How to Make Concord Grape Wine
We know the popular wines that French and Italian grapes make, but what about good ol’ American Concord grapes? If spreading your morning jam gave you the idea to make Concord grape wine, you’ve come to the right place. Because we too think about wine at breakfast and have the perfect recipe for you.
There are a few things that make concord grapes different from wine grapes or grapes you might grab at the grocery store. They’re not seedless, like the ones you typically see at the store, and are very sweet. But compared to other wine grapes, they have less sugar and more pectin and acid. This type of grape is also known as “slip-skins” which means the skin slides right off the inside of the grape. This can make it more difficult to press into wine and leaves out some tannin from the skin. With the right recipe (like the one below), you can still create a delicious full-bodied wine.
As always, be sure your first step is to properly sanitize your wine equipment.
- 12lbs Concord grapes
- 4 cups water
- 1-½ cups white sugar
- 1 tsp pectic enzyme
- 1 crushed Campden tablet
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- Wine yeast
- Rinse grapes and remove any stems.
- Divide grapes into mesh bags to crush over the primary fermenter.
- Dissolve sugar, nutrient, and crushed Campden tablet in water.
- Place bags of pulp in primary and add the sugar water mixture.<
- Cover securely with clean cloth and set aside for 12 hours.
- Add pectic enzyme and re-cover.
- After another 12 hours, check gravity. If your gravity measures at least 1.095, add the yeast - if not, add sugar and stir until dissolved before adding yeast.
- Stir daily for about a week, squeezing mesh bags to extract juice, and keep checking the specific gravity.
- When SG reaches 1.030, lightly press juice from bags.
- Rack your wine off sediment into sterilized glass secondary and attach an airlock.
- Check SG again after 30 days. If 1.000 or lower, rack into a clean secondary and reattach airlock (if not, wait another week).
- Siphon your wine again after two months and again two months from that.
- Allow the wine to clear, stabilize, sweeten (1-¼ cup sugar per gallon), and rack again - this time into sterilized bottles.
- Allow your wine to age at least two years before tasting.
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