A drinkable concord grape wine?


Hooch for her mama, too?

Believe it or not, I had–and liked– a wine made of 100% concord grapes this weekend. It was Great Lakes Red from Leelanau Cellars, a good 4 hours north of us, in good old Michigan.

Considering the headache I woke up with on Saturday, I think I liked it a little too much.

It bodes well, though, for my winemaking ventures this year (rubs hands together expectantly).

61 responses to “A drinkable concord grape wine?

  1. when you can create your own hooch, you are living the locavor dream, baby! (rubbing hands together expectantly)…

    • People still think concord grapes won’t make good wine?
      I have been making wines with concords for years now and they make delightful wines. IT takes a bit of care when growing them; but they are wonderful in winemaking, and make good wines to be distilled as well.

      Anyone who says concords make not good wine; have yet to try the hundreds of excellent ones!!!!!!!!

  2. “believe it or not”? Of course I believe it! (as you know).

    Folks like you, El, need to dispute the notion that concord grape wines are undrinkable! 🙂

  3. Yes, it’s certainly possible! Concord has taken a terrible bad rap for all the awful syrupy industrial “wines” that have carried its name for ages in America. Yet – if you tend the vines with care, make sure not to let them overcrop, let the grapes ripen well and make a dry wine fermented on the skins, it comes out wonderfully fragrant, like pure wild strawberries and blossoms. Don’t believe the old winemaking texts that say how awfully acidic the Concord grape is – that isn’t necessarily true. It’s only true when the vines are improperly tended or grown in too short a season.

    You can check my article on homemade Concord wine here: http://hybridwines.blogspot.com/2007/10/dry-concord.html

  4. Nice! Go for it.
    I’m putting in a couple of European grape plants any day now, but they’re just for noshing, not sloshing. 😉

  5. Really? A concord grape wine?

  6. Look forward to the wine making posts. If the concord grapes generally make crap wine, are they at least reasonable table grapes?

  7. I’ve been lurking for a while, but had to pop in and say that I concur about the Great Lakes Red! That is actually my absolute favorite wine. We just bought 1.5 acres of land last summer which is edged on 2 sides by concord grape vines and I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s possible to convert the masses of grapes to anything even halfway as good as the Great Lakes Red. It would definitely be a better potential use of the grapes than the tons of grape jelly we made this past year. I think we may have too much garden on our plates this year to take up winemaking just yet, but maybe next year? Good luck, I hope it turns out well!

  8. Stacie: I know! I can’t wait to try it: no excuses this year.

    Liz: Hah! Yep, your resident brewmaster/vintner has been a source of great inspiration, frankly. And maybe I will branch out to beer and mead and cordials, too.

    Paul B.: I knew all I had to do was whine a bit and someone knowledgeable would come to my rescue. How fascinating, what you’re doing! We’ve got really old vines but they produce quite well…and we’ve got Niagaras too just to mix things up a bit.

    Farmer Cookie! Wow aren’t YOU the ambitious one now that you’ve got a big back yard! Can’t wait to hear about your grape tales. And I am still looking into a bay.

    Jules: Yep. It was sweet but not overpowering. Like I said, I liked it a little *too* much!

    Nada: Well, traditionally in this country, the Concord grape (which is derived from our native fox grapes) were THE primary wine grape until European grapes were grown en masse starting in the ’60s. Before that, the vines tended to get lots of diseases. I don’t think it makes crap wine so much as really cloyingly grape-jammy wine. After drinking the more acidic Euro. grape wine, it’s definitely a shift of thinking. But I am thinking local, so…

    Meg: Thanks for de-lurking! Yes, you cite the main reason I haven’t made wine: my energies were elsewhere. And then there was a bit of fear on my part probably akin to what many people feel toward canning their own stuff: what if it doesn’t work? And its converse: what if I like it TOO much? Now there’s the bigger issue.

