Store-bought grape juice: is this a good recipe?

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joene92

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Dear all:

I have made some wine in the past, and now I'm looking to restart my hobby.This is the wine I was thinking about making. Do I miss any ingredients? Do you think it will pan out enjoyable? I'll be making a 1-gallon batch.

The basics:
  • My local store sells pasteurized Merlot grape juice for 2 euro/liter. I'll buy about a gallon and use the surplus juice to top off the carboy after each racking.The sugar content is about a pound per gallon, so I'll leave it like that.
  • 1 pound of fresh concord grapes to add tannins to the batch.
  • 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice to add some more acidity.
  • Young's Burgundy Red
  • Yeast nutrient
  • The usual campden tablet
  • Since there is real fruit in the batch, I'll add pectolase too.

After fermentation:
  • Oak chips to oak it slightly
  • If necessary, 2 tbsp. of glycerin to improve the mouth feeling

Does this recipe sound like a good idea, or am I missing stuff?

Thanks in advance
 

DoctorCAD

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Using the excess juice to top off will only result in refermentation. If you stabilize before adding you can get away with it, but cheap merlot wine would be a better choice.
Can you get merlot grapes as well as juice? Concords may not blend well with merlot.
 
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joene92

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Thanks for your reply!

Juist a quick question: Given your concerns over blending grape varieties, would strong English tea be a better way to add tannin? I'm not too keen on buying tannin powder.
 

DoctorCAD

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Its not only tannins that grape skins add, they also add solids for more flavor. Tea will add tannins, and if the juice is "thick" you shouldn't need any more solids. If the juice is "thin" you may need to add the grapes no matter the taste.

Any chance you can get pre-packaged grape packs in your area?
 
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joene92

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Thanks again for the reply. The juice looks clear and thin so I'll go for the grapes. Unfortunately, there are no merlot grapes available in my area, only a variety of table grapes. I don't think it should be too hard to get muscat grapes, which are sold as table grapes in my area. I wouldn't know how they'd blend in with the Merlot (dry, acidic, flavors of red fruits, muscats typically have flowerlike aroma's) but it's worth giving it a try.
 
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