Don’t Try To Out-Smart Your Wine Recipe?

Wine RecipeHello E.C. Kraus,

I recently purchased your County Fair concord juice. I am planning to use 4 cans to make 5 gallons. I noticed the can shows 5 tsps of acid blend for 4 cans, but your wine recipe page online shows to use 1 tbsp [3 tsps] with 40# of fresh concord grapes and none in 80# version of the recipe.

Why is there a difference? I don’t want the wine to have a “bite” it can have with too much acid.  What do you suggest?

Thanks Kelly
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Dear Kelly,

I can certainly understand your concerns. One of the last things you want to do when first learning how to make your own wine is to make a simple mistake that ends up ruining the wine.

Fortunately, for us home winemakers, the County Fair products have all had their acidity level standardized. This means that if you add the amount of Acid Blend called for in the homemade wine instructions on the side of the can, your wine will have the right amount of acidity to bring your wine into perfect balance.

You may have also noticed that you have a choice of using anywhere from 1 to 4 cans of concord to make five gallons, depending on how much body you want the wine to have. As the number of cans you decide to use goes up, the amount of Acid Blend you will need goes down.

This is counter-intuitive to some beginning winemakers. Many believe that the more fruit involved, the more Acid Blend you need to add. The real truth of the matter is that most of the acid that is in a wine recipe comes from the fruit itself, or in this case, the cans of fruit. So if you are using more cans, you need less Acid Blend to augment the acidity level.

This is also why the two Concord wine recipes on our Wine Recipe Page call for different amounts of Acid Blend. One is using 40 pounds of Concord and needs some Acid Blend, whereas the other calls for 80 pounds and needs no Acid Blend. This leads to another one of my favorite wine making tips:

“Don’t think you’re smarter than the wine recipe. Follow it.”

Best Wishes,
Customer Service at E.C. Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Try To Out-Smart Your Wine Recipe?

  1. when making a second wine, do you leave the pulp in the nylon bag or dump it in the fermentor?
    the bag floats and gets in the way of adding other intredients.

  2. Richard, it is not necessary to use the Fermentation Bag. It is for your convenience only. You can let the pulp float free then strain it out with the Fermentation Bag later.

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