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Beaverdale Chardonnay

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HoppySpadge

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Well, my first wine after about 50 or so beer kits and I am simply amazed at the quality of the final product. Several of my wino friends have had a bottle and the agreement is total - this is one of the best wines that we have had in a long time. To put that into perspective we are mostly £6-8 random bottle supermarket purchasers so we’re not exactly wine buffs, more like your average weekend suburban gluggers. But that being said, we would all rather reach for a bottle of this than take the supermarket bottle lottery that can often yield a very disappointing result.

I used the optional Oak chips that came with the kit, but I can’t really taste the oak, it’s there but very much in the background and nothing like say a Jacob’s Creek oak experience. This is more like a clean Sauvignon Blanc for me, light fruity taste and a hint of earthy oak flavour but it tastes extremely pure and clean, with no unpleasant aftertaste whatsoever, and no negative ‘morning after’ effects either. It really is delightful!

I racked a total of 4 times to be abs sure of clarity, and on the 3rd racking I thought it tasted bitter/sour so I added 10 large heaped teaspoons of sugar diluted in abt 250ml of water. I did this after adding the stabiliser and fermentation did not restart. Otherwise, I followed the instructions to the letter. It sat in various FVs for about 6 weeks before I bottled. I bought a degassing wand to do the job properly and degassed several times over a 5 day period. Clarity is pretty much 100pct. After all my racking and tasting I ended up with 23 bottles from the £38 kit. Still a complete winner financially.

As a n00b to winemaking I have always been sceptical of the quality of wine kits and have seen loads of reviews which conclude with a ‘oh well, I duly necked it anyway...’ . But this? This is a top drawer drink. I’m now pondering what the hell they put into supermarket wine to make them taste so crappy, so often? Preservatives? ‘E something’ flavourings? Dunno, but there’s something pretty poor going on if a homebrew kit can trash them so easily.

Go for it!

Rgds/Hopps
 

Chippy_Tea

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Nice review Hoppy, i made a few different kits when i started out but they were all at the cheaper end of the price list and "oh well, I duly necked it anyway" was probably my feelings about most of them then i found the Range store "make Your Own" kit and was pleasantly surprised how good it was/is and at at £20 for a 30 bottle kit its a steal, i have been told its made for them by a well known wine kit maker so maybe its a decent kit made to look cheap as chips.
 

HoppySpadge

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i made a few different kits when i started out but they were all at the cheaper end of the price list and "oh well, I duly necked it anyway" was probably my feelings about most of them
My review reading at least taught me that if you're going to make wine then only buy the expensive kits - some of the cheaper ones don't seem to produce a nice wine at all. However, your Range kit indeed sounds interesting. I'll try it...Tks

Rgds/Hopps
 

Chippy_Tea

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If you like the more expensive kits it may not be to your taste but at £20 it's got to be worth a try.
 

Chippy_Tea

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I found more info, I haven't time to look who they are I will have a look later -

With over 20 years experience in the homebrew industry, we decided it was about time that we“shook things” up a little and developed a fresh, innovative “Make Your Own” drinks system that is simple, cost effective and importantly lets you produce your very own alcohol of commercial quality at home!

Long gone are the days of garden sheds, smelly homebrew and bad tasting drinks! The “Make Your Own” range is exciting, fresh and a world first for the industry, from its unique ingredients to the innovative packaging design!

Our kits have been developed by leading drinks experts and through a combination of our passion for good quality beer, wine and cider and our extensive knowledge of brewing, we are pleased to bring you the “Make Your Own” Drinks range.

All Make Your Own products are produced by UK based homebrew manufacturer, SPL International. www.spl-int.com
 

Vinotinto

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. on the 3rd racking I thought it tasted bitter/sour so I added 10 large heaped teaspoons of sugar diluted in abt 250ml of water. I did this after adding the stabiliser and fermentation did not restart. Otherwise, I followed the instructions to the letter. It sat in various FVs for about 6 weeks before I bottled. I bought a degassing wand to do the job properly and degassed several times over a 5 day period. Clarity is pretty much 100pct. After all my racking and tasting I ended up with 23 bottles from the £38 kit. Still a complete winner financially.
Mmmmm. Interesting . Not a massive white drinker and do prefer it not too dry when I do have it. Only had the Beaverdale Pinot Grigio which was nice. Whacking the extra sugar in here as a sweetener I think has worked because you have been so patient and done things right at the other stages. Think several times over 5 days degassing is over the top with a wand but hey ho, if it works. Sounds like your testing regime is similar to mine with respect to final bottle quantities!! :beer6:
 

HoppySpadge

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10 large heaped teaspoons of sugar = 90gs (I just measured my 'large heaped teaspoon'!) so it's not too much really. I would still consider the final wine to be a dry or dry/medium, it definitely did not turn out remotely sweet.
On the degassing you have a point - my procedure was 10 seconds one way, then 10 seconds reverse - repeated 5 times. I did this 4 out of the 5 days. I didn't understand degassing and it seemed you can only underdo it, not overdo it - some of the US YouTubers seem to keep the drill going for 5 minutes!

