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Can I Use Welch's Grape Juice To Make Wine?

Posted on August 4, 2015 by Ed Kraus There have been 77 comment(s)

Welchs Grape JuiceHello Kraus,

I would like to know if wine can be made from Welch's grape juice that you buy at your local grocery store if you use yeast and go through the process of wine making? Will the Welch's grape juice ferment into wine?

Curtis
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Hello Curtis,

As a beginning winemaker, using Welch's grape juice is a great way to learn how to make your own wine. The resulting wine may not necessarily be prize-winning, but it will be well worth the effort.

The really neat part about it is you can make a few gallons of grape wine without having to worry about crushing the grapes and dealing with using a grape presses. You will still need, however, regular wine making materials such as wine yeast, yeast nutrient, wine tannin, etc.

You can use other brands besides Welch's. The main thing to remember is that the grape juice can not have any preservatives that would interfere with a fermentation. Examples of these would be: sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate. All of Welch's products are fine for fermentation.

Here's a basic Welch's grape wine recipe. It is for making one gallon. If you want to make 5 gallons, just times everything by 5, expect for the yeast. Each packet of yeast is good for 1 to 5 gallons of wine:

Welch's Grape Juice Wine Recipe (1 Gallon)
2- 64 oz. Welch's Grape Juice
1/2- lb. Cane Sugar
1- Package of Yeast (Red Star Montrachet)
1- Teaspoon Yeast Nutrient
Shop Wine Making Kits3/4 - Teaspoon Acid Blend
1/8 - Teaspoon Grape Tannin

If you prefer, you can use Welch's Frozen Concentrate, you can do that as well. Just reconstitute the Welch's concentrate with water as the directions from Welch's indicate, and start from there.

You can follow the 7 Easy Steps To Making Wine that are listed on our website. We also have other wine recipes you can use with these Easy Steps on our Wine Recipe Page.

This should be all the info you need to make some Welch's grape wine. If you have any other questions just let us know.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.


This post was posted in Wine Making Blog, Wine Making Recipes

77 thoughts on “Can I Use Welch's Grape Juice To Make Wine?”

  • William Tate

    I have made wine from Welche`s grape juice and It seem to be better , or at least for me , if you use some water instead of all juice , but thats just me .

    Reply
  • Terry Hinely

    I've been making wine for over four years and when fresh fruit isn't available I use Welches frozen Concord or White grape juice and the wine is awesome. We also make a wine we call Grapple, it's 12 cans grape juice and 4 cans Senica 100% apple juice. We add enough water to make five gallons. It usually ends up around 12% alcohol with a full body favor. Everyone thinks it's great. We follow the recipe in your supply book and we have never had a problem.
    I would also like to thank you for your informational newsletters. They answer a lot of my questions.

    Reply
    • Sherry McNelis

      Your Grapple wine sounds really good. I would love the recipe, material and directions. I made wine years ago and was disappointed. Don't want to waste time and money. It seems a lot of people like the Welch's recipe for 5 gallons. I would appreciate your time, Thank You!!

      Reply
    • Nonna

      For the grapple do you use red or white grape juice concentrate? Thank you

      Reply
  • Glen Smith

    I use consentrated Grape juice, for red and white wines. I use 2 gallons grape juice with three gallon of water and 10 lbs of sugar. I use the campten tablets (crushed) at the begining of fermentation, and potassium sulfate to stop fermentation from starting again when ready to bottle.

    Reply
    • Chris

      I am just wondering why the use of campden when the juice has already been pasturized? Why add chemicals to a product when they are not needed?

      Reply
      • Ed Kraus

        Chris, when making wine from concentrates or juice purchased at your local grocery store it is not necessary to add campden tablets prior to fermentation. However, you will still need to add them at bottling time.

        Reply
  • justin lemons

    MR. Hinley, how much sugar did you use in the recipe you posted, if you don't mind me asking.
    thanks, justin

    Reply
  • Greg Howard

    For 5 Gallons: I use 10 Large cans 100% grape juice Welches Concord, 6-1/2 pounds sugar, 1 package wine yeast, 5 teaspoons acid blend, 3-3/4 teaspoons pectic enzyme, 5 teaspoons nutrient. During the aging process I have used Amarican oak chips for the dry wine and it comes out great. For a sweet wine I do not use oak chips and I sweeten the wine up to 1.012 SG. I have taken first place in the red grape catagory in county competitions.

    Reply
    • Woody Russell

      10 large cans (concentrate)?