  9. The owners of a fine little vineyard/winery in the Louisville KY area (Turtle Run near Corydon IN) worked the kinks out of their operation early on by “playing” with their Concord crops while they were waiting for their more “serious” vines to become established. As it turned out, the wine is quite good…clean, fresh and dry…and has been a surprise hit for the winery. They are reportedly selling everything they can make in Concord to German clients who are tired of vinifera and want something “exotic”. It would appear that Concord can be crafted into a wine that is much more than barely drinkable.

  10. NDH: That’s great! As an aside I can see German wine fans liking Concord wine, considering their love of sweeter wines anyway. I think it’s wonderful that folks are trying to find a path to a Concord wine that’s not overwhelming. This is the year for me, and I have rather low expectations with it being my first try and all. I think it will be a fun experiment, a la Turtle Run. SO: did you just find this winery? I think that’s the funnest little activity: go to some town, go explore its outside wineries. Yum.

  11. Several times I have tried the “juice thing” with varying amounts of success. Now this year I have many, many Concord grapes to experiment with and came upon this website in my search to find out “how”. Glad to know that a tasty product can be done. Keep us posted.

  12. Hey, I stumbled on this website and I wanted to give you a couple tips. I made concord wine last year and started my first batch for this year. The only mistake I made last year was to only make one batch. I had some friends and family tell me it was some of the best wine they ever tasted. So the easiest way to extract the juice without a press is to put in a bucket and smash the grapes via hands or a 4X4 or your feet. Now before you flip out and think that is disgusting, add 1 campden tablet per gallon of juice it kills all the bacteria and natural yeast. Actually your feet work really well because you do not crack the seeds (which a press can do and using a press you miss out on some of the tannin extraction) and extract the bitter taste but apply enough pressure to mash the pulp. Next add water! Concord typically have high acid levels so check your acid level and lower it with the use of water. Third add enough sugar for 11-12% alc. Last, use strains of yeast that are for red wines and more “fruity.” Once you have done this the yeast will ferment and form a cap of skins and seeds and all you have to do is rack off the juice/must after about a week. 2 times a day punch down the cap it helps extract tannins etc. Oh, also use stabalizer and sweeten with concord concentrate if you desire a sweeter wine at the end of fermentation~2-3 months. Then age at least 8 months. It is well worth the wait. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  13. Heck, I make half-decent hooch by dropping good-quality yeast (recently lallemand) into generic plastic bottles of concord grape juice.

    Screw the cap down so it’s barely tightened, and you’ll have positive pressure but still allow COO to escape. (no fancy bubble-lock needed, the screw-cap works fine.

    I agitate every few days, capping tightly and shaking the bottles. this causes the bottles to swell out, as enormous amounts of excess carbonic acid form a violent and angry froth of COO. Once the froth dies down, I release the pressure.

    This process of agitation seems to prevent “stuck” fermentations and it also keeps the yeast fluidborne so they have more living space…at least until they settle back down over the next several hours.

    I let my fermentation go to completion, siphon “rack” then let it go again if it does. The thing I hate about commercial wine is the sulfites. I’d rather have a few barely-alive yeast in my wine than disgusting tasting chemicals.

  14. I used to make Concord wines back in Eastern Europe from the European type of Concord, which is a bit sweeter. This year, I made a couple of batches of wine from Ontario picked grapes. Just like Josh said, pressing the grapes with my own feet worked just fine. I lelft the pulp for a few days, poured it in a whole-punched container and then danced on it a bit. The juice went into a couple of carboys; fermentation went for 2-3 weeks, then I added 1 campden tablet per galon and let it rest.
    I was wondering if it would make sense to use Potassium BiCarbonate to reduce the natural Concord acidity? Or should I put my wine in the cold for 2-3 months for the same purpose? I understand in North America, Concord’s acidity is a factor to be considered in home wine-making. If anyone used Potassium BiCarbonate before, please share your experience.

