Additions to Winexpert kit

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Shirley Bassett

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During this last year I’ve made the following Winexpert red kits:

Australian GSM, Chilean Malbec and Chilean Merlot. Whilst they are drinkable, they all have what I can only describe as a home brew twang, and it’s common to all of them. My better half says the wine tastes far nicer when it is first siphoned off the initial sediment, and before any extra sachets are added.

Post siphoning the instructions are add the Potassium Metabisulphite / Potassium Sorbate.

Agitate the wine to degas. I do this with a steriliser plastic coat hanger attached to a battery drill. I change rotation direction every minute or so.

it then says to stir in Kieselsol. Fit an airlock and leave for 24 hours.

Then stir in Chitosan for 10 days, giving it a twist after 5 days to allow sediment on the sides to sink to the bottom.

Having read the instructions for a second time it says after the Chitosan has been added to keep the wine at 20 to 25C. I’ve been transferring the bottling bucket to my garage at this point. Is this the cause of my twang? I initially ferment the wine in the cupboard that contains the manifold of my underfloor heating, so it at a relatively constant temperature.

My questions are is the cold area causing the taste, or is it the sachets I’m adding. Will omitting any of the sachets get rid of the twang, and what is the long term implications for the wine?

I have a Winexpert Cab Sav still to make.
 

ChrisT

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WinExpert are my go to kits. Everyone who tastes them say they're great, some aren't as "polished" as a pricey commercial wine, but all are very drinkable. I haven't noticed any twang and nobody has yet commented, but I have noticed that they become smoother after 6 months, the Australian GSM really benefited from some aging!

I'm now on a journey to remove/reduce oxygen inflitration, as I've noticed on a few demijohns there's a definite "issue"! Just adding a bottling wand made a diffence and after reading some other's comments I've just invested in a Fermenter King Gen 3, which should improve things once more, or so I hope!

How long do you degass for? I dropped from minutes to roughly one minute in total, wine still clears well and I think has reduced the oxygenation, perhaps?
 

Shirley Bassett

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Previously I siphoned the wine off the initial sediment and just allowed it to run down the inside of the receiving vessel.

Degassing time is probably 5 to 10 minutes. To be honest I don’t accurately time it.

Final bottling is done via a wand to fill the bottles.

I’ll try the initial siphon using a bottling wand and degas for a shorter period.

I wondered if it was the sachet additions that we could taste, and was more interested in what there purpose was, and could any of them be omitted.
 

ChrisT

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I've always followed the included instructions in the kit. They all do something to help us make the wine. The only addition that I've noticed adds an obvious smell is the Sodium Metabisulphate, I've not tasted the others to see if they could contibute anything.

Having said that, I did the Gwertztraminer kit and that has a "reserve" extra pouch to add post fermentation and that definitely contributed something that wasn't good!

Personally I would degass for that long and as said earlier, the quality is improved for keeping the air away!
 

TonyT

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I tried one winexpert kit because several people on here had positive experiences with them. I followed the instructions without any tinkering but I too found it to have a ‘twang’ and I didn’t really like it so I didn’t bother with another one. My preferred option are Beaverdale kits which I make to 21litres instead of 23 for more body.
 
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