      Reply
      • Ed Kraus

        Woody, if you are using frozen concentrate it would be 10 pounds of concentrate. Below you will find a recipe for making wine from frozen concentrate.

        Frozen concentrate Wine
        http://www.eckraus.com/winerecipes/frozenconcentratewine.pdf

        Reply
  • myron

    Can the ph be ajusted on wines after fermentation is complete. Just wondering if this would take some of the harsh bite flavor from some wines.

    Reply
  • Customer Service
    Customer Service August 4, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Myron, yes you can adjust the pH after the fermentation. Just be sure that the wine is degassed and void of any CO2 gas, as this can through off any pH readings you take.

    Reply
  • Barb Larie

    We just had 3 double size bottles of Strawberry blow their corks. My husband didn't realize they had begun to work again, and needless to say we had a mess to clean up in the kitchen. We put the rest of the unopened bottles, back into a carboy. I am thinking maybe we should just add some other fruit, and start another 5 gallon. But maybe we should just let it finish. He thought it was done, because it was beautiful, and clear, and so nice to taste. But after about a month in the bottles, it obviously was not finished. I have been making wine with the same recipe for 20 years, but have never had this problem before. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    Reply
  • Dan Stote

    I first made wine using Welche's grape juice in 1961 under my dorm bed at Mt. Alison University in New Brunswick ,a totally dry residence. I have made wine from all sorts of fresh and vegetables and kits. You can make most wines better by using some fresh juice with tannin and never adding water. Naturally you have to manage the fermentation well. Even a Costco kit on sales can become a superior wine. Try elderberry or blueberry juice in the mix.

    Reply
  • Brian Pouncey

    I am getting a kit for my Christmas present. I really enjoy wines made with the muskadine grapes. Do you know of where I can order the grapes or the juice?

    Reply
  • Customer Service
    Customer Service August 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Brian, we do not offer fresh grapes, but we do offer over 200 different grape concentrates specifically for making wine. You can find them at the following link: http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making/wine-making-juices/

    Reply
  • Customer Service
    Customer Service August 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Barb, what you are doing to the wine now is the best way to go about handling this situation. Let the wine finish the fermenting, and then re-bottle. For future batches, the best thing you can do is purchase a wine hydrometer. This will allow you to know exactly where your fermentation stands before moving forward with bottling.

    Reply
  • Angie Lewis

    I just bought a wine making kit. Any good suggestions for making wine for the first time for a newbie??

    Reply
  • Customer Service
    Customer Service August 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Angie, the best advice I could give you is to go over the article, "The Top Ten Reasons For Fermenation Failure" that is listed on our website. By know about these 10 potholes you will be able to avoid them. http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-failure/

    Reply
  • Dish

    How & when do you degass the wine in a 5 gallon carboy

    Reply
  • ALVIN KOCHER

    l would like to make a red sweet wine with alcohol around 12% using a consentrate grape juice or mixure. Can somebody recommend. Thank you

    Reply
  • customer Service
    customer Service August 4, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Dish, you normally want to degas the wine after the wine has completely cleared and has been racked (siphoned) off the sediment. The simplest way to do this is with a degassing paddle, but you can do it through agitation then the addition of Campden tablets. The sulfur from the Campden will help to drive the CO2 gas from the wine.

    Degassin/Mixing Paddle:
    http://www.eckraus.com/de-gassing-mixing-paddle.html

    Reply
  • customer service
    customer service August 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Alvin, you can use the wine recipe above to make the wine. If you have a concentrate just reconstitute it as directed on the package it came in. To get to 12% alcohol you need to use the "Potential Alcohol" scale on a wine hydrometer. The more sugar you add before fermentation, the more alcohol you will end up after fermentation. There are limits to this depending on high the wine yeast can ferment. The wine will end up dry initially. You will need to add sugar to sweeten it, just before bottling. It is important that you also add Campden tablets and Potassium Sorbate or a re-fermentation could occur in your wine bottles. For more info on this you might want to take a look a the following article on our website:

    "Making Sweet Wines"
    http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-sweet/

    Wine Hydrometer:
    http://www.eckraus.com/triple-scale-hydrometer.html

    Campden Tablets:
    http://www.eckraus.com/campden-tablets-100.html

    Potassium Sorbate (Wine Stabilizer)
    http://www.eckraus.com/3-oz-wine-stabilizer.html

    Reply
  • joey feb.19

    I just startd my own batch of store bought grape juice 64oz/1.89litres.
    I put in a fast actiny yeast pk n took out. A cup of juice then put in a cup of sugar am I doing this rite??

