Starting a newbie batch

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Oaks

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Okay so I pulled grapes out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for almost 24 hours. Mashed them to extract juice etc and set aside. I’m fixing to add pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, sulfites, and sugar water combo. Does the starting gravity reading need to be between 1.087-1.095 (if numbers are accurate), and does that need to be after sugar is added or before? I wasn’t sure if taking a SG reading before anything was added was a good step and then recheck it again after the ingredients I mentioned above was introduced. They take an additional SG reading after fermentation stops. Am I going about this the right way??
 
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Your method sounds fine. The starting SG can be anything you want it to be. IMO the range you mentioned is fine.

Decide what you want for an ABV -- there are numerous online tables that convert from SG to expected ABV. Adjust the sugar to hit your target.

As a beginner target 10% to 14% ABV. Wines below 10% don't preserve well and have a shorter shelf life. Wines above 14% may be too hot. IMO, look for 12% to 13% ABV for most wines.

Check the SG 24 hours after adding sugar -- typically recipes call for mixing your must, including SO2, then waiting 24 hours to inoculate. I have found that regardless of how well I stir, the following day the SG may be slightly different.

I don't record SG during fermentation, as it's not important. I record SG each time I rack the wine, so you will have your final SG if you do this.
 

Oaks

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Your method sounds fine. The starting SG can be anything you want it to be. IMO the range you mentioned is fine.

Decide what you want for an ABV -- there are numerous online tables that convert from SG to expected ABV. Adjust the sugar to hit your target.

As a beginner target 10% to 14% ABV. Wines below 10% don't preserve well and have a shorter shelf life. Wines above 14% may be too hot. IMO, look for 12% to 13% ABV for most wines.

Check the SG 24 hours after adding sugar -- typically recipes call for mixing your must, including SO2, then waiting 24 hours to inoculate. I have found that regardless of how well I stir, the following day the SG may be slightly different.

I don't record SG during fermentation, as it's not important. I record SG each time I rack the wine, so you will have your final SG if you do this.
Shooting for 13% if I do it right. I found the conversion tables. Thank you for your help. 😊
 

Oaks

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Okay I crushed, squeezed, and measured the juice. About gallon and a half total. Nothing major but that’s okay to learn. Added pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, campden tablet to juice. Added sugar in increments of 4 cups total that was dissolved in 3 cups water and then added it to the juice. Stirred well. Really well. Measured SG and got 1.094. Covered with towel. Plan on adding the yeast after 24 hours then let it do its thing during primary ferment. Sound right? Anything I may have missed?
 

ChuckD

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Are you putting the grape skins and seeds in the primary as well? I’m not sure if this is standard with Concord but it is with many other varieties. You get a lot of flavor and color from the skins.
 

Oaks

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Are you putting the grape skins and seeds in the primary as well? I’m not sure if this is standard with Concord but it is with many other varieties. You get a lot of flavor and color from the skins.
Yes I left the skins and seeds in. I have them wrapped in cheesecloth for primary fermentation. I plan to reuse the pulp for a second run just to experiment there as well. When this is done I do plan to get a different variety of grapes specifically for wine making. Just checking this out with concords as it’s the only grapes I have atm. 😊
 

KB1

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Interesting, I did basically this very thing last year with my neighbor's grapes as my very first batch.
Early tastes were not promising, but we're still aging. :)

I'll keep watching and Good Luck!
 

ChuckD

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Yes I left the skins and seeds in. I have them wrapped in cheesecloth for primary fermentation. I plan to reuse the pulp for a second run just to experiment there as well. When this is done I do plan to get a different variety of grapes specifically for wine making. Just checking this out with concords as it’s the only grapes I have atm. 😊
How did the primary fermentation go? Any thoughts on the taste so far? Still way to early for a final judgment but it’s always good to follow the wines progress.
 

KB1

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I just pulled off a little taste of my concord batch. After 8 months in the bottle it has significantly improved. It's still not "good". But I could drink it. Flavor and aroma are just a little unpleasant still, but the alcohol content seems just right. I don't know how to describe the flavor. Dirty, Maybe?

My second grape batch will hit 8 months in about 3 more. I'll taste them both at that time.
 

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