    Thanks, Alex: aaptovcov@cogeco.ca

  15. I made an all concord that tasted fair at bottling so when it is aged should be a very nice wine.

  16. I have planted some concords for toying with winemaking. I have a vacant property that is usless right now but I hope to make it a vineyard and make my own wine. By the looks of this blog. concords are not the best for winemaking (sort of an aquired taste I guess) I like wines and there is no other vineyard for at least a 1 hour drive. Am I getting in over my head or is there a good recipe to follow to get me started? Any help would be appreciated. Thank You.

  17. Very interesting discussion- it’s concord grape time here in Northern VT. This years harvest seems to be the most productive and sweetest we’ve had for many years. First frost was less than a week ago, grapes are really clean compared to last year.

    Moments ago I crushed 25 lbs of the new harvest, added a gallon or so of water and k-metabisulfite.

    This will be my second semi-serious attempt at making wine from concord grapes. Last years attempt worked out quite well except for the severe tannin and/or acidic result. I made the wine extremely dry and the flavor and aroma were pretty good, but I had to add a significant amount of sweetness to overcome the high acid puckering effect. I will admit that I cracked some of the seeds while crushing the grapes last year and I may have left the pulp in the primary fermenter too long.

    I questioned if it was worth the effort to make this wine again this year, but realized that if I can get the acidity down a bit, it could be very good without being too sweet. I think I have about another 100 lbs of grapes out there, so I’m thinking it is worth running a few different experiments.

    Anyone here making concord grape wine this year and interested in sharing with me what I should be doing differently? I have a lot of questions and think I have invested in the minimum equipment to make this years wine have a better outcome.

  18. Hello, I’ve made and won champion ribbons on the county level for my concord grape wine, not that it means a whole lot, but the wine is really good. I grow the grapes in my back yard and harvest late in the fall. I tend to make the wine very dry and usually it is very drinkable in 6 months. I’ve used different types of wine yeast and have used French medium oak chips to round the mouth feel out. I’ve also used whole black pepper corns to warm it up. Concord wines takes a little bit more kaputzing, but it is well worth it. I have added Frontenac grapes to my small yard and am currently making my first batch. I can’t wait to taste the results. I’ve also made some wonderful dry rhubarb as well as other fruit wine. I’m even trying tomato wine made with sunsugar tomatoes. So far that wine is progressing very nicely into a yummy dry white which I’m sure not many could guess it’s origins. Does anyone have any great suggestions for the best wine yeast to use for concord? Thanks, dwinemaker

  19. p.s. I would be vey willing to share how I make concord wine. dwinemaker

    • I’d be very interested in how you make your concord wine. After my post from last October (above) I picked more grapes and now have 16 gallons of concord wine aging. I haven’t tasted it yet, but have been seriously considering opening a bottle to see if I succeeded in reducing the acid level.

      Interesting that you mentioned Frontenac grapes. I was hoping to plant some last year, but didn’t get my order in. For the benefit of others that might reading this, these are hybrid wine grapes developed at the University of Michigan (if memory serves- feel free to correct) that can withstand winter temperatures as low a -30 degrees F- just like concords!

