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Home Wine making with Alexanders Sun Country Grape Juice Concentrate

Varietal grape juice concentrate from California Concentrate Company includes Sauvignon Blanc, Emerald Riesling and Johannisberg Riesling. Also available are Vino Rosso, Vino Blanc, Grenache Rose and Chenin Blanc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, burgundy, zinfandel, petite syrah, muscat, barbera, gewurztraminer, pinot chardonnay, liebfraumilch, chablis and french colombard.

For 35 years the Alexander family has been producing California grape juice under the Alexanders Sun Country brand. This juice comes from grapes grown in the San Joaquin Valley, the number one grape growing region in the world. Many of the grapes processed at the California Concentrate facility in Acampo, California, are grown on the family owned vineyards. Harvested at the peek of perfection, these varieties are carefully blended and packaged to ensure each glass of wine produced lives up to the standard that was established many years ago. The goal is to gather the fruit of the vine that the earth so generously gives us, mix it with the latest technology, and deliver to you, the wine maker, a premium quality juice that produces award winning results. Home Wine brand has won awards all over the world for character, flavor, and quality.

Premium varietal grape concentrates produced with grapes harvested from the number one grape growing region in the world is the reason to produce the finest grape concentrates. Nature, technology, and mans hard work combine to produce grape concentrate that some of the elite winemakers choose year after year. In all, 26 different types of grapes are crushed, filtered, chilled, and evaporated during the grape season so that you, the winemaker, can choose the variety and type that suits your desired needs. Concentrates are produced at 68 Brix. Availability is subject to harvest conditions. Varietal grape juice concentrates include Chenin Blanc, Emerald Riesling, French Colombard, Gewurztaminer, Grey Reisling, Johannisberg Reisling, Liebfraumilch, Muscat, Pinot Chardonnay, Premium Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc, Vino Blanc, Grenache Rose, Rose, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay Beaujolais, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Premium Burgundy, Ruby Cabernet, Vino Rosso (Red), Zinfandel and Zinfandel Blush.

There are those who criticize wines made from concentrates as being derived from synthetic products. However, statistics show that more and more contest medal winning wines are produced from concentrates. That percentage is likely to grow as talented winemakers use high quality concentrates in their winemaking. The higher quality concentrates, especially 100% pure product, will produce excellent wine (in the right hands.) Once you have purchased your concentrate, heed the advice on the label. Follow all the tests and basic procedures of good wine making just as if you were using fresh grapes or grape juice. Use oak if the wine requires oak and raise the tannin in the reds. Alexanders Sun Country has a long established history of fine concentrates. The labels of Alexanders Sun Country have a panel with handy tips and recommendations for the home winemaker. There is also a recipe located on every can label for the user convenience.

Most important in your winemaking adventure will be your talent as a winemaker. Years of experience, trial, and error enter into this process. Your nose, your taste buds, and your instincts will elevate your efforts to the levels which produce superior wines. These are the earmarks of a good winemaker. The true winemaker coaxes his wines to high levels, seeking balance, complexity, nose and finish. Over the years, California Concentrate Company have received numerous testimonial letters from satisfied customers who have won competitions with their winemaking efforts. Not only are they surprised but gratified with the success of their endeavors. You, too, can join the ranks of delighted users of Alexander Sun Country concentrates. Happy winemaking! NOTE: For a 5 gallon medium body wine use: 2 - 46 oz. can of juice concentrate.

 

Wine making with Alexanders Grape Concentrate.

 

When using Alexanders grape concentrate in Home Wine making, several messy steps that go into this process have been done for you, such as crushing, pressing, filtering and transferring the juice from one step to the next.