Yes, it's supposed to yield 30 bottles. I went short to 22 litres though, I never return the hydrometer samples, and the 4 rackings, which I carefully ensured did not disturb the sediment each time, must have had more impact that I thought. I did do some serious testing though but surely no more than a bottle in total. Whatever, my workflow here has lost me 6 bottles somewhere... hmmmm indeed!

On the cost front I think it's best to just buy the good ones. This turned out at £1.65 per bottle and it's really excellent. I don't see the point in getting a £20 kit and making a "oh well, I duly necked it anyway" standard for less than a quid a bottle - too much work involved for not so great return. I'm gonna try Chippy_Tea's Range recommendation though - it sounds fine from that thread he referenced.

Rgds/Hopps
 

buddsy

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My old man used to do wine kits from Boots.

I was keen to try these "new" premium wine kits. I tried a 6 bottle Beaverdale Merlot and was so impressed tried the 6 bottle Chardonnay.

My Chardonnay was very nice. As original poster I am not a huge wine snob and usually buy wines upto £7.00 and my Chardonnay seemed up there with them.

I only racked off once to clear but I could see a very light sediment in the bottom once bottled.

I diddnt need to add any extra sugar though.

Im sure Ill do another white soon as i can. As I type Im fermenting the Beaverdale Merlot 30 bottle kit. Fingers crossed for a good result.

cheers

buddsy
 

slowdave

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I tried something different
Brewed this as an Italian style Frizzante, so watered back to 9% and bottled like a beer.
Ready for drinking from next weekend.
 

HoppySpadge

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@slowdave I've always wanted to try this - lots of Mrs' friends drink that Prosecco stuff and I reckon what you're trying should be good enough for them.

So, you're going to brew as usual, then just add sugar to the bottles like we do for beer? I don't get the "watered back to 9% bit"? Do yu mean that yu added a tonne of water to get the alc down to 9pct? I'm very interested to see how this turns out - pls pop back and let us know.

Tks/H
 

Hudson1984

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+1 on this kit. The wife enjoys it.

last time we didn't use the oak and the flavour was a little lacking so I think it just enchances rather than adding something else.

I've currently got the 30 bottle kit fermenting as we speak. This is destined for a keg, I've got a nitrogen bottle coming and it'll sit quite nicely in the kegerator :)
 

DocAnna

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Tried a variety of kits, from the reasonably priced to the really quite expensive (£80 type level). One of the better sets of kits is in my view one of the most reasonably priced 'On the house' kits:
These have less of the 'home made' taste which I think is the sulphite residual from the various stages of manufacture and fermentation. One of the most interesting observations from other's trying the wine is that the bottles with printed labels seem to be thought to taste better... and I'm not immune to that perception either!

Anna
 

buddsy

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One of the most interesting observations from other's trying the wine is that the bottles with printed labels seem to be thought to taste better.
If you are familiar with Dr Emoto's work perhaps you will understand why and the reason I put lables on my brews and tell them I love them... :cool:


120008283_4557299687644116_5325867553397535332_n.jpg


buddsy (ill understand if you think Im a bit far out)
 

slowdave

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@slowdave I've always wanted to try this - lots of Mrs' friends drink that Prosecco stuff and I reckon what you're trying should be good enough for them.

So, you're going to brew as usual, then just add sugar to the bottles like we do for beer? I don't get the "watered back to 9% bit"? Do yu mean that yu added a tonne of water to get the alc down to 9pct? I'm very interested to see how this turns out - pls pop back and let us know.

Tks/H
Italian frizzantes are typically 7-9%, chardonnay and very drinkable.
I brewed the kit as per instructions but stopped following instructions when fermentation completed. I just waited for fermentation to finish then bottled like a beer with 1tsp of sugar per 500ml bottle.

Added 1ltr water to take it from 11 to 9% prior to bottlong.

Tried the first bottle last weekend and it was very promising but not carbonated enough. Will try another bottle next weekend but I suspect it will hit it's peak around Christmas.
 

slowdave

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So is that like a sweet Prosecco then?
Hi, It's not sweet - it is quite a dry wine, it's just a not quite so fizzy Prosecco with only Chardonnay grapes. The sugar is to promote a beer type bottle condition secondary fermentation and give the fizz. Tried the first bottle last weekend and it was promising - it just needs longer to carbonate fully.

Will keep you posted but I'm expecting good things by Christmas with this - shame it's more of a summer drink!
 

slowdave

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So an unplanned update on this experiment.

I went to open a bottle of SMASH IPA last night but must have mis-labelled the bottle!
There was a big whoosh of gas (more than with beer) which alerted me that something was untoward.
I poured the bottle into my expectant pint glass and realised that this looked like white wine but with the fizz of a sparkling water - and it certainly wasn't IPA.

So onto the taste - It still tastes very young but the fizz level is almost what I was looking for. I will try another bottle at Christmas but I won't be surprised if it needs a few further months to achieve optimum drinkability.

I will keep you posted
 

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