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Old 07-15-2010, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default Any advice on Island Mist kits?

I got to sample one of them sweet wines from Island Mist (some Riesling thing I think) at a homebrew day in GR and I was very impressed! I don't normally like wines, but I could drink this (if there was no beer around!).

I have thought about buying a kit and making some of my own. Mostly because the ladies I hang out with don't like beer, or real beer anyway, but do at least drink party wines. I think they could enjoy this.

I just don't want to make a mistake in doing this, since the kits cost $60! Any tricks to know? Anything I might need before I start? I have the usual homebrewing equipment with 6 gallon carboy and buckets.

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Old 07-15-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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No real issues at all. Just be aware to follow the directions. There is an "F-pack" in there, and it's added at the very end to backsweeten. Since it has sorbate in it, if you add it before directed, it won't ferment. I only bring that up, because I remember the old saying, "Real men don't need instructions" and someone here on the forum opened all of the packages and added them at the beginning!

Degassing can be a PITA, so you may want to get one of those plastic "whisks" that fit into your drill. If you do that, start SLOWLY. It will form a volcano immediately until much of the co2 is gone.

My friend loves the "Mango Symphony" Island Mist kits the best, but she's made Kiwi Pear Savignon Blanc, also. They are all around 7% ABV, and ready to drink in about 60 days.

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Old 07-15-2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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Sounds good. I want something easy that my friends can enjoy, and I think they would enjoy these. I might want to ask them though. I know one of them has preferred Riesling, but another might have evolved into a merlot kind of person.

What I like about these kits is that they are sort of a mix between real wine and wine coolers. The sample I got was even a tad bit fizzy. Just enough to notice.

One other question I have is about sulfites. I know someone who is allergic, and she can't find wine around here without it. She can get it online, but it's very expensive. I believe it would be used to kill bacteria and wild yeast before fermenting, so I assume there must be a way to make homemade wine without it?

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Old 07-15-2010, 06:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Sounds good. I want something easy that my friends can enjoy, and I think they would enjoy these. I might want to ask them though. I know one of them has preferred Riesling, but another might have evolved into a merlot kind of person.

What I like about these kits is that they are sort of a mix between real wine and wine coolers. The sample I got was even a tad bit fizzy. Just enough to notice.

One other question I have is about sulfites. I know someone who is allergic, and she can't find wine around here without it. She can get it online, but it's very expensive. I believe it would be used to kill bacteria and wild yeast before fermenting, so I assume there must be a way to make homemade wine without it?
Yes, you can make wine without added sulfites. However, ALL wine (at least grape wine) has natural sulfites in it. It's just part of the fermentation process. There aren't any real "sulfite free" wines- but there are some low sulfite wines. There are very few people actually allergic to sulfites but if she is, the Island Mist isn't a good choice. There may be sulfites in that "f-pack".
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
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Hi Homer

These kits do make a tasty beverage. No aging required, just bottle and serve cold!
You are right, the ladies have really liked the ones I've made i think 'cause they are so sweet. The apple reisling, peach chard. and the blackberry cab. have all been hits. I keep some on hand to have something on the table while waiting on the "real" wine to age. Good luck!!

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Old 07-16-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Maybe you should consider doing a Welches wine instead, where you can control the added sulfites a bit more. And, they are super simple.

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Old 07-16-2010, 11:03 PM   #7
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The only thing I noticed about them is their rushed schedule. I know they are made to be fast and enjoyed young but don't feel you have to keep to the instruction timeframe. I've found them a little better to add a week or so to some of the steps.

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Old 07-19-2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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The only thing I noticed about them is their rushed schedule. I know they are made to be fast and enjoyed young but don't feel you have to keep to the instruction timeframe. I've found them a little better to add a week or so to some of the steps.
I'll keep that in mind. I'm not sure when I'll get around to doing this, but it is something that I'd like to try. Just have to pick when to pull the trigger on $60 kit! It's been a long time since I spend even half that much on a beer kit!
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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I just finished brewing my first Island Mist kit about 3 weeks ago. It was the White Cranberry flavour. I enjoy it, although its a little sweet. I added about 1/3 of the F-pack in the beginning (though I was aiming for more, it wasn't until the end that I realized that there was still a lot left!). The F-pack makes the wine VERY sweet, so many will add in some of it at the beginning to 1) boost alcohol content and 2) reduce the sweetness. I would also recommend you add in some table sugar at the beginning. I played it safe and added 3 or 3.5 cups. You can add up to 4 without being too worried about the alcohol content.

If you follow the instructions, you will end up with about 5-6% alcohol. Mine is 8-9% and you can't notice the alcoholic taste. Next kit, I'm going to add more of the F-pack in the primary, and add 4 cups of sugar.

$60 isn't too bad - equals about $2/bottle. Considering that up here in Canada, we pay $7/bottle for piss-wine, its a lot easier to justify the price.

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Old 04-07-2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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Not a good idea to add the F-Pack to the primary due to sorbate. It may hinder your fermentation.

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