Ocean Spray Cranberry and Concord Grape 100% Juice

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Mallerstang

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A local grocery store has Ocean Spray Cranberry and Concord Grape 100% Juice on mega clearance. Has anyone made wine with this specific one before?

I'd need about 8 bottles for a 3-gallon batch, and I'd probably need to add more sugar. Should I consider including one or two bottles of something else (ideas?) or use all the same?
 

Pendragon524

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I have fermented most of Ocean Spray's cranberry varieties (cran-raspberry, cran-blackberry, and cran-pineapple), and I've learned two things that I imagine will also apply to the cran-grape mix. First, cranberry juice is highly acidic and, therefore, tricky to ferment out. On my first try of cran-raspberry, the yeast stopped around 1.060, leaving me with a grossly sweet cider. So, you'll have to take measures to give your yeast a better shot in cranberry juice's high acid environment. You can do one of two things. (1) Dilute the juice 1:1 with water, reducing the acidity enough to allow a healthy yeast colony and fermentation success. (2) Add a pound of bananas to the liquid at the beginning of fermentation. Bananas are much less acidic than cranberries, so they act as a buffering agent to more acidic juices. Bananas also have potassium and other nutrients that yeast respond incredibly well too. When I returned to cran-raspberry juice and fermented it with bananas, the yeast quickly went all the way to 15% ABV!

Second, if you don't dilute the cranberry juice, then regardless of issues with fermentation, the wine comes out super acidic and doesn't taste very good. With both the cran-raspberry and cran-blackberry blends, I wasn't thrilled with the end product. Now, taste is subjective, and that judgment is mine alone, so take it with a grain of salt. If I were you, I'd go for it, doing one of the above to counteract issues with fermenting in a high-acid environment, and see what you think!
 
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Mallerstang

Mallerstang

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Let us know what you decide to do!
Thanks for all that great info! If I can still get the juice today, I'll use bananas - what size batch did you add one pound of bananas to? Also pectic enzyme, EC-1118 because it ferments easily, and perhaps some tannin powder or strong tea. If it seems too acid for my taste after a couple of rackings I might treat it with calcium carbonate before bottling - I have some of that anyway from making rhubarb wine.
 

Pendragon524

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Those are all good additions! I used one pound of bananas for a gallon of juice. I’ve never used potassium carbonate, so you’ll have to let me know how that affects the brew if you end up using it!
 

Upstate12866

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I too would love to know how it went. Somebody please think of the lurkers! :D
 

Entish Hobbit

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I have made one batch with Concord Grape Juice, and the results were good. It's not for everyone and very tart, but I've always liked it. There is a vineyard near me that also uses Concord Grapes for one of their wines and I always liked it, and mine came out tasting almost exactly the same as theirs.

As for the cranberry, I am making that now, so I'm not sure yet. I am not having any trouble with the fermentation of it 🤷‍♀️. Used Premier Classique for it.
 

voltron

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I have made one batch with Concord Grape Juice, and the results were good. It's not for everyone and very tart, but I've always liked it. There is a vineyard near me that also uses Concord Grapes for one of their wines and I always liked it, and mine came out tasting almost exactly the same as theirs.

As for the cranberry, I am making that now, so I'm not sure yet. I am not having any trouble with the fermentation of it 🤷‍♀️. Used Premier Classique for it.
I made some cranberry styles wine inmate style back in 2016, and it turned out well, but I have noticed people tend like cranberry flavored wine better than straight cranberry wine. Flavored wine in general. What I mean is that I wine ferment regular white grape, then introduce some cranberry juice in secondary, and finally back sweeten with some more cranberry juice.
 
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