Author Topic: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay  (Read 4649 times)

pob

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[Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« on: January 19, 2014, 12:21:14 PM »
(Re-Edit to reattach the images & combine the different stages of review)

This is one of the kits that were kindly donated by HomeBrewWest, it will be my first wine kit after a few years

of beer kits, extract & AG.



Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay, €12.95

http://www.homebrewwe

st.ie/better-brew-6-bottle-wine-kit-45-litre-chardonnay-2929-p.asp


- Ready in just 7 Days!
- Contains all the ingredients you need to make your wine. Just add water.
- All ingredients, grape juice and chemicals included. No sugar required.
- Makes 6 bottles (4.5L) of your favourite variety of wine
- ABV 11%

Its an all inclusive kit, i.e. just add water with no extra sugar required, as per some of the other wine kits.

The box contains a 1.4kg polybag of concentrated grape juice, with sachets of Wine Nutrient/Yeast, Stabiliser and

Finings (Kiselsol & Chitosan).



As it's a 6 bottle kit, I am making this in a 5L demijohn (also picked up at the same time in HBW).

First thing, as it was new equipment, was to clean the demijohn, bubble & bung. So a soak in W5 Oxi to remove

anything that maybe on it. After a double rinse off, these were then sanitised with StarSan.

The polybag was then poured into the demijohn.



This was then topped up to the (previously measured) 4.5L mark with warm water at 25C (Instructions state between

20C - 30C).



The Wine Nutrient/Yeast was then added, the bung fitted and then a good stir/whirl to mix up ingredients. The

bubbler was then added & filled.



This was then left in the kitchen to start fermenting. The instructions indicated that this may take between 1-2

days before any activity started.



It was day 3 before I saw any activity.



The next day foamy head had dropped to a very effervescent fermentation. The colour of the grape must was very

dark at the beginning, but is getting paler as the pulp begins to settle out (also CO2 release will also make it

look paler as bubbles escape liquid).





So at the the moment it is still in the ferment stage and will be left there for a few more days.

Although this is a 7 day kit, from the slowish start, there will be no harm in leaving it a day or to longer to

ferment out, before next steps of transfer to another demijohn for Stabiliser & Finings.

The wine will then be bottled and left to condition. The instructions say I can be drunk within 7 days, but as

with beer, it is always better to give it a bit more time. I expect to allow a good 6 - 8 weeks in bottle before

sampling.


Ferment Update

This took a lot longer than the 7 days as stated in the instructions. (As experience in brewing beer has shown,

ignore any timeframe and just give it time to do it's thing, it only gets better anyway.)



However I was reverting back into the newbie web question "Is my Wine/Beer ruined" type of panic, why was it

taking 4 weeks to ferment out? Very simple, the instructions say "keep it at room temperature", well what is room

temperature? Another kit produced by Hambleton Bard has it as between 21-27C.

So, as for beer, this wine needs consistent temperature but higher than my kitchen, was probably only 18-20C,

dropping down a couple of degrees in the evening. (For the next batch of wine a fermenting chamber/fridge will be

used.) Eventually it did ferment out, hydrometer dropped to ~1.000 & tasted ok.

The next step was adding the Finings & Stabiliser to clear out the wine to allow you to bottle it.



I racked off the wine using a syphon into another demijohn, taking care to leave as much sediment at the bottom.

The (Packet No 2) Stabiliser was then added to the wine.

The next step goes totally against my beer making instincts. "You shake it to get rid of the CO2, you do

this a few times to help the wine clear itself later
". So shake, shake, fizz, leave it for 10 mins or so then

repeat 2/3 times.



So after this has settled down, the (Packet No 3) Finings A were added. This was then stirred and left

overnight. Next day the (Packet No 4) Finings B were added and shaken for 15 seconds. This was then left

overnight, before being moved to the shed (cold). A crushed Campden tablet was also added to help reserve the

wine.



After a couple of days the wine has begun to clear out nicely. This was then racked of the sediment and was shaken

to further remove any CO2, before bottling.

The instructions suggest it is drinkable at this stage, but would improve if stored for a few weeks. As with beer,

leave it longer is my preferred method. I intend to leave this for at least 6-8 weeks before trying.

This is a very good kit for an introduction into wine making, well packaged, ingredients properly labelled. More

information on fermenting temperature would be handy. Time will tell to how good it tastes.

Taste test:

Well it's been in the bottle for a couple of weeks now, so was time for a taste.

Chilled in fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Well, it looks like wine, smells like wine & ... tastes like a duck wine.

It's a light bodied, medium dry, clean Chardonnay, more european than new world, in terms of aroma & taste.

Nice & pleasant, not a medal winner but perfect for 'having a glass or two in the evening', rather than food matching. Wifey's second opinion was, she liked it and will be drinking it again  8).

Due to losses in transferring off sediments, the original 4.5L was reduced to only 3.75L (5 bottles).

Still for €12.95 / €2.59 a bottle who's complaining, the wine is definitely as good as a lot of €5 bottles out there.

