Any suggestions to make plastic bottle juice wines better?

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Steve Wargo

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Following Paw Paw’s, You Tube instruction:
Select a 64-ounce bottle of pure juice (apple, grape, cranberry, etc.) without any preservatives. Remove 2 cups of the juice to make room for sugar
Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast (Fleischmann’s Active Dry [or wine]). Tightly screw cap closed and shake bottle to dissolve sugar.

Now, either leave the lid screwed on (slightly jiggle loose) or use an airlock and store in a cool place -- although others suggest a warm place. It's ready to drink when the top surface is glass smooth (no bubbles). [6 weeks to three months]

I am wondering what other adjustments/additions could be made that would make this a better drink. e.g. Camden tablet, Multivitamin pill, shake at intervals to dispel CO2, other(?)

All-in-all, I like the simplicity of the basic formula for the quick turn around. But then again, I feel there could be something else that could be easily incorporated and make the wine still better. Suggestions are welcomed!

Thank you
You can add sliced banana to give it more body usually for apple juice. Add Raisins to apple or grape. I've added chopped dates, fresh pineapple chunks, fresh sliced peaches, or apricots. Don't overload it. You just want to use the extra's to give the end product a better body/mouthfeel. Siphon off the wine after it's done fermenting (about 10 days) and Aging is your friend.
 
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We are looking at this all wrong. The in-the-bottle process has several main tenets:
  • minimal ingredients
  • no equipment
  • fast drinking
The "minimal ingredients" part, juice, sugar, and yeast -- works in the bottle. The bottle itself is fine as a primary fermenter, and as secondary storage, given that aging of the result is minimal. The "fast drinking" part works because of the low body produced by commercial drinking juice. There's nothing to fix or improve, because any change breaks the process and replaces it with a new one, or violates one of the basic tenets.

Adding fruit to increase body? First, ya gotta get the fruit in the bottle, which could be messy. Then ya gotta get the fruit out of the bottle and press it in some fashion. If that is accomplished, the fruit displaces some of the juice, so there's less wine. While the "bulk aging" part of this process is short, this still produces a larger headspace, so oxidation is possible. Plus if the wine has more body, it's going to require more aging, which defeats part of the purpose.

If a more robust product is desired, this process is not a fit. Use the one I wrote, which focuses on using only equipment commonly found in an American kitchen. This process can be used to make a quick-n-dirty fast drinking wine ... or it can be used to make a heavier bodied wine that requires aging. Sure, purpose made winemaking equipment is better and easier in the long term, but it's not required.
 

ruhbarb76

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You can add sliced banana to give it more body usually for apple juice. Add Raisins to apple or grape. I've added chopped dates, fresh pineapple chunks, fresh sliced peaches, or apricots. Don't overload it. You just want to use the extra's to give the end product a better body/mouthfeel. Siphon off the wine after it's done fermenting (about 10 days) and Aging is your friend.
 

ChuckD

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Makes sense. Good info. thanks!
See! This is how it starts. You try one thing to make it better and pretty soon you’re crushing your own grapes and digging a wine cave in the back yard!🤣

Truthfully. You can keep it simple and make a basic wine, make award winning vintage wines, and everything in between. Most of the folks on this site are “in between” and always trying to improve their game.

I like that even with a minimal investment you can make some really good wine. What I don’t like is the time. I’m more of an instant results kinda guy but I’m learning. Either way, you-be-you and just make what you like to drink.
 

VinesnBines

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I've made some rather nice wines from bottled store juice or frozen concentrates. I did more than the minimal in-the-bottle process. I followed the usual winemaking process and after a few months, had a nice table wine. The best have been cherry/white grape and grapefruit/white grape. They were good summer time sippers. I'm going to try the grapefruit again, this time, stead of Welches white grape juice, I'm going to use a really cheap Sav Blanc kit as the base and add bottle grapefruit juice to reconstitute part of the water. My ratio is 2/3 white grape base and 1/3 or slightly less of the grapefruit juice.
 

Fruitwine22

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I’ve also enjoyed success with store bought fruit juice converting it into good wines. I like a lot of newcomers started with grape juice made from Concorde grapes, the problem I always had was covering up the overpowering Concorde flavor. After trying and giving up several times I found that by buying a inexpensive PH meter off Amazon I was able to craft my wines by adjusting the PH with simple bottled grocery store bought water. I mistakenly always added wine-store bought citric acids at first, thinking that would take the “Sweetness out” instead it ruined the flavor. Moving forward to today, I rack my wine after 7 days, take a ph reading which initially is under 3.0 and add bottled water one ounce at a time and mix it in. It’s worth noting water can really dilute taste and quality so I add it one ounce at a time to raise ph to a level of between 3.2- 3.6.
After adjusting the ph, I pour the wine into a 1 gallon wide mouth jar, and add French oak chips (wrapped in cheesecloth) into the jar/carboy for the second fermentation. I did invest in a funnel with a snap in strainer to use after the second fermentation which in my climate typically wraps up between day 17-20
After racking and removing chips I let the wine clear for another 2-3 weeks. Good luck and I hope someone finds this helpful.
 

ruhbarb76

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I’ve also enjoyed success with store bought fruit juice converting it into good wines. I like a lot of newcomers started with grape juice made from Concorde grapes, the problem I always had was covering up the overpowering Concorde flavor. After trying and giving up several times I found that by buying a inexpensive PH meter off Amazon I was able to craft my wines by adjusting the PH with simple bottled grocery store bought water. I mistakenly always added wine-store bought citric acids at first, thinking that would take the “Sweetness out” instead it ruined the flavor. Moving forward to today, I rack my wine after 7 days, take a ph reading which initially is under 3.0 and add bottled water one ounce at a time and mix it in. It’s worth noting water can really dilute taste and quality so I add it one ounce at a time to raise ph to a level of between 3.2- 3.6.
After adjusting the ph, I pour the wine into a 1 gallon wide mouth jar, and add French oak chips (wrapped in cheesecloth) into the jar/carboy for the second fermentation. I did invest in a funnel with a snap in strainer to use after the second fermentation which in my climate typically wraps up between day 17-20
After racking and removing chips I let the wine clear for another 2-3 weeks. Good luck and I hope someone finds this helpful.
 

Fruitwine22

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More than welcome! I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with the community. I look forward to learning new things myself and getting to know the community here.
 

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