Prestige white wine kit

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Kit Reviews' started by HarrowBrew, Feb 22, 2014.

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  1. Feb 22, 2014 #1

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

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    Prestige white wine kit (as far as I can see only sold on Amazon). I started this kit yesterday and will provide an update and personal taste impression once I have bottled it. Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at homebrewing so I can't compare it to any other kits. Also, I am more of a red wine drinker (the kit was a gift).

    This is being sold as a 14 day fermentation kit, making up 30x750ml of wine.

    The kit includes:
    Grape concentrate for white wine
    General Purpose Bayanus Wine Yeast
    Wine Nutrients
    Wine Stabiliser
    Finings A (Kieselsol)
    Finings B (Chitosan)

    It requires 4kg of sugar to be added at the start and 150g of sugar once stabiliser is added.

    The instructions go straight from FV to bottling: there is no step for any racking.

    I am using a basic Wilko fermenting bucket (I poked a hole in the lid myself and fitted a grommet). I don't have a heating pad so there may be a temperature drop at night. When I got ready for bed I moved it into an airing cupboard where the temperature is warmer. I checked at 4am and 6am (insomnia!) and saw the temperature had remained constant. I don't have an LCD temperature strip but instead left my Wilko thermometer on the lid which seems to do the job.

    Day 1: The temperature at which I picthed the yeast and nutrients was 26 degrees celcius. The SG was 1080. For the first couple of hours the FV was stored in a 3ftx3ft airing cupboard where the heating pipes and heating pump are, but it turns out this was too warm and the lid of the bucket ended up measuring 29 degrees. I moved it out into the hallway where there is a regular room temperature (20 degrees).

    Day 2: The airlock wasn't bubbling after 24 hours so like a lot of noobs I was worried. I resisted opening the lid but instead just pressed down on the lid and then shook the FV a little. It seems to have woken up the beast as the airlock is now bubbling every 10 seconds or so.

    I will add a further update and hopefully taste review within two weeks. (I should have waited with this review until the wine had hatched but I just couldn't wait!!)
     
  2. Feb 27, 2014 #2

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

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    Day 7 and it is still bubbling away. I counted 5-6 blub-blubs per minute.

    It has stopped bubbling on a few occasions, mostly at the start of the day. When it did I shake the FV about for a bit and then it continues bubbling happily for the rest of the day. I read (I think on here somewhere) that commercial brewers do the same and that it helps to get the wine cleared easier once finings are added. So fingers crossed.

    One thing I forgot to add in my first post was that the grape juice concentrate from the kit was very brown. The wort is still quite brown now. Reading some posts on here it seems this is normal and should clear to a regular white wine colour by the time it is bottled.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2014 #3

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

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    Day 14 -- as per instructions: Stabilising, add 150g of sugar, degassing and fining A/B. Then leave for 3 days before bottling.

    I measured the FG -- 0.990 (this was prior to my adding the extra 150g sugar or adding the stabiliser). For a moment I was afraid my hydrometer was going to sink completely as the 0.990 is nearly the very top of the thing. My SG was 1.080, which according to the ABV calculator gives me 11.9% ABV.

    I intend to move on to beer after this so I did not invest in a drill bit thing so degassing was manual with an awkward long spoon from Wilko that doesn't give much purchase, it feels like I am flapping it about rather than stirring.

    Not sure when I was supposed to stop but I stopped when I got tired...nothing more technical or scientific than that.

    Quite a bit of foam emerged on top.

    I haven't tasted the wine yet but it definitely smells like white wine.

    Must remember:
    1. Before starting something that requires cutting open a sachet take out the scissors and sanitise them. (second time I forgot).
    2. Don't drop scissors on the floor in between cutting sachets.
    3. Buy a large tray which I can sanitise and where I can then store my sanitised utensils as right now it has been a bit of juggling...
     
  4. Mar 6, 2014 #4

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

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    Very quick update....the Fining B was added under an hour ago and the wine is now already pretty much completely clear.

    I am amazed at the difference and how quick it was.

    I will leave it for the next 3 days though as per the instructions.
     
  5. Mar 9, 2014 #5

    HarrowBrew

    HarrowBrew

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    All bottled!

    Verdict: Cleared within 3 days. The wine is very tasty, easy to drink, easy to get tipsy on. Am not enough of a white wine buff to say much about e.g. dryness etc.

    Notes: My Wilko syphoning tube did not come with a clip. I know now that it is essential in order to keep the syphon rod thing fixed in place and free up a hand to focus with the bottling. Managed to kick up some sediment when it went moving about so have a couple of bottles that are a bit cloudy.
     

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