Quantcast

Other Tweeking Cheap Kits

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

RocketBee

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
119
Reaction score
46
I got a Sauvignon Blanc kit off the Wine Lover's website today...15% off sale, $46.75 all in. It's the 11.5% PABV kit which I believe is a 5.2 Liter bag of concentrate. Looking forward to applying some nice tweaks I've learned here. @joeswine has drilled into my brain that "less is more" with white kits. I'll be formulating a plan, probably reduce volume add some tannin and grapefruit zest (a little goes a loooong way) and that might be all.
 

Venatorscribe

bucket chemist
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
255
Reaction score
207
Okay, I am a bit off topic, as this is not about a kit. On a whim, I decided to make a 6-gallon batch with Welch's grape juice - store bran, but 100% grape juice without the additives often found in store-bought juices. Used oak: 1/2C French oak, medium toast and 4.5C American oak, untoasted. It's been aging since March 6. the nose is nice. And the finish is not bad. But between is AWFUL! Kinda tends toward a port flavor profile, but not good. Rather than tossing the batch (which was always a plan B) I am thinking to puree some dates and add to the carboy. Let is sit a couple of months and see how it turns out. That said, I am wide open to any advice, counsel, ideas.
Or, maybe this post doesn't even belong, since I am not working with a kit?
Hmm I know the feeling. I don't know why I fermented Welch's many years ago. I think it was winter/spring and I had the urge to give it a go. It took upwards of four to five years before that fox fur muscat taste started to lessen. It is still there but not so intense. I was reading a thread somewhere else on this site and noted that somebody blended in some finished cab sav with their finished muscat grapes as they also had that fox fur smell. And after a couple of years their final blend sprung to live. The joy of bottle alchemy and patience. I still have a number of bottles from my original Welch’s ferment so I am thinking about opening them up and decanting them into one of my fermentation buckets then blending in some other reds I have made. Either a very average Sangiovese I have stored or some Merlot Malbec.
 

JTS84

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
30
Reaction score
9
Location
Minnesota
I just ordered a Gewurztraminer 11.5% kit from WineLovers to play with for the wife. I understand Gewurtz to have a base of stone fruit, sometimes pineapple, and spice with a prominent notes of lychee. A search of this thread only brought up one other attempt from a different brand with the guidance of swapping the yeast for cotes de Blanc. What say you @joeswine? Any other recommendations?
 

joeswine

joeswine
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
7,302
Reaction score
1,408
Add 2 granny Smith apples ( sauteed )
Have you read how to make a fpac? Okay then, keep your adv around 10, this is a semi-dry wine ( little sweetness) is required.. to the background.
Yeast champagne yeast is nice and softens the texture. Have fun.
Jts84 reply to.
 

JTS84

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
30
Reaction score
9
Location
Minnesota
I have read your how to make an fpack. 2 granny Smith's I can do that. And yes the plan is low alcohol and semi-dry. Thank you. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

Digital-monk

Junior
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
7
From reading all the posts in this thread I don’t recall seeing anyone using glycerine. I’ve been using 1-2 tbsp per 6 gallons and find it adds a good mouthfeel and a much longer finish. Am I the only one?
 

joeswine

joeswine
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
7,302
Reaction score
1,408
Yes I've used it in the past and it is mentioned, however it caused a fuss do I drop the whole conversation.
It does fo as you stated.
 

Spiros

Junior
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
something simple comes my way...........................soft with a touch of fruit............
Hey joe, did you make this kit to 6 gal? If so how did you keep the sg that high? Are you using simple syrup?
 

joeswine

joeswine
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
7,302
Reaction score
1,408
If you take notice it's not fill to the 6gallon. Mark . Little shi.
Know no simple syrup in this on straight up, so it shows you that juice concentration can be different in each kit or of the same labeling style
However by taking reading's before you start and after you can adjust your setpoint or (ABV).
This turned out spot-on would do it again,any of the Spanish wine kits have never failed me with or without tweak's.
Tweak's are better 👍
 

