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Author Topic: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)  (Read 2749 times)

Ouroboros

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The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« on: November 20, 2015, 07:23:12 AM »
Think applejack - except that it's not applejack because it's not made with apple juice. It's made with grape juice from Costco. I don't know what kind of grapes are in it, but the label has a picture of concord grapes.


Start with two 96 fl oz bottles. Remove 16 fl oz from each bottle to make room for sugar and headspace. Add 2.5 cups of white granulated sugar (sucrose) to each bottle of juice. Sprinkle half a packet of Red Star champagne yeast onto the top of the juice in each bottle. Top off with airlocks and let set for 4-5 weeks. They'll ferment into wine the first two, but the flavor changes a lot in the following weeks.



After 4-5 weeks have passed, remove the airlocks, but leave the stoppers in place, and put the wine into the freezer at the freezer's lowest setting until frozen solid. Remove when frozen, remove the stoppers, turn upside down to drain into a tub or other appropriately sized container. Once the purple stuff has drained out and left what looks like snow in the juice bottles, you've got the good stuff. Discard the snowy looking ice left in the bottles.

What's the alcohol content?

It's tough to say exactly how much volume of juice+sugar is in each container, but remember that the juice portion is 80 fl oz and 2.5 cups of sugar have been added. I think it's reasonable to assume that there's ~90 fl oz of volume when mixed - or 8/3rds liter.

The 80 fl oz of juice contains 390 grams of sugar. The added sugar is 2.5 cups, or 120 teaspoons, each of which is 4 grams of sugar. Thus:

Total sugar: 390g + 480g = 870g

Now, (870 g)/(8/3 Liter) =326.25 g/L

This converts to about 18-21% alcohol. The champagne yeast has "a very high alcohol tolerance." How high is "high"? How high is "very high"? Let's assume it'll convert to 21% wine just for fun. This means that the total volume of alcohol is:

Total alcohol volume: (0.21)*(8/3 Liter) = 0.56 Liters

From each bottle I get about 1 liter of...stuff..."grape jack"? I'd call it brandy if it'd been distilled, but...whatever. The other 5/3rds liter of water is left as ice in the bottle and discarded.

So now I have a liter of..."grape jack"?...which consists of 0.56 liters of alcohol. That's 112 proof for those scoring at home.

But that's not a conservative estimate. Suppose the champagne yeast only ferments to 18% alcohol. I've seen that number tossed around on the Internet. Also, I think that's more likely, because there is a touch of sweetness left in the final product. So if we go with that, we're at 96 proof.

Is that 96 proof realistic? In my drinking experience, it very much is. This stuff hits me harder than 80 proof whiskey.

One more thing: when I make applejack, I concentrate it twice. Meaning: after draining the applejack out the first time, I put it back in the freezer and do it again. This has the effect of roughly doubling the alcohol content of the final product compared to concentrating it just once. You could certainly do that here if you think your alcohol content is too low.

Oh: I suggest that you put it in the fridge, get it cold, then start drinking it right away. In the future, you might want to leave it in the fridge for a month or so before drinking it, but the first time I made it I started drinking it right away and I learned from experience how much the character of the stuff changed over just a few weeks. It gets better and better. At first it's not really all that great. It's interesting, but not great. By the 4th week it's really, really good. It's also a bit dangerous because it goes down so easily as compared to distilled spirits. It doesn't burn the way they do, so it doesn't seem like you're consuming a lot of alcohol. I have what I think is a pretty good breathalyzer, though and knocks the numbers up pretty high pretty quickly.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2015, 05:40:29 AM by Ouroboros »

ClearBier

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 08:16:04 AM »
The numbers go up pretty high and so do you!

combat32

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 10:00:40 AM »
this sounds like a good experiment to try.
I will have to pick up some juice next time I'm at costco
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Hambrewer

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 10:17:18 AM »
I am trying this, thanks!


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cooperman666

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2015, 10:45:51 AM »
Sounds like you made grappa (brandy) might give it a go its hard to find grape juice here in the uk.

vic

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2015, 06:01:05 PM »
if I can get the juice, I will give this a try. cheers.
beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.....Henry Lawson.

Ouroboros

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2015, 04:08:30 AM »
Sounds like you made grappa (brandy) might give it a go its hard to find grape juice here in the uk.


Yeah, I'd call it that if it had been distilled.


This stuff is much better, though, IMO. Concentrating instead of distilling allows a lot of the components of the wine to remain in the final product which would not be found in a distilled product.

Ouroboros

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 08:26:44 AM »
Judas-freakin'-Priest, this stuff'll knock you into next week!

My keg ran dry. I have bottles, but I really hate to part with them, so I opened a jar of this stuff. I swear, I'd forgotten what it was like to be drunk....

combat32

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 11:57:01 AM »
i just brewed this last night two jugs of the juice you said plus i added a frozen grape juice concentrate and about 3 cups of sugar and a packet of champagne yeast. i put in my LBK  :)
how long do you thin it will need? a month or so.
cheers
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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 04:57:50 PM »
sounds great Boris! I've done this a few times, mead, wine and sugar/juice/spice wash. I sugest taking a gravity reading before and after fermentation - once the final gravity is calculated then all you basically do is multiply the final ABV by 2 once the first freeze distilling has taken place. i just finished freeze distilling an experimental batch twice! came out at approximately 30% ABV (the beverage i fermented only originaly came out at 7.5ish % ABV). Your Grape-Jack sounds awesome!

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strat

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 05:25:34 PM »
Sounds like a good drink Boris  Cheers

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Re: The Best Stuff I've Made (and it's really really good)
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 10:19:37 PM »
Sounds like you made grappa (brandy) might give it a go its hard to find grape juice here in the uk.


Yeah, I'd call it that if it had been distilled.


This stuff is much better, though, IMO. Concentrating instead of distilling allows a lot of the components of the wine to remain in the final product which would not be found in a distilled product.

Grappa would also need to catch fire

Without any warning

Even after been drunk :P
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