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joeswine

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Gerry, body in flavor is all about the structure if you read tweaking cheap wine kits you'll see we're always adding to the mix , the results of that is to increase the structure of the wine and balance.
Go back and read further on the thread and you'll get a better idea of what happens.
I never top up , I always rack with a little fermentation still to be done this allows fermentation gases to help create a natural seal over the wine and with my bubbler and pressure be my guide, understand?
Racking down is also a good way of contacting the process.
 

joeswine

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I think I added a crandberry fpac to mine , it came out strong in the beginning but since has mellowed out nicely remember your making a wine higher ABV. If you want more fruit less wine then lower the ABV.
 

Khristyjeff

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I've noticed that @joeswine common suggestion for white wines is to ad 1/2 grapefruit zest I believe in Primary. I am on day 5 of a high end white wine kit (RJS En Primeur Trio White) that we've done before and really like. It has a medium body or more, dry but fruity. Question. Is it worth trying grapefruit zest in this new batch, or should we reserve the zest tweak for the cheap to medium priced kits?
 

highmileSly

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I've noticed that @joeswine common suggestion for white wines is to ad 1/2 grapefruit zest I believe in Primary. I am on day 5 of a high end white wine kit (RJS En Primeur Trio White) that we've done before and really like. It has a medium body or more, dry but fruity. Question. Is it worth trying grapefruit zest in this new batch, or should we reserve the zest tweak for the cheap to medium priced kits?
I don't see where adding zest to a premium kit would do harm, given you understand how the kit is already set up. In the wise words of Joe, less is more you can always add more later
 
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ArizonaWiner

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I will be making a batch of California Shiraz from a WineXpert kit. Any suggestions for a tweak, or make per instructions?
 

Bohemiana

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I will be making a batch of California Shiraz from a WineXpert kit. Any suggestions for a tweak, or make per instructions?
We haven't bottled our shiraz but it's in the carboy and we tasted it--I'd say it's pretty good--better than if we hadn't tweaked it. We had put 6 oz. of dried tart cherries and 6 oz. dried sweet cherries into the primary. (We boiled the cherries together for a few minutes to reconstitute them, let them cool completely, and put them in cheesecloth, then into the primary bucket for two weeks.) We got rid of the cherries before transferring into the carboy. We put medium French oak chips (1/2 cup) into the carboy for two weeks and then re-racked without chips. It's been in that carboy for about a month now and will bottle in March.
 

joeswine

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Arizona winer, here's I think.
First what are the basic taste profile of your wine.
From those tasting notes make a fpac or not.That the basses for the structure of the wine, understand?
Suggestions 💨 raspberry, blackberries, sauteed 16 ozs. Add to the primary.got it.have fun and always think outside the box.
Bohemian, sounds like a good plan to build a decent profile
.have you read tweeking cheep wine kits?
 

highmileSly

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Just to follow up and document our adventure.

Winexpert- Sauvignon Blanc Classic; 4 week kit
Made fpac out of 3 small peaches; Washed, sliced, and sautéed with 1-1.5 cups SB. let cool in pan
started with the Bentonite and warm water and dissolved the best I could
added juice and rinsed bag
Added fresh water to get to ~5.75 gallons
Added fpac + 1 tsp of pectic enzyme and waited 1 hour
2 TBS grapefruit zest
Pitched EC-1118 yeast
S.G. = 1.092-ish

Will rack to secondary ~1.00 S.G to ensure I get a protective layer of Co2

Would love to hear any feedback on the plan and if anyone has made something similar.

Thanks again Joe and the rest of the tweaker crew !:r
 

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Ole

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I have been kind of disappointed with my latest few Chardonnay wines. I have tried grapefruit zest, reducing kit size, added tannins and oak. But I am not satisfied yet.

The grapefruit zest can easily dominate. I agree the 1/2 is a max. Maybe less. Would it make sense to add it to the primary?

I miss the intensity of a good Chardonnay. Maybe my kits are poor.
And I miss the oak taste similar to a Gran Reserva.

How much oak (e.g. Medium toasted French) would you add and when and for how long to maximize the oak intensity?
I have tried 30g in primary and 30g in secondary. And aged it for 6 months. Maybe I should go higher in the secondary.

Do you have other tips for Chardonnay?
 
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joeswine

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Zest is best used in the primary,if you add oak chips in the primary and also in the secondary, until your ready to bottle,.a good base of a cheap wine kits needs work remember it will give you a decent basic wine.
It takes time to start to make cheap wine kits better, keep reading this thread from front to back and you'll see how others have grown their skills I'm
 

Ole

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Laxarwolf, on the chardonnay , I've never liked the standard chad. so here/s what I would suggest is to buy a bottle of Frances Ford copula's ,chardonnay ,that's my style for about $12.00 dollars= smooth ,crisp and very chardonnay with out all the wood.
or follow the process above only using 1 tablespoon of tannins in the primary and the grapefruit zest.
You won't be disappointed.. no MLF for kits.
not needed.
My "Tannoblanc" from Vinoferm has a recommendation of 0.5-1g/10L. Equal to max 2 g/kit.
Are you sure about 1 tablespoon tannin? That is 9g/kit.

And do you just dump the grape zest "raw" in the primary together with the yeast?
 