    Reply
  • Bob Wangen

    I just wanted to make one gallon of wine and the Welch's Grape Juice Recipe worked great. I'll be doing this one again!

    Reply
  • Alan F. Harper
    Alan F. Harper August 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I use Welch's Grape Juice to Top Off after I Rack . I never add water. My wine has always had a rich flavor.

    Reply
    • Michele

      Do you use bottled Welches to top off after siphoning or the concentrate. If concentrate do you reconstitute it first?

      Reply
  • Dan Stote

    Glad to see your comments on wine from Welch's grape juice! I first did this in 1960 under my bed at a dry University residence. My wine making has advanced a great deal since then. However I still make a little Welch's grape juice wine to use for top -up when making full bodied red table wine. Were I live no one has made a excellent red wine from grapes grown in this location. There is not enough heat in Oct.. Elderberries and blueberries make fair good wine. This is especially true when blended with something like red currant wine to add a little character. Elderberries have special health benefits and we all know about blueberries.

    Reply
  • chuck hummel

    dear Ed, I started a batch with the welchs 100% concord juice. I mistakenly used lalvin D-47 yeast which is intended for white wines. what will the outcome be? thanks for the info.

    Reply
  • Customer Service
    Customer Service August 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Chuck, many people will not notice anything because the difference is somewhat subtle. But the wine will taste a little more crisp and clean... a little less berry and a little more tropical fruit.

    Reply
  • Ken Nelson

    For Greg Howard posted 9/4/2012, you say you use 3-3/4 teaspoons pectic enzyme in 5 gallons. As I read the instructions on this website for pectic enzyme, the recommended usage is 1/8 teaspoon per gallon. Can you clarify (no pun intended) the huge difference in amount added?

    Reply
  • doug reynolds

    hi folks, I've been making wine from frozen concentrates doe decades, so easy and so good. Welches white grape peach and white grape raspberry with a little peach or raspberry flavoring mixed in prior to bottling. outstanding and so easy! I like sweet wine so I use 14 cans of juice, 8 pounds of sugar, and the other ingredients mentioned above.

    Reply
  • Chuck

    I have a question. I am making the 5 gallon batch. I forgot to adjust the yeast nutrient, acid blend, and grape tannin. I pitched my yeast last night. Is it too late to add the remaining ingredients?

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Chuck, no it is not too late to add the remaining ingredients. Go ahead and add them now and the fermentation will progress normally.

      Reply
  • Mismost

    Curtis, I have made wine from Welch's Grape juice and it was ok...just ok.

    At $2.50 a half gallon x 12 for a six gallon batch = $30.00 for the juice.

    That's roughly the same price as Kraus's canned concentrate and those are made from wine grapes. Check out the wine ingredients/ canned concentrates at the top of this web page.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
  • Steve bragg

    I've been making wine from welches juice for years, and in my opinion it makes fantastic wine.i use 6 32oz bottles of juice and 3 32oz of water it makes 5 gal's all my friends love it. If you want the receipt. E mail me at arestpower@aol.com.

    Reply
  • Robin

    Hi I have a de-gassing question. Are you supposed to de-gas all wines? Gotta say I love love love your site and all of the great information you make available!

    Reply
  • Gil Effertz

    I have to laugh. Years ago - the first time I made wine - probably 1965, there was a chef on KFI, LA (Mike Roy) who gave out the following recipe - 1Qt Welch's Concord Juice, 1Qt CranApple Juice, 1Qt water, and 4 cups of sugar, and packet of wine yeast. I tried it several times and it was a really pleasant wine, though very sweet. After the first batch I started cutting down on the sugar and it was even better. Didn't use any of the nutrients, acid blends, etc. at the time. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

    Reply
  • Jerry Waelterman
    Jerry Waelterman September 5, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Try Welch's White Grape juice some time. It makes a delicious wine and you can either finish it dry or sweet.

    Reply
  • alfred

    Don't all these juices have a preservative that will inhibit fermentation?

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Alfred, you are correct that most will contain some type of preservative. If they contain something like ascorbic or citric acid, the juice is fine to use because they will not interfere with the fermentation process. What you need to look out for are juices containing preservatives such as sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate. These are the type that will interfere with the yeasts ability to work. Most frozen concentrates are fine to use.

      Reply
  • alfred

    If I were to use Mango juice, would I need any different recipe? That sounds like it would make a great wine.

