Other Tweeking Cheap Kits

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kevinlfifer

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They are 6 oz, I believe they are comprised of blueberries, cherries, cranberries. I don't have one in stock right now.

I used them in a Fontana kit, added a nice bouquet.
 

joeswine

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Making a fpac you can see this process by viewing the thread making an fpac , check it out it will answer all your questions..
 

David Taylor

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Ok, so here is my Shiraz tweak 11/20/18
  • 1 cup french oak simmered 10 minutes in 1/2 water (used both)
  • 1 lb fresh frozen raspberries made into a FPAC per Joe's method.
  • 1 Q Simple syrup
  • 1 T Tannin in primary
  • SG: 1.15
My Fontana Merlot is bulk aging and will bottle it by the end of the year. I tasted it when I did my second racking and liked the fresh blackcurrant FPAC I added.
 

BigSell

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Joe,
Don’t mean to disrupt this thread but I have a question for you. I am starting a Sauv Blac and I know you have said other than a little Grapefruit zest don’t do much else to white kits. So what about reducing the volume say 5.5 vs 6 gal. and what about white raisins in the primary or secondary for body? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Regards
 

Mismost

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Joe,
Don’t mean to disrupt this thread but I have a question for you. I am starting a Sauv Blac and I know you have said other than a little Grapefruit zest don’t do much else to white kits. So what about reducing the volume say 5.5 vs 6 gal. and what about white raisins in the primary or secondary for body? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Regards
Joe is the pro here, but I will relate my experience. I reduced volume on a Chardonnay... and it did increase the body of the wine. Trouble is, a heavy bodied Chard is not really that pleasant... turned out kinda thick, not nice and light and crisp. That was also a "bigger kit".

Here my take on tweaking kits, which I truly love to do. The smaller, cheaper kits are noticably improved most of the time....especially the reds. Whites are just more delicate and easy to over-power.... when Joe says 1/2 the vest of a grapefruit, BELIEVE him! Reds, reduced volume, added fruits, Fpacs, bump up the SG, add tannins....it all really helps a kit like the 45-50 dollar range Fontana's.

In the end, it's your wine and done your way. Sometimes it's great. And sometimes it's like peeing on an electric fence.... you don't want to THAT again!
Live and learn!
 

BigSell

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Mistmost,

Yep I alway tweek my Red’s with great success, even the less successful ones were good, probably have done 20 or so. Have only done one White, an Eclipse Sav Blanc for the wife, she did not like it, said it was flat and lacked flavor, I even adjusted the acid to match her store bought favorite. So I thought I would try again with the Grapefruit zest. They don’t make the Eclips kit anymore so I went with the Vinters Reserve. I like to support my local supply house and they only carry Winexpert kits, a little higher price than the Fontana kits.

Still on the fence about any additional tweets besides the Grapefruit, hopefully I can get some more suggestions.

Thanks for your comments, and yes I have pee’d on an electric fence, had a sadistic uncle who was a dairy farmer when I was young, once is enough.
 

joeswine

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Sometimes with expensive kits less is more especially whites like. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay they have a taste profile all to themselves small adjusting is ok but not overpowering.
Alcohol levesl can and should be adjusted to your taste.
As for the Chardenay I would like to try with tangerine zest also.
The blanco grapefruit zest only.
However either or both would make a good candidate for experimentation.
 

jpwatkins9

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Just started up a 1 gallon kit (Brooklyn Brew Shop) for making 5 750/Ml of Sparkling wine. Interesting kit, comes with all the stuff including 1/2 gallon of Chardonnay juice. Am trying it with no tweaks on the first run. The instructions are to mix 7 tablespoons of sugar in 1/2 a cup of water after primary and then bottle ( no sorbate as we want the yeast active) for carbonation. I will do a double racking and then bottle, they just bottle straight from primary. That is the only change from their instructions. Next batch will add a small amount of Grapefruit zest to the Chardonnay and see how that works. Am about to start a Rose, and am thinking about using some of that to make a sparkling wine with the kit. Only thing extra that you need are 5 empty Champagne bottles per gallon. It is a bit of work to get them empty, but I feel I am up to the task.
 

sour_grapes

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Should I add water to lower the SG or wait? It has been fermenting for four days.
Let me first ask: Are you confident it was 1.150, and not 1.115? Was the hydrometer floating near the end of its range, so that most of the scale was out of the liquid?
 

joeswine

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First did you check your SG.?¿?
Yes adding the water then stirring well and again check your SG to your finish preference. Please let us know what your thoughts are on the ABV.
 

David Taylor

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Let me first ask: Are you confident it was 1.150, and not 1.115? Was the hydrometer floating near the end of its range, so that most of the scale was out of the liquid?
I am not sure. If I remember correctly, it was past 1.10 and half way between the 10 and 20 and below 15% ABV. That has to be correct as it was not near the base and not at 20% ABV. I just checked it and it is reading 1.040.
 

joeswine

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Jpwatkins9:
Sounds interesting what brand kit was this I would like to try it.
 

joeswine

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NelsonC,
Cheap wine kits in my option are just what they are a base wine . Tweaking is what these kits where design for.
Onc3 you get the idea in your head that it's up to you to design A wine for your taste and style.
In the end you'll establish the body by adding the ingredients to build body and structure in return you'll get a decent tasting everyday wine ready to drink young .what you established in the beginning is what you'll have in the end. Trial and error are your best friend your hydromenter is the key to balance the work out.
One month of aging in the bottle and enjoy
 
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