Adding tannin

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Tall Grass

May 10, 2009
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I have a 5 gallon batch of welch's concentrate blubbing away right now.. 12 days so far (primary fermentation in a carboy.) It's eaten away about 70% of the sugar so it'll probably be another 5 or 6 days before the first racking but can I top this off with a cup or two of strong black tea when I rack it ?
Hiya TalL,

You making a red wine? Are you going to add any oak at all?

The last concentrate based wine I made, was a small kit and I added oak chips, banana juice and extra raisins for body..if you have to top up with half a litre of liquid.. maybe do one cup of a really strong black tea and one cup of wine similar to what you are making?.. the other option is to top up with the wine only and add tannin powder instead..Depends on how alcoholic your wine is as to whether you want to dilute it and whether it tastes good to you.

This is just my opinion of course.. I like to fiddle with wines..

Ya, this will be a pretty strong drink if my numbers are correct (close to 14.5 to 15% ABV, not so much a wine anymore, true.) But yes, it will be red... 13 cans of welchs grape concentrate. I gave it a taste test yesterday (small about, maybe 10-15ml) and it has a strong welch's flavour but missing something...

As for the oak chips... I'm not sure. It hadn't really crossed my mind. Maybe that would be the way to go?

I suppose I could leave it alone and be happy with the final result but I like to fiddle too :h

(edit: i have a small youtube clip of this batch bubbling away, click my signature and check the welch's video... the quality is horrible.. it's an old basic digicam with poor video recording.)
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After thinking about it for a little bit I think I will go with the oak chips idea. This will be the first time using them. I'm estimating that the oak chips will soak for about three weeks in this wine before bottling.... is that too long or not enough?
hmm.. abv 14-15%?... tannin will balance it, though it will need to mature a bit longer, did you add any raisins to the primary? I'd be inclined to add oak ( I like oak) and some glycerine if there were no bananas involved. Bulk age it a bit.

No, I did not add any raisins to the primary :( The glycerine thing is something I've never read about and I really have no idea how its used/how much/when/etc. I think what I'll do is use your idea of adding the oak chips this time... and then next time I'll do both the oak and glycerine (i plan on making another 5 gallons and this will provide a frame of reference.)
the glycerine will give you a nice mouthfeel and knock the edges off any harshness in the wine.. check and adjust after bulk aging a couple of months.. it's kind of the difference between the feel of a merlot compared to a young cab sav if that makes any sense?

as always it comes down to your own personal taste..

Sort of makes sense but I'll be truthful here.. before making wine on my own I would guess my total experience has been a dozen glasses of wine... I've very much a wine-virgin here, my tongue is a clean slate open to whatever I find pleasing.

Beer.. that I do know quite well. Hard liquors... haven't really touched any for about 7 or 8 years (after getting sick from a bottle of whiskey.. last time I really touched the stuff.)
in that case just experiment as you know what you like and what you don't like.

( I had a similar experience with rum as a teenager...can't stand the smell of the stuff)

I might have a chance to experiment here on a gallon batch of welch's wine that I talked about in another thread about the sulphites. The thing is... when I started the original batch it was in an imperial gallon jug and then I racked it.. but what I didn't realize is that the new jug was an american gallon. So when the next time I rack it (into an imperial gallon jug) there will be some space left over for a cup full of black tea. The alcohol content is strong enough that the dilution from the tea won't really hurt.

It might end up being 12%... roughly. It really irritates me that people still use these gallon/imperial/yardstick units grrrrrrr. I'd prefer there were 5 litre jugs, 6 litre jugs, 10 litre and so on... oy. Metric is soooo much easier to deal with.

It's funny when I racked it the first time I sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out why there was so much left in the original jug..... and then it dawned on me. I ended up drinking the leftovers but it wasn't a pleasing experience.

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