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Old 09-25-2009, 02:38 PM   #1
thegreens72
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Default Juice vs. watered juice

So I am a professed newbie to brewing, although I find it completely addictive and I have not yet sampled any of my brews (still brewing). I have some questions regarding cider and wine.
If apple cider is made just from the juice and no water is added to it...what then IS the point of adding water say to make wine? Is it just to lengthen or stretch the actual juice and still have a fermented product? Quantity vs. quality...?
My simple thought on it is that just fermenting the juice and adding some sugar to it would produce a superior product since it doesn't have the water in it; no matter what type of juice is used (apple, plum, cherry, strawberry etc.).
Does anyone have any sort of answers to this? I'm just merely curious.
Thanks in advance

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Old 09-25-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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You dont add water to make wine (unless you are Jesus, in which case you can skip the juice)

Most folks add sugar to make wine, to bump up the alcohol level, although this results in an inferior wine IMHO. The best way to do it is to either use a fruit with a sugar level that is naturally high enough to get the job done or else set a couple carboys of juice outside when the temps are below freezing, and just when they start to slushy, invert them so that the syrup comes out and the water stays behind. Google "ice wine" for more info

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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I don't mean to sound as though I am arguing. I am just merely trying to figure it out. I have seen numerous recipes, more often than not that require you to add "x" amount of water to make say 5 gallons of wine...so I'm confused. I realize that to get pure juice from enough strawberries, for instance, to make 5 gallons would be a huge amount of strawberries. But lets say you get enough to make 1 gallon, that would be some pretty darn good wine/cider right?
Here is what I am talking about. I am not making strawberry wine at all but this is just an example.
http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-strawberry.html
The part I'm talking about comes under "The home wine making fermentation"...in the first couple sentences.
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks
Annie

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Many fruits and berries don't have a huge amount of sugar in them. I'm making some blackberry wine and the straight juice is about 1.035. There is also a consideration of how strong a flavor you want. For a gallon of heavy-bodied wine, I'd use 6 lbs of berries, 2 1/4 cups of sugar and 7 pints of water, medium 4 lbs, light 3 lbs.

Grapes are one of the few fruits that will product a high ABV wine without any sugar.

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Old 09-25-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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Sorry - I was referring to apples when I responded.

Apples, grapes, plums and peaches ferment out fine with no additives or water. You can use a little sugar, but if you add more than about 6oz/gal, the additional alcohol you get will be at the expense of the fruit taste.

I've never used blackberries, other than to flavor cider, so I'll defer to David on that. I have a friend who made some strawberry wine last year with straight juice and he said it tasted like "bum wine", so I can see where you might want to dilute that a bit as well

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Old 09-25-2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreens72 View Post
So I am a professed newbie to brewing, although I find it completely addictive and I have not yet sampled any of my brews (still brewing). I have some questions regarding cider and wine.
If apple cider is made just from the juice and no water is added to it...what then IS the point of adding water say to make wine? Is it just to lengthen or stretch the actual juice and still have a fermented product? Quantity vs. quality...?
My simple thought on it is that just fermenting the juice and adding some sugar to it would produce a superior product since it doesn't have the water in it; no matter what type of juice is used (apple, plum, cherry, strawberry etc.).
Does anyone have any sort of answers to this? I'm just merely curious.
Thanks in advance
Pardon my newbness, but I've been reading Jack Keller's site and he has a section on this subject. Apparently you want to have flavor, but not too much flavor or else it will be overpowering. Kinda like how wine doesn't taste as grapey as grape juice. I would say that adding water dilutes the end product to the point where the flavor is appreciable but not annoying.
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:50 PM   #7
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That makes sense - for everything I have fermented, the challenging part is to bring out the flavor, but I suppose there are juices that have naturally too much flavor. Another example is dandelion wine which is really just dandelion flavored sugar wine. I dont think I want to know what a glass of actual dandelion juice tastes like.

You will notice that you wont see any posts titled "help, my cider has too much apple flavor" on this board

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Old 09-27-2009, 01:28 PM   #8
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Thanks! Yes, that's what I am looking for is flavor...of the original. I was under the impression that cider was made out of juice only and that wine had the water added to it. I realize there is other factors in there too. So what *would* be grape cider? Or is there such a thing? Perhaps I'm looking for less alcohol content but still with enough for the equivalent of cider. It would have a "juicier" flavor right?

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Old 09-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #9
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No. The fermentation process will change the flavor regardless of the concentration. You could try back-sweetening with more grape juice concentrate, after killing the yeast. Some people do that with apple cider.

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