Concord to thick

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Aug 21, 2007
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I started a concord wine on Sunday, the grape was 9% before sugar. after sugar was at 14 % by the next day when I added the yeast it was at 17. It smells great and looks great. Had a good froth on second day of yeast.

I did 23 lbs of grape that I pressed in a cheesecloth bag. I usually leave in the skins until I rack.

I am making a dessert concord. Problem is, it is so thick I can't get a reading to know when to rack.

Should I add water, vodka water or Nothing and just rack??? Help This one seems too good to loss
There are 2 ways to determine wether the wine has to
be transferred to the secondary.

First let me remind you why you ferment on the pulp.

When the wine ferments on the pulp color, flavor
and tannins will be extracted from the skins into the juice.
So it is time to rack when there are enough of these compounds
The hard part is to determine when that has happened.
The way to do this is by tasting and looking at color.

When this is not to be determined there is a second option.

When the wine starts finishing fermentation the cap will
break down and submerges.
This is because there is not enough CO2 produced to keep the cap floating.
So when the cap has collapsed it is certainly time to
press and transfer to secondary.

So let me make this clear :)

We are making wine !!!!
We are not doing math.
We go by gut feeling and taste and not by numbers only.

So the SG reading is not important when transferring
from primary to secondary.

The only time I take an SG reading is before fermentation starts
and I even do not take a reading when the wine has finished !!!!

I do take multiple readings however when I am experimenting
for my web-log.

So to answer your question:
Take a sample and taste and look at the color, and from
that decide wether it is time to press.
Or wait till the cap collapses and then rack, but that would
give you maybe too much tannins. So take the first option.

Or maybe I am misinterpretating and you mean that
you can not take a reading because the layer of lees
is to thick.

The solution for that is very easy.

Sanitize a sieve and a cup with a sulphite solution.

Push the sieve into the must
it will push away the lees and let juice through the sieve.
Now take a sample out of the sieve and do the measurements.

Then again I stand by my first mail.
Use the measurements if you will, but use them
as an aid not as a rule.

Last edited:
Thanks, I left it in the primary for 14 days and decided to rack. There is alot of sediment and it is very thick at this point I put it all in the carboy and will rack soon. I am new at this but always will to experiment. The must is so thick and really good looking and smelling.

Could I rack off the desert wine and add water to the sediment for a regular wine. ??? What would I add too it. More sugar and yeast???
Or am I crazy.