how to make wine with typical new england grapes(concord)?


I'd like to try making wine this year. I have a source of Concord grapes. This is the typical somewhat tart grape common in new england. Given that it is not very sweet naturally will it be necessary to add a second grape variety? Or maybe just a sugar? Anyone here use these grapes before? How many grapes/volume wine?
Reply to
rabbits77

Go with Jack Keller for starters
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Unless your grapes are very acidic, adding a lot of water is not necessary. Concord is best finished sweet. Sweetening will cut down on Jack's recommended aging time. Jack's recipes are for ~1 gallon.
Reply to
shbailey

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One caveat to my last statement on acid and adding water. Do you have the Concord variety, or are you referring to wild v. labrusca generically as "Concord"? I understand that some New Englanders do. The Concord variety, being 1/4 v. vinifera, is lower in acid than the wild v. labrusca. If you have the "wild" version, Jack's recipe with less fruit and more water might be the way to go.
Stephen
Reply to
shbailey

Interesting...this looks like just about enough info. I am confused about one point in his directions. This line: If 1.000 or lower, rack into clean secondary and reattach airlock. Rack again after 2 months and again after additional 2 months. "rack and rack again" is just moving from one glass vessel to another every two months, right? Why?
Reply to
rabbits77

The idea is to get the wine off of the sediment. The sediment consists of grape parts and yeast cells both live and dead. Deteriorating sediments can produce some "off" flavors and besides, we all want clear wine. Steve
Reply to
Steve Peek

Ok, and just one more question on this line: If 1.000 or lower, rack into clean secondary and reattach airlock. Rack again after 2 months and again after additional 2 months. I take this to mean if the SG is 1.000 or lower than immediately rack to secondary. Otherwise leave it be. Either way, you re-rack twice more. In the case of the SG being 1.000 you will have re-racked three times. In the case otherwise you will have re-racked twice. Is that correct?
Reply to
rabbits77

Normally I rack after about 2 weeks without regard to the gravity reading. At this point the fermentation is virtually finished and a large part of the sediment will have fallen. I rack again when there is significant sediment (3/4/ -1 inch). At that point I top up with a similar wine and wait until it clears. Shine a laser pointer through the wine, if you can see the beam in the wine it isn't clear. I think too many people get caught up with wine by the "numbers" and don't understand the reasons for the steps. Steve
Reply to
Steve Peek

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I've been adding elderberries to my Concord wines, about 1 part elderberries by weight to 4 parts Concord. It gives the wine more depth and complexity. We're about done with the elderberry season here in Baltimore but if you're in New England, they should be just ripening.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314

(attributions had gotten sort of mangled; if I'm attributing to the wrong person, I apologize)
While I'm also a beginner, I believe the instructions are meant to be read as "wait until SG is at 1.000 or lower, then rack". And yes, a total of three rackings.
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Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer

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