Taste of a new wine?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

WhoZac

Junior
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
5
Hello all,
Im new to the site and to making wine. I bought my wife a wine kit for her birthday and before I started it, I wanted to do a couple small store bought juice wines just to get used to the process. My question is this. What should a newly fermented wine taste like? I have a couple that are done. I know store bought juice isnt the best for wine, but from what I was seeing online, people were enjoying theirs after just a couple weeks. These are not gross, but slightly bitter and just off-tasting. One I ran dry and the other ended a little too sweet but both had the same off tastes. I did de-gas them and I am using sanitized equipment. I was very careful not to oxygenate later into fermentation as well. Hope this helps. Thanks for any advice for a newbie you may have.
 

Ohio Bob

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
316
Reaction score
436
Location
Cleveland, Ohio area
By store bought juice, you mean cans of concentrated juice that you add water and sugar to get wine? Was this fruit or grapes? How old is the wine at the time of tasting? Sometimes wine needs way more time you think until you get a feel for what it takes for a wine to age.
 

WhoZac

Junior
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
5
By store bought juice, you mean cans of concentrated juice that you add water and sugar to get wine? Was this fruit or grapes? How old is the wine at the time of tasting? Sometimes wine needs way more time you think until you get a feel for what it takes for a wine to age.
This was a half gallon cranberry pomegranate juice. I added sugar to get a higher gravity to finish on the sweeter side. The other was a regular half gallon grape juice that I added sugar to as well.
 

Ohio Bob

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
316
Reaction score
436
Location
Cleveland, Ohio area
Wow, these are micro batches but salute to you for taking up the challenge. Check out the beginners forum for threads that interest you.

Just a guess without more info but the yeast selection might play a part, yeast packets are typically good for 5 gallon batches so a full packet might be more than you need, not necessarily a bad thing unless the yeast type isn’t suited to the juice.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
13,729
Reaction score
15,568
Location
near Milwaukee
Welcome to WMT!

To be honest, I think you would be better off making the kit first, and then use that experience to try making wine from other juices! The kit instructions will tell you exactly how to proceed, and this is useful for branching out to other juices.

First things first, though: it is vital to know what the specfic gravity (SG) of the juice was, both before fermenting, and after it stops.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,574
Reaction score
14,196
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
With a very few exceptions (Skeeter Pee, Dragons Blood), newly fermented wine tastes yeasty and rough. If you expect it to taste like a bottle you purchased, you will be disappointed. Folks who rave about drinking newly fermented wine have a different taste expectation. Wine making takes patience.

Commercial juice is made for drinking, and is not the best raw material for wine. Not that an appealing drink can't be made from it, but the expectation is different. Also, non grape wines normally need backsweetening.

You would have been better of making the kit first, but trying other things first is a good teaching tool. Read the first couple pages of the beginners forum to get a bit of background, then post specific questions.
 

WhoZac

Junior
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
5
With a very few exceptions (Skeeter Pee, Dragons Blood), newly fermented wine tastes yeasty and rough. If you expect it to taste like a bottle you purchased, you will be disappointed. Folks who rave about drinking newly fermented wine have a different taste expectation. Wine making takes patience.

Commercial juice is made for drinking, and is not the best raw material for wine. Not that an appealing drink can't be made from it, but the expectation is different. Also, non grape wines normally need backsweetening.

You would have been better of making the kit first, but trying other things first is a good teaching tool. Read the first couple pages of the beginners forum to get a bit of background, then post specific questions.
Yeasty and rough is a perfect description actually. The kit is already in secondary and will be bottled next weekend. I didnt want to screw up a 100 dollar kit when I could practice on a couple 4 dollar bottles of juice. :) I did take gravity readings before during and ending. I intentionally added more sugar to the cranberry one so it would be sweeter. I have an apple/strawberry running now that I will run dry and backsweeten. looking forward to that one. Thanks for the info! You answered my question.
 

G259

Senior Member
Joined
May 19, 2018
Messages
660
Reaction score
540
Location
W. MA
I started out the same way, 1 gallon kits of 100% juice from the store. Then I got a couple 3 gallon carboys, then 5 gallon ones. I'm doing kits now, and will recommend Finer Wine kits from Lablepeelers.com. There is a thread on this site called Finer Wines. I still do 'Prison Wine', I have a 1 gallon apple /w 5 spice, 3 gals. Concord grape/apple and mixed fruit juices. I still have a couple 3lb. bags of mixed berries in my freezer, but I think I'll need more. Wine making is a lot of waiting, for good reason! Yes, sugar additions will help, but tread lightly. They say to back-sweeten until you think it needs just a bit more, then stop.
 
Last edited:

Bossbaby

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
295
Reaction score
414
Location
southern wisconsin
If this is something you want to keep persuing I would get another kit going. In the beginning of wine making it's difficult to not drink what you make, this way by the one year mark it's possible you will see how aging really transforms a wine. Frozen fruit from the grocery store or where ever you can get it is another great way to make wine. Check out skeeter pee and dragons blood both early drinkers and confidence builders..
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
414
Reaction score
606
@Bossbaby nailed it! I have brought three friends into the hobby over the last year and I tell them the same thing. One guy after bottling his first FWK Pinot said “I want to wait until I see if I like it before I buy another kit though”, I said to him that he should wait 12 months before trying it then to give the wine a fair shake. Then I went on to tell him that by the time he waits, and then discovers he likes it, he will be out of wine and back to waiting a year! Point being, BUILD YOUR BENCH!
 
Top