  20. There are a few things I do to help bring down the acid level in my concord wine. I start by using this basic recipe from “Winemakers recipe handbook”, copy right 1976 by Raymond Massaccesi. For one gallon of wine this recipe uses 6lbs of grapes, 5pts of H2o, 3 &1/4 cup suagar,1/2tsp pectic enzyme, 1tsp yeast nurient, and wine yeast. This makes a really nice, but a somewhat thin wine with no acid problems. One time I used up to 9lbs of grapes per gallon but added 3 tlbs per gallon of calcium carbonate during primary fermentation to help bring the acid level down. When fermentation was complete the acid was still a little high so I put the carboy in my very cold front closet and let that work on the acid. I live in central MN so finding a cold closet is no problem. After a month the acid was still a tich high, but much better and liveable. Before I cold stabilized this wine I also put in light french oaks chips for a month or so. I think if I would have let the chips in longer it would have been a bad mix of too much tannin and acid. As it was it came out just right. With the same wine in another carboy I used Heavy American Oak cubes and the tannin was too much. I’m hoping this will mellow out with time. In the past I’ve also used malolatic bateria after the primary fermentation was complete to soften the acid. This works pretty well. I’ve also used wine conditioner after I’ve fined the wine, and that helps too. I’ve also used peppercorns during primary fermentation to sort of warmup the flavor. I’ve also started with a pear/concord grape mix which also helps bring the acid down. I start my wine at about 1.85-1.95 specific gravity. For yeast I’ve used Red Star Montrachet, Lalvin D47, and Lalvin Bourgovin RC212. I think there is a lot to learn about yeast. In fact I’m I get pretty excited learning about and trying new things in my wine making. I’ve tried some pretty wild combonations of fruit and have used just about all the stuff I grown in my yard, along with any fruit friends have given me to make wine. I’m not much of a viticulturist, but my vines always seem to produce 100-150 lbs of grapes a year. My Frontenac vines did well this past year so I’m hoping for a more bountiful harvest this fall. I’ll let you know how my first real batch turns out. The best book I’ve read on beginign wine making is “The Joy of Home Winemaking” by Terry Garey. Let me know how your wines turns out and remember your wine doesn’t have to made with fancy grapes, though I’m not against that in any way, to be good. I’m drinking my wine with the French oak chips right now and all I can say is “yummy.” Sincerely, dwinemaker

  21. Everybody should try it at least once… 🙂

    I have planted 25 concord vines and 25 niagra vines. I like my wine a bit sweet, a 6 or 7.

    My gals father let me taste a concord he set in the 80’s just a year ago. It was the most wonderful thing I had ever slipped past my tongue. He is teaching me to make wine the way he does, he is very thorough.

    I don’t want to use any more chemicals than I can get by with.

    If I understand correctly, you can control the fermentation with alcohol level ( I like about 12%) and the correct yeast.

    Then there is ph level and acidity, among other things to be tested and adjusted.
    Above all there is the patience factor. Fruit wines are to be bottled and drank, they don’t age well. Grape wines, well some age well and some don’t. I believe that concord does, but I have only the batch my gals father made to back that.

    Bottom line, if you have time and fruit ( you can buy the juice and bypass the stomping and pressing) and a little desire, I think it is a wonderful hobby. Go for it!

    Concord wine is a good wine!

  22. An afterthought on the high acidity of concord grape, how about pulling the skins halfway through the primary fermentation?

    I hope I don’t loose my grapes to another hail storm this year. The past two years running, they get just over pea sized and hail storm splits 80% of them…UGH

  23. In response to Kenny,

    I think if you like your wine a little sweet, that’s probably a pretty good advantage for the average home concord grape winemaker (those of us that don’t have the knowledge and experience that dwinemake has in reducing acidity- see previous post above).

    My 2008 concord wine was quite drinkable to those who like a somewhat sweet wine. I found that the acidity of the wine basically dictated the amount of sweetness required to counteract it. So the final product was rather sweet (even though I prefer a somewhat dry wine). I fermented the wine to the point where there was no residual sugar and used wine conditioner to sweeten to taste. When I had a friend taste test it after balancing the acid with suger, he immediately exclaimed “Manischewitz”!

    Aging was also very important. The October 2008 wine was much more mellow after 6-9 months of aging, but still too acidic without sweetening.

    I still haven’t opened a bottle of the 2009 “vintage” yet, but left the skins and seeds in contact with the wine for a much shorter period of time than the 2008 wine, so I’m hoping for better results.

    I’m getting very close to a taste test, I’ll let you know what I find.

