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canned fruit bases and concentrates

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Hog Wild
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I made both Cherry & Plum wine using the Vitner's Harvest fruit concentrate and both turned out great. I just bought a Peach & Strawberry for my next two batches. Its just as cheap, if not cheaper than buying the Welch's concentrates to make a 5 gallon batch plus you have a few more options.

Great photo of the cat!

Dave
 

NSwiner

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Wish they were in Canada the shipping costs and if they cost more to bring over the boarder just not worth .So I'm going to do some looking around to see if any Canadian companies carry them they can worry about all that lol . I really like how with the kits they give you a Commercial Equivalent to compare to .
 

djrockinsteve

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I just bottled some Vintner's Plum dry and sweetened 3 gallons now aging. So far it's good. I'd rather start from scratch with fruit but it's all good.
 

deboard

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I plan on using some of the alexander's concentrates as bases for fruit - grape blends. Like a blueberry Pinot Noir for example. So add 10-15 pounds of blueberries to a can and make a 3 gallon batch. Especially this time of year I hope it can keep my primary going. Need some more carboys first! I made a similar batch using sun cal riesling and strawberries, and although it's still in the works, I racked it and it tastes pretty good.

FYI, Northern has slightly better prices on these if you are not loyal to midwest, plus they have the 7.99 flat shipping.
 

arcticsid

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I just got a Northern catalog myself, and theeir prices seemed pretty decent. I also got their(northerns) beer catalog, I passed it along, but they had some decent products and prices for their beer stuff too!

I haven't used any of these bases/concentrates YET, but I think I am going in that direction as opposed to the frozen concentrates I have been using.
 

Boyd

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Valley Vinters

Trying a can of Valley Vinters and the 3 pound recipe on the can. Tastes weak on peach flavor to me.

Was at Sams the evening and picked up a large can of Delmonte peaches (same size and ingrediants) for $4.98 to see how that works.
 

arcticsid

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Should work okay Boyd. There have been a couple threads in here about using canned peaches and pears, and I remeber seeing one about using fruit cocktail. Try the search in here, if you can't find it I'll see if I can find it for you.

Troy
 

antek

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i'm using the Blackberry base to make 5 gallons. I just transferred to secondary a couple of days ago and it tastes good so far.
 

Boyd

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i'm using the Blackberry base to make 5 gallons. I just transferred to secondary a couple of days ago and it tastes good so far.
I no longer Vintners Harvest products because of the cost and the weak result of the peach wine I made in 2010.

A large can of peaches at Sams Club is a little less than seven dollars the last I bought a couple weeks ago. They also have pineapple available.

Most of my wine is made from wild berries and what grows on my vines.

I got a case of four large cans of red raspberries from a restaurant for 50 dollars and the wine made from it I am told very was good. The people I gave it to were happy with it.

I give the stuff I make away as I don't have much of a tolerance for alcohol as I learned in Japan at age 17. Doesn't taste good when it goes by the tongue the second time. ;) Guess I am not man enough.
 

SBWs

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I've used these a few times with good to great results. Adding a couple bananas helps with the body and mouth feel. I also tend to use these along with something else to help them along. I made a Port Style wine with the Black Currant along with steamed Blackberry and Blueberry juice, and then fortified with Blackberry Brandy. I used the Cranberry along with 15 pounds of Concord Grapes from the back yard to make a Concord/Cranberry. Also used the Plum to make a Plum that I backsweetened with Welch's White Grape Concentrate for a Plum Niagara. I used the Strawberry along with 5 pounds of Rhubarb to make a Strawberry Rhubard. The Black Currant, Strawberry, and Plum were made as 3 gallon batches and the Concord Cranberry was made into a 5 gallon batch.
 

terroirdejeroir

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I have had good luck using the older 96 oz cans to make three gallon batches. Not so much on the five gallon unless you add some additional fruit.

I am getting ready to make a batch of elderberry from the new 128oz VH jugs. I noticed that there recipe doesn't say anything about adding any acid, enzymes, etc to the must. Has anyone made one of these? If not do you know if it really is as simple as just adding water and yeast? Seems too good to be true...
 

knifemaker

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I have had good luck using the older 96 oz cans to make three gallon batches. Not so much on the five gallon unless you add some additional fruit.

I am getting ready to make a batch of elderberry from the new 128oz VH jugs. I noticed that there recipe doesn't say anything about adding any acid, enzymes, etc to the must. Has anyone made one of these? If not do you know if it really is as simple as just adding water and yeast? Seems too good to be true...
I've used the VH black current to make a dragon blood using one 32 oz. bottle of lemon juice, and then back sweetening, I think it's wonderful, so I've started another batch. My brew shop just started selling the jugs of just add water concentrate, so I've got a blueberry going in secondary right now. I'm not really confident that it will be all that great, but time will tell. Dale.
 

Scooter68

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Black Current and Apricot VH In Process

I've got a 2 gallon batch of the Apricot from VH working now (From reviews it seemed that even a 3 gallon mix from a single can was too light) Looks good but needs some age.
The Black Current (3 Gallons from a VH 96oz Can) was sooo sloooow to start fermentation but I was running it at a low range temp - It's still slow to finish secondary but it's getting there. Should end up with about a 16-17% ABV.

