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Old 01-29-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
meporsche
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Default DIY Wine kit

Hello,

I'm a 20 year homebrewer and decided recently to try and make a batch of wine. I bought a no brainer kit and it seems to be working well, I'm a week away from bottling and no negatives so far.

My question is: I would like to use canned juice concentrate the next time and build my "kit" myself. I know I need yeast, whatever adjuncts I want (oak, etc.) a clarifying agent, and some sulfites. Can anyone offer some advice or point me to something in the archives or a site where I can find out how much Bentonite, Sulfites, etc. and the timing of them?

Any reference book for home winemaking that is as good as Papazian's beer book?

Thanks to any and all that can reply,
DArwin

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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I asked for book recommendations in this thread and ended up getting "The Joy of Home Winemaking" by Terry Garey.

If you snoop around various wine recipe locations you can usually find recipes using frozen grape juice concentrates. Here's one from our own recipe archive: Welch's Grape Juice Wine.

A bit of advice: if you're using concentrate, read the list of ingredients on the container and verify that there are no preservatives. Preservatives in the juice will kill the yeast and it'll never ferment. Juice, sugar, and citric or ascorbic acids are okay, but if you see a chemical name you can't pronounce it might be a preservative. Frozen concentrates are less likely to use preservatives.

Dave

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the book tip, I found it on Amazon.

Actually, I am planning on using 48 oz cans of juice concentrate from a winemaking supply house, two can make a 6 gallon batch.

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meporsche View Post
Actually, I am planning on using 48 oz cans of juice concentrate from a winemaking supply house, two can make a 6 gallon batch.
Oops, my mistake. I haven't seen canned concentrates at my LHBS so when I read "canned juice concentrate" I jumped right to thinking of grocery store juice.

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Old 01-29-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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I was thinking grocery store concentrates too- But doing some research on the stuff that is in some of the frozen concentrates it is just K-meta and if you make the juice and give it a good shake and then cover the juice with a clean towel or whatever and let it sit for about 24 hours the K-meta will dissipate and you can than pitch your yeast. I love using the Welchs white grape/peach and they recently started adding potassium metabisulfite (aka K-Meta – Is Potassium Metabisulfite Normal usage is 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp for 6 gallon recipe in must 24 hours before adding yeast. Add 1/4 tsp for 6 gallons after fermentation for preservation. ) in the frozen concentrate- so my next batch will have to go together and then sit for 24 hours before I pitch the yeast.
One of these days I will have to graduate to the big girl juice concentrates for wine!
It is nice to know that Cosco carries them-even tho I don't have a membership to them yet.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:16 AM   #6
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The Alexander's canned concentrates have the exact recipe additions on the label.

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Old 01-30-2010, 12:22 AM   #7
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The Alexander's canned concentrates have the exact recipe additions on the label.
Yes, and they are actually pretty darn good! They'll tell you how much pectic enzyme, how much acid blend, etc, for the recipe. The Vintner's Harvest canned fruit purees are very good, too.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:23 AM   #8
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Thanks, that helps as I haven't ordered it yet. When I made the kit, the clarifying agent (bentonite) went in before pitching. I notice from looking about that most don't use a clarifier until they rack it to the secondary. Opinions?

Also, I always use Knox plain gelatin as a clarifier for my homebrew. On the same principle, I think it would work fine for the wine also, anyone agree or disagree?

Thanks,
Darwin

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Old 01-30-2010, 12:26 AM   #9
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One more thing, anyone have any experiences, good or bad, with the Reserve du Chateau brand kits? They have a zinfandel I am interested in but I'm not fond of pouring alcohol down the drain. Any opinions or experiences appreciated.

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Old 01-30-2010, 12:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by meporsche View Post
Thanks, that helps as I haven't ordered it yet. When I made the kit, the clarifying agent (bentonite) went in before pitching. I notice from looking about that most don't use a clarifier until they rack it to the secondary. Opinions?

Also, I always use Knox plain gelatin as a clarifier for my homebrew. On the same principle, I think it would work fine for the wine also, anyone agree or disagree?

Thanks,
Darwin
I don't usually use clarifiers, until I decide if I need some, except for some things like pectic enzyme in the primary. Pectic enyzme breaks down pectins that can cause some haze, as well as help break down the fruit for fermentation. After aging a bit, if the wine is cloudy, then I consider using a clarifier. It really depends on what's causing the haze, but sparkelloid works well for me at least in the dandelion wine, and the blackberry wine. Aside from kits, I've never used bentonite. Gelatin may work on a haze, but I have never used it. it might be overkill on a subtle haze that will clear on its own with time.
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