Juice wine

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deano003

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I have noticed there isn’t many post about fruit juice wine. I just made my first batch of fruit juice wine after watching a couple you tube videos. I have never made wine before but find it all very interesting and fun! Any tips, tricks and hints? I am sure that juice wine isn’t considered “real wine”. There just seems that there is endless flavor combinations that would be interesting to test.
 

Rice_Guy

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All country wines are based on fruit. The purists say wine has to be made from grape juice , , , , which is another form of fruit juice.
When playing with flavors/ ratios I test the mix in a pie since I don’t want to wait a year to discover I didn’t like the blend. I conceptually add ingredients that supply acid and fruity aroma an last year started using tannic (bitter) in mixes. ex I really like what 5% grapefruit can add to an apple pie.
 

beano

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I haven't made a straight juice wine, but I just about always use fresh or frozen juices for the base of my fruit wines. I'll have to try that out. Like you say, the combinations are many.
 

Scooter68

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Exactly what do you mean by Fruit Juice - "Juicy Juice", Frozen Fruit Concentrates, Bottled 100% Fruit Juices, Bottled Concentrate juice?

Personally, just my thing, I would avoid any juice that is just identified as "100% Real Juice" because 9 times out of 10 those are a mix of 'real' juices but primarily Apple, White Grape, and Pear juice with the "Named" juice as the least predominant juice in the container. You can still get a good wine but it will in fact be a blended wine.

A good example would be the different approaches two wine base suppliers take:

Vintner's Harvest = 100% the Juice name on the label - If it says it' a Blueberry wine base then it is 100% blueberry juice
Here's the Ingredient list from their Blackberry wine base: Blackberries and Water (Makes 3 or 5 gallons but I always make 3 gallon batches from one can.)
Current price on Amazon - Price: $33.94 + FREE Shipping


Vintner's Best = A blend of Apple, White Grape, possibly pear, Natural Flavors.
Here's the ingredient list from their Blackberry wine base: Fermentable Apple, Pear, Blackberry, and Grape Juice Concentrates, Water, Citric acid, Natural Flavors
Current price on Amazon - Price: $56.99 & FREE Shipping

Folks use either one and I've not heard complaints but if you look at the ingredients list that tells you what you are really paying for.
 
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deano003

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I currently have three batches going right now. Berry Blend 100% juice ( grape, cherry, apple), Mango Peach 100% juice (mango, peach), and grape and cherry 100% juice. They are Welches and Old Orchard. Really excited about the mango peach!!! I didn’t add anything but yeast and sugar. Saturday will be two weeks and the Bible’s are slowing to about every 15 seconds.
 

Scooter68

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Old Orchard Peach Mango ?

(From their site - Ingredients: 100% fruit juice from apple juice, pear juice, peach juice (filtered water, fruit juice concentrates), citric acid, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), mango puree, natural flavors.)
Remember ingredients are listed from highest content to lowest content
 

Scooter68

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It should be fine, BUT; it may lose a lot of the 'advertised' flavor. Peach is not a super strong flavor nor is mango but you should still have some of that. Do plan on back-sweetening a little before bottling. Cherry is a stronger flavor so it should come through fine. The berry mix - that comes down to personal likes and dislikes. Different folks like different flavors.
You might try looking into doing 1 gallon batches with the pure juices - Pure Cherry, Blackberry etc then you can blend them once they are fermented and aged well. Then you can develop your own special blend. (I would suggest a tart cherry wine - some folks say that pure sweet cherry wine ends up tasting like cough syrup.)

Again it all comes down to personal likes and you are at least off to a start in wine making. My personal choice is to do pure 100% ONE type of fruit to determine that fruits qualities as a wine. Keep in mind that different fruits have different strengths of flavor - Blackberry and Black Raspberry are stronger quality flavors than Peach, Strawberry, or Apple so you can make very solid flavor wine with say 5-6 pounds of those two berries where with peach, apple, strawberry you are going to want to use 6-8 pounds of fruit (No water or very little water added)

You might also try a pineapple - mango blend using real fruit - (Sam's club has LARGE cans of pineapple tidbits which are bits of pineapple and pineapple juice - period that's all.) I've got my second batch going of that using frozen and fresh mango and pineapple. It's NOT wine cooler but a real wine.

