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Concord wine turning out rosé

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Tom_S

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Hi all,

A couple weeks ago I finally got around to pressing the grapes I had gotten from someone and started to make wine out of them. Primary fermentation went well and it's now in secondary.

The juice is pretty light in color, in secondary it's a nice pink color so as soon as the yeast settles out I'm sure it will be a nice rosé. I had hoped the wine would be a rich purple color, but it's a lot lighter than I expected. Yes, while the must was in the primary bucket, I saved a bowlful of the crushed grapes, wrapped them up in cheesecloth, and put them into the must along with plenty of pectic enzyme. I had hoped this would add some darker color to the wine but not much color came out of the skins.

When I was a kid mom would make grape juice out of the grapes we grew, and it was always a nice purple color. But I think she always cooked it before canning it. This might have brought some color out of the skins, and her juice always seemed to be cloudy and not clear which may be due to pectin being cooked out of the grapes.

I did have these grapes in my freezer for about a year before being able to press them. Not sure if this makes a difference or not.

I really don't care that my wine is turning out as a rosé as long as it tastes good, but I was just curious as to why.
 

ceeaton

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Next time you might want to treat all of the skins with some pectic enzyme about 12 hours before pitching the yeast. I think it will help if you forgo pressing in the beginning, just destem and crush, then ferment with all of the skins, then press when the wine approaches dry (SG of 1.010 or below). Don't forget to punch down the cap while it is fermenting to keep those skins nice and moist with yeast all around them (helping to extract the nice purple color).
 
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Tom_S

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Next time you might want to treat all of the skins with some pectic enzyme about 12 hours before pitching the yeast. I think it will help if you forgo pressing in the beginning, just destem and crush, then ferment with all of the skins, then press when the wine approaches dry (SG of 1.010 or below). Don't forget to punch down the cap while it is fermenting to keep those skins nice and moist with yeast all around them (helping to extract the nice purple color).
I'm not sure what you mean by pressing, but I'm referring to pressing/crushing the grapes in my wine press.

Oh I forgot to mention that after pressing, I did put the bucket of juice along with the bag full of crushed grapes & skins in the fridge along with campden and pectic enzyme. Then before pitching yeast about 24 hours later, I added a little more pectic enzyme. And then while it was fermenting I did make sure to push the bag of crushed grapes down and stir the must a bit.

Perhaps next time I'll use a lot more crushed grapes & skins and see how that works.
 
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ceeaton

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Oh I forgot to mention that after pressing, I put the bucket in the fridge along with campden and pectic enzyme. Then before pitching yeast about 24 hours later, I added a little more pectic enzyme. And then while it was fermenting I did make sure to push the bag of crushed grapes down and stir the must a bit.

Perhaps next time I'll use a lot more crushed grapes & skins and see how that works.
Leaving them loose gives more contact with the liquid wine. As it ferments, you will get more and more juice as the yeast works on the solids in the grapes, then when you press it you should end up with a bunch of gray and dull purple looking skins. Some also add Opti-red and tannins that help bind the color better in the wine, so that as it ages it won't lose as much of it's color.

I don't have much experience, but a neighbor of mine used some Concord grapes from his parent's place, fermented on the skins, and when we pressed with my bucket press it had a really nice purple color to it, actually pretty dark in my opinion.
 

Johnd

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I'm not sure what your sequence was, but it almost sounds like you pressed all or some of the grapes before fermenting, the typical method for producing rose' wine from black grapes. If you want dark, rich color in your wine, conduct your alcoholic fermentation on all of the crushed grapes, pressing as AF nears completion.
 

Tom_S

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Well my sequence was this:

Stored grapes in freezer
Thawed grapes
Pressed grapes in wine press
Added campden & pectic enzyme to juice & added loose crushed grapes in cheesecloth & stored in fridge for 24 hours
Added sugar to the juice, a bit more pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, & yeast
Fermented for about a week while stirring occasionally& pushing the bag of crushed grapes down into the must
When the SG dropped to around 1.010, racked into four 1-gallon glass jugs & added airlocks, discarded bag of crushed grapes (which had mainly turned into mush but skins still intact)

And that's where I'm at now, the secondary fermentation is almost done as there are a lot fewer bubbles coming up but it's not yet beginning to clear.

