Purple Grape Wine Making

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As many of you know I made an impulsive attempt at wine making after seeing vines full of grapes in a friends backyard. The recipe I found was much abbreviated and did not turn out, but I thought my mistakes were worth sharing.

The Process:

1. wash the grapes

2. place grapes (stem on) in pan. cover with water. simmer.

3. mash grapes with a potato masher.

4. strain through cheese-cloth lined strainer into sterilized 5 gallon bucket with an airlock stopper.

6. add 7 cups sugar and 1 Tablespoon yeast. mix.

7. seal bucket. let rest in a cool dark place 3-4 weeks.

8. strain and seal in sterilized bottles. let rest at least 1 week.


Results: Our wine did not turn out well. We could taste the potential for a sweet dessert wine; however, that is not the main flavor of this wine. The purple grape wine tasted more like a vinegar flavored with old socks and sweet grapes. We even made an unsuccessful attempt to save the project by turning the wine into stove top mulled wine. Bad Idea. This only made it worse.

We believe our lack of success was caused by two things: the installation of our airlock and the yeast we used. We used a standard beginners airlock stop. It may not have been installed correctly and could have been allowing air to enter and exit. The airlock should only allow the CO2 to exit. It should not allow air to enter. We also used standard baking yeast for our project. We knew this wouldn’t yield great results, but we were curious how it would effect the wine. Lesson learned, use wine yeast.

On a more positive note, we learned the equipment we used worked well. It didn’t make the project exceptionally easy; however, it also didn’t make it very difficult. With the exception of the airlock. We will be using the same equipment when we try our hands at wine making again. We will also be investing in a hydrometer.

I now view wine making as my newest challenge. I must try again. The next wine project will be a simple raisin wine. This recipe will take 6 months to age so stay tuned…

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