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1st time wine maker

I purchased a winexpert kit and followed the directions for the most part meaning i went on to the step 3 a day early. I let the wine sit for the required 3rd step process before bottling. the 4th is bottling but my wine reading is 1.010. Also it tastes a little weak but i am not sure if it is the way its supposed to be. The brand is Island Mist, exotic fruits white zinfandel.

Also could i add fruit to increase the alcohol level and how or what kind do i add to the carboy.

By stage 3 do you mean you have degassed stabilized and fined the wine?

Island mist kits will taste a little week because they are a little week. But over the aging process a little more flavour will come out.

If you have stabilized the wine, you should not add anything else to boost the alcohol at this point. You have already added sorbate to help hinder refermentation, and the last thing you want is to start refermenting the sugars from the F-pack.

My guess it that you could get fermentation to start up again in some way. But you do not want to now.

So i cant add any or i shouldn’t add fruit to the mix. So people i work with say experiment with it. I was weak tasting so I guess i will ride it out a couple more weeks. 6 weeks seemed short but i suppose it is that type of brand.

The Island Mist kits are typically a little watery/weak and yield 6.5 % ABV. On your next batch you can add 4 lbs. household sugar right after adding the Bentonite, mix it well, then add all of the juice from the LARGE bag and proceed according to instructions. This will increase the ABV to 10% and you get a fuller bodied wine with a better mouth feel. Island Mist kits are basically ready to drink after 30 days. There will be a slight improvement in taste over time but not much. The recommendation per instructions is to consume within one year.

Island Mist kits are meant to be more like a wine cooler than a regular wine.

I agree with Meister Smith. If you’ve already stabilized - you need to go with it as is.

Are there any recommendations other than island mist. Is most of wine making using that type of box brand or is there a better more flavor-able brand i should try next? What i used is like a beginner type wine making?

I have only done 2 kits (so I am very new to this as well), but have enjoyed the winexpert selection series. These are more like table wines with higher ABV than the fruity stuff, but take 6 to 8 weeks to make and are drinkable pretty quickly. On recommendation I received was to buy the kits with > 10L of juice, the logic is the more real juice the better the wine, but ymmv.

When it comes to wine kits, there are several easy things to look for that will tell you pretty reliably if the wine will come out good. The more expensive and longer it will take to make, the better it will be. And usually, though not always, the less concentrated the juice the better it will be.

This time of year you can usually get or order fresh pressed grape juice too. That is halfway between making from a kit or using fresh grapes, and it can come out very good.

As mentioned above, don’t judge kit wine on your Island mist experience. It is what it is. Cheep juice with added sweetenss and artificial flavor.

If you want really solid wine, move way up the quality scale.

Any white from selection series and above will give great results.

I usually recomend going straight to Eclipse or LE series for reds.

You definately get what you pay for. There is a noticable quality difference at every price point.

Thanks. Any recommended sites to go to?

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