Other Tweeking Cheap Kits

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Khristyjeff

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Wanted to report on one of the cheap kits with tweaks that I did. This was a Wine Lover's 11% kit that I reduced to 5 gallons and added a blackberry f-pac to the primary. Cost ended up being around $2.25/bottle. About the same time I started an RJS International kit with no tweaks. Cost was approximately $3.57/bottle. They both taste equally good IMO.

So for any of you looking for an economical way to make a good tasting wine, I encourage you to read through this "Tweaking" thread and give some of the ideas suggested by Joe and others a shot. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Cheers!
 

Carrie Smith

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Do you have any advice on adding vanilla to a Winexpert 6 gallon Chardonnay kit? When to add and how much?
 

joeswine

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Hi, you would c want a vanilla extract with a acholo base, or if your really adventuresome use vanilla beans , remember less more in wine making.
Using only 1 vanilla bean in the primary,if your using extract or making your own use it in the secondary there you can control the taste 😉better and as as you need to before bottling.
It makes for a pleasant and elegant tate profile
Understand?
 

Carrie Smith

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Hi, you would c want a vanilla extract with a acholo base, or if your really adventuresome use vanilla beans , remember less more in wine making.
Using only 1 vanilla bean in the primary,if your using extract or making your own use it in the secondary there you can control the taste 😉better and as as you need to before bottling.
It makes for a pleasant and elegant tate profile
Understand?
Thank you! I'm really looking forward to trying this. If I am adding vanilla "to taste" do you think the vanilla flavor will intensify or mellow as it ages? I'll only age it 3 to 6 months.
 

joeswine

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It should stay about the same,( extract longer), BEAN if anything it will mellow out faster that's been my experience . it should take the better part of a year to do it.
 

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vezePilot

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Four hundred and thirty-five thousand and counting. Wow.
Well, my two cents worth: I bottled my 6 gallon batch of Cab Sauv from a WineXpert kit. After pulling out a bottle between carboys, I decided on and tested a way to make my Cabernet Sauvignon taste more like my favorite, Auspicion.

I simply added two bottles of Auspicion to the wine during my bottling. I guess this is a "tweak" ... ?
(I really like the result.)
 

vezePilot

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It's just a brand, offering a Cab Sauv and a Chardonnay. Seems to me to be distinctive with a rich flavor.

 

RocketBee

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Wanted to report on one of the cheap kits with tweaks that I did. This was a Wine Lover's 11% kit that I reduced to 5 gallons and added a blackberry f-pac to the primary. Cost ended up being around $2.25/bottle. About the same time I started an RJS International kit with no tweaks. Cost was approximately $3.57/bottle. They both taste equally good IMO.

So for any of you looking for an economical way to make a good tasting wine, I encourage you to read through this "Tweaking" thread and give some of the ideas suggested by Joe and others a shot. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Cheers!
@Khristyjeff Which kit was this, Malbec?
 

joeswine

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HI there, its been a while since I've posted a Cheap wine kits are fun and lets you explore your creativity don't they?
 

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joeswine

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Making FPACS works also.
 

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Khristyjeff

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Here's a review of sorts. Started a Wine Lover's Medium body 11.5% Malbec on 3/14/21. I used everything that came with the kit, and did the following tweaks I found on this thread:
1. After adding juice, filled to the 5 gallon mark instead of 6.
2. Added 8 oz. (1 Cup of Black Zante Currants, 1 T of wine tannin, and <1 Cup of French Oak chips.

Starting SG 1.100. Final SG 0.993 so ABV at 14.54%. Bulk aged for 5 months then bottled. Yield was 23 bottles.

The cost of the kit was $55 and using a welcome back discount, paid $49.50 including shipping. So, about $2.15/bottle not including tweak ingredients.

Opened a bottle to share at around the 6 month mark and it was amazing. I got the most positive reaction from my wife of anything I've poured including some rated commercial wines.

We'll definitely do this one again and I can't think of anything I'd change at this point, although I'm definitely open to suggestions!
 

joeswine

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OK ,results from the Hammonton Armature wine contest , 2 forums of judging ,first the pro judges supplied by the state aquaculture board, and second by the peoples who entered in a blind tasting that evening. that was all 200 of us.
Pro judges choice gold--- Monastrell / RQ kit with tweaks---Peach Bellin with fresh peaches---Coffee port. Desert kit with tweaks.

Second place silver-- judges choice.---Sanginovese WE with tweaks---Cal. merlot with tweaks--Black currant straight fruit

People Choice awards ( blind tasting ) Gold only awarded..
Coffee port....Merlot'''' Peach Bellini'''''
( tough group)
These people like my self have been going to this event for 15 years and they all know each other ,I'm the loan wolf, but you can bet they know me. Great event put on by the Rotary club of Hammonton, good people who do good things for their community.
 

Khristyjeff

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I bought an RJS Valpola 6 week Wine kit. It comes with 3 packs of oak tea and 1 bag of dried grape skins. Wondering what the followers of "Tweaking Cheap Kits" might suggest. I have some wet skins I used on a different kit that I saved and froze that are a possibility. I also thought about adding 1 cup of raisins or Zante Currants to the primary. What do you suggest?
 

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