    Reply
  • Jason

    can you use Welch's concentrate that comes in the 12 oz Al soda cans? I was price comparing with jugs of Welch's grape juice and Welch's frozen concentrate and this one seems to be the cheapest route at my local grocery.

    thanks,

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Jason, the Welch's juice that comes in the soda cans is perfectly fine to use. I do not believe that it is a concentrate that needs water added so you would need 128 ounces to make 5-gallons of wine.

      Reply
  • Descentman

    I am uncertain if Jason is referring to Welch’s Fruit Shot Grape in soda cans or not. If I have the right product, you are correct. It is NOT concentrated. It is ready to drink, like the bigger bottles, only in a single serve can. But wouldn't he need 128 oz. per ONE gallon? Your comment said 5 gallons.
    Here's the product I found on Welch's site:
    https://www.welchs.com/products/fruit-shot-100-juices/100--fruit-shot-grape

    PS - Thanks for all the wonderful info by the way. I am new to wine making, and having fun so far.
    D-Man

    Reply
    • jason

      Hi Descentman

      not sure if this link will work. This is the concentrate I was referring to. it comes in a 12 oz soda can but you add water to make 48 oz of grape use. you don't have to refrigerate or freeze it.. so it might save some space in the fridge/ freezer

      http://www.welchs.com/products/concentrates/100-juice-concentrates/100-juice-concentrates---juice-aisle

      Reply
  • PSA1000

    I am a beginner at making wine from concord grape juice. I tested the grape juice before adding the yeast and the hydrometer only registers 80 - whatever that means. Should I add more sugar to the recipe now?

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      PSA1000, if the hydrometer specific gravity reading is 1.080, it means you can make approximately 10.5 alcohol with the sugar that us currently in the juice. Most wine are within 9-13 percent alcohol. You do not need to add any additional sugar unless you want to raise the potential alcohol. If you choose to add additional sugar, the rule of thumb is that one pound of sugar will raise the potential by about one percent in a 5-gallon batch. However, you must be realistic because most wine yeast will only ferment up to about 13 percent alcohol. Below I have posted a couple of articles that will help you to better understand the hydrometer readings.

      Reading Your Hydrometer
      http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-hydrometer
      http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-hydrometer-scales

      Reply
  • Vicki Rossman

    my husband is having a fit regarding the use of the bubbler....he wants to know why after adding yeast to the juice it doesn't call for using a bubbler, it calls for covering it again for 5 to 7 days then putting it in a carboy with the bubbler.

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Vicki, the reason that we recommend not using the airlock during the primary stage of fermentation is because wine yeast needs oxygen to multiply. We have found that covering the fermenter during the primary stage is one of the reasons that can cause a stuck or sluggish fermentation. When you cover the fermenter with a towel, it allows enough oxygen to reach the yeast while not allowing anything in to contaminate the wine. Also, keep in mind that during the primary stage, the gasses coming off the fermentation also keep the the wine protected. Below is the link to an article that will discuss this method in more detail.

      Airlock during Primary Fermentation
      http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-stuck-5

      Reply
  • Deck

    Scaled the recipe up to 4 gallons and am pleased to say that it is happily bubbling away in primary. Planning on racking to secondary in 4-5 days, or when gravity hits about 1.035

    About how long should this sit in secondary fermentation before bottling? I've also been reading about MLF--will I encounter any of that with this recipe? Would it be desirable for this type of wine? Thanks Ed.

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Deck, how long the secondary stage of fermentation takes can vary. An estimated time could be 4-6 weeks for the secondary fermentation to complete but we have seen some complete much faster or take longer. The best thing to do is to keep track of the fermentation progress with a hydrometer. As far as having a spontaneous malolactic fermentation occur, if you treat the wine with campden tablets right after fermentation completes and again after the wine is clear and ready to bottle, this will help to prevent it from occurring. The article below will discuss malolatic fermentation in more detail.

      Malolactic Fermentation
      http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-malolactic-fermentation

      Reply
  • Frank

    Hi Ed,
    My wine stopped bubbling about 36 hours after it started so I added additional yeast energizer and yeast food but nothing changed at all. I checked the SG and got a reading of 1.000 I then siphoned the wine into a new carboy and outside of having a purple foam on top of the wine, nothing else is happening. Could I have done something wrong and does it sound like my wine is ruined? Or is this normal? The wine smells absolutely wonderful but I don't know where to go from here. Can you help me, Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Frank, There is nothing wrong with you wine. What it sounds like is that you had a very rapid fermentation. The specific gravity reading indicates that the fermentation is almost complete. When it reaches .998 or less it is complete. Since it is almost complete you will not see many bubbles but the fact that you see foam means there is still some activity occurring. Once the fermentation is complete, simply continue to follow the instructions for clearing and bottling the wine.

