I MUST not forget to say a word about the grape juice concentrates which are now on the market and which are a real boon to the winemaker who is anxious to see results quickly, yet at a reasonable price. Grape juice concentrate, of course, will make "true wine," and at a price far below that of wine bought in a shop, and by using it one can avoid all the "cookery" aspect of making wine at home.
Consequently many people are by-passing the flavour extraction part of the hobby nowadays and making wine from these concentrated grape juices—red or white—which have merely to be diluted as required, and fermented; excellent wine can be produced in this way at a most reasonable price. It has the advantage, too, that it is ready for drinking much more speedily than the average country wine, so that by using this system one can acquire cheaply the nucleus of a cellar whilst waiting for one's country wines to mature.
One of the best concentrates on the market has a specific gravity of 1.325 (see: Using Your Hydrometer). Recipes for its use involve adding 2, 2 H, 2 2 % or 3 parts of water to one part of concentrate, plus the juice of one lemon per gallon to supply the requisite acid, and fermenting. For even greater dilutions one adds some compensatory sugar, the biggest dilution recommended being 1 gallon of grape juice to 4 gallons of water and 8 lbs. of sugar (plus 1 oz. Tartaric Acid). Yeast culture is supplied with the concentrate.
This works out more expensive than most country wines, but with an average dilution the wine will still cost only 2/- a pint.
Southern Vinyards Ltd., of Hove, have evolved and simplified a complete system of this sort which is set out in the handbook they issue with their grape juice, and it is certainly "winemaking made easy." By using it one can have wine finished and drinkable in only a few weeks, and it is at first hard to believe that such delicious wine can be produced with such simplicity and speed.
The cardinal factor in their system is the use of thorough filtering and racking (see pp. 29-33) which clears the wine of dead yeast and oxygenates it so that it matures more rapidly. The use of a high-grade filter-bag, or jelly-bag, is recommended.
A winemaking club, buying the concentrate in bulk, can obtain it for 40/- per gallon, and members can then make wine for as little as 1/3d. to 1/4d. per pint. The firm has in addition to the ordinary red and white special concentrates for Italian and French Vermouth and port-type wines.
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