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  1. Grape Wine

  2. We always make wine first, then make the jelly :-) so your

  3. question is not out of order in my book! Go to a wine and beer

  4. supply store. You will need a cheap paperback book on winemaking,

  5. a very large container in which to ferment the grapes, a 5 gal.

  6. glass bottle (kak carboy ) with a stopper and airlock for aging -

  7. one for each fermenting container, a wine hydrometer to show sugar

  8. and potential alcohol, an acid test kit, tannin, Campden tablets,

  9. and some disinfectant like potasium sulfite (which occurs naturally

  10. in the grape skin). Buy a good wine yeast, don't rely on haveing

  11. a good "wild" yeast on your grapes, too much likelyhood of failure.

  12. After all, why take chances with your 65

  13. of grapes. You will need

  14. one pkg of yeast for every 5 gals of wine you make. Montrachet or champagne yeast is good with concord grapes.

  15. Crush all the grapes to release the juice. Do not heat. If you

  16. press the grapes before fermentation, you will get a lighter color wine. If you press after fermentation, you will get a dark colored

  17. wine. Either way, you will have a good taste. I press before just

  18. to get rid of the pulp. You can freeze the juice and make the wine

  19. later in the year if you want.

  20. 7 to 10 gallon white plastic, food grade containers

  21. 5 gals of juice in each with hot water and soap. Rinse with sulfite, then pour in 5 gallons

  22. of grape juice. If you don't have five gallons of juice, add white

  23. grape juice concentrate to make up the difference. Check the label

  24. of the concetrate and make sure it doesn't have preservatives, ie

  25. potasium sorbate etc., that will stop fermentation. You must have

  26. two gallons or more of expansion space in your container for the

  27. fermentation process. Wide mouth containers, like buckets, work

  28. the best.

  29. 12 to 14% alcohol.

  30. Add white sugar melted in a small amount of boiling water to bring

  31. 14% level. This can be about 2 to

  32. lbs. of sugar per gallon of juice. This high alcohol content will

  33. effectively preserve your wine so that it won't spoil when storing.

  34. Concord grape wine tastes more pleasant when on the sweet side,

  35. too. High alcohol content will also make a better vinegar if you

  36. decide to go the extra step. Add about 1/4 tsp powdered tannin

  37. per gallon and mix thoroughly. Do not mix air into the juice.

  38. Crush and add the campden tablets according to the instructions

  39. with the tablets, usually two or three per gallon. Check the acid

  40. level and if not acidic enough, add ctric acid to bring it to a

  41. suitable level. Allow this to sit overnight with a cheesecloth or muslin cover over the container.

  42. Make a mix of one pkg of wine yeast and a pint of lukewarm water,

  43. for each 5 gal. container, and let it sit overnight. Don't use

  44. bread yeast because you can't be sure of the yeast heritage. Put

  45. the mix in a quart jar and allow to sit in a warm - not hot - place.

  46. After sitting 24 hours, the juice - now called must - has become

  47. sterilized of wild yeast and other bacteria, evaporated the sulffites

  48. and is ready to be inoculated with good bacteria or wine yeast.

  49. The pint of yeast in the warm water should be foamy and active.

  50. Gently stir this into the must and recover with the cloth. Every

  51. day, gently stir the must. You will notice a fairly active bubbling

  52. or "boiling" taking place. This is the yeast growing, eating the

  53. sugar and releasing alcohol and carbon dioxide. Keep the container

  54. covered to keep out bugs and vermin. Do not let the container of

  55. must get too warm or the wine will be bitter. Fermenting at 60

  56. deg F or as close as you can get to that with out a lot of fuss is

  57. good. After two or three weeks, the must will stop bubbling.

  58. Recheck with the hydrometer. The sugar level should read 0. This

  59. means the fermentation is stopped because all the sugar is used

  60. up.

  61. Siphon - or properly called rack - the wine into a 5 gallon glass

  62. bottles and insert an airlock in the top of the bottle. Don't let

  63. the sludge from the bottom of the conatiner get into the siphon

  64. hose. Taste a little from each container to get a feel for the

  65. wine you are making. It is usually very "sharp" tasting at this

  66. stage. Do not allow the wine from one container to contaminate

  67. the others. Make sure all containers and hoses are sterilized

  68. before you begin. Put freshly made sulfite in the airlock to keep

  69. out bacteria. The 5 gal bottle should be full all the way up to

  70. the neck. If necessary, add boiled - sterilized - water to fill

  71. the container to the bottom of the neck.

  72. The wine may start to "work" agiain and bubble some more. This is

  73. 6 to

  74. weeks, you may notice a sludge form on the bottom of the bottle.

  75. Rack the wine into a clean bottle, discard the sludge on the bottom

  76. and fill the bottle to the neck with sterile water. Taste the wine

  77. again. You will notice good things beginning to happen to the

  78. grape juice. :-) Again, do not contaminate the wine with other

  79. wine. Note, if you are racking off several 5 gal carboys, you only

  80. need one extra bottle to begin the racking. After you empty a

  81. bottle, just clean and sterilize and use it for the next clean

  82. bottle, etc.

  83. I let my wine sit in the 5 gal bottle for a full year to age and mellow before putting it into smaller bottles. If all of your wine

  84. in the 5 gal containers still tastes good at the end of the year,

  85. you can mix all together when you put into small bottles to get

  86. one large uniform tasting batch. If one batch begins to sour,

  87. remove it from the wine making area so as not to contaminate the

  88. other wine wtih this bad bacteria. This jug will make vinegar.

  89. If it doesn't taste like vinegar at the end of the year, discard

  90. it. It may just be spoiled. This is usually the result of

  91. insufficient sulfites.

  92. 4 to 6 years begins to mellow out to

  93. a *very* flavorful drink. We make a lot of wine every year or 6 years. :-

  94. tasted a bottle of 1996 peach wine for dinner last night. It

  95. tasted scrumptious! Just like drinking sweet fresh peaches. The

  96. jelly we made from those peaches is all gone!


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