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razorbill

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I don't know if this has been asked before but, with premium 16 liter kits being quite expensive, has anyone made two lesser priced 8 liter kits together, and does it give the same result as the premium 16, only not as hard on the wallet ?
 

sour_grapes

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Even though you joined a while ago, I will say "Welcome to WMT!" as it seems to be your first post.

No, it won't work that way. Just to consider first, the 8 liter kits have enough sugar to create enough alcohol for 30 bottles of wine. If you were to use two of them, there would be twice as much sugar as needed.

But that also goes for other elements of the wine (acid, tannins, etc.).
 

franc1969

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It's not that you take x-amount of concentrate and add it to a- or b- amount of water. It's the level of concentration AND quality of grape juice in the kits. So if you are looking at 8-liter kits that make 6 gallons, and 16-liter kits that make 6 gallons, they are not the equivalent of 1 bag/ 2 bag. As sour_grapes said, sugars/ABV, acid, tannins, etc. are all set for the 6 gallons.
You can tweak them to better fit what you want, though.

Though there are cans of fruit puree/concentrate that say 3 or 5 gallons, this doesn't correlate. I think you add sugar with those to suit.
 

VinesnBines

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From what I've read and practiced, the best you can do is with concentrate is 6 gallon (cheap) to 5 gallon. I've made the Fontana 6 gallon kits to 5 gallons. The only other juice buckets I've made were this past spring (Chilean juice) that was thin and disappointing. So, my suggestion is to sift through the Tweaking Cheap Kits thread and buy a cheap kit ($40 to $60) and play around. My favorite and the husband's is Fontana Cab Sav. I can post the tweaks if you like.
 

razorbill

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thank you for the responses, it makes sense when you explain it. for now i will stick to premium kits.
 

Rice_Guy

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thank you for the responses, it makes sense when you explain it. for now i will stick to premium kits.
note, a trick some do is to take a six gallon kit and make it as a five, ,,, and Paul is correct in pointing out balance as you may be increasing alcohol/ TA at the same time you increase aroma and mouth feel, ,,,, what is the limiting trait on the inexpensive kit?
 

razorbill

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note, a trick some do is to take a six gallon kit and make it as a five, ,,, and Paul is correct in pointing out balance as you may be increasing alcohol/ TA at the same time you increase aroma and mouth feel, ,,,, what is the limiting trait on the inexpensive kit?
The limiting trait on the inexpensive kits that i have done is they are light tasting, almost watered down, just my opinion. I like the stronger, fuller flavors i get on the premium, and i haven't tweaked any kits yet. My thought behind this post was more juice would give a fuller, stronger flavor and aroma, but the explanations given make sense.
 

Venatorscribe

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From what I've read and practiced, the best you can do is with concentrate is 6 gallon (cheap) to 5 gallon. I've made the Fontana 6 gallon kits to 5 gallons. The only other juice buckets I've made were this past spring (Chilean juice) that was thin and disappointing. So, my suggestion is to sift through the Tweaking Cheap Kits thread and buy a cheap kit ($40 to $60) and play around. My favorite and the husband's is Fontana Cab Sav. I can post the tweaks if you like.
You have made me curious About the tweaks your husband made to his cab sav kit. Can you share please. Regards
 

VinesnBines

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You have made me curious About the tweaks your husband made to his cab sav kit. Can you share please. Regards
I shan't be offended that you think my husband is the winemaker. :( I'll refer you to the thread Women Winemakers.
Anyway, I used the Fontana Cab Sav frim Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L191GH1/ref=dp_iou_view_product?ie=UTF8&th=1
I haven't tried another cheap kit but I expect any will work.
You can add the bentonite or not, I've done it both ways.
Additions to primary:
Simple syrup - 5 cups of sugar dissolved in 1 quart of water
1 cup Zante currants (Greek currants are the same thing if you are in the UK - Tesco currants are Greek)
1 cup of French oak chips
3 teaspoons of yeast nutrient
1 tablespoon of tannin
Add all to primary with the concentrate, add only enough water to get volume to 5 gallons.
SG may be as high as 1.121so I pitched EC 1118. Ferment to at least 1.000, rack to secondary and oak as you like. I age as long as necessary, at least 4 or 5 months. I keep it topped up well and Kmeta regularly; otherwise, I don't use any clearing agents. Time is my favorite clearing and degassing practice.
 

heatherd

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The limiting trait on the inexpensive kits that i have done is they are light tasting, almost watered down, just my opinion. I like the stronger, fuller flavors i get on the premium, and i haven't tweaked any kits yet. My thought behind this post was more juice would give a fuller, stronger flavor and aroma, but the explanations given make sense.
You can add skins or a grape pack to the lower-end kits to make them better.
 

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