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Mismost

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What (if anything) can you add to a batch of wine that will improve the flavor/complexity of a basically "done" wine?

Have five gallons of a Welches grape frozen concentrate wine sitting here...racked three times now and it is clear. It is what I would call CBE Wine....crude, but effective. It just needs something, it is too sweet...just really one dimensional. Not that I was expecting a great wine on my first try.

I did add 5/8ths teaspoon of tannin and acid blend...hardly noticeable. Did a 4 oz bottle of glycerin, not that did help the mouth feel.

Was thinking of steeping and or "dry-hopping" some pepper corns. Or adding some good Mexican vanilla extra. Not a huge fan of oak, but maybe that would help.

Any ideas that would not re-start fermentation?
 

lukebuz

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More Acid Blend! 2 tsp per gallon will kick it up a notch. Yes, that means you need 10 tsp to your batch!
 

mgonbrewlab

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Welch's white is pretty high in acid already, but most recipes call for a little bit extra (I am guessing for that reason).

Vanilla could be interesting in small quantities. Otherwise, if this is Welch's red the peppercorns and maybe some steeped dried peppers could be real interesting.
 

gratus fermentatio

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+ 1 on adding a bit more acid blend, but I would't add a whole lot at once; instead, add a teaspoon or 2, give it a gentle stir & wait a few days, then taste it. If you think it needs more add more in the same fashion. The idea being you can always add more, but once added, you can't take it out. Same goes for tannin. Be careful with tannin, a little goes a long way & too much will ruin a wine; I found that out the hard way.

Something else you might consider is adding a bit of aronia berry juice. While it will add a bit of sugar, the tannins & flavor will add some depth to the wine; of course, this is assuming it's a concorde grape wine, not a niagra grape wine. It might restart fermentation though, which just means it'll take a little longer to finish up. Knudsen makes the juice I use:
http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/just-juice/just-aronia-berry

Here's an excerpt from an aronia berry growers' blog referencing aronia berry use in winemaking:

"Some vintners (wine makers) are using aronia berries to blend with grapes and other fruits to make drier wines. Charlie Caldwell, owner of Black Squirrel Vineyard & Winery, grows grapes and aronia berries. He describes his aronia wine as heavy with earthy tones, good tannins, and deep pigmentation. He says that aronia berries are great for adding body, color, and tannins to a wine that needs improvement. (From the Grape Vine, Vol. 2006, No. 4, p. 5)"

Source:
http://aroniainamerica.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-do-aronia-berries-taste-like.html

I'm actually starting a concord/aronia berry wine this weekend, I'm doing taste tests later today to determine the ratio of aronia to concord juice. If anyone is interested, I'll post my results, though it's simple enough: start with 8 oz concord juice & add aronia juice 1 oz at a time & taste till it tastes "right" to you.
Regards, GF.

EDIT: Did the concord/aronia taste tests & for me, a 50/50 blend works best. The flavor of aronia is a bit subtle, but it really does give the concord flavor a needed boost. The tannins in the aronia juice work VERY well with concord grape juice. I'll be starting a 1 gallon batch this weekend.

I used Knudsen's "just juice" for both juices.
http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/just-juice

Concord SG: 1.064
Aronia SG: 1.046
50/50 blend SG: 1.054

BTW, Yooper's right, bag the acid blend & go with the tannin.
Regards, GF.
 

madscientist451

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What (if anything) can you add to a batch of wine that will improve the flavor/complexity of a basically "done" wine?

Have five gallons of a Welches grape frozen concentrate wine sitting here...racked three times now and it is clear. It is what I would call CBE Wine....crude, but effective. It just needs something, it is too sweet...just really one dimensional. Not that I was expecting a great wine on my first try.

I did add 5/8ths teaspoon of tannin and acid blend...hardly noticeable. Did a 4 oz bottle of glycerin, not that did help the mouth feel.


Any ideas that would not re-start fermentation?
My first thought is that if the wine is too sweet, add a different yeast that will dry it out. But I'm getting the impression you want to drink it soon and getting the fermentation going will delay that.
Option #2 Save it as a blending wine to add to your next batch of dry wine.
Option #3 follow the above advice from Gratus (excellent post) and add the aronia berry juice.
Option #4 Split it up into 5 one gallon batches and experiment with fruit extract flavors.
Option #5 Buy 1 gallon commercial jug wine that is dry and blend in the glass. As a bonus you get the 1 gallon jug to use for future wine blending and storage projects.
Option #6 do a combination of the above, which is what I would do, and use it as a learning experience.
I've made wine using Welch's and some other supermarket ingredients, and eventually drank it all, but now only make wine when I can get quality wine grapes or wine grape juice. The better ingredients really make a better product at the end.
 
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Mismost

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My first thought is that if the wine is too sweet, add a different yeast that will dry it out. But I'm getting the impression you want to drink it soon and getting the fermentation going will delay that.
Option #2 Save it as a blending wine to add to your next batch of dry wine.
Option #3 follow the above advice from Gratus (excellent post) and add the aronia berry juice.
Option #4 Split it up into 5 one gallon batches and experiment with fruit extract flavors.
Option #5 Buy 1 gallon commercial jug wine that is dry and blend in the glass. As a bonus you get the 1 gallon jug to use for future wine blending and storage projects.
Option #6 do a combination of the above, which is what I would do, and use it as a learning experience.
I've made wine using Welch's and some other supermarket ingredients, and eventually drank it all, but now only make wine when I can get quality wine grapes or wine grape juice. The better ingredients really make a better product at the end.
Thanks everybody! I like this idea(s)...it started out as a learning experience...may as well keep trying to learn. Funny, it is in a five gallon carboy...I was looking for a five gallon answer...never though of splitting into smaller batches and going for different effects.
 

Yooper

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I'd go with more tannin first, even just taking a little and putting it into a glass and adding a minute amount and tasting. Add more, until you decide if that is an improvement or not, and then add it to the whole batch if it is. You can easily use more, if you only used 5/8 teaspoon so far to 5 gallons.

More acid blend may help as well, but my Welch's wine was plenty acidic on its own once it fermented out.
 
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Mismost

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OK....I added more tannin and may add some more, it seemed to help.

Added some more acid blend and that also seemed to help.

Added Mexican vanilla and that added a little something

Did a "dry hop" of crushed peppercorns and again that tweaked it a bit.

Better but still just blahhhhh......I think I am trying to make a silk purse outta a sow's ear! Ice, club soda, and a hot evening may the best fix.
 

DoctorCAD

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Its Welches grape juice, not exactly wine grapes.

Learn to live with it and don't ever think about making Welches wine again!

Time to step it up.
 

jensmith

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Sounds like you made the perfect store bought wine. Bland and too sweet!!! I have several freinds that love that wine type :(-
Mixing it as you drink it would be my best suggestion.


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