Other Sun Cal Concentrates

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CoachPieps

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Anybody Tried one of these Sun Cal Concentrates?
http://www.eckraus.com/SunCal_46_fl._oz._Cans.html
My specific question is the instructions say: "After 5 to 10 days of fermentation you will notice the activity slowing down. It is at this point you need to drain the wine off the sediment that has collected during fermentation". My expereince is been in fruit wine making where we shoot for an SG of 1.040 to 1.020 then rack to secondary. Anyone have a SG I should wait for instead of Days?
 

Tom

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Yes I would rack fruit wines @ 1.020. Reason is to get it off the fruit pulp. I feel 1.040 is still to high to rack.
Remember instructions are kinda like a recipe. Fermentation is different each time and temp has the biggest difference. Use your hydrometer. If you don't have one get one.
 

Wade E

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I find those concentrates to be very week and IMO the only thing those cans are good for is mixing in with a fruit must to make a mist style wine blend.
 

deboard

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I have made and bottled the beaujolais SunCal concentrate and have also used the SunCal riesling in a fruit blend. In my opinion, Wade has it exactly right, these are good bases for interesting fruit blends, but not really that good on their own.

I followed the directions exactly on the beaujolais, so I used one can to make 5 gallons. It ended up very weak, and I added some glycerin to give it some body. That helped quite a bit, but it's still nothing to write home about. Drinkable, but average at best.

For the Strawberry Riesling, I cut the recipe to about 3.5 gallons instead of 5, and added 10 pounds of strawberries (frozen dole strawberries from Sam's Club, thawed out of course). The result is much better, and I'm pretty excited about it after tasting it at the last racking. It looks beautiful after it cleared, and it tastes pretty good too.

So, if you use SunCal, do not follow the directions, aim for a smaller batch and adjust things as necessary. Or use more than one can for a larger batch.
 

countrygirl

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deboard, i have suncal beaujolais and alexander vino blanc cans, also. i will take into consideration the above info when i go to do these. any other interesting makes/mixes?
(i also have the suncal lambrusco, my first kit, within 3 weeks of supposed bottling. it's just like above, "drinkable", but not great. it's also very co2/gassy when i took the lid off to "check things out". i am considering sweeting this one.)
 

deboard

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I have a blackberry pinot noir going made from Alexander's pinot concentrate, a Cherry mixed with Alexander's barbera concentrate, and I mixed a can of cabernet with a can of merlot and made a batch. So far all three taste pretty good. I'm close to bottling the first two. I have a few other cans, they are good for easy quick blends to experiment.
 

countrygirl

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I have a blackberry pinot noir going made from Alexander's pinot concentrate, a Cherry mixed with Alexander's barbera concentrate, and I mixed a can of cabernet with a can of merlot and made a batch. So far all three taste pretty good. I'm close to bottling the first two. I have a few other cans, they are good for easy quick blends to experiment.
i remember reading your cherry barbera info...what do you think of blackberry beaujolais?
 

deboard

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I think a blackberry beaujolais could be very good. Beaujolais is a very light red in the first place.
 

countrygirl

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bringing up more questions

thinking about starting the beaujolais (suncal) in hopes of possibly mixing with the blackberry (in secondary).
i only have one can, so it looks like i need to shoot for 3 gallon?

also, reading the vino blanc can, it calls for bentonite in the actual recipe part. that's the first time i've read the clarifier being put in in the beginning?
i know these instructions have been lacking, but thanks to this forum i know to ask questions and not follow blindly. that said...
i'd like to do an apple batch (spiced) coming up soon, and was wondering...what about using my single vino blanc can in that recipe?
help add a little body? my thanks for ur thoughts.
 

deboard

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I would shoot for a smaller batch, I always do 3 1/2 so I can have some top up later.

I haven't used the vino blanc you mention, but if it says to use bentonite, and you have it, I would go ahead and do it. I've heard people mentioning adding bentonite early in kits, so it's pretty common I think. If you don't have it, I wouldn't sweat it or buy it especially for this.

I've never made an apple, but I would guess the mix could be pretty good if you like apple, but it will definitely not be the same as straight apple wine. It's to the point now for me that when I think of a fruit wine I want to make, the second thing I do is figure out which grape concentrate to add!
 

countrygirl

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well, got the 3 1/2 gallon of beaujolais going steady. s.g. was 1.004 last night. it's still foaming pretty good. if lower than 1.000 tonight, i would like to rack. i should probably rack into my 3 gallon carboy first and NOT just mix right in with the blackberry from the get-go...any thoughts?
the last time i checked, the blackberry wasn't all that clear, but i'm using a primary as my secondary since it's 5 gallons, and haven't checked in quite a few days.
for those who have blended their fruit wines with a kit, i appreciate ur input. should they both be the same clearness?
should i do some bench testing/blending?
(if i just threw them together, it would be 4-5 gal. blackberry/3 gallon beaujolais; but probably 6 gallon altogether after racking?)
 

Racer

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I've done things both ways (with grapes). I think the best thing you can do is keep them seperate until good and clear then try to blend them using bench trials. That way you can hit the mark that tastes really good to you.
 

countrygirl

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I've done things both ways (with grapes). I think the best thing you can do is keep them seperate until good and clear then try to blend them using bench trials. That way you can hit the mark that tastes really good to you.
thanks racer!
i racked both tonight...the beaujolais was .992; racked from primary to secondary, new 3 gallon (plastic) made for wine. i'm not completely sold on it yet other than being light.
racked the blackberry to my new 5 gallon carboy and it is MUCH clearer that when i checked last, yaaah!
it had some odd odor, but i'm gonna put that in a different post...thanks again
 

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