Other Tweeking Cheap Kits

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After making kits for 7 years I finally tried making a sweet wine. I chose a Southern Peach - Wine Lovers Fruit Winemaking Kit
Next time try the Winexpert Island Mist series. I've made them a few times and the results were good (in the opinion of a dry red drinker).

And I agree with @oppyland, hang onto the wine a bit longer. While it's unlikely to improve much, a lot of folks will like it, and you can make drinks with it, e.g., add citrus fruit to make something like a Sangria.

If you find someone who likes it, give them a few bottles at a time -- you'll have a friend for life! [who expects you to keep making that wine ...] 😄
 

AR324

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Not sure this qualifies as a tweak. But since grape skins are hard to come by, I ordered a FWK Merlot with two skin packs. I split the Merlot into a 4 gallon and 2 gallon batch. Used one skin pack in with the 4 gallon Merlot. Plan on the 2 gallon Merlot to use as a top up and maybe a few bottles of a lighter, easy drinker. I then used the second skin pack with a WE reserve Argentinian Malbec. Both smell and taste very good so far.

I plan on doing this more in the future. I may get a FWK Pinot noir with two skin packs, split the Pinot into 4 gallons and 2 gallons. Try to make the 4 gallon a more serious wine, the 2 gallon a lighter, fruit forward wine and use the 2nd skin pack with another kit.

Thanks for the great ideas posted here.
 
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Not sure this qualifies as a tweak.
I'm not sure if I'd call it a tweak, either, but it's producing what you want, so it sounds like a great idea.

I just bottled a FWK Barbera, made with no skin packs, after 5 months. It's already drinkable, although it will improve in the next 6 months. From my POV, it's a no lose scenario as it's drinkable now and will keep getting better.
 
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AR324

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I'm not sure if I'd call it a tweak, either, but it's producing what you want, so it sounds like a great idea.

I just bottled a FWK Barbera, made with no skin packs, after 5 months. It's already drinkable, although it will improve in the next 6 months. From my POV, it's a no lose scenario as it's drinkable now and will keep getting better.
I’d like to try the Barbara as well. I hope they have more this fall. Let us know how it turns out.
 
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I’d like to try the Barbara as well. I hope they have more this fall. Let us know how it turns out.
It's currently got a lot of fruit on the front, with an oddly sour taste on the back end, that is surprisingly pleasant. I see nothing but good things over the next year.
 

Khristyjeff

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I just got a Fontana Sauvignon Blanc kit from Walmart online. Ordered over the weekend and received on Tuesday. Price was $52 while same thing on Amazon was $65; both free shipping.

My plan with this kit is to add zest from a medium sized grapefruit, and an f-pac of white seedless Thompson grapes. The kit came with American oak chips. I didn't realize that Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine that is sometimes oaked. I think the potential ABV on this kit is 11-13 out of the box--would like to shoot for 12-13% so I may adjust with simple syrup to keep the ABV at the 12-13% mark if needed. I'll let my hydrometer be my guide. 😁

My questions are: Should I use the oak with the zest or is that weird? Also, any other changes you might suggest from my original plan? My first time using zest so that's the real reason I got this kit. Must use up the Christmas grapefruit--nothing wasted!
 

joeswine

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You’ve got a good plan, don’t use the oak at all, sauté the grapes down with 2 cup of the base then dump it straight into the mix add yeast and let it go.
Ec1118? Is that what they gave you?
 

Khristyjeff

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You’ve got a good plan, don’t use the oak at all, sauté the grapes down with 2 cup of the base then dump it straight into the mix add yeast and let it go.
Ec1118? Is that what they gave you?
Thanks Joe. The yeast comes in generic packs but I'm assuming it's EC 1118. I'll definitely do the f-pac Joeswine style. Always appreciate your help.
 

Bill Pet

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I add raisins to kit wines. The sugar in raisins raises the SG, but by how much? I pulse the raisins in a food processor with a little of the juice to break them up, and suspend them in a mesh back in the primary. How long should I wait to measure SG to get an accurate reading?
 

sour_grapes

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I add raisins to kit wines. The sugar in raisins raises the SG, but by how much? I pulse the raisins in a food processor with a little of the juice to break them up, and suspend them in a mesh back in the primary. How long should I wait to measure SG to get an accurate reading?
FYI, raisins are roughly 2/3 sugar by weight. So you can weigh them, and use FermCalc or the like to figure out the expected rise in SG.
 

joeswine

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First of all no need to pulse the raisins they’ll do there own thing as soon as they hit the wine.
Although they add some sugar they impart their structure to the wine , always let your hydrometer be you guide.
 

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