Overall I'd give it a good 4/5, so if you haven't done a wine kit, it's definitely the way to go (I've another kit waiting to go now, once I can get some space in brewery).



Big thanks again to www.homebrewwest.ie & LordEoin for organising this.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 03:28:00 PM by LordEoin »

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 01:26:01 AM »
You make it look so easy! - and nice demijohn  ;D

That'll get a lot paler once the finings drop the sediment out and it gets clearer.

Cheers pob, I hope it works out well

pob

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 10:10:28 AM »
Update

This took a lot longer than the 7 days as stated in the instructions. (As experience in brewing beer has shown, ignore any timeframe and just give it time to do it's thing, it only gets better anyway.)



However I was reverting back into the newbie web question "Is my Wine/Beer ruined" type of panic, why was it taking 4 weeks to ferment out? Very simple, the instructions say "keep it at room temperature", well what is room temperature? Another kit produced by Hambleton Bard has it as between 21-27C.

So, as for beer, this wine needs consistent temperature but higher than my kitchen, was probably only 18-20C, dropping down a couple of degrees in the evening. (For the next batch of wine a fermenting chamber/fridge will be used.) Eventually it did ferment out, hydrometer dropped to ~1.000 & tasted ok.

The next step was adding the Finings & Stabiliser to clear out the wine to allow you to bottle it.



I racked off the wine using a syphon into another demijohn, taking care to leave as much sediment at the bottom. The (Packet No 2) Stabiliser was then added to the wine.

The next step goes totally against my beer making instincts. "You shake it to get rid of the CO2, you do this a few times to help the wine clear itself later". So shake, shake, fizz, leave it for 10 mins or so then repeat 2/3 times.




So after this has settled down, the (Packet No 3) Finings A were added. This was then stirred and left overnight. Next day the (Packet No 4) Finings B were added and shaken for 15 seconds. This was then left overnight, before being moved to the shed (cold). A crushed Campden tablet was also added to help reserve the wine.



After a couple of days the wine has begun to clear out nicely. This was then racked of the sediment and was shaken to further remove any CO2, before bottling.

The instructions suggest it is drinkable at this stage, but would improve if stored for a few weeks. As with beer, leave it longer is my preferred method. I intend to leave this for at least 6-8 weeks before trying.

This is a very good kit for an introduction into wine making, well packaged, ingredients properly labelled. More information on fermenting temperature would be handy. Time will tell to how good it tastes, but based on how easy it was, a 2nd kit is now sitting in the shed waiting to be made  :)

Big thanks to HomeBrewWest & LordEoin for giving me another excuse to spend even more money on this hobby.

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 10:21:51 AM »
did you have a sneaky taste?

pob

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[Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 11:13:00 AM »
Tastes like wine ;-).

Really too young yet, promising though from a few sips, don't want to waste too much on such a small batch size.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 02:05:38 PM by pob »

pob

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 09:53:13 AM »
Taste test:

Well it's been in the bottle for a couple of weeks now, so was time for a taste.

Chilled in fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Well, it looks like wine, smells like wine & ... tastes like a duck wine.

It's a light bodied, medium dry, clean Chardonnay, more european than new world, in terms of aroma & taste.

Nice & pleasant, not a medal winner but perfect for 'having a glass or two in the evening', rather than food matching. Wifey's second opinion was, she liked it and will be drinking it again  8).

Due to losses in transferring off sediments, the original 4.5L was reduced to only 3.75L (5 bottles).

Still for €12.95 / €2.59 a bottle who's complaining, the wine is definitely as good as a lot of €5 bottles out there.

Overall I'd give it a good 4/5, so if you haven't done a wine kit, it's definitely the way to go (I've another kit waiting to go now, once I can get some space in brewery).



Big thanks again to www.homebrewwest.ie & LordEoin for organising this.

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 10:08:20 AM »
I got just over 5 bottles out of the Strawberry wine too.
I suppose you could top up the demijohn with preboiled water to the neck one primary is done, but I think it would be too diluted.

I'm glad it worked out well for you. It's always a bonus when SWMBO approves :D

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 10:27:20 PM »
what happened all the lovely pictures ? :(

pob

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 11:16:04 PM »
I moved some of images in Photobucket & the links were lost.

I tried to edit my post but have been locked out (too long after original post??)

I'll try and re-link with images & combine into one.

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2014, 12:02:18 AM »
if you need any help updating the posts let me know and I'll edit them :)

Rossa

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2014, 04:27:57 PM »
I was wondering how you changed wine into cars.

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 04:33:34 PM »
ha! you must be on tapatalk Rossa, yeah?
Sometimes tapatalk replaces images with random pictures of cars and things  :D

the original post is all updated now

Rossa

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Re: [Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 05:34:53 PM »
Yep

pob

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[Review] Better Brew 6 Bottle Wine Kit 4.5 Litre Chardonnay
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2014, 05:41:23 PM »
Like this car