Concord Grape Wine

Recipe file created October 14, 2005.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a mature grape vine in my backyard after moving. It has been neglected for years, so my first harvest was small. I did not want to add store-bought grapes to my wine, so I made this recipe that uses half the usual amount of fruit.

Ingredients

The best wines are made from scratch.
  • 6 cups concord grapes
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 campden tablet
  • 1 teaspoon nutrients
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 package wine yeast
  • water
  • Method

    Crush grapes. The goal here is the break the skin of every fruit to help the juice leach into the water, but not to damage the seeds. Place them in the primary fermentor. Add 12 cups water. Stir in all other ingredients EXCEPT yeast. Let sit for overnight.

    Check the specific gravity. It should be between 1.090 and 1.100. Add yeast and mix in well. Cover primary fermentor. Stir daily for five to seven days, until frothing ceases.

    Strain into secondary fermentor, squeezing out as much liquid as possible from the grapes, and attach airlock. Finish as for dry wine or sweet wine below.

    Finishing

    For a dry wine, Rack in two weeks and return to secondary fermentor. Rack again in one month, and then every month until 6 months old. Bottle.

    For a sweet wine, rack at two weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every four weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every month until clear. Bottle.

    This wine will be ready to drink in 6 to 8 months. Use it all before it is 2 years old.

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