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Vinoman

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Just ordered Vintners Raspberry Fruit Base Juice 1 gallon. It makes 5-gallons of Raspberry Wine. I was wondering if I want to back sweeten it, is it better to use Wine Conditioner before bottling or should I keep some of the Juice base and add that after fermentation is complete? I don't have any experience with this product.
 

dcbrown73

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I would just make the 5 gallons and use something other to back-sweeten.

You can use wine conditioner, or you can use inverted sugar solution for back sweetening. (2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water boiled and then cooled, probably best if in canning jars and cooled to room temp prior to use)

I believe wine conditioner may have other things in it, but I prefer to do otherwise and just manually handle anything that needs to be done.

I'm dead tired about heading to bed. I possibly missed something, but our WMT friends will surly provide my missing details.

Good luck!
 

mikewatkins727

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I have not used Vintners Raspberry Fruit Base, but if you want to sweeten wine, after if ferments to dryness add sorbate and k-meta. Wait a month then sweeten. If you want more flavor along with sweeten, add the fruit base. If all you want is sweeter, add sugar (simple syrup).
 
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Vinoman

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The wine conditioner has potassium Sorbate in it. I'll try your sugar solution. Appreciate the response.
 

Vinoman

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No point in rushing it. I'll wait the month as you suggested and taste it. I can always add more fruit juice base and/or the inverted sugar. Thanks.
 

BernardSmith

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You may want to experiment here. I am sure that you can make 5 gallons of wine using one can of the fruit base... but is that one of the cans that suggest that you get a richer wine if you make only 3 gallons? If so, they are not wrong...
 

Noontime

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Our experience with anything raspberry is that the flavor is very intense, so it may take a few batches of differing dilutions to find the flavor you like. As Bernard said, the cans of concentrate usually do better with less than what's recommended on the package. We primarily use simple syrup to back sweeten, taking notes on how much was added and SG so we've dialed in what we like. We've also used the original fruit juice to backsweeten with great results, but I think it depends on the grape/fruit on whether it's "better" or not. With fruit wines, we learned to use a fining agent after back sweetening to get rid of sediment in the bottles.
 

Vinoman

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It comes in a 1 gallon juice concentrate which is reconstituted with 4 gallons of water. I will try back sweetening with a simple sugar for this first batch. The juice is cheap enough so I can try a few different ways. Thanks for the fining tip.
 

Julie

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Don't use the wine conditioner, it can leave an after taste. Wait until it has fermented dry and taste it, if it needs some sweetener, take some of the wine and add sugar to it, warm it up to melt the sugar and add that back into your wine, before doing this make sure you add k-meta and sorbate.
 

Hoxviii

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Keep us updated on the progress; I have a batch that went in on 3/16 that is barely creeping down. started at 12% potential, it took a week to get down to 5% potential, and another week and a half to get down to 3% - very slow going which isn't what I expected from what the guy at the LHBS said, and he's confused why it's taking so long as well especially since I used 1118 to just muscle the fermentation along.
 

Vinoman

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I will make an update after it arrives and it gets going. I ordered Lalvin RC 212 for yeast which is supposed to be good for red fruit wines. We'll see how it goes.
 

Noontime

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I would recommend a very strong yeast for highly concentrated juice; EC-1118 is always a good choice, but K1V-1116 is good for fruitier flavors (EC-1118 is neutral, meaning it doesn't add a whole lot to the character of the wine). Some yeasts don't do a good job of fermenting concentrates, so you might want to investigate that before starting. Keep in mind this is not really fruit juice, it is concentrate; so molecularly it is different.
 

Jericurl

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I've used quite a bit of these concentrates, fruit purees, etc.

I set back about a 1/2 pint (or up to a pint, depending on what I'm going for) right at the beginning. Then mix concentrate, water, any herbs, etc, then pitch my yeast once I get SG where I want it. 1.08 is a good beginning for a fruit wine. I would not use EC 1118 as it usually blows delicate flavors right out of the airlock. KV-1116 is great if you are wanting to start with a higher SG, otherwise I'm finding that D47 and QA23 work quite nicely.

Normally I rack to secondary after SG is 1.01 or below then wait about a month or so before stabilizing and adding back the reserved concentrate (make sure you are at .995 before you do so). Then I usually leave that alone for a bit, make sure my SG doesn't move then backsweeten with sugar or honey, depending on what I am making.
 

Vinoman

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Thanks for the detailed response. When you hold back the pint before fermenting, do you add it back in later or just make the mix a little less concentrated than designed?
 

Noontime

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I've never used D47 or QA23 on highly concentrated juices, but have had great success with both of those on fruit wines and meads. Great recommendations. The QA23 has become a "go to" yeast for us. Thanks Jericurl for letting me know they work well with the concentrates too. :h

And great point about blowing off flavors; we've learned to cool our fermentations to keep things calm and cool (we're in S. Florida so it's always HOT).
 
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sg1strgt

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Vinoman, I just finished a batch of the Vintner Cherry wine base and kept a quart back to use for either back sweetening this batch or for adding to another batch. After it finished fermenting and before I stabilized the batch, I tasted it and I didn't need to add anything additional. As for what Julie said about the conditioner leaving an aftertaste, I have not experienced that but I can tell you given the choice of what to sweeten with, I would use the juice I held back. Adds more flavor. You could split the batch and test both ways and see which you like better.
 

bkisel

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For my fruit wines I've been having success using brown sugar, honey and differing frozen juice concentrates, in various combinations, for back sweetening. You will have to experiment some.
 

Ron0126

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For my fruit wines I've been having success using brown sugar, honey and differing frozen juice concentrates, in various combinations, for back sweetening. You will have to experiment some.
Can you give us some examples?:h
I've only used table sugar or simple syrup so far but I'd love to read what you've experimented with, how, what worked, and what didn't.
 

bkisel

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Can you give us some examples?:h
I've only used table sugar or simple syrup so far but I'd love to read what you've experimented with, how, what worked, and what didn't.
Yes. If I can recall, without finding notes, for my Apple Wine, 6 gallons, I back sweeten with 2 cups brown sugar, a cup (or is it 2) of honey and 2 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate. I was able to find frozen peach concentrate for my peach wine which I believe added more to the finished wine than just using white sugar. For the banana wine I'm currently doing I might back sweeten with some brown sugar and perhaps frozen white grape juice concentrate.
 

Ron0126

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Yes. If I can recall, without finding notes, for my Apple Wine, 6 gallons, I back sweeten with 2 cups brown sugar, a cup (or is it 2) of honey and 2 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate. I was able to find frozen peach concentrate for my peach wine which I believe added more to the finished wine than just using white sugar. For the banana wine I'm currently doing I might back sweeten with some brown sugar and perhaps frozen white grape juice concentrate.
Ok, this is perfect. I have a 3 gallon batch of apple wine in primary now! I'll give brown sugar, honey, and concentrate a try because the first batch I did just wasn't quite sweet enough ... but I drank it anyway.

Thanks!
 

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