Need Advice on Black Currant Wine

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Jul 3, 2023
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I bought 10lb of Black currant concentrate that I want to make wine with. I know acidity is high so I diluted a 1oz sample of concentrate to 20oz with well water and enough sugar to bring the SG up to 1.104. I then took it to work for testing. pH was 3.00 and TA came in at 1.1% (11g/L). This was my first time measuring TA but I'm pretty sure I did it right. I used the pH meter and titrated to 8.0.
The taste of the must is good. Does not taste too acidic but there is a lot of sugar there. Color is very dark red but you can see through it if put by a window or light bulb. My plan is to use Lalvin 71B to ferment. I read a study that showed many black currant varietals having 3-5% malic acid on average.
Do you think that these numbers are okay to proceed? Any ideas or previous experience with black currant fermenting or blending would be appreciated as well. Would you suggest any additional ingredients like spices or maybe honey to try? I've never made anything with black currant before.
This is the concentrate that I bought.
Just in case anyone was interested in this. I went ahead and mixed up a 4.5 gallon batch of this in the same 19:1 ratio and same SG as my test sample. My original plan was to add nutrients gradually so I added 2tsp of DAP, 2tsp of Fermax and aerated well. Pitched one packet of 71B yeast directly into carboy and after 24hr. there was no activity and there was a sulfur smell coming from the carboy. I then added 2tsp of DAP, 2tsp of Fermax and aerated well. Made a starter with a packet of 71B and pitched that. About 8-10 hours later I could see some slight fermenting activity and it smelled yeasty. This morning/afternoon there is good fermenting activity and the sulfur smell is gone. I think I’m in the clear for now. Will see how dry it gets. I may have to give it some more nutrients but will decide on that by how it’s looking going forward.

I also bought 24lb of strawberries this morning. Thinking of making a 3 gallon batch for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve never made strawberry wine and want to. Secondly, I thought It might make a good mix to go with the black currant in case the currant comes out too acidic. I’ll have to see what the strawberry juice will be in terms of TA and pH but from doing some reading it should be on the basic side of things.
pH of 3 is tolerated by yeast. I do a number of wines over 1% TA and compensate on the finished wine with sugar. If you are lucky 71B will lower the TA. I like chocolate in black currant. My feeling is that chocolate polyphenol notes compliment the polyphenols in currant. Cocoa powder is dirty to ferment, Extract is easier.

H2S is nasty, hope you’re over it. Smell frequently! ,, I use two step yeast nutrient.

Strawberry pigment drops out. My current strawberry got 125 grams of aronia for a permanent red color.
Cocoa powder is dirty to ferment, Extract is easier.
@Rice_Guy what cocoa or chocolate extract do you use?

In my experience, the extracts I tried had an artificial (chemical) aftertaste even when diluted twice as much as the label recommended. The only success I've had so far was with cocoa nibs added to wine while aging in barrels...

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