Today I'm hoping to get a 2 gal Strawberry batch started using 3 x 4# bags of frozen strawberries from Walmart freezer section. Looking forward to having that ready for early enjoyment this summer.

Have my working area full right now with 9 gallons in process (2gallons Apple is now about 6 months into aging and hope to have it about ready by 4th of July.

I prefer to use my own or local fruit :
We have our 'domestic Blueberries from our 11 bushes
Wild Blackberries
Wild Black Raspberries
Apple trees
If the weather permits maybe some Plums from our plum trees but so far the weather has wiped us out for about the last 4 years

Our blueberries have been generious to us the past years as well as the wild Blackberries - our first gallon of Blackberry is by far my favorited. 4 1/2 lbs of wild berries for 1 gallon. Back sweetened with White Grape Juice concentrate. The fragrance of flowers and then the Blackberry flavor is beautiful. Waiting to share with a cousin who is picky about her wines - we'll see how that one gets her review.
 

Tnuscan

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I have had good luck using the older 96 oz cans to make three gallon batches. Not so much on the five gallon unless you add some additional fruit.

I am getting ready to make a batch of elderberry from the new 128oz VH jugs. I noticed that there recipe doesn't say anything about adding any acid, enzymes, etc to the must. Has anyone made one of these? If not do you know if it really is as simple as just adding water and yeast? Seems too good to be true...
Yes.. Blk currant and elderberry, just racked to bulk age a little last week,it was awesome tasting at this point. Will be stabilizing raspberry to bulk for a little bit, today. A few months will tell.
 

antek

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it's funny you mentioned the strawberry wine. i've just been looking at some wines from frozen fruits and that looks like a fun change. plus like you said, it would be ready for summer. Was the apricot a "puree" ? I'm working with the VH blackberry "fruit base" and wondering what the difference is? I also like the idea of local fruit, and since i'm an hour away from the finger lakes, I'm certainly going to buy fresh juice this fall.
 

Scooter68

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Puree vs Fruit Base

This may be a moot point since I believe some brewing suppliers are not going to carry VH products. (over possible 'production issues') That may translate into too much variation in concentration or the fact that some products were listed as whole fruit but in fact were only the juice. Not sure but I can see why the concern. I thought the Apricot was going to be whole fruit in water as at least 2 seller descriptions and the VH web site described. What I got seems fine but I would like descriptions to be accurate.

But the Apricot I used was the Fruit Base not the Puree. It started out as a clear liquid but became pretty cloudy during the initial fermentation. It's clearing up now with the help of some bentonite. Going to wait this one and my hazy Apple out - trying So.......Hard.......to.......be........patient. (Apple was started in late August 2015)

Don't know if you have an Aldi's supermarket in your area but tonight I found they have frozen strawberries for $2.09/lb vs Walmart $9.74/ 4lbs not a lot of difference but with one pound packages it's a little easier to pick your mix/lbs per gallon qty. I opted for 14lbs for 3 gallons. We'll see how that compaires to my 4 lbs/gal mix from last year which actually was decent. Don't have to be blown away by the strength of the fruit if it good quality. Somebody mention a year or so ago about finding peach nectar at a Dollar Tree but we don't have one close by to check.

Always open to new sources - BUT I will say when I ran my peach from whole peaches.... the fragrance throughout always had the light scent of fresh peaches - So I think I will wait for the real deal this spring and hit the fruit stands for some good stuff.
 

WineYooper

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Have made Elderberry almost exclusively from VH juice and fell in love with it, last fall was not able to get any, made in 5 gal batches. The wild ones here are small and a pain in the butt and I would sooner pay double for a can than go thru picking, and cleaning them. The blackberry I made in a five gallon batch and it was pretty thin so have decided to make 3 gallons moving forward with VH. I prefer wild berries but due to weather some years and the trees are growing up and choking the blackberries out so the patches are slowing going away so then have to go with VH. Makes me want to do some clear cutting.
 

Scooter68

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Yeah, that's the downside to wild berries. Our Blackberry patches have been 'lightly' maintained by my wife who is the blackberry and black raspberry picker. I keep busy with our garden and blueberry bushes. Up to 11 now and want to expand some more possibly to 20-25. We have had good luck here in NW Ark. the last several years. Just have to get them picked before the heat dries them out.

Took a small bottle (Blackberry) (1 oz) to my old job today. One lady kept thinking it smelled like flowers - Honeysuckle was one of her guesses on smell. Even after tasting she didn't recognize the blackberry taste. My old store manager loved it. Thats one thing about wild berries, they have a very solid flavor and I don't know if domesticated blackberries would have the same depth.

Maybe you can get out there before spring and do an little 'weeding' on the berry patch. Is it on your property or a wild "public" area?
 

MattWI

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My LHBS occasionally carries these - I have tried the big cans (96 oz) of peach and Gooseberry with satisfactory results, but for anything other than fruits difficult to cultivate or buy locally, I'm not sure I would see the need. The peach wine I've made from Aldi canned peaches (2 30 Oz cans per gallon) was as good, and much cheaper, than the VH equivalent. I added canned peach and white grape concentrate to my Gooseberry to get a full bodied 5 gallon batch, as my 5 gallon peach was pretty thin.
 

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