6 Gal Frozen Juice Buckets

After 25 years I recently got back into wine making. I’m impressed by what I’ve been missing. :slight_smile:

I pre-ordered several of the 6 gal frozen juices that were being offered at my local NB.
California Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and the Italian Amarone.
I understand that the yeast will already be pitched and will start up as soon as it thaws.

Does anyone know if the juices contain any skins?
Else I was thinking about ordering grape skin packs from US Elite to give them body.

I have some ideas as to what I might add like yeast nutrients, oak etc. I would love to hear your suggestions, tips or tricks for these 6 gal juice in 6 1/2 gal buckets.

I have also started using anti-foam to great success and do not plan on moving the juice out of the buckets. Although I will have conical and other fermentors available when the juice comes in.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I don’t have a ton of experience with these kits, but I know what you are referring to. Depending on the producer, these types of kits can varry quite a bit. But most of the high end ones would be considdered frozen must and the reds should include the skins.

You can get some very good results from this type of product, but they can also be very vintage specific. So quality can change year to year.

No it is not a kit.
At my Northern Brewer in Milwaukee county they are offering a pre-order on frozen 6 gallon California and Italian juices that come in 6 1/2 gallon plastic Buckets.

Not sure if they add yeast or if they have natural yeast from the vineyards but I was told the yeast is already pitched and they start fermenting as soon as they thaw.

When they come in they give you a call and you are supposed to pick them up right away. They tell me the last time they offered something similar one guy didn’t pick them up right away and with no refrigeration available at the store they started to ferment and over flow a little. :slight_smile:

These are 6 gallon pails. If you are interested in getting some I would suggest you get to your local Northern Brewer and ask them about it. The only way I knew was when I happened to notice a stack of small book mark sized lists of wine juices and asked what it was.

I emailed NB and asked for any advice, tips or suggestions. This is the helpful response I got. :slight_smile:

James (Northern Brewer)
Aug 4, 10:37

Thanks Paul. It would be fun to let the natural yeast in the juice do the fermenting. I might mix in some bentonite or yeast nutrient at the beginning to help them along, especially the Carmenere which we want to ferment nice and low to make a light wine. The Amaronne is the opposite, it is big and oakey. So get some nice Hungarian or french oak for that one, I might add chips to primary and some cubes for a week or two before bottling to help it get that nice big oakey raisiny complexity the style is known for. The Cabernet will benefit from some light oaking as well, the merlot, I would wait until it has fermented to decide if it could use the roundness and flavor of oak. Besides that, you can use the same basic procedure as a wine kit to get a nice stable product, though acid and sulfite testing are always a good idea when making your own. I don’t think any of them should need specialized techniques or anything like a malolactic ferment, or tannin additions, though most of those additions can be made once it has started. After 7 days primary, check its below 1.010, transfer to a secondary for 10 days, check that its gotten below about 1.096, then stabilize and clarify. After about 14 days, is a prime time to taste test and decide if you want to try some additions. If the wine tastes flat and flabby, it could use some acid blend to liven the flavor. Tannin or oak would provide roundness in mouth feel and additional flavor. Those are common things people consider once it has started to help improve - drawing a sample and doing some small additions to see what it does to the flavor before adjusting the whole batch is a good idea. I hope these pointers are helpful.

James J.

Perhaps this pre-order on juice is only a local offer. I found this on the web site.

Italian/Californian Juice Pre-Orders In-Store ONLY!
Juice Pre-OrderPre-Order Closes mid-August 2015

Northern Brewer in Milwaukee is now accepting Italian/Californian Juice Pre-Orders. This fresh, never concentrated, grape must will be delivered to our store directly from a vineyard. These juices are perfect for customization, and will begin to ferment once they are brought up to room temperature. This year we have a wide selection of whites and reds to choose from.

Call 414-935-4099 for details.

In any case I would love to hear advice on similar bucket juice that people have made wine from.

Says Pre-Order Closes mid-August 2015. Oh should I order a fourth bucket? Perhaps something to make a Super Tuscan.

My name is Paul and I am a non recovering winemaker. I can quit anytime I want to. I just don’t want to. :wink: hehehe

[quote=“SmokinPaul”]No it is not a kit.

Comes in a bucket with the yeast pre-pitched…yes it is. 8)


A kit has everything you need including stabilizers, clarifies, oak ect. No this was not a kit, only pre pitched juice.

I added sugar to bump the Amaronne alcohol, as young as it is its very good. :slight_smile:

Carmenere was a little blah but with a little oak its turning out great.

Cabernet Sauvignon is also very good. Can’t wait til they are 6 months old and beyond. :smile:

Next time there is frozen juice available I’ll definitely buy more. Did I mention I added grape pack to all three?