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Old 01-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
RedGuitar
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Default I don't know how to design a wine!

I'm mostly a beer brewer, but I want to make a cranberry wine to give away as a Christmas present next year. However, I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to wine recipes. Are there any useful wine recipe calculators out there? I've got BrewTarget on my computer, and from it can do beer, mead or cider, but not wine.

I've researched some recipes and am trying to come up with something that would work for me. Any thoughts on the following?

3 gallon batch of cranberry wine
9 lbs fresh cranberries
2 cans frozen grape juice concentrate
2 lbs sugar

Acid blend and all that stuff. I was thinking of using Montrachet yeast, but was reading earlier that Lalvin 1118 is good for cranberry wine.

Anybody got any thoughts/suggestions/corrections on this? I don't even have a way of knowing what my target OG will be with this recipe. I'm hoping for at least 1.120, and am prepared to add more sugar.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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Check out the recipe database, you'll probably find a good recipe, but you'll definitely find guidelines to follow.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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mead and cider are not that different from wine, so using what you have for them, as a guide is a good option. Everything in your recipe looks good except for the sugar, based on what you have including the approximately 220g of sugar found in a can of grape juice concentrate, I calculate your final abv to be some where in the 5% range and wine is typically closer to 10% so you would need another 3 lbs of sugar to get it up there. Also if you want the cranberry to be the star you may want to go with something a little less assertive than grape juice. If you have ever tasted crangrape the grape is the main flavor. white grape may be a good option or apple just make sure you keep the sugar in mind. a can of regular grape juice concentrate will add about 220g of sugar to your mix while apple concentrate will only add about 180g and white grape will add about 235g so if you change your concentrate make sure you adjust the amount of sugar added.

The best advice I can give when putting a recipe together is to taste the liquid before you add the yeast and imagine how it will taste with no sugar. If it is really good but sour, that tartness will only get stronger when the sugar is gone. If it tastes fantastic but is a little overly sweet than you are probably on the right track. If it tastes bad as juice it will most likely taste bad as wine.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
RedGuitar
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This is great input. The only cranberry wine recipe I recall seeing was for 7 gallons. It called for 21 lbs cranberries and 15 lbs of sugar plus one red wine concentrate which is where I got my numbers from (bringing it down to 3 gallons from 7; and yes, I know red wine concentrate is not the same as frozen grape juice concentrate).

Would 5 lbs of sugar effect the flavor any at all? I know sugar is supposed to completely ferment out, but have never used that much.

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