My home grown grapes are coming along well this year, but I don't think I'll have quite enough for a whole batch of wine (4.5l) and I'm not equipped to brew a smaller quanitity. I do have a small bottle (150ml I think) of each of red and white grape concentrates - so how much juice would that replace? These are Wilko brand, in the UK.

I've made a bit of country wine in the past, though not recently, but have never made any from grapes. But I'd like to have a play.

  • Do you have a hydrometer?
    – chthon
    Oct 23 '21 at 8:11
  • @chthon, I think I have two (it's a while since I've used my brewing stuff and I've inherited some since then). The one I definitely have is on the large side and I might need to dilute the concentrate to have enough volume.
    – Chris H
    Oct 23 '21 at 11:27
  • how long is a piece of string?
    – rob
    Oct 27 '21 at 16:21

It will vary a lot. For instance one big difference between cheap, medium and expensive wine kits is how much liquid they give you i.e. how concentrated it is.

Is this is your product: https://www.wilko.com/wilko-red-grape-juice-concentrate-250ml/p/0483794 Reviews seem to claim it's for up to 20L of wine which seems a little implausible to me.

As mentioned in comments, a hydrometer is your friend. If you know what OG you are aiming for, you might be able to carefully add some of this to your must until you get the reading you want.

  • I wonder if it's sold as an additive for 20l because it's a fraction of the size of the containers of concentrate in a 4.5l kit. I may not end up trying it as I doubt I'll have enough grapes after all - they keep getting eaten by my daughter and her friends. That looks what I've got, though in updated packaging
    – Chris H
    Oct 27 '21 at 6:56
  • It might be all the grape 'essence' but without the sugar - as you say an additive. I'm just impressed you are getting edible grapes in the UK, maybe eating them is best!
    – Mr. Boy
    Oct 27 '21 at 8:37
  • 1
    They're an unknown variety, looking rather like Pinot Noir (apparently widely planted in the UK), growing on a sheltered porch that gets evening sun but not much earlier in the day, in southern England. They're a bit pippy for eating so last year I made a rather tasty grape jelly but as I've got more this year I'd like to make wine. One issue is that they're ripening rather slowly and gradually so I might have to pick and store. Maybe next year - I'm going to let it grow a bit onto a sunnier wall. A former colleague had access to a vine near me and got a decent crop most years
    – Chris H
    Oct 27 '21 at 8:50

I have enough information to make a rough estimate. It would have been better had I measured one more factor.

I've now pressed the grapes, added the concentrate and some sugar (I'm aiming for about 13-14% so will add more sugar in stages). I ended up with about 4.5kg of grapes including skin and pips - I'm making red so they're still in there. Pressed, the juice only had 1.05 SG. Adding 2 bottles of concentrate, (1 red, 1 white) bright the SG up to almost 1.08, and I've now added my yeast. The concentrate was syrupy in consistency.

This means the concentrate brought in a lot of sugar. I'll only do a rough calculation here, with lots of rounding It's off the top of the SG charts I've found for juice (fructose), would have been off the bottom of my hydrometer, and I didn't think to weigh a known volume. It would appear that 500ml of concentrate delivered about 400g of sugar. Guessing at about 1100 SG as typical for a sweetish grape juice and going back to the tables, each 250ml bottle muse be equivalent to about 1 litre of juice, i.e. 4x concentrated. There's a lot of rounding in there, and quite a few big assumptions, one of which is that it really is just juice with water removed, but that I think can be justified from the label.

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