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joeswine

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Understand this and be clear, depending on your skill and abilities do what you want , however if your starting out or not sure follow the instructions until you can make a kit without reading the instructions at all.
Once in a great while I'm even peak at the instructions , for one reason or another and then move on .
The instructions are there for a reason, until you get good stick to them , and by the way it won't take long before you'll start to tweak, and follow this thread.
 

Spiros

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Thanks for the replies, I just want to be clear that I was not eager to ditch these and have added them to the kits I have completed and started, I was asking because I have read on other threads about people deleting some additives and just wanted to get the common consensus on what most of you are doing
 

sour_grapes

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DizzyIzzy

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Cmason,. Perty much dead on.
Didn't know where to add this two cents worth on tweaking, but I have decided to tweak a Blood Orange Sangria (which I will be bottling today) by adding 2 oz. of glycerin (to improve mouthfeel) and 4 oz. Blood Orange puree (to enhance flavor). Reason for my doing so is the last (and only) wine kit I made (WE White Cranberry) tasted wonderful, but was thin and would have benefited from a boost to the cranberry flavor. I will let everyone know how this turns out a couple of months from now. The way I see it, it can't hurt and can only improve the flavor...................................Dizzy
 

joeswine

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Just a standard size I guess, you can also by them at office depot there thinner but will do I think.
 

Brian55

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I have a question about additives that come with these kits. I have been reading about some of these additives creating off flavours with the finished product and the fact that some may not be necessary. So my question is which additives do you use and which do you delete? Also if you delete one how does that change your process?
Everything goes into the trash along with the instructions, except for the yeast, oak additives, skins, and So2. Sorbate is only used if it's an off dry wine.
 

RocketBee

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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.
Hey @Rocky ... I'm finally getting to this SB kit and in trying to round up all of the components, I have everything I need to get started except the Hungarian Oak Powder...couldn't find that stuff (perhaps I didn't look hard enough). Anyway, I did pick up some FT Blanc Soft white wine tannin, wondering whether I could drop that in during primary fermentation and adding again during secondary. Thoughts?
 

Rocky

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Hey @Rocky ... I'm finally getting to this SB kit and in trying to round up all of the components, I have everything I need to get started except the Hungarian Oak Powder...couldn't find that stuff (perhaps I didn't look hard enough). Anyway, I did pick up some FT Blanc Soft white wine tannin, wondering whether I could drop that in during primary fermentation and adding again during secondary. Thoughts?
Sorry RocketBee, I can't help here. I am not familiar with the product and I have never added tannins to my Sauv Blanc. Perhaps @joeswine could offer some insight.
 

joeswine

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Hi guys , glad to see we're having fun with our wine.
Two ways to add tannins, first in the primary start to build structure (1 teaspoon).
The other, in the secondary this completes the structure.( Note) tannins in the primary , it's considered wasted ,but it's not ,it helps all wines, especially reds ( whites don't usually take to tannins, except for Chardonnay ) so if your doing a white ( go lite) or not at all.
Reds.. especially Big Reds , tannins all the way around that will give you a barrel quality { lite or heavy } depending on the amount {your taste} with out the barrel.
Have fun, nice job Rocky.
 
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joeswine

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Making the fpac JOE"S style.............................
 

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RocketBee

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@Rocky and @joeswine ... I finally got my Wine Lovers Sauvignon Blanc kit going yesterday. I wanted to use Rocky's plan as a guide and replicated most of what he did plus incorporated some of his suggested alterations. First, I took a smaller-sized grapefruit and zested pretty much the whole thing for a 6 gallon kit. All of the zest fit easily into a half-cup measuring cup, if I had compressed it, it would have been a lot less. I was not able to find any Hungarian Oak powder, so I used 1 oz (by weight) of French Oak chips, medium toast. I wasn't able to figure out how much American Oak was used, so I used 1 oz (again by weight) of that as well (also medium toast chips). I made the Fpack with one pound of white grapes and cooked them down by about 50% instead of the 30%. My own tweak was the addition of 1 gram of FT Blanc Tannin...going light as Joe suggested and close to the recommended amount on the package.

I added water and mixed well down to a SG of 1.085, later yesterday evening after pitching the yeast, the SG came up to 1.087...pretty much the same thing that happened to Rocky IIRC. After about 16 hours, the yeast is just getting started. It is bubbling away and the SG is now starting to drop just a little -- down to 1.086. The grapefruit zest is quite prominent in the fragrance at this time. Wondering if maybe I put too much in there, but alas, too late to do anything about it. My lovely bride does like the grapefruit taste in SB wines....so I was not shy about adding it.

Would love to hear any feedback. Thanks!
 
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Rocky

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@Rocky and @joeswine ... I finally got my Wine Lovers Sauvignon Blanc kit going yesterday. I wanted to use Rocky's plan as a guide and replicated most of what he did plus incorporated some of his suggested alterations. First, I took a smaller-sized grapefruit and zested pretty much the whole thing for a 6 gallon kit. All of the zest fit easily into a half-cup measuring cup, if I had compressed it, it would have been a lot less. I was not able to find any Hungarian Oak powder, so I used 1 oz (by weight) of French Oak chips, medium toast. I wasn't able to figure out how much American Oak was used, so I used 1 oz (again by weight) of that as well (also medium toast chips). I made the Fpack with one pound of white grapes and cooked them down by about 50% instead of the 30%. My own tweak was the addition of 1 gram of FT Blanc Tannin...going light as Joe suggested and close to the recommended amount on the package.

I added water and mixed well down to a SG of 1.085, later yesterday evening after pitching the yeast, the SG came up to 1.087...pretty much the same thing that happened to Rocky IIRC. After about 16 hours, the yeast is just getting started. It is bubbling away and the SG is now starting to drop just a little -- down to 1.086. The grapefruit zest is quite prominent in the fragrance at this time. Wondering if maybe I put too much in there, but alas, too late to do anything about it. My lovely bride does like the grapefruit taste in SB wines....so I was not shy about adding it.

Would love to hear any feedback. Thanks!
RB, good call on the French oak. That will give you a nice wine which will be better after about a year. The oak will become less pronounced. If you can get the final SG to about 0.994 or so, you will have about 12%+ ABV and that will make a very nice Sauvignon Blanc. Good luck and keep us up to date on your progress.
 

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