  24. My problem is we like the wine so much it’s gone before we know it. I’ve taken to hiding bottles at my mothers house, good luck with that right? I just joined a Home Brew Club and it’s so much fun to share wines and see the differences in everyones tastes. We even had people blending the wine they brought with other people’s wine. Wild and crazy people those wine makers. One comment about keeping concord wine a long time is I wonder if you have to worry about increasing the sulfate level so it can stand the test of time without turning to vinager. Anyone experience this? Like I said I’ve never tasted a bottle of my wine that was much over a year. dwinemaker

  25. Oliver Winerys top selling wine is Soft Red Wine. It is made with 100% concord grapes. It is sweet/semi-sweet. AND IS AMAZING. It’s the only type of wine I like. 🙂 it is made here in the good ol’ indiana. It also made the hottest small brands of 2004. I can get a bottle for 6.50 and a local walmart! Its greattt. And yes, I too drink too much of it on occasion.

  26. Would you know what type of yeast they use for their concord wine? Also how do they deal with the high acidity? If I use 6 pounds of grapes with 5 pints of water the acidity is not as high, but he wine is light. If I use 9-10 pounds of grapes per gallon the acid is high, but the wine is much richer. This also seems to be true with the Frontenac wine I am making. I have used calcium carbonate and cold stabilization and malolaci fermentation to counter the acidity, along with back sweetening. I like my concord wine to be at least semi dry so I don’t like to add to much sweetening at the end of fermentation. I would appreciate any help with these problems concerning making concord wine, especially regarding yeast choice. Thanks, dwinemaker

  27. Today I entered my Concord grape wine in the County Fair. Tonight is the judging. I think it’s a really nice wine. This is the one with the light French oak chips. I also entered a sweet rhubarb, a dry peach, and a dry tomato wine made with sun-sugar tomatoes, that I like, but my husband did not. If anyone is out there wish me luck. dwinemaker

  28. to dwinemaker

    Wishing you the best of luck in your county fair! I still haven’t really tested the 2009 concord wine yet. I did buy a pound or so of calcium carbonate to reduce the acidity of my concord wine, but haven’t figured out how to use it yet. I think you said that you used it during primary fermentation. Can it be used after the fermentation and clarification is complete? Or do I need to wait until the next vintage?

    Ed C

  29. The Fair went pretty well. I received 2 first place blue ribbons, one for the concord oak and one for the tomato. That surprised me. I only got 4th place for my peach, which I think was just too dry for Minnesotan taste buds, and and a 3rd place for the sweet rhubarb, which I just threw in for the heck of it.

    Hold off on the calcium carbonate. I am trying a new yeast, maybe you’ve tried it, Vintner’s Harvest MA33. I am trying it out on a new batch of rhubarb as it is suppose to work really well on high acid fruits wines. I figure if it works well on the rhubarb it might work on the concord. I also am going to try a new technique on both these wine. For the concord I read that one should press the juice, then only leave the skins in the juice 2 hours before the yeast is pitched. This has something do do with avoiding a “foxy” taste, and keeping the acid levels down. The wine won’t get a deep red color, but I’m willing to try this technique and yeast if it helps keep the acid levels under control. I’m doing the same with my rhubarb.

    I did use the calcium carbonate during primary fermentation, and it has worked pretty well. I think if this yeast does the trick it could reduce this step. I am also going to leave my grapes on the vines until the last possible moment. Let me know what you do with your concord grapes. Oh by the way the check from my winning wines was $4.00. Think I’ll save it for a rainy wine day.

  30. Hello out there. I started my rhubarb wine with the new yeast and it is the most beautiful pink color in a carboy I’ve ever seen. My last batch of rhubarb using the calcium carbonate actually came out really yummy, but I had to fine it two times to get it to clear. I bottled my Frontenac wine and had to add 3 teaspoon of wine conditioner per bottle because it was pretty tart. It turned out pretty yummy and a dark dark dark purple that is very pleasant to look at. My mulberry wine came out pretty good tasting too, though a bit thin. Ill have to think about how to solve that problem the next time around. Bottling day yesterday was tons of fun. My father in law, who is 90 and in great shape, was my assistant. Making wine, but especially bottling wine, is so much fun. I can’t wait for the grape harvest this fall. Have fun, dwinemaker

  31. Hi, I just picked ,crushed and mixed all the grapes togeather,Concord, catawaba and some chardonnay. Now i find out that concord grapes will not make a good wine i have added some sugar waited 12 hrs and added some yeast, now i’m waiting.Can you tell me if i should dump this batch? Waiting to forment in Pine Bush Thanks John!

