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Grape Juice Concentrate Wine

Every now and again someone will ask if they can make wine out of grape juice concentrate they can buy at the supermarket. And my answer is always, yes you can BUT… don't expect it to taste anything like wine you purchase at the liquor store. If you're looking for a simple wine, with just a little kick, making grape juice concentrate wine is simple to do. 

The first thing to do is think in ratios. Always figure 1 can of concentrate to every gallon of water. And if you want a stronger wine, i.e., more kick, add 1 pound of sugar to the mix. The only other ingredient you will need is wine yeast.

The equipment you need can be simple too. You need a container that you can fit with an airlock. Carboys are the perfect choice, fitted with an airlock and rubber stopper and you're good to go. Airlocks, stoppers and wine yeast are available at your local brew shop or you can find outlets online.

The process is simple. Clean your container with hot water and add about a half cap of bleach to the rinse water. Make sure to have the bleach water touch all of the inside surfaces of the container. Rinse the container again to remove any bleach flavor. 

Fill the container 3/4 full of cool, clean water. Add in the grape juice concentrate.

Proof your yeast by mixing 1/8 cup of sugar and the yeast packet in a small bowl (we use custard bowls). Add in about a 1/4 cup of hot water. Let the mixture sit until bubbly and then pour into the grape juice mixture.

Add the airlock to the top of the container and let the whole thing sit in an area where the temperature remains constant. A back room or a closet is fine for this.

After 4 weeks, check to see if the wine has finished fermenting. Tap the side of the container to see if any bubbles form in the airlock. If the wine is still bubbling, let it sit another week, if not, it is ready to drink.

Siphon the wine using 1/4 food grade tubing into clean bottles or jars. Keep the siphon off the bottom of the container to keep from getting the 'must' in your wine, which will make it cloudy.

*A word to the wise:  This wine is meant to be drank almost immediately. If you let it sit too long, because fermentation never really stops, it will turn to vinegar. The vinegar may be good for some recipes, but it will not be good to drink.

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