Help with a Juice I just bought

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Green Mountains

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Hey all. To date I've only made kits and one cider (I did have a 'from scratch' wine a year and a half ago but I botched it).

Anyhoo.....for fun I bought a half gallon of concentrate from homewinery.com. It's a California Red....makes 5 gallons.

I'd like to make this into a 6 gallon kit and am looking for suggestions. I'm considering a 'banana juice' addition for the final gallon but have only read about it. I'd rather do that then just add simple syrup.

I could just do the 5 gallons but my carboys are all 6 gallon and wanna experiment.

Here's what we have to start with.....


https://www.homewinery.com/cgi-bin/pict.cgi?4010



SUGGESTIONS?
 

Wade E

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Thats an afully small amount to make into a 5 gallon batchif you ask me.
 

Green Mountains

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And I trust your strong experience.

So how about a method of improving this little jug.
 

Wade E

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I would probably mix this with another to make a 6 gallon recipe my self or blend this with a Vintners Harvest fruit wine base like Black Currant or Blackberry or even Elderberry. Other then that Im afriad it will come out thisn in body which you ould make the banana soup which I have never done but even then it will be thin on flavor! Sorry for the quick reply before and didnt mean to insult you like that.
 

Julie

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I know it is a small jug for a 5 gallon batch but I have made the reisling and really enjoyed it. You could go ahead and do the banana soup but you will still be diluting the flavor of the red by a gallon.

You can buy blackberry jam for a gallon batch and add that. Or a fruit concentrate to make up a gallon. A gallon of cranberry juice would be good.
 

summersolstice

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I agree it could use an addition. If I were looking at that 1/2 gallon of concentrate I believe I'd cut back on the sugar and try adding about 10 lbs of blackberries to the primary and another five pounds to the secondary. I do this all the time with Alexander's concentrates.
 

Green Mountains

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Ahhh, the blackberry sounds like a great addition. 10lbs of actual BB's might be an issue this time of year in Vermont....so the blackberry jam sounds perfect.

How much to a gallon of what would it take? 16oz?? More?
 

summersolstice

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Ahhh, the blackberry sounds like a great addition. 10lbs of actual BB's might be an issue this time of year in Vermont....so the blackberry jam sounds perfect.

How much to a gallon of what would it take? 16oz?? More?
Yes, or frozen blackberries. I've use canned Oregon blackberries too. Whatever's cheaper.
 

Green Mountains

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Julie,
Did you follow the instructions that they post on their site (ferment in carboy for two months etc) or did you use primary pail until SG dropped sufficiently and then rack to carboy? Or another method?
 

Julie

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Julie,
Did you follow the instructions that they post on their site (ferment in carboy for two months etc) or did you use primary pail until SG dropped sufficiently and then rack to carboy? Or another method?
Yes, I used their instructions except that they wanted you to add the amount of sugar that would make your wine a dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. I put enough sugar to raise SG between 1.080 and 1.090 and then backsweeten to where I wanted it. Except for the sugar, I followed what they said.

I buy Walmart's seedless blackberry jam, it is 18 oz jars and I use 3 per gallon.
 

Green Mountains

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Yes, I used their instructions except that they wanted you to add the amount of sugar that would make your wine a dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. I put enough sugar to raise SG between 1.080 and 1.090 and then backsweeten to where I wanted it. Except for the sugar, I followed what they said.

I buy Walmart's seedless blackberry jam, it is 18 oz jars and I use 3 per gallon.
Wow, as I read this we've just unloaded 2 jars of Walmart seedless jam. I'll run with that to see how it goes.
 

Julie

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Wow, as I read this we've just unloaded 2 jars of Walmart seedless jam. I'll run with that to see how it goes.
You know you got my interest in this. Let me know how this comes out, I stay away from the red wines concentrate because I don't think they would be any good. But this is sounding pretty good.
 

Green Mountains

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You know you got my interest in this. Let me know how this comes out, I stay away from the red wines concentrate because I don't think they would be any good. But this is sounding pretty good.
Will certainly keep you posted.
 

Wade E

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Julie, some of the kits out there are very very good and they are all concentrates just in much bigger ratios. White wines will taste much better in smaller dilutions then reds will. Like the smaller kits available, the smaller ones make decent white wines but the reds are almost always very thin.
 

Julie

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Julie, some of the kits out there are very very good and they are all concentrates just in much bigger ratios. White wines will taste much better in smaller dilutions then reds will. Like the smaller kits available, the smaller ones make decent white wines but the reds are almost always very thin.
Hi Wade,

I have stayed away from red concentrates because I was afraid that I would be disappointed in the taste. I am actually looking at buying some juice buckets.

If you would buy one of these reds and made it a 3 gallon instead of a 5 gallon do you think that would improve on the taste? Or would they just be best as a blend with some fruit.

Thanks,
Julie
 

summersolstice

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Julie, I've seen a lot of threads proposing exactly this but, by all accounts, it doesn't work. The kits are designed to have a certain flavor profile and making the kit a smaller size than recommended would throw it out of balance.
 

Wade E

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Since I have never tried this I cant account for it but I believe that you would have to play with the ph and TA(acid) as they would most likely be out of balance. thats why I dont play around and buy he really good kits when I make kits. I am currently not making kits any more and only grapes since I have most of the equipment needed to do so. Iv hear many people turn a 6 gallon lesser quality kit into a 5 galon batch and many have said this works well. That 1 gallon difference may be fine but reducing it futher may throw it too far out of whack.
 

Tom

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Julie, I've seen a lot of threads proposing exactly this but, by all accounts, it doesn't work. The kits are designed to have a certain flavor profile and making the kit a smaller size than recommended would throw it out of balance.
Yep I agree. It will also throw it out of profile and balance.
Then again if you have $$$ to toss around ..let us know how it comes out..
 

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