  32. They’ll make a great wine, who said they didn’t? You just have to watch the acid level, and adjust the sugar level so that your specific gravity starts at about 1.090 -1.095.This would make a dry to medium dry wine. Malolatic fermentation, after your first fermentation is completed, will also help to soften the acids. Also cold stabilization after malolatic fermentation helps a lot too and is highly recommended. There are lots of things you can do to make the concord grapes work for you. The right yeast is essential. Lalvin EC1118 works well but I’m going to try Vinters Harvest MA33 on my fall harvest of concord grapes because it’s suppose to handle the higher acid. Depending on how many pounds per gallon of grapes you used I imagine you may have to add water to also adjust you acid, though you don’t have too and hope the malolatic fermentation and cold stabilization works. I don’t know much about chardonnay grapes but I’m betting they have a lower acidity and this may work very well in your favor. Also I recently read that if you do not keep the skins of concord grapes in contact with the must for very long say 2-3 hours you won’t get a “musty” flavor, though I can say this has never been a problem for me. Check out ““Winemakers recipe handbook”, copy right 1976 by Raymond Massaccesi. For one gallon of wine this recipe uses 6lbs of concord grapes, 5pts of H2o, 3 &1/4 cup sugar,1/2tsp pectic enzyme, 1tsp yeast nutrient, and wine yeast. This is a basic recipe and works well for those who don’t want to kaputz with the acid concerns when using more grapes per gallon. I’m sure your wine will be wonderful with a little care. Best of luck, and have fun. I’m thinking of juicing all the odds and ends of fruit in my freezer and making wine from it. As I like to say “wine not!” Sincerely, dwinemaker

  33. I have been making Concord wine from the grapes in my yard in Kentucky for 21 years. The high-water-content recipe produces the most “popular” wine, but, in my opinion, this approach simply dilutes the undesirable flavor components and makes for a non-complex, thin wine. (Really, it becomes a sugar cane wine as much as a grape wine, with all the sugar added to compensate for the water.) However, my experiments with recipes in which the water is much reduced, thus far, have produced wines with a certain overwhelming, unpleasant flavor component.

    I have noticed that during primary fermentation, of the less diluted wine, there is a point at which the delightful grape flavor is overtaken by an “off” flavor that I cannot readily describe. To address this problem, this year, I will remove the “cap” (floating skins mostly) from the top of the fermentation vat after about two days (rather than 5-7 days), as I recently have read that an undesirable “foxy” flavor comes from the skins. However, I believe there is also good flavor, color, and nutrients in the skins, so I would not eliminate the skins immediately. Please let me know if you have tried this.

    Also, it has been my experience that the Concord wine does not age well, especially the dilute version. One year seems to be optimal in my cellar. However, I always make a fairly dry wine–a sweet version might age better.

  34. I started my concord wine about a week and a half ago using the recipe from the winemakers handbook. I used Vintners Harvest MA 33 yeast and it has made a big difference already in the acid level. I took out the skins after two days and I think this this will help that “foxy” flavor. I’m really excited about the potential of this wine.

  35. At this point, my Concord wine from late September has been racked a few times and is still in the carboyls. It is very clear and dry, but still tastes “brash.” By brash, I mean possibly high acid (althought pH test strips do not indicate it) with some freaky off-notes–slightly reminiscent of gasoline or diesel fumes. I wonder if taking the must off the skins early imbalanced the flavor.

    Also, I am also thinking about cold stabilizing the wine before bottling . However, should I do a more accurate acid test first?

    Also, I am wondering if there is something I could do to the vines to lower the acidity and improve the flavor the next time around.

