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Homemade Concord Grape Wine

Native to North America, the Concord grape was used by early American settlers to make preserves and wines. This grape differs from European varietals because of its disease resistance and lower sugar content. In 1869, a dentist by the name of Dr. Thomas Welch began experimenting with extracting the juice from Concord grapes to produce an unfermented beverage. He developed the first processed fruit juice on his kitchen table and utilized Louis Pasteur's method of pasteurization to preserve it in bottles. His experimentation was a success, and he soon founded the Welch's juice company in New York to begin supplying churches with grape juice for Communion.

The Concord grape still remains the most popular grape sold in the United States with the majority of the vineyards in Washington and New York. The varietal has been used with great frequency in producing sweet Kosher wines such as Manischewitz and Mogen David. However, Concord grapes can also be used by the home winemaker to produce more complex vintages. Here are two recipes that are vastly different in style, yet both utilize Concord grapes.

Homemade Dry Concord Grape Wine Recipe

1 gallon water
10 lbs Concord grapes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 package wine yeast

Bring water and sugar to boil in a large pot. Separate grapes from stems and place in primary fermentation container. Crush grapes and pour water into container. Let cool until room temperature. Stir in yeast nutrient and yeast. Cover and let sit for 1 day. Ferment for 3 weeks stirring once a day. Strain through mesh bag into secondary fermentation container. Let rest for 1 month. Rack and let sit for 2 months. Rack into bottles and let rest for at least 9 months before serving.

Homemade Sweet Concord Grape Wine Recipe

1 gallon water
4 cups sugar
6 cups Concord grapes
1 Campden tablet
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 package wine yeast

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Crush grapes in primary fermentation container. Add water, crushed Campden tablet, yeast nutrient, and lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature. Add yeast, stir, and cover. Let rest for 1 week. Strain into secondary fermentation container and airlock. Rack every month for 8 months. Place in bottles. Wine will be ready in 1 year.

If you are serious about making homemade wine, check out this book. It has tons of homemade wine recipes and advice. It is also a great value and even includes some free bonuses.