The Happy Berry continues to be a great place for picking blueberries, but today I focused on grapes, having picked blueberries before. The grapes ready are Venus, and they have a pretty strong flavor (much as Concord grapes do). They are not typically “wine” grapes, but I have enough for eating, maybe jelly, and for wine, too. Just trying to decide how much to use for each. In total, I have just under 23 pounds of grapes and stems.
With Concord grapes, I’ve most often seen 6 pounds to a gallon quoted, adding sugar and water as needed. A regular wine grape is closer to 12 pounds to the gallon, without the need often to add sugar or water. The reduction is based on the stronger flavor. But that stronger flavor usually comes with less liquid and less sugars. I still think I want to go over the “suggested” 6 pounds.
I’m not sure how much of that 23 pounds is stem and funkiness – berries that aren’t ready, are not good, etc. But if I go with 8 lbs to a gallon, I don’t have enough for 3 gallons. I would have enough for 2 gallons, leaving the rest for eating (possibly frozen) and jelly. Unfortunately, secondary fermenters (jugs and carboys) come in 1G (jug) and 3G (carboys – also 5/6G, normally). If I go with 2 gallons of wine, it will require me to separate the batch after primary fermentation.
If I do stick to the 6 pounds to a gallon, then I could get three gallons worth (18 pounds of grapes), if there isn’t too much waste.
In any case, based on other things going on through the end of July, I really can’t wait for a primary fermentation to finish. For now I am going to have to freeze the grapes, and come back to them in August. Storing the grapes away for alter will be tomorrow’s task.