  36. I’m not sure if pruning can do anything to change the acid in your grapes. I let my grapes hang on the vine as long as possible before I pick them, which should lower the acid level and increase the specific gravity. I recently had some concord wine I made in the fall of 2009. I did something not so bright in that I ground up some black pepper corn and put it in after primary fermentation. Of course when we first drank it it was hot tasting and we thought a lost cause, but I swear the bottle we had yesterday was really good, smooth, not hot, and the acids had leveled out. It didn’t taste like “grape juice”, which people have said in the past, it just tasted good. So if you give your wine time, do the malolatic bacteria thing, and cold stabilize I think you’ll get a good wine. My concord is still in the carboys, under the table. I’m thinking of throwing in some light french oak chips for a week or two, racking it, then sticking it in my cold front closet. I think your wine will turn around in time. dwinemaker

  37. Hi Folks,

    A few points:

    * Yes, Concord grapes, especially when grown in the Northeast, tend to have lots of acidity–but this can be managed in two ways: (1) make sure you are pruning your vines regularly (long-cane method works best), and dropping about 1/3 of the green crop per vine, allowing the rest of the fruit to mature much better; (2) cold stabilization! The tartrate crystals will drop out of the wine, causing it to be less brash. Trust me, this does work and it produces superior results. As for me, I never, ever, add water.

    * Chaptalization works, because you need to get the must up to a potential ABV of around 11-13% (depending on preference); if you don’t chaptalize, you’ll only get about 8% because Concords don’t produce a lot of sugar–just the nature of the beast.

    * My yeast of choice is the good old standby, Lalvin EC-1118 (Prise de Mousse). Works great, and produces a dry wine reliably, every time.

  38. How many pound of concord grapes per gallon do you use to get one gallon of wine? I only get 100 -150 pounds per year from my back yard vines, and I’d like to try making this wine without adding water. I should also get about 60-80 pounds of Frontenac grapes. dwinemaker

  39. I make concord grape wine all the time ,, I use the concentrate in the cans (welches) there is in my estimation no better tasteing wine ,,,,I use champagne yeast ,,,,,,I use a campden tab per gal ,, peptic enzimes ,,acid blend,,and yeast nutrient,,,,,,,add sugar ,till s/g =1.000,,ferment till s/g =1.030 ,thenrack and let set for two months ,, then rack again and place vapor lock on and let it set for at least another two months ,,, longer the better ,but I drink mine after two or three months ,,, I must say its got all the com mercial wines beat by 40 ways ,wolf

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  42. Really supurb comments on concord wine. I just finished destemming
    50 lbs. Two prior years the coons and the turkeys ate all mine. I woke
    up one morning and there were 4 turkeys feeding on the crop.

  43. I am tired of the English system and I am going to metric.
    0 to 1000 is easier than Qts, pts, cups, Tsp,
    I d like to see a way to calculate raising SG when I use 10 lbs
    sugar dissolved into 2 gal of water. Do I need to know the
    SG of the 2 gal of super sugar?

  44. I have a few gallons of concentrate. I really don’t want to end up with Holy wine.

    Sounds like good tips here. I want to be sure I understand.

    So would it be correct to dilute the Concord must down to roughly 8% prospective alcohol, and sweeten back with sugar to the 12% level to reduce the acid? If not, can anyone suggest a ratio that will balanced down the acid, but won’t make the final product taste too thin?

  45. I’ve just started my third yearly batch of Baraboo Blush, which is a Concord Blush from grapes grown on my father’s farm in Baraboo, Wisconsin. I started with serious trepidation, thanks to visions of Mogen David, Manischewitz, Mad Dog, and Boones Farm being front and center. Quite honestly, I didn’t want to recreate those products. My solution was to crush the bumper crop of Concord grapes and keep only the juice and pulp, while discarding the skins and seeds. This leaves a dark pink fermentable product that makes a wonderful light blush. The finished wine is crisp, light, and very much Concord in flavor and nose, without being overbearing or excessively foxy. Mogen David this ain’t – give it a shot sometime if you have Concords you’re looking to make into something special!