Welcome to the wine making hobby. Just keep in mind that for best flavors you need to plan on at least 9-12 months aging time after fermentation finishes. (That's why RiceGuy talks about making pies to know the outcome before waiting a year.0
 
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cmason1957

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I'll offer a short (yeah right, like I can be short-winded) anecdote. One of the wines I made during my first year was peach wine, actually made two different kinds and I don't remember exactly what was different. We waited a bit, backsweetened some, waited and then after about 3 months tasted. Both kinds were kind of non-descript blah, certainly nothing to be proud of, so, since they were sweet wines, off the wifes family, except about 6 bottles of each batch. Every so often we would try one, still not great. Then forgot about them and at about the two, maybe even three year mark we saw one, what the heck, wonder what it tastes like now. Oh my goodness gracious the peach smell was amazing and the taste was even better. Shame we didn't have more left.
 

deano003

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Thank you so much for the input scooter68 & cmason 1957!! On the next couple I think will try blue or black berry. Helpful tips for this rookie! Realizing that I should of started this a year ago so I could be enjoying the wine now!
 

deano003

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Just ordered the blueberry and blackberry from Vinters Harvest!! I really wish you can order patients on Amazon!
 

Scooter68

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Good luck on those next batches. With Vintner's Harvest (VH) - remember to stick with the 3 gallon recipe on the can. 5 gallons will be too thin.
(I keep hoping that we'll have a good year for wild blackberries so I can do a big batch but I might have to breakdown and go with a can of the VH juice.)

So Far I've done the following from Vintner's Harvest
Plum (Still aging will bottle this summer)
Black Currant (Twice - EXCELLENT)
Red Raspberry (meh - not a RED Raspberry fan)
Apricot (1 gallon from their Puree smaller can -another - meh again because personal likes/dislikes)

I also by Tart Cherry Concentrate from Amazon (Health Food suppliers) along with Black Cherry and the two together make a potent Tart Cherry wine. Each 16 oz bottle is supposed to make 1 gallon of juice so I use 4 bottles for 3 gallons of wine.

So you can make Excellent wines from juices but you need to select good sources. Keep us posted on your next batches.
 

Mountainjack

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You might also try a pineapple - mango blend using real fruit - (Sam's club has LARGE cans of pineapple tidbits which are bits of pineapple and pineapple juice - period that's all.) I've got my second batch going of that using frozen and fresh mango and pineapple. It's NOT wine cooler but a real wine.
Question. Why do you say it's not wine cooler but real wine?
 

Scooter68

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Wine coolers have 'flavor' but are really watered down - having typically a much lower alcohol content and often colored to attract consumers. Here's one description of them:
Definition
Wine coolers are an alcoholic beverage with a low percentage of alcohol often mixed with carbonated beverages, various flavoring and sugars. Sangria, which is a mix of fruit, juice and alcohol, is a popular form of homemade wine cooler. However, sangria is also mass produced and can be found in retail and specialty stores.

History
Wine coolers started as a homemade beverage often served at parties or social gatherings. They were made by mixing fruit juices and sugar with small amounts of wine. However, ever since the United States government raised wine taxes in 1991, a lot of mass producers of wine coolers started substituting other alcohols, such as malts, as an ingredient in place of wine.

Actual Percentages in Wine Coolers
The actual amount of alcohol in wine coolers varies depending on whether it is homemade or mass produced and sold in grocery store. However, the alcohol content is normally less than 10 percent. For example, a lot of the wine coolers that can be bought in grocery stores usually between 4 percent and 6 percent alcohol content.
 

deano003

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So if the juice is 100% of that juice, let’s say. What would the difference be in that and the Vinters Harvest?
 

Scooter68

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Vintner's Harvest is a concentrated juice and some varietie do have some fruit pulp. The only one I have had so far that did have pulp was the Red Raspberry.

If you buy a bottle of Apple juice at the store and it is labled as 100% Apple juice it will not be concentrated unless it states that - it normally a ready to drink beverage. The wine fruit bases are concentrated juice to which you add enough water for a 3 or 5 gallon batch. (As I said most folks stick to 3 gallon batches.) Also even if the wine base you buy has no pulp in it, it won't hurt to increase your starting volume to about 3 1/3 gallons to allow for the sediment that will fall out. (Assuming you are using a Vintner's Harvest 96 oz can.)
 

deano003

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When dealing with juice, do I have to send it to a secondary or leave it in the primary. Two weeks tomorrow.
 

deano003

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30 seconds between bubbles in lock. Sorry for the newbie questions.
 

Scooter68

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Yes - you can add more or less water than they suggest but of course each action has consequence.

As to moving to secondary - I move base on the SG only. I would not move it until the SG is at or below 1.010 AND then only if it isn't foaming a lot still. So once foaming has died out and the SG is at or below 1.010 is when I rack BUT don't fill up the carboy completely right away. Rack until you have 2-4 inches airspace and then watch it for a few minutes. If it's going to foam up a lot, it normally happens in the first 5-10 mins after racking unless the temp also go up (Room change). If it appears settled then finish the racking.
 
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