I am getting ready to make 10 gallons of wine from 2 cans of Sun Cal Johannisberg Riesling concentrate. My question is would an additional can of Sun Cal Riesling really improve the fullness of the wine or would not really be worth the investment of shipping another can of concentrate? I have made a batch of this wine several years ago and it turn out pretty good. Hope you can help…
Name: Vincent O.
Thanks you for this interesting question.
[To catch up other readers, Sun Cal concentrated grape juices come in 46 fl. oz. cans. Each can makes 5 gallons of wine when you follow the directions. Along with the can, sugar, acid blend, tannin, yeast nutrient and yeast are added to make up the wine recipe. Vincent, wants to push the envelop a little by adding more grape concentrate to his wine. He’s making a double batch, 2 cans to 10 gallons. He’s thinking about adding a third can.]
Without question, adding a third can would bring up the body and flavor of the wine, but the perceived impression of the resulting wine would not be one with 50% more flavor and body. Adding more grape concentrate to the wine would only intensify the wine’s flavor only marginally.
This is because of the way us humans tend to perceive things. All of our senses do not react on an even scale. For example, two jet engines side-by-side are not twice as loud as one. If you double the wattage of a light bulb, it does not seem twice as bright. If you add 50% more concentrate to your wine recipe, it will not seem like 50% more flavor.
I’m not saying that adding more grape concentrate to the wine is not a good idea, I’m just letting you know what to expect if you do decide to add more. Whether you feel it would be worth it is completely up to you. You can expect more flavor and body, but it will not be 50% more.
We’ve had many customers over the years that have used 2, and even, 3 cans of Sun Cal concentrate to just 5 gallons and loved the resulting wine.
Another important aspect to this that needs to be addressed is that if you do decide to add more grape concentrate to your wine, you will need to compensate by adding less sugar and less acid blend to the wine recipe. This is because the additional can of grape concentrate is adding both more sugar and more fruit acid.
Regardless, of how much flavor you are trying to get, the sugar level and acid level should always remain the same. The beginning sugar level determines how much alcohol the resulting wine will have. The acid level of the wine controls how tart or sharp the wine will be.
Keeping both of these at their proper level is relatively easy. You will need to use a hydrometer to add the proper amount of sugar. Keep dissolving sugar into wine must until the hydrometer gives you a reading on the potential alcohol scale of 10% or 11%.
An acid test kit will be needed to know how much acid blend to add to the wine recipe for proper taste. An acid test kit is a valuable tool for controlling any wine’s acidity. After taking a reading the directions will show you how to determine how much acid blend to add.
Adding more grape concentrate to wine is something that is pretty simple to do. Plus, it’s away fun to experiment. That’s half the fun of making your own wine. You have the opportunity to make your own personal creations.
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.