Are you saying, John, that I should have crushed the grapes to get some juice out of them, then fermented the juice & crushed grapes together as one, then pressed the grapes after primary fermentation? This is the first time I've ever made wine from grapes, since usually I just make it from juice or juice concentrate.
 

mennyg19

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Thats your issue right there. To make wine from grapes the sequence is as follows (at its most basic level):
Crush the grapes just to break the skins, add k-meta to the must
Wait 24 hours
Pitch yeast
Wait until the SG gets under 1.010 (about a week usually)
Press the skins to get all the juice out
Into secondary

It seems you didnt crush but went straight to pressing. That is called either a Rose or a Blanc de noir depending on how much contact there was with the skins. All the color comes from the skins, so you have to let the juice soak in the color from the skins before pressing it out of the skins
 

Johnd

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Are you saying, John, that I should have crushed the grapes to get some juice out of them, then fermented the juice & crushed grapes together as one, then pressed the grapes after primary fermentation? This is the first time I've ever made wine from grapes, since usually I just make it from juice or juice concentrate.
Yes, if you want to get a full bodied dark red wine, your sequence was off, more like the production of a rose'. Starting from where you did, the full bodied red wine sequence would be:

Thaw, crush/destem (or press and put juice and skins back together in the fermenter if you can't crush/destem), pectic enzyme, yeast when it warms above 60, punch skins down several times daily, press and rack to glass below 1.010.

Most red grapes don't have red juice. The vast majority of extraction of tannins and color occur during fermentation, and comes out of the skins. The less the time on skins, the lighter in body and color the wine is. The fewer of the original quantity of skins, the lighter in body and color the wine is.
 

Boatboy24

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It sounds like the OP used the press to crush his grapes, then added the skins back into the mix for fermentation. If that's the case, I'd expect the same (or very similar) results to crush/destem/ferment. However, it looks like he racked after primary fermentation and did not press. But that is basically the equivalent of taking only the free run wine. Should still be dark, though perhaps light in tannin.
 

Johnd

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It sounds like the OP used the press to crush his grapes, then added the skins back into the mix for fermentation. If that's the case, I'd expect the same (or very similar) results to crush/destem/ferment. However, it looks like he racked after primary fermentation and did not press. But that is basically the equivalent of taking only the free run wine. Should still be dark, though perhaps light in tannin.
That, and a floating bag of crushed skins stirred / pushed down occasionally probably doesn't get the extraction that free floating skins under yeast attack do with multiple daily punchdowns........
 

ceeaton

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It sounds like the OP used the press to crush his grapes, then added the skins back into the mix for fermentation. If that's the case, I'd expect the same (or very similar) results to crush/destem/ferment. However, it looks like he racked after primary fermentation and did not press. But that is basically the equivalent of taking only the free run wine. Should still be dark, though perhaps light in tannin.
I think he only added a bowl full back in, not all of them.
 

Tnuscan

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I was wondering how many grapes per gallons were used. Less grapes would produce a lighter color.
 

Floandgary

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I was recently gifted @20qt's of Concord grape juice which was deemed too sweet for the owners palate. As far as I can say, it was made according to a recipe (for grape juice) found on the internet. I believe the makers erred (either typo or mis-read) in adding 1 cup of sugar for each qt. thus a super sweet concoction put thru a canning process. What I got was @4.5 gal of syrup which I topped to an even 5gal with bottled water. Strained out the @1cup of crushed grapes/qt to a mesh bag yielding @3-4 lb of grape must which looked like cherries vs purple grapes (result of cooking process?). Anyway Sg @1.086. Added acid blend, tannin, nutrient, pectic enzyme. 24 hr later pitched Montrachet, turned on the heater and away we go. Squeezed must bag 2X daily for 3 days then removed. Midway thru added a 40 oz bottle of Ocean Spray unsweetened, no-preservatives Cranberry juice. A week later @.995 racked to carboy and stabilized. Lotsa stuff settling out resulting in a nice blush/Rose'. Suspect A)not enough grapes and B)canning process responsible for the not-so-dark look. Time to analyze and experiment to taste. Does Concord like an oak treatment?? :a1
 

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