It was such a busy day today that it was past 7 in the evening before I was able to begin processing yesterday’s grapes. I started with the Mars, based solely upon the side of the table they were on. First, I measured out 18 pounds, having removed stems and poor quality berries. These were placed in a straining bag in the primary fermentation bucket.
I set the bucket aside, and began processing the rest of the Mars grapes into bags for storage. I hope not to store them long, but I won’t be making jelly tomorrow! I bagged another 7 pounds of grapes into two bags, 3.5 pounds each. That is enough for two batches of grape jelly, taking an unofficial average of various recipes I reviewed online. I then bagged three quarters of a pound more. Those will be for eating, most likely. We probably had eaten enough to make up the rest of that pound.
That means in total, we got 26 pounds of usable grapes from the 27 pounds of grapes picked. That is great! I wasn’t expecting anywhere near that efficiency.
With all the grapes bagged, I got to work on the grapes in the bucket. I tied off the bag, and then proceeded to hand-crush the grapes. Eighteen pounds of grapes crushed finished just below the 2 gallon line, including both liquid and the solids. I’m going to wait on additional water and sugar until tomorrow, as well as some acid blend and the pectic enzyme treatment. But tonight I wanted to be sure to get some potassium metabisulfite on the grapes, to make sure none of the “native” yeasts were making a mess of the grapes Jenna and I picked. I used 1/8 tsp. and stirred it in well. I detected lots of sulfur-y fumes as I stirred, though that is not very surprising.
I put a lid on the purplish, light brown wine-to-be, then placed the small bag of “to be eaten” grapes in the refrigerator. I ran the larger bags to our downstairs freezer, and called it a night. I should have time tomorrow to finish with the Saturn grapes, all of which are still on the kitchen table under a sheet, to keep away pests. And I’ll continue with the Mars wine, too!