5% to 6% ABV sparkling wine

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z-bob

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I really like dry sparkling apple cider; I make it with storebought apple juice from Aldi, Costco, or Walmart, and just a tiny bit of sugar. But there's a shortage right now of apple juice. It totally disappeared for a few months, now it's back but sometimes hard to find and over $5 per gallon (used to vary between $2.30 and $3.20) That's about the same price as grape juice now. I make decent Concord grape or Concord/Niagara blend wine, but I want something closer to the cider that I like. So I'm trying an experiment.

I bought a 3 quart bottle of grape juice at Walmart and poured it into a sanitized 1 gallon jug. Added the dregs from a yeasty bottle of cider that was made with wine yeast (I got a clean pour and had lots of sediment left.) Instead of adding sugar to boost the ABV, I added about a pint of water. And 3/4 tsp of yeast nutrient. Shook it up and added an air lock. When the fermentation slowed down, I topped up the jug with water the rest of the way. That was about a week ago. It's probably ready to bottle but I think I'll give it another week or two There's not a lot of lees but I will rack it tomorrow anyway, mainly because it's in a lightweight plastic jug and it's much easier to bottle from a heavy glass jug. (this plastic jug has tipped over before when I tried to bottle from it and was down to the last little bit) I'll put it in clear Newcastle beer bottles and prime with sugar like I would cider.

Has anyone else here tried something like this?
 
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z-bob

z-bob

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I bottled it yesterday. Six 12 oz bottles and 3 half-liters, and there wasn't enough left for me to get a real taste of it. :( But there was enough for a sip. I think it's going to be good. Kinda like a dry wine cooler. I put it in clear bottles so I can admire the color (much better when it's backlit)
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AzOr

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Sounds different. I'm not sure it would be my thing, but I guarantee it would be a thousand times better than the new seltzers that are out now. I'm a fan of that color though.

What were your gravity readings?
 

MaxStout

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I've made some based on EdWort's Apfelwein, but without any added sugar. Just store-bought juice, yeast, and some yeast nutrient. I bottle carb to around 2.8-3 volumes. Comes out ~6% ABV and is tasty. I've had good luck with S-04 yeast, it leaves a bit of sweetness and FG is around 1.004.

Recently made one with about 50/50 apple juice and black cherry juice from Aldi.
 

PCABrewing

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..But there's a shortage right now of apple juice. It totally disappeared for a few months, now it's back but sometimes hard to find and over $5 per gallon (used to vary between $2.30 and $3.20)

That's ironic because my two trees and some others I know of over-produced last season.
I was giving apples away for two months and still had too many.
Squirrels loved it though!

For Grape Juice I was tempted to try the 100% juice that Costco sells. It claims to be all juice and nothing else.
 
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z-bob

z-bob

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That's ironic because my two trees and some others I know of over-produced last season.
I was giving apples away for two months and still had too many.
Squirrels loved it though!

For Grape Juice I was tempted to try the 100% juice that Costco sells. It claims to be all juice and nothing else.

I have made wine with Costco grape juice and Aldi grape juice several times. My best batch was with 5 bottles of purple grape juice (Concord) and 3 bottles of white grape (Niagara.) I had to add a little sugar to get it to 11.5% ABV, and I fermented with BV7 wine yeast. When the yeast dropped out it took a lot of the color with it, leaving a very nice rose'.

We're having a severe drought in the US upper midwest, which probably hurt the apple crop. And we import a *lot* of apple juice from China and I think South America. It's probably all sitting in ports along the west coast, spoiling. :(
 
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z-bob

z-bob

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I'm drinking one now. (low ABV dry sparkling red wine made with diluted Concord juice) It's not bad, but it's not great either. It is refreshing, but a bit puckery -- perhaps from tannin. I'll probably make it again, but not very often. I think it'll be good in the summer. It could use just a bit of sweetening.
 
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