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Squatchy
09-21-2015, 09:13 PM
I just received a port kit from a very reputable e-vendor. It wasn't a cheap one. I bought it because of the fresh grape juice and concentrate. I read the instructions. They sent EC-1118. They instructed to pitch dry yeast on the must. They also have zero food additions for the yeast. Lastly they say it's ready in 8 weeks.

I'm surprised (some what) that they have not brought the instructions into the current century. I imagine the reason it is "drinkable" in 8 weeks is because the sweetness covers up the fussels enough to make it "drinkable".

I was looking through another e-vendors site at recipes and they too suggested a dry "pitch and wait" with no nutrient additions. And these places advertise as "the very best".

I wonder how they claim to be the ones in the know and yet have not a clue!

kudapucat
09-21-2015, 09:38 PM
It probably comes down to "If it aint broke, don't fix it"
Until somebody upgrades and takes the market share, nothing will change.

bernardsmith
09-21-2015, 10:00 PM
I am posting in response to Squatchy's questions but never having made a kit take my answers with several grains of salt.
1. If the kit is made from grape juice then grapes are perhaps the perfect medium for yeast. They do not need nutrient.
2. EC-1118 is a yeast I don't use but I am pretty sure that it will effectively ferment my boots if I pitched it dry. The manufacturers of the kits design their products to be all but fail safe.
3. The short aging associated with kits is to help sell you another kit. If they suggested that you age the wine for 6 months to a year and you aged the wine in a carboy the chances that you will buy a second kit will be slim a) because your carboy is full and b) because you are unlikely to buy a second kit before you have drunk some, most , all of your first kit. Presumably , with cheaper kits the wine is ... um... drinkable in the time the manufacturer suggests but will improve with age
4. These are kits- yer gets what yer pays for. How much was the kit? How many bottles will it produce? How much does it cost per bottle?

brottman
09-21-2015, 10:48 PM
One more thing to add. The nutrients are likely already in the juice/concentrate. This is typical for a kit.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

kudapucat
09-21-2015, 10:56 PM
I hope so. We add nutrient to our grape musts...
EC will do the job. Fast. With no nutrient... But, you'd want an awful lot of sugar to hide the unpleasant job it would do in such conditions.

58limited
09-22-2015, 08:19 PM
I have made several WinExpert and RJ Spagnols port kits and they have turned out great. I don't detect any fusels in them. Realistically, they become amazing after 2-3 years aging but are drinkable much sooner. I have about 100 bottles on hand, many going back 4 years or more, and I have 18 gallons going now: Cherry Chocolate (Blackforest), Toasted Caramel, and Coffee Port. The kits are 3 gallon kits, I buy two of each and use my 7.9 gallon fermentors for primary, secondary, and bulk aging. The only deviation from the directions: I add a good 750ml bottle of brandy (or sometimes cognac) to the port in the aging buckets.

The (fruit)/chocolate kits taste like a tootsie roll for the first year or so but the fruit begins to shine at 2 years. The plain port is OK from the git-go but after 2 years it gets really good. I've never tried the toasted caramel or coffee kits before so it will be interesting to see how they turn out. My BIL made a great chocolate orange tawny kit from RJ Spagnol and his addition was he took 1oz fresh orange zest that he soaked in a $60.00 bottle of cognac for 3 days, then he added the cognac to the aging bucket.

I have also made a Lodi Zinfandel w/ skins kit and the directions are basically the same as the port kits. It is very young right now but good nonetheless.

Stasis
09-22-2015, 08:51 PM
Young's yeasts are also tossed into a must without rehydrating. They recommend sprinkling the yeast on top of the must and waiting 20 mins for the yeast to absorb moisture this way. 20 mins later just stir the must.
If you are supplied with a concentrate then the nutrients would also probably be concentrated, so no need for more nutrients.
If another company upgrades their product it is possible that many people will shy away from buying the product because the instruction are too complicated. Also, the more factors and steps they introduce to the kit the more it is likely for someone to botch up a step. If people botch up your kit through incompetence they will still give your expensive product a bad reputation. Then they could go for the cheaper product and make something which tastes the same or maybe better :/

WVMJack
09-23-2015, 06:46 PM
Dude, ever heard of idiot proof? Everything is already balanced and ready to go, it cant be much more modern than that, just drop in some yeast and try to be patient for a few weeks:)

We like to take the port kits, add 2 gallons of either pure black raspberry or elderberry juice, a little more nutrient and oak, toss out the instructions and go from there.

