1985 Welches Grape Juice

October 2018 – I recall that I wanted to make grape wine – “real” wine – but had no access to grapes. Welch’s grape juice struck me as the next best thing. Oddly enough, it worked!

Like everything I did from some type of commercial juice drink, the fermentation went in spurts and it never fermented out dry. I suspect that some of the sugars are not fermentable. I’ve noted this in numerous places.

Fruit seven 12 oz cans Welch’s grape juice
Water 4-1/2 gallons
Sugar 18-1/2 cups
Citric Acid 2 tsp
Yeast Energizer 2 tsp
Yeast Nutrient 2 tsp
Yeast Red Star Flor Sherry

Started 02/01/1985
SG 1.100
Racked 04/02/1985
SG 1.030
Energized 04/24/1985
SG 1.030
Energized 05/19/1985
SG 1.030
Racked 05/24/1985
SG 1.024
1 cup chopped raisins added 05/30/1985
SG 1.024
Racked 06/23/1985
SG 1.020
Racked 07/09/1985
SG 1.018
Bottled 08/06/1985
SG 1.014

Yield 25 bottles
Alcohol 11.7%
Afterthoughts I later noticed that ANYTHING made from any type of processed concentrate (e.g., containing preservatives) didn’t want to ferment out dry. Chances are this is probably just as well … a bit of sugar (or in this case a LOT of sugar) hides a lot of flaws.

BTW — this recipe is my own invention. While I’ve seen a LOT of Welches recipes on the net in recent years, this one predated the WWW by 10 years. I came up with the idea at a time of year when there was nothing to make wine from, and did it. 🙂

This wine was surprisingly drinkable. Given the source material, I’m still surprised, although given that my drinking buddies of the time would probably have drank urine if I had fermented it, I shouldn’t be …