  46. Denise Fletcher

    Congratulations on your wine. I’m still working on mine. For the first time I didn’t add any water. I put some malolacic bacteria in the wine to make it go through a second fermentation. It’s suppose to help smooth out the acid. I really can’t tell if anything is happening so I’m just trying to be patient. I started some mulberry and I have some peach that doesn’t seem to want o clear. Any ideas anyone? Thanks, dwinemaker

  47. Walter De Visser, Sr

    The first thing you see when entering the St. Jullian winery proper, here in nearby Paw Paw Michigan, is a very large refrigerated tank. Then the tour guide tells you about all the cream of tartar that is extracted from the grape juice/must. Makes me believe this is where the acid is extracted to make their line of wines. Some are not concord but many are. Much of the concord crop here is going to Welches in Lawton, but a lot is still going into wine.

  48. I’m making Concord Gape Wine from organic Grapes..It measures after crush 25 Brix on Hydrometer. NO and I repeat NO yeast but the wild yeast of the grape and NO sulfites.. why do you guys put in water sugar and all these chemicals…yuck…

  49. I am experimenting making Concord Grape Wine. I crushed the grapes with a food processer and used a Jelly bag to separate the juice from the pulp. I have not added water to the extracted juice and am hoping that the natural yeast will do the trick. Has anyone else started their wine this way and should I add water?

  50. I try not to think of adding water, sulfates, or a particular yeast as a bad thing. The specific yeast one chooses helps direct the taste of the wine. Although I’ve moved away from adding water to my concord wine I don’t advise against it, especially for beginning winemakers. Sulfates help keep bacteria down and using the bare minimum of it insures a stable wine. Using wild yeast is probably o.k, but there isn’t much predictability in it. With all the work it takes to make a nice wine, especially using concord, or other cold hardy grapes, I think it’s worth the my while to make it in a manner where I know, for the most part, I’ll be happy with it once it’s bottled. But to each his own and whatever it takes to make a wine something someone likes is all that really matters. As for me my grape harvest was very poor this year. I did get 150 pounds of pears from a friend and am making some pretty nice wine with them and the rhubarb wine this season was definitely something to write home about.

  51. Any idea as to how much water is OK to add? I have close to 15 litres of juice fermenting and wonder if adding 4 litres of water to the 19 litre carboy I have when I rack it will be too much.

  52. I’m new at the wine making but have lots of grapes in the area that are given to me. I fine myself getting more into making wine and enjoy all of it. I was wondering if its possible to trans plants grape vines with out hurting them? If they may be likes tree roots? Any help?? Thanks

  53. James, if you get some rooting hormone from Lowe’s and cut a couple small shoots off your vine, you can start as many vines as you can find a place to plant. They are very vigorous. Just take the shoots(small twigs cut from the vine) and scrape up the bottom ends, give them a dip in the powder and plant them, they will root within a week and you can plant them whereever you wish. Since I hear complaints about the tannin in the seeds, I am going to try the seedless concord to avoid the problem.

  54. I am in Billings, MT and after 5 years finally had really good crop of Concords. We gave lots away for jelly and my wife also made a lot of jelly as well as processing about 50lbs into juice using a “steam juicer “, any way I have about 1 1/2 gals of this juice and got to wondering if this stuff would be suitable to try and make some wine out of. Anyone have any idea/guesses what the affects of steaming vs crushing and or fermenting on the skins might have on quality of wine? I’m not looking for a Mogan David type wine.

  55. I suggest to buy the book “The Art of Home Winemaking” by Terry Garey.
    It’s a great book, down to earth, funny, and very practical. Beyond that you probably already made your wine. How did it turn out? I’m excited for this years crop. Best of luck on this summers crop.

  56. Some of the best concord grape wine I ever tasted was made by an old gentleman Earl Hunt out in the country near Easton Michigan. Sweet yes, not bitter and very very fragrant. I am very sorry I never asked for his recipe.

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