I love your sense of experimentation!
SG measures dissolved solids: acids plus sugars. It's a good basic
indication of POTENTIAL alcohol. But you have to take the sample
correctly...you would have taken some clear juice off the pulp before
fermentation started, enough volume to have your hydrometer float
Anyway, I would then have left the 4 gallons alone. No addition, no
topping off, no anything--how else do you know what those yard grapes
really are like for winemaking?
The further testing would not be for acidity (you did that by taste),
but for alcohol, residual sugar, and maybe for tannins. I would leave
this batch a,one for 6 months--you might be pleasantly surprised.
Next summer I would take some of those grapes to your local USDA or
garden centre to try to narrow down the possible varieties. If they
had skins that were thin enough to make them good to eat, I would not
expect good wine from them. If you really wanted to know, you would
contact the USDA for DNA analysis .
> I crushed my yard grapes of several kinds (red, white, blue unknown
> varieties, local word being they were 'wine grapes not concord') and
> made 4 gallons of wine which I handled as a red, with the cap and all,
> during primary. After the primary I squeezed the pulp in a press until
> the pulp was dry for my 4 gallons. I topped off the 6 gallon secondary
> bucket with several bottles of decent cheap wine and a gallon of grape
> concentrate. After a couple weeks at 70F and an attempt to restart
> fermentation I'm happy enough with the taste. It's quite tart and I
> suppose acidic. I haven't gotten to the wineshop again to get an acid
> kit. But I do know that the wine is WATERY!!! It's rose' in color but
> darn dilute. I recall that my initial hydro reading was something like
> 1.20 specific gravity. It seemed OK to me. Wouldn't that measure
> sweetness or richness? Is there any way to make this a thicker, richer
> wine now? Should I have added sugar at the start? I liked the idea of
> just going with the juice in the grapes for my first batch from this
> 100-yard single-row vineyard (an unpedigreed one that my brother has
> revived). It's only been 2-3 weeks in secondary now. Tips?
> Jeff Potter
> *Out Your Backdoor *
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