sorbate, then add the other half of your fpac.
I agree with jgmann67 . . . that's pretty much my SOP for kits with significant F-pacs. Half in primary and half in clearing. For this style of wine I don't mind a lower ABV, but I usually do try to get it up to around 10-11% . . . . to protect the wine during aging (yeah, that's the reason). If the base wine has a decent starting SG without the F-pac then I save the leftover F-pac to flavor another batch. Just ordered the Island Mist Cucumber Melon Sauv Blanc (2nd time) and an RJS 10L (Grand Cru) Verdicchio. Plan is to use 50% - 70% of the IM F-pac on the Sauv Blanc and use the rest to flavor half of the Verdicchio. I screwed up a while back and accidentally added the residual melon F-pac to a batch of Moscato. It turned out to be really popular with my friends who like sweeter wine. It certainly did not go to waste.
 

Kantuckid

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I put the main juice (zinfandel "skin juice"-I tasted it and sweet flavorful it is but a light juice as one would expect) and 4 gallons of water in the primary yesterday and got SG of 1.075/1.080 at that time. I added the Lavin yeast then. The F-pac is ~ 1 liter of the 4.18 the seller said as total liquids in the kit. I can see the alcohol making this light wine store better-or not LOL...
Suggestions on now adding either: F-pac, sugar, 1/2 liter of grape concentrate I have on hand?
 

joeswine

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I never split up the fpac and always bump up the ABV .to 10%or higher depending on the style ( flavor).
I've never Seen the point of splitting up the fpac these kits are designed for the flavor, the rest comes along for the ride.
 

Kantuckid

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I tasted the Fpac and found it lacking much flavor, mostly a sweet syrup with a hint of strawberry that reviews say doesn't carry to the finished wine. I went ahead with splitting the fpac and added 1/2 liter of grape juice concentrate which together got me to a measured 10.5-11% ABV on my sg bulb.
It's working well and this kit has a yeast nutrient pack to add @ 1.025 to 1.035, around the 5th day.
Thanks for the comments to date!
 

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