Technique

Kit Winemaking Q&A

Here are some of the best wine kit-related questions we’ve received from readers. Now, on to the questions! QUESTION: A kit I received as a gift instructs me to start fermentation at a specific gravity (SG) of 1.048 to 1.052. I have made a number of their kits before but usually the starting gravity is around 1.080 to 1.100. At that low of an SG the alcohol will be around 7%. I’m concerned with shelf life at this low-alcohol content: Can I add additional sugar to raise the starting specific gravity? Al Hendricks Green Bay, Wisconsin ANSWER: I know the kit you’re talking about very well: It’s a “Mist” wine, a blend of wine base with an add-pack of fruit juice that’s put in after fermentation, with the fining agents. That particular manufacturer has a house style of low-alcohol, easy-to-drink fruit/wine beverages that are meant to be drank very young, and not to be aged for any length of time. It’s a fair idea, since a lot of people do exactly that. However, others (like you) are building up a cellar