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Old 02-15-2014, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default Coastal White Wine Kit - How to improve taste?

I bought a coastal white kit from Midwest when they had a bogo sale, I made the first lot and I do not really care for the wine. It is not my style or my wife's style and we are going through the bottles very slowly. That other kit I have is just sitting collecting dust. I am looking for some suggestions on what to do, add or change to the kit to make a different wine.

I was thinking to use the concentrate in the kit among with some fruit, and maybe a different yeast? Or possibly a wine/beer mix, or use it as the base for a mead along with honey?

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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What do you not like about the taste?

There are all sorts of things you can do to tailor the kit to your specific tastes.

Personally, I would make the kit as is and during secondary, add fruit, additional tannin, raisins to improve mouthfeel, any extracts, etc.
I did something similar to a mezza luna white kit and added raisins, additional tannin, and elderberries to secondary, it turned out fantastic.

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Old 02-16-2014, 01:05 AM   #3
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I am not very articulate when it comes to describing taste, but usually we prefer a little sweeter (the kit finished 1.096) and something that doesn't have the traditional wine taste at the end of every drink. Honestly to me it just seems a little boring.

I realize that is a terrible description, I will open a bottle tonight after work so I can comment more accurately. It's been a month or so since we have had a bottle.

Also I know these are cheaper kits and I am not expecting a miracle, just something a little more appealing.

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Old 02-16-2014, 06:06 PM   #4
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You may want to check your notes. 1.096 is more a beginning gravity measurement. Anything under 1.00 is usually an ending gravity measurement and some backsweeten to 1.01 or so.

Pour yourself a glass and see what impressions you are left with.
If it just tastes flat and needs a little something, you may want to add a wee bit of acid to your glass and see if that improves it.

I'm considering buying one of the cheaper white kits and adding several pounds of rhubarb during secondary, along with some basil. I make a mean rhubarb/basil lemonade and I'd like to see if I can translate that into a wine.

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Old 02-17-2014, 04:48 AM   #5
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Thats what I get for posting from my phone at work.

Final gravity was .98

I am not a huge wine drinker in the first place, but I like to have some on hand for guests and my wife. She like sweeter wines, fruit oriented wines and Rieslings. I purchased one of the Island Mist kits from midwest, the pomegranate zin, and she really likes it. I think that kit is even a little sweet for her taste though.

I will follow your advice and open a bottle and report back. I have some leftover tannin from the banana wine I started a few weeks ago, I will try adding a little and see.

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:06 PM   #6
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I think your best bet is to add some frozen juice concentrate after all fermentation is complete and you have stabilized the wine. You could contact this guy (http://www.homewinery.com/cgi-bin/concen.cgi) to see if he has less-than the half-gallon bottles of his concentrates. They work very well to make a sweeter wine by themselves, so I would imagine that they would do the same to a finished kit wine as well.

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Old 02-18-2014, 02:13 AM   #7
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Opened a bottle this evening and boring is probably the best way I would describe it. Its not that its a bad tasting wine, it is just boring with just enough aftertaste for me not to like it that much. I tried adding a little tannin to a glass and a little acid to another, both helped from the stand point of adding something to the taste, but I dont think either one would make me enjoy 6 gallons from a full kit.

The brew store sells fruit concentrates similar to the ones posted above, only they are this brand http://www.midwestsupplies.com/winem...s-harvest.html

I am leaning towards that option. Would the best way to do it be to ferment it out, stabilize and then add to taste?

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Old 02-18-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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If you ferment it out, it will impart zero sweetness. All of the sugars will be turned into alcohol and CO2, just like the starting concentrate. Ifd you want to sweeten/flavor, I'd stabilize and then add the concentrates.

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