WVMJ

Squatchy
09-23-2015, 08:04 PM
Dude, ever heard of idiot proof? Everything is already balanced and ready to go, it cant be much more modern than that, just drop in some yeast and try to be patient for a few weeks:)

We like to take the port kits, add 2 gallons of either pure black raspberry or elderberry juice, a little more nutrient and oak, toss out the instructions and go from there.

WVMJ

Well I didn't know. I have never purchased a kit before. Thanks all for the scoop :)

kudapucat
09-23-2015, 09:38 PM
Dude, ever heard of idiot proof? Everything is already balanced and ready to go, it cant be much more modern than that, just drop in some yeast and try to be patient for a few weeks:)


Well I didn't know. I have never purchased a kit before. Thanks all for the scoop :)

Clearly the problem here is: You're not an idiot...

There are some nice variations suggested above, I'm inclined to try some...

Squatchy
09-23-2015, 09:42 PM
Clearly the problem here is: You're not an idiot...

There are some nice variations suggested above, I'm inclined to try some...

Thanks for th kind words. I kind of felt like an idiot

mannye
09-24-2015, 08:13 AM
I would imagine that wine kits are like beer kits. Designed to make passable product no matter what level of skill you have. It makes sure the beginner will get a good result. Like beer kits, the more advanced winemaker can also use them as a base to practice "going solo." 20something years ago, I started with a basic beer kit and did just that... dry pitch into a five gallon bucket, wait a week, transfer to a bottling bucket, add a cup of corn sugar and bottle. the beer that resulted was a lot better than Bud Light and got me hooked.

Now that good beer is really easy to find on a shelf, I imagine wine kits will increase in popularity. Especially considering wine is ridiculously overpriced in the USA. If I can make a passable red table wine in massive quantities for less than half the price, I will.

WVMJack
09-24-2015, 07:29 PM
Squatch, idiot proof is not a negative thing, its built into the kit so anyone can make it well as expected, that is until you start screwing around with the kit and void the warranty:):) Blackberry is also good, I want to try a plum, like 2 cans of vitners plum and a 3 gal port kit. We we go full on crazy port we add a jar of cherry concentrate like you get at a hippy store, a jar of black currant juice to give it that cassis taste, drop in a vanilla bean and some extra oak. One year I accidentally put in an extra jar of cherry juice and it boosted that acid a bit to much, had to age that one out and put in a bottle of everclear. They can turn out pretty thick! WVMJ

Squatchy
09-24-2015, 10:11 PM
So I bought a "Cru Speciality Orange Chocolate" And a "Wine expert Raspberry Chocolate"

When you say black currant are you talking something like from Vinters Harvest or just a juice from the grocery store? I think I know what cherry concentrate your talking about. I can't seem to find black raspberry juice or elderberry juice locally.

Squatchy
09-24-2015, 10:30 PM
Dude, ever heard of idiot proof? Everything is already balanced and ready to go, it cant be much more modern than that, just drop in some yeast and try to be patient for a few weeks:)

We like to take the port kits, add 2 gallons of either pure black raspberry or elderberry juice, a little more nutrient and oak, toss out the instructions and go from there.

WVMJ


Wow. Congratulations Jack. You guys have a great collection of medals from your competitions. Nice work. You obviously have figured things out. Too bad we live so far apart. I would love to trade you some stuff. Sounds like everything you make is wonderful.

Squatchy
09-29-2015, 08:41 PM
Dude, ever heard of idiot proof? Everything is already balanced and ready to go, it cant be much more modern than that, just drop in some yeast and try to be patient for a few weeks:)

We like to take the port kits, add 2 gallons of either pure black raspberry or elderberry juice, a little more nutrient and oak, toss out the instructions and go from there.

WVMJ

I wanted to see if I understood correctly. You are adding the extra in primary right?

And below. Are you adding the cherry after stabilization?