Wine Kit Grape Pack Vinegar Smell?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by bradthebold, Dec 29, 2019.

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  1. Dec 29, 2019 #1

    bradthebold

    bradthebold

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    Hi, I just got a wine kit from my local store. I realized it was 2 years old after getting it home and the shop replaced the yeast and clarifying agents. I am trying to make it right now. The juice smells fine and tastes sweet/good. The all grape pack smells like vinegar though. It tastes better than it smells, maybe slight vinegar taste though my girlfriend said it was fine. It is kind of sharp tasting though. Does it sound like it's infected or normal for the grape packs?
     
  2. Dec 30, 2019 #2

    Rocky

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    Does not sound good to me. A two year old kit, in addition to needing fresh yeast, has a high probability of being oxidized. Your juice may taste good but look for a brownish color in the juice, the wine or the grape pack. I don't want to be a Monday morning QB but I would advise against buying a two year old kit. Further, I would find another "store" to patronize. Selling you that kit was deceitful.

    Lastly, if you have any doubt about the "grape pack," I suggest that you discard it. Which manufacturer produced the kit and what variety is it?
     
  3. Dec 30, 2019 #3

    bradthebold

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    The kit is Mosti Mondiale Renaissance Impressions Old Vine Cabernet kit that came with a 4kg Allgrape pack. I didn't know how to read the date code til I got home and saw how old the things inside were. The yeast just expired this month but the clarifiers were well passed.

    The shop owner is a friend and president of the homebrew club, he said he'd take it back if I wanted, but that it shouldn't be an issue with new yeast. It was on sale (still $98), but I wouldn't have bought it if I knew how old it was. The juice seems ok, though it's the only kit I've ever had. The grape pack liquid is brown and unappetizing looking though. I checked the other kits at the store and they were just as old, so I doubt he has a new replacement. He just bought the store and they were there. He did just get some new, different brand kits in, but I'll have to talk to him and see what I can do. I guess I'll just have to dump it unfortunately.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2019 #4

    Rocky

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    Well, Brad, you are in this far and it is all sunk cost at this point. I suggest making the wine without the grape pack (the brown indicates that it could be oxidized). You would only have to invest some time, so why not try with the juice alone? May not be the greatest wine you ever made and you could turn it into vinegar. You might want to consult the thread, "Tweaking Cheap Kits" (an unfortunate choice of words) on this forum for some ideas. Just a thought.
     
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  5. Dec 30, 2019 #5

    WINEBAYOU

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    I had the same experience with the first kit I bought. I got it at a farmers market/hardware store and I didn't understand the date code either. It turned out to be seven years old. It was the kind that comes in a bucket. Once I took the lid off it was pretty obvious that the juice was too old so I took it back.

    Later on after doing many more kits I once got several (8 out of 12) grape packs that weren't out of date but had that same issue. They were the MM Impressions. I was tranfering the contents from the grape packs to muslin bags going into a tank of 12 kits when I noticed one didn't smell right. I used the four good ones and dumped the other eight. I ordered replacements and added them to the tank about a week later.

    That being said I agree with Rocky. If the juice is not obviously spoiled you might as well give it a try. You have good instincts and you've learned a few things already! You could order a replacement grape pack for $20. Also, get yourself a 18" or 24" muslin bag (its like a sock) rather than adding the grape skins loose. It'll save you a lot of trouble when comes time to rack the wine.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2019 #6

    Lwrightjs

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    I'll be honest, I'd probably return it.

    If it's old or on its way out, it'd be a shame to go through the whole process of making wine, and getting invested in this particular kit, just to have it spoil when you're finished. There's nothing more disappointing than when your hard work doesn't pan out and you can't tell if its your fault or the kits.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2019 #7

    bshef

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    If you don't want to take it back, you might try dried black currants to boost the flavor (cheaper than the grape pack). I did a third run with a cheap cab sav kit on top of cab franc skins and dried currants. I did a one gallon first run of cab franc, made a second run by adding the dried black currants (about a pound of black currants) and for the third run I dumped the Fontana cab sav juice in the fermenter and added water to make five gallons. The skins and dry currants were exactly what the kit needed. I really don't know how much flavor I got from the skins; they were pretty much gone by the end of the third run.
    You can also make a flavor pack from dark fruits; blueberry, blackberry or black cherry. Those flavors come out in cab anyway so you can use them to replace the grape pack.
     
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  8. Jan 7, 2020 #8

    bradthebold

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    So I figured I'd update, as this has been an interesting experience. The shop owner told me to call the company and see if they'd send me a new grape pack. I tried 3 times over a week and they never answered or called me back so he just gave me another old grape pack and it seemed much better. It smelled fine. I went to add it and the juice that was in my fermenter for a week had green mold floating on it. After that, the shop owner just gave me a new, different brand kit he got in that week. I gave him the good grape pack back to use with the kit he took it from, and I decided just to ferment my juice and see what happens. It still smells ok. I scooped the mold off, added some k-meta yesterday, then went to pitch the yeast tonight. I took the lid off and it was fizzing pretty good with a little foam on top. I pitched the yeast on top and it erupted like a baking soda/vinegar volcano and poured 1.3G of juice foam into the bottom of my freezer. I tasted it (lol) and it tastes like sweet juice still, just fizzy. I'm still tempted to let it ferment at least (with whatever yeast survived) and see what happens since it's already in the bucket. Any chance it will still make something drinkable?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jan 7, 2020 #9

    Arne

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    It has already started, might as well let it finish. Will probably turn out fine, maybe not great but still drinkable. Arne.
     

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