Wine Ingredient Kits
A typical wine kit contains only a few ingredients: A bag of sterile grape concentrate or juice, yeast and a few additives are all you need to make the wine. Not all kits have the same additives. Wines that are not typically oaked will not include oak chips but there are common additives included in all wine kits like bentonite, stabilizers and a fining agent. Wines that are not "dry" will include a sweetener pack to add later in process, usually in stage #3.Kits also contains easy to follow instructions.
To view the instructions for all the kit kits we sell, click here.
Stabilizers & Preservatives
Stabilizers and preservatives prepare wine for aging by killing off unwanted yeast that can spoil wine over time.
Potassium or Sodium Metabisulfite
Used as a sulfite in winemaking, metabisulfite prevents oxidation which causes browning of the must (unfermented wine). Metabisulfite also inhibits bacteria and wild yeast which can spoil wine and turn it to vinegar. Many wine drinkers feel that sulfite can cause headaches and try to avoid wines with excessive amounts of sulfite. Though there isn't any scientific evidence to support this, winemaking kits contains very small amounts compared to commercial wines. It is very important to add the metabisulfite to wine kits or you risk spoilage of your wine.
Potassium Sorbate (sorbic acid)
Potassium sorbate, commonly referred to as sorbate, prevents renewed fermentation in sweet wines and inhibits reproduction of molds and yeast. Combined with the sulfite in the kit, it helps ensure the wine stays stable in the bottle during storage.
Fining AgentsFining agents are used to clear wine of cloudiness and particles before bottling. You should never bottle wine that is not completely clear. It will not clear in the bottle.
Bentonite (montmorillonite)Bentonite is a type of clay. It is a primary fining agent for wine but also be added to clear juice or must prior to pitching the yeast to speed the onset of fermentation.
Colloidal Silica (kieselsol)A solution of silicon dioxide in water suspension, colloidal silica was invented to replace tannin, which used to be a popular fining agent. It can be used alone but is more commonly used in conjunction with gelatin.
GelatinA positively charged fining agent, it can be used alone or in conjunction with colloidal silica and is usually found in liquid form when included in a wine kit. The most powerful of the organic fining agents, gelatin can also remove tannins and coloring particles. Do no exceed the recommended dosage or you could significantly lighten the color of your wine.
Isinglass (icthyocolle)A positively charged fining agent like gelatin, isinglass is extremely gentle and usually won't strip wine of color and aroma. Derived from the powdered swim bladder of fish, it is usually dissolved in liquid suspension.
Oak introduces desirable flavors and aromas into wine, including vanilla, smoke and wood-like flavors, all associated with high-quality, barrel aged wines.
In kits, powdered oak is usually added at the beginning of a fermentation and gives a smooth oak character and a subtle vanilla finish. Chipped oak is often added after fermentation is complete and adds a "woody" character.
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