Black Cherry-Concord Wine: Batch #24

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jkpq45

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I was wandering about Sam's Club this afternoon, and spied a new flavor of Welch's juice: Black Cherry-Concord. 5 gallons of preservative-free juice (at $6.50 a gallon) and two packets of Lalvin K1V-1116 (properly hydrated) later, I pose the following questions:

1. What have I built? Does this sound appetizing to anyone?

2. The SG was 1065. Assuming the 1116 will ferment to dryness and leave some fruit flavor, should I add some table sugar?

3. Are nutrients/energizer necessary? I'm not sure how well/quickly the wine yeast will work given acidity/gravity conditions. Any advice would be appreciated.

3. Does anyone recommend a daily/bi-daily de-gassing of the must? It's sitting in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy, so shoe-horning a racking cane chucked into a drill for de-gassing shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the help!
jkpq45
 

Lcasanova

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I was wandering about Sam's Club this afternoon, and spied a new flavor of Welch's juice: Black Cherry-Concord. 5 gallons of preservative-free juice (at $6.50 a gallon) and two packets of Lalvin K1V-1116 (properly hydrated) later, I pose the following questions:

1. What have I built? Does this sound appetizing to anyone?

2. The SG was 1065. Assuming the 1116 will ferment to dryness and leave some fruit flavor, should I add some table sugar?

3. Are nutrients/energizer necessary? I'm not sure how well/quickly the wine yeast will work given acidity/gravity conditions. Any advice would be appreciated.

3. Does anyone recommend a daily/bi-daily de-gassing of the must? It's sitting in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy, so shoe-horning a racking cane chucked into a drill for de-gassing shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the help!
jkpq45
1. It does sound good, have you ever made https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/welchs-grape-juice-wine-21093/ to get an idea of the concord grape flavor?

2. The OG sounds a little weak for a wine, doesn't it?

3. I've always added yeast nutrient to mine just out of habit, I dont' know if it would hurt.

3. I haven't the slightest, I've left mine covered in a towel/napkin for the first 5-7 days before I fit an airlock...fruit wines I stirred 2 times daily.

Let us know how it turns out though.
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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Not much to add but I would bump up that SG to 1.090 or so. Please let us know how it comes out.
 

summersolstice

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I tried a similar experiment a couple of years ago with apple juice. I wanted to see what I'd get with juice, yeast and nothing else. It turned out very thin and very flat. I would bump the OG with some sugar and add some acid blend. If you're happy with the alcohol content, at least ad some acid blend.
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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Black raisins and white cane sugar to 1090 to follow.
 
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jkpq45

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Added 24oz rough-chopped black raisins. Foamed so bad I didn't get around to the sugar.

Clogged up the airlock this morning with raisin paste, had a nice purple plume coming out of the airlock and a fine purple mist sprayed all over the basement. Nice. Oh well, it's all cleaned up and bubbling away again (or it was all cleaned up this morning... maybe it's bubbling over again... dang....)
 

Lcasanova

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Added 24oz rough-chopped black raisins. Foamed so bad I didn't get around to the sugar.

Clogged up the airlock this morning with raisin paste, had a nice purple plume coming out of the airlock and a fine purple mist sprayed all over the basement. Nice. Oh well, it's all cleaned up and bubbling away again (or it was all cleaned up this morning... maybe it's bubbling over again... dang....)
I learned from my mistake with red wine, it got all over my counter and some got onto my white carpet :eek: - now, I never fill up to the very top. Just recently I used a sanitized theif to take some out before I pitched the yeast and put that into a sanitized beer bottle which I capped and put in the fridge. When I top-up I'll use this instead of water.
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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I had my 5 gallons of juice in the 6.5 gallon carboy. I should have put it in a bucket for primary like the rest of my wines. I went home over lunch and the airlock was full of must again. Fitted a blowoff tube--we'll see if it works any better.

Give that sample a good sniff before you decide to top up with it--I've had even capped bottles of unfermented must/wort sour in the fridge.
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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This finished up nicely.

I strained out the juice from the raisins, let clear and racked a few times. It's been in bulk storage for a few weeks now.

The black cherry flavor started really tart--now that it's got some age on it, it's really semi-sweet and tasty. I will be firing up a new batch as soon as I find this juice again.

It's a real hit at parties when people want a "red wine". It's got the palate of a big, bold cabernet--nice and chewy, plenty of flavor complexity, nice legs in the glass. A winner to be sure.
 

pulpfiction32

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1. Did you backsweeten this?

2. The next time you make this you should let it sit for more than 3 months it
will be even better
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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No sugar added. Straight juice + raisins, so I'm guessing about 8% ABV with plenty of body.

No backsweetening necessary. It's still in the keg waiting for me to bottle and cork--I just run down and fill up a wine bottle when I have friends over for now.

Keep the questions rolling--it's quite a tasty experiment.
 

UglyBhamGuy

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So, to re-cap...

5 gallons of Welch's Concord-Black Cherry Juice
2 packets of Lalvin K1V-1116
24oz rough-chopped black raisins.

Is this correct?
Sorry, I've got a touch of the O.C.D.
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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So, to re-cap...

5 gallons of Welch's Concord-Black Cherry Juice
2 packets of Lalvin K1V-1116
24oz rough-chopped black raisins.

Is this correct?
Sorry, I've got a touch of the O.C.D.
Yes, put the raisins in a paint strainer bag--this will keep everything nice and tidy. Ferment in a plastic bucket. Stir the must once a day to de-gas (go lightly at first as you'll have foaming.) Once the must SG drops below 1.015, transfer to secondary and allow to complete fermentation/clear. Clearing agent is unnecessary. Let it age until it tastes right, de-gas again and throw it under corks/caps.
 

UglyBhamGuy

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Wow, thank you for replying with so much info.

When using the bucket for primary, do you leave the lid on? off? covered? airlock?

Thanks for being so nice and understanding with a newbie (nouveau-bie) and all of the questions.
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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No reason for a lid or airlock (although these options would work). I use a clean dish towel rubber-banded onto the top of the bucket. Fermentation will be pretty vigourous in primary, so don't worry about oxygen infiltration; you only need to worry about dust/bugs falling in.

What little oxygen does penetrate the must will get eaten up by the yeast (promptly.)
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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It's actually decent enough to put together more than a gallon. The way I see it is--if you can get those 96 oz (3-quart) jugs of juice for about $3 (which is normal price around here,) your total investment for 5 gallons is $20 plus a couple bucks for raisins/yeast. It'll yield 25-30 bottles at about $0.75 apiece. Worth the minimal investment as this sucker is a crowd pleaser.
 

meading_of_minds

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This sounds very good. Next time I'm in Sam's I'm going to have to take a peak. I used an Old Orchard Apple Cherry blend for a two gallon batch.
 

esarkipato

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I found this juice at costco, and immediately thought wine! Gonna have to try it. What do you think about adding oak?
 
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jkpq45

jkpq45

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Good choice on the oak, especially if you're a Cab-Sauv fan. This turned out to be a people pleaser (read: semisweet) so it's not really my style. I've got some Jack Daniel's soaked oak chips that would be a good addition as I'm a fan of both oaked reds and brandy.
 
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