Alexanders grape concentrates merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, burgundy, zinfandel, petite syrah, muscat, barbera, gewürztraminer, pinot chardonnay, liebfraumilch, chablis, french colombard are packaged at 67° - 69° brix, which allows you about a 3 to 1 ratio with water. This will yield a grape juice between 21—22% sugar. If you were following our 2 can recipe, the additional water used to make 5 gallons of wine would have to be compensated for by using sugar and acid blends. You don’t have to worry about the wine becoming bland because the character and body of the concentrate will come through after fermentation.

With white wine concentrates, the addition of water and acid give you a very light colored wine with smooth character. In the red wine concentrates, if deep red tones are what you like, add an additional can of Premium Burgundy to the two can recipe, thus eliminating half of the sugar. By using a standard hydrometer, the juice, prior to fermentation, should be between 20-22% sugar or 1.0800—1.0900 specific gravity. This will yield a wine between 11.0—12.0% alcohol by volume.

The percent of alcohol in wine serves many purposes other than its effect. If the alcohol is too low, the wine may spoil and if it is too high, you could have unfermented residual sugars that are unwanted. The amount of beginning sugar is directly related to the percent of alcohol at the finish. A good balance in wine making allows acid, flavor (fruit), and alcohol to come together and form an excellent product you can enjoy.

Some general terms you should become familiar with before you start making wine.

Dilution of Concentrate—If the recipe makes a 5 gallon batch, do not start with a full 5 gallons of water. Use 3 gallons of water and add all other ingredients, then add the additional water as needed. Always check with hydrometer to determine the specific gravity. This will identify a problem.

Primary Fermentation—The first 10-15 days of fermentation, when it is most vigorous, should be done in a cool, dry place out of light and unexposed to the open air. There is a lot of gassing going on at this point, so the use of a airlock is necessary. Make sure that whatever you use does not become plugged or the pressure build up could become dangerous. Never fill the fermenter very close to the top or spillage may occur.

Racking or Siphoning—The transferring of product from one vessel to another is usually done to remove unwanted bi-product from the bottom, which can give wine an off taste.

Secondary Fermentation—After the initial fermentation phase is completed (about 15 days), you will need to siphon wine to a secondary fermenter. This will remove wine from yeast bi-product and allow wine to finish fermentation slowly in a clean, air-free environment.

Fining or Clarifying—When wine is finished fermenting a clarifying agent is added to give wine a sparkle clear look.

Aging—Usually wines made from concentrate do not need a long period of aging since the acids are adjusted for a drinkable wine in a short period of time. The use of Oak Chips is an excellent way to add age to your red wines.

Bottling—When the wine has finished fermenting and has clarified completely (45 –60 days), it is ready to bottle (Do not bottle prematurely).


TWO CAN RECIPE, 5 gallon batch: White Wines - 10% Alcohol
Ingredients: 2 x 46 oz. cans, 11 1/2 cans Cold water (approx. 50°F), 5 cups White granular sugar, 3 teaspoons Yeast Nutrient, 3/4 oz. or 4 teaspoons Bentonite, 1 package of Wine Yeast, 10+ or -2 teaspoons Tartaric Acid/Acid Blend.

TWO CAN RECIPE, 5 gallon batch: Red Wines - 11% Alcohol
Ingredients: 2 x 46 oz. cans, 11 1/2 cans Cold water (approx. 50°F), 8 cups White granular sugar, 3 teaspoons Yeast Nutrient, 3/4 oz. or 4 teaspoons Bentonite, 1 package of Wine Yeast, 6+ or -2 teaspoons Tartaric Acid/Acid Blend.

According to the can label recipes, 10 +or- 2 teaspoons of Tartaric Acid/Acid Blend means use 8 to 12 teaspoons of Tartaric Acid or Acid Blend for white wine. For red wine, use 6 +or- 2 teaspoons of Tartaric Acid/Acid Blend, it means use 4 to 8 teaspoons of Tartaric Acid or Acid Blend.

ALEXANDERS METHOD OF WINEMAKING:

Step 1—Add all ingredients (except yeast) to a clean 5 gallon fermenting container. Mix well, making sure all granular ingredients are dissolved (especially at the bottom).

