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toneill

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I started making wine kits in January 2016. To date I am on kit #20, all red, a wide range of juice, all Winexpert. As I am starting to open a bottle once in a while of each of batch, I'm noticing that while I am liking nearly all of them (Eclipse & Selection), a common thought through most of them is that they are a little sweeter than what I like. In my recent batches, I've started to do primary fermentation 8 days, adding a day or two. Does anyone else feel this way about their kits? I prefer them a bit less sweet than they are coming out. What would the long term veterans do about this or is this just the taste of varietal of grape they have used? I'd love to knock them down a notch as regards to sweetness for my 2017 batches. Making about 20 kits annually.

Thanks.
 

TonyR

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Its easy if you have and use a hydrometer. If you use it you can tell if the wine has fermented completely, in other words used up all the sugar. Some wines will taste sweeter than others even if fermented completely. I believe it has to do with the grapes, some wines have more fruity flavor and thus the sweeter taste. hope this helps
 

Rtrent2002

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If you are making dry red wine, skip the sorbate when stabilizing and bulk age to clear and stabilize instead. I was having the same issues with my kits. They would taste really good until I stabilized with sorbate, then off sweet bubble gum flavors appeared.

I follow instructions on my kits until I get to the stabilize and clear stage. I just rerack, add metabisulfite and bulk age for at least 3 months. I sometimes will rack twice during the 3 month period if needed. (Although most of mine are aging for 12 months). This method takes longer but eliminates the need for stabilizers and clearing agents and allows the wine to clear naturally.

I did find if you bulk age with a good tight airlock, the off sweet taste will dissipate over time. I have an Australian cab that I am about to bottle that had the same issues with sorbate and is now pretty good after 10 months in the carboy.
 
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Rtrent2002

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By the way I thought my kits were not fermenting out completely at first too but that wasn't the case, it was the sorbate.
 

winehomie

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Could the yeast type be an issue? I mostly use EC-1118 that tops out at around 18% so all my wines are really dry before I back sweeten, could the kits be coming with a less alcohol tolerant yeast thus leaving more unfermented sugars?
 

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