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Will my kits always smell like the embodiment of 'meh'?

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Lwrightjs

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My kit wines are tasting pretty incredible this point. Especially for costing a few dollars per bottle. But they just smell so... Alcoholic? They just have a generally off putting smell. Will this ever improve? My kits are all young and I don't mind waiting.

Do more expensive kits have better smells? Is there anything I can do to add to the nose?

What have you noticed will improve the smell?
 

ras2018

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From what I’ve gathered the nose comes a lot from the skins. Are you making skins kits?
 

1d10t

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Do you know what temps your fermentation temperatures get up too? If they get high you could be getting some fusel alcohols that will probably age out,
 

Lwrightjs

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Do you know what temps your fermentation temperatures get up too? If they get high you could be getting some fusel alcohols that will probably age out,
I do a pretty low fermentation. Like 76. I don't really get strong alcohol flavors but does smell alcoholic.
 

Brian55

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Seems to be hit and miss depending on the kit, but mostly miss. And even when it's present, it's still subdued compared to commercial wines.
 

Lwrightjs

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It changes with age, usually for the better, but it doesn't increase intensity-wise all that much, if at all.
I guess that's not bad. Right now, I'm about 50/50 as far as the kit smells go. Half of them are neutral and are fine to drink. But the other half seem to detract from the drinking experience.
 

Brian55

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I guess that's not bad. Right now, I'm about 50/50 as far as the kit smells go. Half of them are neutral and are fine to drink. But the other half seem to detract from the drinking experience.
Probably drinking them too young. The aromas should be there, and be varietal specific, just subdued compared to commercial wines.
 

Lwrightjs

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Yeah. The ones that have the off smells are the young wines. ~6 to 9 months. They taste pretty good but no nose.
Do you think that adding fruit to Secondary might help? Like blackberries to a red.
I've tweaked whites and even young, they seem to have a pretty nice smell. Like apricots, or citrus (if I use grapefruit).
 

jsbeckton

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But they just smell so... Alcoholic?
Ive made about 25 (mostly high end) kits and I can’t recall any of them smelling “alcoholic”. I’d describe them as more “muted” or “dull” than commercial wine and can’t say it improves with age. I also can’t say that the skins or even EM on the skins has changed that too much.

Maybe it’s something with the manufacturers kit making process that precludes retainment if aroma compounds?

I have no expectations for neither legs or aroma from my kits but the taste is usually decent so it’s a once sensory type of drink IMO (although the color is trpically very nice).
 
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Lwrightjs

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Yeah maybe alcoholic was the wrong word. It doesn't smell like the normal jet fuel that I might get from a fast ferment. But maybe I smell it because there's no other smell to cover it.
Maybe muted is a better word for it.
Some of them are simply unpleasant. But I'm going to attribute that to age.
 

pillswoj

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I am pretty sure that concentrating the juice causes a lot of the aromatics to be blown of, that is why kits never have the aroma of wines from grape or from juice.
 

Lwrightjs

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So this is interesting.. I just opened up a bottle of J Lohr and it smells exactly like one of my kits. Maybe with a little more minerality but the intensity is almost exactly the same. I find that strangely comforting.
 

joeswine

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It's all about the base structure and the tweaking, for inexpensive kits.
Moderately priced Kit's require tweaking to be better ,better kits, require less or little tweaking .
Nose is a problem with all kits.
Unless it's a fruit wine or special blended whites or a red,
it all goes Back to structure.
 
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