Advice with fresh grapes....

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Hi Everyone,

I thought I would post my query here to see if anyone could help me with my current batch.

My name is Anthony and I live in the chilly and sparsely populated state of Wyoming. I have been making wine from kits and juices for about 8 years now but don't have much experience making it from fresh fruit. My Italian roots keep me telling me I should plant a few vines like my grandfather did back in the "old country" but I haven't had the time or courage to try that yet.


I did get a bunch of "cold weather" grapes last week and decided to try my hand at making something "drinkable" with them. Most likely they are concorde grapes so I have no illusions about the end result. But I would like to make something that won't "gag' me in the end

So here is where I'm at....

I crushed (by mallet and by hand) the grapes today and now have a bucket of crushed "goo" (skins, seeds, pulp, and some juice) that goes up to about the 4 gallon mark on my primary bucket. I managed to get enough juice to get a hydrometer reading which is about 1.085. I mixed in some pectic enzyme and some potassium metabisulphite to kill the wild yeast. And it is currently sitting in my cold garage until I figure out what to do next.

I have some pH strips that indicate that the acid is high (which I figured would be the case since these are cold-weathered, wild grapes) and have thought about adding some water and sugar to "cut" the acid, and get the hydrometer reading up.

So, any suggestions about how much water and sugar I should add without watering down the wine too much? I really would like to make at least a medium body, dry red if possible. Also, since the mixture is a thick "goo" with not a lot of juice, about how much wine can I expect in the final result? I want to do the first fermentation on the skins so the wine has good color and some tannin, but since I am new at this, I cannot make an educated guess as to how much wine I may get in the end.

Sorry this is so long. I really could use the help if anyone can.

I am a newbie also. So if someone needs to correct me I will not be offended. If it is a concord, I do not try to make a dry, it just does not seem to be the character of the grape. So I am not sure what to do if you want it dry.

I recently did a concord. If you do not add water it is considered a dessert wine. I started with 23 lbs of concord, started at 1.070 I added 2.1/4 cup sugar to bring it up to 1.110
But I am looking for a dessert wine. I added campden, pectic enzyme and nutrients.

Good luck I am going to experiment now. There is so much must. I am going to start a cranberry and add the concord must and see what I get.
Hi Anthony. Live just south of you.. just north of Denver. One thing you mentioned was crushing your grapes with a mallet. The information I have been able to gather when squeezing out the juice is not to get to heavy handed with it.. when you are hitting the grapes with the mallet no doubt you are crushing the seeds which could cause unwanted flavors in the finished wine... I am very very new at this hobby but every recipe I have been able to get advises against this. Also I always put my pulp in a nylon straining bag. I am sure you will get some responses from more experienced people than me.. so good luck.
Thanks Troton and Bob. (I was VERY light-handed with my crushing so as to not crush the seeds, but thanks for the correction Bob. I wasn't very clear with my terminology:D )

Here is my update:

I ended up with about 2 gallons of juice and then added as much water and sugar bringing the SG up to about 1.095 (hard to read with such thick juice). I put the skins and such in a straining bag and then added the yeast and nutrients.

And the waiting begins......:confused:


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