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Bohemiana

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Here are our results from tweaking our ABC Crafted Chardonnay...
We purchased from Amazon for $45 for a 23 liter kit.
--In the primary: We followed the instructions but we added 1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit zest (in a bit of cheesecloth) and 8 chopped up dried apricots (in cheesecloth). I did not reconstitute them, which I think would have been better. On 1/8/2021 the SG was 1.07
--After 14 days we moved it to the carboy and we did not oak it. On 1/22/2021 the SG was .0996
--Re-racked about two weeks ago and again yesterday before bottling.
--The wine is extremely light in color, much more like a sauvignon blanc. The flavor profile is crisp and light--too light for my liking. There's a little grapefruit note but no apricot. Maybe after being in the bottle it will develop more. It will be fine to drink in the Arizona summers when you don't want a heavy white.

We have another chardonnay kit we want to start next week and we will definitely oak. We plan to split the kit into two 3-gallon carboys: one with a light American oak and one with a medium French oak.

Here's where I'd like some suggestions...
How can we make the wine heavier without adding sugar sweetness? We are thinking about using fresh pears and/or apples. Do we chop up fresh fruit in the primary? Do we have to add anything else because it's fresh fruit? Any other ideas? We really dislike sweet wine. We are looking for a more complex profile and a heavier body. Any suggestions welcome!!
chardonnay box.jpg

bob making chardonnay.jpgchardonnay box.jpgbob making chardonnay.jpg
 

sour_grapes

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Here are our results from tweaking our ABC Crafted Chardonnay...
We purchased from Amazon for $45 for a 23 liter kit.
--In the primary: We followed the instructions but we added 1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit zest (in a bit of cheesecloth) and 8 chopped up dried apricots (in cheesecloth). I did not reconstitute them, which I think would have been better. On 1/8/2021 the SG was 1.07
--After 14 days we moved it to the carboy and we did not oak it. On 1/22/2021 the SG was .0996
--Re-racked about two weeks ago and again yesterday before bottling.
--The wine is extremely light in color, much more like a sauvignon blanc. The flavor profile is crisp and light--too light for my liking. There's a little grapefruit note but no apricot. Maybe after being in the bottle it will develop more. It will be fine to drink in the Arizona summers when you don't want a heavy white.

We have another chardonnay kit we want to start next week and we will definitely oak. We plan to split the kit into two 3-gallon carboys: one with a light American oak and one with a medium French oak.

Here's where I'd like some suggestions...
How can we make the wine heavier without adding sugar sweetness? We are thinking about using fresh pears and/or apples. Do we chop up fresh fruit in the primary? Do we have to add anything else because it's fresh fruit? Any other ideas? We really dislike sweet wine. We are looking for a more complex profile and a heavier body. Any suggestions welcome!!
View attachment 71942

View attachment 71943View attachment 71942View attachment 71943
You can add glycerine to increase body.
 

Khristyjeff

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Here are our results from tweaking our ABC Crafted Chardonnay...
We purchased from Amazon for $45 for a 23 liter kit.
--In the primary: We followed the instructions but we added 1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit zest (in a bit of cheesecloth) and 8 chopped up dried apricots (in cheesecloth). I did not reconstitute them, which I think would have been better. On 1/8/2021 the SG was 1.07
--After 14 days we moved it to the carboy and we did not oak it. On 1/22/2021 the SG was .0996
--Re-racked about two weeks ago and again yesterday before bottling.
--The wine is extremely light in color, much more like a sauvignon blanc. The flavor profile is crisp and light--too light for my liking. There's a little grapefruit note but no apricot. Maybe after being in the bottle it will develop more. It will be fine to drink in the Arizona summers when you don't want a heavy white.

We have another chardonnay kit we want to start next week and we will definitely oak. We plan to split the kit into two 3-gallon carboys: one with a light American oak and one with a medium French oak.

Here's where I'd like some suggestions...
How can we make the wine heavier without adding sugar sweetness? We are thinking about using fresh pears and/or apples. Do we chop up fresh fruit in the primary? Do we have to add anything else because it's fresh fruit? Any other ideas? We really dislike sweet wine. We are looking for a more complex profile and a heavier body. Any suggestions welcome!!
View attachment 71942

View attachment 71943View attachment 71942View attachment 71943
In your next similar Chardonay kit, you can make an fpac from Thompson Seedless grapes and a similar base wine (sauté and gently crush a little) , then add to your primary.
 

Bohemiana

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In your next similar Chardonay kit, you can make an fpac from Thompson Seedless grapes and a similar base wine (sauté and gently crush a little) , then add to your primary.
How much would you use? A pound of grapes for a 6-gallon batch? Could I do something similar with fresh cooked pear chunks? I assume the cooked fruit goes into a cheesecloth. Do I need to add anything else like pectin or something with it into the primary?
 

Khristyjeff

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How much would you use? A pound of grapes for a 6-gallon batch? Could I do something similar with fresh cooked pear chunks? I assume the cooked fruit goes into a cheesecloth. Do I need to add anything else like pectin or something with it into the primary?
Yes, a pound. I've also seen on this forum to add golden raisins (1 pound as well) instead of the grapes. I also read where someone back-sweetened with a frozen can of apple juice concentrate. I'm not sure what pears would do to the taste profile but maybe @joeswine or someone else might chime in on that.
 

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