Wine kit making it stronger

Hi and thanks for having me here!

This is a burning question of which I can't get a straight answer to. How can I increase the Alcohol % in these wine kits. I usually add 23L of water instead of 25L. I can't say it has made a difference as I don't measure the A% - I just use my tipsiness as gauge. I normally use the kits containing the grape juice concentrate, like Caller 7 etc. I have brewed about 20 batches in total but I'm always disappointed either by the taste or the A% .

Anyone with some tips or advice please?


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Welcome, there are 2 main ways to increase the alcohol strength in wines, either make to a smaller quantity , or add more sugar which will then ferment. The Cellar 7 range now make 21 litres, so you could try making it to say 19 litres instead, or alternatively make to 21 litres and then add a Kg of sugar.

    You just have to make sure that any extra sugar ferments out, otherwise the finished wine will be sweet, the included yeast can only ferment so high and then will be killed off, so taking a hydrometer reading can be helpful to ensure it completely ferments.

    It can be worth trying the next range up too, as a general rule the more expensive the wine ingredients - the better the quality of juice you get. The Beaverdale range includes higher quality juice and also makes a full 23 litres so perhaps consider trying a batch and seeing what you think to the difference
  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275
    Well the obvious answer is just to add sugar.

    Grape juice is full of sugar, it's the sugar the yeast feeds on, which then coverts to alcohol, with some other byproducts. The more sugar, the more fuel the yeast has to consume and turn into alcohol.

    There are some potential problems though.

    Yeasts can only survive in a liquid up to a certain alcohol percentage, and this will vary a bit depending on the variety or strain of yeast. So there is a limit to how strong you can naturally brew something to, before the alcohol percentage gets too high and kills the yeast thus stopping the fermentation.

    Secondly just adding sugar can mess with the flavour of the kit you are using, likely to make it more bitter, you could end up with stronger wine that tastes aweful.

    You could experiment adding a small amount of sugar at the start of fermentation (maybe 100g), see what it tastes like and do a bit of trail and error.

    Is the are reason you are trying to make your wine stronger, is that a taste thing?
    Beer League: 1. Young's - American Pale Ale 2. Bulldog Brews - Imperial Red Bad Cat 3. Young's - IPA 4. Young's - American Amber Ale 5. Bulldog Brews - Evil Dog Double IPA
  • Hort_SolutionsHort_Solutions Member Posts: 5
    Yeah, that's good advice from both. I knew the added sugar would help but didn't want to mess it up either. I'll probably leave well enough alone. Also will have a look at the Beaverdale range. Cheers guys !
  • Hort_SolutionsHort_Solutions Member Posts: 5
    Not really to alter the taste. I find the alcohol % way to low for my liking. Without measuring the % I'd say it is around 9 - 10%
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