      Reply
      • Frank

        Thanks for your reply Ed, I really appreciate your help, I thought I was going to have to dump it down the drain and start all over.

        Thanks again.

        Reply
  • LB

    Since fresh juice only comes around once a year in these parts I've been using welches to fulfill the rest of the year. One thing I haven't heard much talk of is using bread yeast. Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      LB, there are several reasons that we do not recommend using bread yeast for making wine. Bread yeast will begin to struggle making alcohol above 8 percent which is short of what you want for wine. In addition, bread yeast does not clear easily and can produce off flavors in the wine. The article posted below will discuss this subject in more detail.

      Making Wine with Bread Yeast
      http://www.eckraus.com/blog/wine-making-bread-baking-yeast

      Reply
  • Josh

    I would like to make a gallon from 100% strawberry kiwi juice from concentrate. Any suggestions on a recipe I could use for this?

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Josh, we do not have Strawberry/Kiwi recipe but below you will find the link to an article that will walk you through the process of creating your own recipe.

      Creating Your Own Wine Recipe
      http://www.eckraus.com/home-wine-making-creating-recipe

      Reply
  • Denise

    I was just wondering, I know you shouldn't use any citrus juices so I've been told....but I found one in the store by Welch's called Strawberry Breeze that is 100% juice but it does have a blend of orange, pineapple, strawberry and I think it said whit grape in it....do you think that would be ok to use or no? Thanks! I am new to this and am excited about the thought of trying different flavors...

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Denise, actually, we have many customers that make wines from oranges or pineapple for example. We even have a Pineapple Wine recipe listed on our website. You will want to test the acid to know how it will need adjusting. The article posted below will walk you through the process of creating your own recipe.

      Creating Your Own Wine Recipe
      http://www.eckraus.com/home-wine-making-creating-recipe

      Reply
  • Phil

    How soon after bottling have you tried a taste? I'm giving mine two weeks and hoping for the best.

    Reply
  • T-Boy

    First time trying to make wine. Using the original recipe posted above. Do I add everything to the primary fermenter at the same time? If so and I use a glass carboy, how do I stir it all up? I'll hang up and listen :)

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      T-Boy, yes you will add all of the ingredients to the primary fermenter. Using an open bucket for the primary stage is really your best bet. If you decide to use a carboy, you would have to find something small enough to fit into the carboy for stirring. The following article will walk you through the steps. Since you are using juice, you can simply bypass the instructions for dealing with the fresh fruit.

      7 Easy Steps
      http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-steps

      Reply
      • T-Boy

        Thanks. So no Campden tablets at any point because juice is being used right? I'll report back when I have results.

        Reply
  • T-Boy

    OK got all ingredients. Going down this weekend!

    Reply
  • T-Boy

    OK the juice is fermenting away very nicely. Do I degass after the first week when I transfer to a carboy? I purchased a degassing paddle, how long should I mix before transferring for secondary fermentation. And when I bottle its one campden tablet because its only one gallon of wine right? How long from bottling to drinking? Sorry for all the question, really want this to turn out right. Naming this wine "Chateau Last Week", motto is "Life is too short to drink old wine."

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      T-Boy, you do not degas the wine until the fermentation completes. You are correct that the dosage is one campden tablet per gallon of wine. The normal aging time is 3-12 months. I really like the name that you chose.

      Reply
  • Jordan

    What stabilizer do you use and how much? How much campden per gallon?

    Reply
    • Ed Kraus

      Jordan, if you are asking about the product used to keep re-fermentation from occurring, it is Potassium Sorbate. The dosage for our product is 1/2 teaspoon for each gallon of wine.

      Wine Stabilizer
      http://www.eckraus.com/3-oz-wine-stabilizer.html

      Reply
  • Michael W. Gephart
    Michael W. Gephart October 25, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I have been making my own wine for 27 years. I make it from real fruit, from juices, and from
    Wine Making kits. I recently made 6 gallons, using 6 - 96oz. bottles of Welches Concord (from
    Costco), 10 pounds of sugar, etc. It turned out rather alcoholic; but it is good!

    Reply
  • Lynn

    Hi there, I'm just starting making homemade wine using welch's purple grape juice, my question is does the yeast have to be for wine or can I use brewers yeast, if so how mant teaspoons?

    Reply
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