Spiros

Junior
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
If you take notice it's not fill to the 6gallon. Mark . Little shi.
Know no simple syrup in this on straight up, so it shows you that juice concentration can be different in each kit or of the same labeling style
However by taking reading's before you start and after you can adjust your setpoint or (ABV).
This turned out spot-on would do it again,any of the Spanish wine kits have never failed me with or without tweak's.
Tweak's are better 👍
Cool, I ask because I just started a grand cru Malbec kit this weekend and figured it would be ok to 6 gal and came up with a 1.082 sg so I made some simple syrup and brought it up to 1.92. I’m just hoping I don’t lose too much body by using too much water
 

RocketBee

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
119
Reaction score
46
Today I started a quadruple batch of Sauvignon Blanc (WE Vintner's Reserve) under the careful tutelage of Master Tweaker, Joe. This is my first attempt at tweaking a "cheap" kit and I am excited to see how it progresses. The tweaks I employed were adding 4# of white grapes, crushed and cooked down by 30%, the zest of two grapefruit (I know, the picture looks like orange zest, but it is grapefruit), toasted American oak chips and Hungarian oak powder. I did not change the yeast that came with the kit (EC-1118). I have this all in my 32 gallon fermenter, ET 2 Brute. We'll see how it goes!
Hi Rocky, I'm interested in taking advantage of your experience here. I just received a package today with a Sauvignon Blanc 11.5% Wine Lovers kit. I'd like to mimic your process and tweaks and I have a few questions: Did you reduce the volume at all? Is there anything you think was key to the success in your process? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do over? Thanks!
 

Rocky

Chronologically Gifted Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
6,281
Reaction score
2,534
Location
Columbus, OH
Hi Rocky, I'm interested in taking advantage of your experience here. I just received a package today with a Sauvignon Blanc 11.5% Wine Lovers kit. I'd like to mimic your process and tweaks and I have a few questions: Did you reduce the volume at all? Is there anything you think was key to the success in your process? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do over? Thanks!
Hi Rocket Bee, I am pleased to share my experience on this wine.
1. As for the volume, what I did and what I tend to do on all of my wines is to pick a target ABV. assume a final SG in the 0.992-0.994 range and work backward to determine what the initial SG should be. For this wine, because I was looking for an easy drinking white to enjoy in the afternoons with cheese and crackers, for example, I was looking to keep the ABV at or near 12%. So taking (12/131) + 0.993 = and ISG of about 1.085. So after making the bentonite solution, I poured the wine into the fermenter and added a few gallons of water (recall that I was making 4 kits in the fermenter), took an SG reading and kept adding water until the SG fell to 1.085.
2. To me, the grapefruit is the real key in this process. Following Joe's method, which is to add the zest of 1/2 grapefruit for a 6 gallon batch, I zested 2 grapefruit. Now, there is no "standard" size grapefruit and they can range from 4 to 5 inches in diameter. I should have either weighed or measured the amount of zest but I did not. If anything, I wish I had used 2 large grapefruit instead of one large and one small, as I did. So if you are making a single kit, I recommend getting a large grapefruit and zesting half of it or zesting a whole small grapefruit.
3. As far as doing anything differently, I cannot think of anything. However, I am intrigued by citrus additions and I may, in the future, try other citrus, perhaps lemon or lime. In cooking down the grapes (I bought seedless white grapes at the market and used almost 4-5 pounds) I believe I would concentrate them even more, perhaps reducing them by 50% instead of 30%.

I am very pleased with the outcome and have since made two batches, one a South African Chenin Blanc and one an Australian Sauvignon Blanc, both from juice buckets. I added grapefruit to both.

Good luck with your project and keep us up to date on your progress.
 

RocketBee

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
119
Reaction score
46
@Rocky, thanks very much for your thoughtful reply. I assume from the context that your ISG was calculated prior to adding the grape Fpack. Perhaps that's why your ending estimated ABV was a little higher than you were targeting? Since you cooked it down, I'm assuming that the Fpack was additive to the SG.
 
Last edited:

Rocky

Chronologically Gifted Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
6,281
Reaction score
2,534
Location
Columbus, OH
@Rocky, thanks very much for your thoughtful reply. I assume from the context that your ISG was calculated prior to adding the grape Fpack. Perhaps that's why your ending estimated ABV was a little higher than you were targeting? Since you cooked it down, I'm assuming that the Fpack was additive to the SG.
Let me clarify because I left it out of the original reply. I added the grapes along with the juice and some water before I measured the SG and then adjusted it to my target starting ISG.
 

Latest posts

Top