Step 2—Dissolve wine yeast into approximately 1 cup of the above mixture, then add to 5 gallon container. Mix container well.

Step 3—Mix container once a day to keep yeast from settling.

Step 4—After 3-4 days, and if there are no bubbles or gas (evidence of fermentation), warm container to approximate 75°F until surface bubbles are present. Continue mixing container once a day. Remove from warm place after fermentation starts.

Step 5—Fermentation is complete when gassing has subsided and sediment has formed at the bottom of the container. After 20-30 days, as a rule of fermentation at 80°F shorter (desirable for red wine) than at 60°F desirable for white wine. Specific gravity 1.000 or less.

Step 6—Allow wine to settle out for 1—2 weeks after fermentation is complete. No further mixing.

Step 7—Rack—siphon clear wine (be careful not to disturb heavy sediment at the bottom) into another clean 5 gallon container. Discard the heavy sediment.

Step 8—Add campden tablet , one tablet equals 50 parts per million of sulphur dioxide per gallon, or add approximately 1/2 teaspoon metabisulfite per 5 gallons.

FINING OPTIONS:

A. Wine will naturally settle out on its own in 3 months (most of the time). If not, further fining is required.

B. Sparkolloid—heat 1/8—1/4 ounce in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes at about 180°F. Then add to wine and mix container.

C. Add 1 tsp. gelatin fining into 1/4 cup boiling water. Mix solution into 5 gallon wine and gently stir.

Below are recipes for our Winemaking Equipment Kits:

Refer to our recipe options #2 to #7 below to choose a varietal grape concentrate to make your first 2.5 or 3 gallon batch of wine with an approximately 12.5% alcohol, 22.5 Brix and Specific Gravity of 1.094. There are 6 recipe variations to choose from. For those who want a slightly less pronounced varietal grape flavor use the 3 or 6 gallon recipe below. We recommend wine recipes option 2 to 7:

RECIPE OPTION #1 (Medium body wine): Make a 2.5 gallon batch of wine by following recipe and instructions on the varietal grape concentrate can label.

RECIPE OPTION #2 (Full body wine): Make a 2.5 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 1 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 50 oz Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 2.5 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #3 (Full body wine): Make a 3 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 1 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 69 oz Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 3 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #4 (Full body wine): Make a 3 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 2 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 23oz of Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 3 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #5 (Full body wine): Make a 3 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 1 x 96 oz can (not available at this time) of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 19 oz of Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 3 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #6 (Premium Dessert Wine, approx. 17% alcohol, 30 Brix, SG 1.130) Make a 3 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 3 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 1 packet of Lalvin EC1118 (item 2202) wine yeast and filtered water to 3 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #7 (Full body wine): Make a 2.5 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 1 x 96 oz can (not available at this time) of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 2.5 gallons.


Refer to our recipe options to choose a varietal grape concentrate to make your first 5 or 6 gallon batch of wine. There are 6 recipe variations to choose from. We recommend recipe option 2 to 7:

RECIPE OPTION #2 (Full body wine): Make a 5 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 2 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 100 oz Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 5 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #3 (Full body wine): Make a 6 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 2 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 138 oz Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 6 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #4 (Full body wine): Make a 6 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 3 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 92 oz of Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 6 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #5 (Full body wine): Make a 6 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 4 x 46 oz can of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 46 oz of Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 3 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #6 (Full body wine): Make a 6 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 2 x 96 oz can (may not be available at this time) of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 38.4 oz of Frozen 100% White Grape Juice Concentrate, 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 6 gallons.

RECIPE OPTION #7 (Full body wine): Make a 5 gallon batch of wine with INGREDIENTS: 2 x 96 oz can (may not be available at this time) of any California varietal grape concentrate (shake well before opening can), 1 packet wine yeast and filtered water to 5 gallons.


Barkingside Co., a complete homebrewing and winemaking supplies store.


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