From what I have heard, my great-grandmother was a tea-totaler so I wonder what she would think about us using our surplus of grapes for making more than jelly. Well, great-grandma, we had to.
With 35 pounds of grapes left after making jelly and jam, we had no other choice.
Who knew if we had wine grapes or not?
Who knew if we could pull this off? We needed to make wine.
Off to the the home brew store we went.
Now, The Hubs does brew his own beer so he did have a vague notion of what we might need and the process. The people at High Gravity were very helpful and set us up with the supplies we needed and a small book of instructions.
The book had a recipe (sort of) and with The Hubs knowledge of brewing plus this helpful website we muddled through.
Our First Estate Wine
A recipe (such as it is)
35 lbs. of assorted grapes from our mini-vineyard (Mars, Niagra, Concord)
6 lbs. corn sugar (dextrose)
3/4 t. pectin enzyme
5 camden tablets
2 T. yeast nutrient
1 pkg. wine yeast
Now, please do not follow this recipe. We did not know what we were doing. We pieced this together from a couple of different instruction and recipe books.
- We crushed them in batches using a potato masher.
- We separated the juice from the grape skins and the seeds.
- We placed the juice in a sterile food-grade five-gallon bucket.
- We mixed in the sugar, pectin enzyme, and crushed camden tablets.
- We placed the seeds and skins and pulp in a fermentation bag and added the bag back to the juice.
- We added distilled water to bring mixture to equal five gallons.
- We covered with a sterile cloth and let set 24 hours.
- We sprinkle the yeast and the nutrient over the mixture and submerge the bag with a sterilized stainless steel spoon.
- We covered the bucket with a clean cloth and let it set 5-7 days, stirring daily. (Actually, we forgot and didn’t stir it but twice.)
- After 7 days (and it was more like 9 with us), we removed the bag.
- We were using a bucket with a spigot, so we tapped out the juice into another fermentation bucket, leaving the sediment at the bottom. Discard the sediment.
- We attached an airlock and added distilled water to equal five gallon of liquid.
Now, we are waiting 4-6 weeks or until it becomes completely clear.
That’s where we are now.
Notice that there are no step-by-step pictures. We were too stressed to stop during the process.
I read that wine making was a simple and uncomplicated process.
I don’t think so.
We will revisit this in 4-7 weeks and will let you know.
Keep your fingers crossed.
We figured that our five gallons will yield 25 bottles of wine. (I am probably more excited about picking out bottles at the brew store—I want blue ones but The Hubs says that is only for Riesling. ) ?????? I think I will win out. 🙂