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Oh, Quick! Free Wine Grapes for Me!

Discussion in 'The Homestead Kitchen - Recipes Etc' started by DellaMyDarling, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Sep 10, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    I have been wanting to make up a 5 gallon batch of concord wine with grapes my wife canned in 1/2 gallon jars a few years ago. She told me I can have them, so I'm good to go... If you want we could make a 5 gallon batch together virtually step by step.

    If you want to do this, I would suggest we follow the medium bodied (40 lbs of concord grapes) EC Kraus recipe here --->http://eckraus.com/content/concordwinemedium.pdf

    Do you have a LHBS (Local Home Brew Store) near you?

    You'll need some chemicals, yeast and gear to get started with primary fermentation.

    • Yeast Nutrient
    • Pectic Enzyme
    • Acid Blend
    • Wine Tannin
    • 1 Packet of Red Star Montrachet Wine yeast
    • Campden Tablets
    • 6 1/2 gallon food grade bucket with drilled and grommeted lid
    • 3 piece air lock
    • Drawstring Fermentation Bag
    • Star San
    • Easy clean or one step
    • 10 lbs of table sugar.
    • Hydrometer (optional) but preferred.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  2. Sep 10, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    There's always jelly!! And juice.

    These two give you some "immediate" accomplishment -- while waiting for the wine.
     
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  3. Sep 10, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Agreed with Mini. I'd be making jam, rather than jelly. If you go this route, PLEASE!!! Check out Pomona's pectin. This is a product that relies on Calcium (included with the pectin package) to cause the jelling process. So, you can limit the amount of sweetener. Making jams and jellies with Pomonas is almost as simple as making Jello! However, b/c of the decreased sugar, the finished product does not have a long shelf life after opening, the way traditional mega sweet jam and jelly does. I use only enough sugar to cut the tartness of the fruit a bit. This lets the flavor of the fruit really shine. I find traditional jams and jellies to be cloyingly sweet. I just put all of my jams/jellies in 8 oz containers, and once opened, I intend to enjoy them regularly. After opening, they will last at least 2 weeks under good refrigeration.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  4. Sep 10, 2019
    DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Power Conserver

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    Ok, definitely something in a jar for later, have lots of jelly jars awaiting!

    Anyone make juice before? Would my vintage apple press work for that? Seems too easy to be true...what about juice canning? Is grape acidic enough for a water bath?

    We have a beer and winemaking supple store nearby. I think I can get to it tomorrow.
    Before placing grapes into fermentation buckets, they need to be gone through and cleaned up, right? Or does that really matter at all? Part of me says ancient people's discovering wine didn't bother to remove sad grapes and every impurity so why should i?
     
  5. Sep 10, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    You should at least go through and remove the unripe and rotten ones. The ones that have dried out like raisins should be OK. Soak/wash them to remove bugs, dirt... I would also pull them all from the stems as I'm pretty sure the stems will produce off flavors.

    Your lucky to have fresh grapes to work with. Mine will be from canned in 1/2 gallon mason jars from a couple of years ago. But at least I don't have to crush mine since the skins are already busted. For grape wine the color comes from the skins, flavor comes from the pulp.
    IMG_20190910_130222852.jpg

    The campden tablets (Potassium Metabisulfite) are what sanitizes the must (unfermented grapes/fruits, sugar, water, chemicals, bucket, etc...) So your wine yeast is the only bacteria present when you pitch it (add wine yeast) to the must. You must wait 24 hours after adding campden for it to gas off, before pitching the wine yeast. Else you'll just kill your wine yeast.

    My wife cans juice. Easy smeazy from what I seen. In a quart canning jar add two cups grapes, enough sugar to taste and top off with boiling water, put on lid and rings then water bath (time I'm unsure of). After a couple of weeks. All you do is slide the lid over a bit and pour a glass of awesome tasting grape juice leaving the grapes in the jar. Store opened jar in the fridge, it won't last long.

    Edit...
    This looks like how my wife cans grape juice
    --->https://chasingvibrance.com/how-to-can-grape-juice/
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  6. Sep 10, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Thanks for posting that recipe, @CrealCritter . I've saved it to my recipe file, but was not able to print it out. I don't have any concords this year, but the vine is showing promise for next year. I harvested my Summersets, and they were delightful. super sweet.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2019
    DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Power Conserver

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    So I've got a financial strain, lack of enough canning jars for my unexpected early harvests, and the local brew store closed.

    How can I really low tech continue with wine?
    Should I give up on wine for the time being and can everything to save the startup costs?
     
  8. Sep 11, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Maybe you can freeze the juice until later? I guess you can make wine from frozen juice. I seem to remember that my former in-laws made wine from Welch's frozen juice a bunch of years ago. Their only equipment was a big water jug and a balloon!

    It definitely wasn't "fine wine." But, it was decent tasting - mostly because it was really sweet, lol.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2019
    DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Power Conserver

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    Looks like this is what CrealCritter is doing.
    At least I can preserve the harvest and attempt later.

    I appreciate the help here folks! Such an asset to have these forums.
     
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  10. Sep 11, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    You could can the grapes for later use.
     

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