View Full Version : Fresh Concord grapes

09-15-2009, 12:11 PM
Going grape picking today, yay! I have done a great deal of reading on pyments and think I have a good idea for how to run this recipe 5 gallon Batch...
15lbs grapes(washed destemmed and crushed)
15lbs clover honey
Lalvin D47 yeast
3 tsp nutrient

So my question is in regards to the skins since I know they contain heavy tannins. Should I remove the skins or not. What effect will either have on the mead?
Thanks for any pointers on this guys.

09-15-2009, 01:07 PM
Sounds yummy! But I do have a few comments....

Skins will contribute both color and tannins to the finished pyment. I would expect that you'd want the color, and some skin tannin is good for depth of flavor -- too much can leave you with a puckery-bad taste.

So, for optimal results you'll want limited skin contact while in primary -- you've pretty much extracted all the color that you're going to get by the 4th or 5th day, so I'd recommend pulling the "cap" (i.e. skimming off the skins, seeds and any inner grape stuff that floats to the surface of the must) by the 5th day or so.

If you'd like more information on how to ferment with fresh grapes (or for that matter, any fruit) search on the term cap management using the search tool and you'll learn a lot more than I can summarize here in only one posting.

Also keep in mind that concords (and all other vitis labrusca) tend to contribute "foxy" or "skunky" flavors to the finished pyment. To minimize those contributions you'll want, in addition to pulling the cap after a few days, to ferment on the cool side of your yeast's range. D47 likes to be kept between 15 and 20C (59 to 68 F), so it would be best to keep your must at or below 65F (18C).

That said, D47 isn't the best yeast to use for red melomels. It tends not to keep color as well as other strains, such as RC212, 71B or L2226. By all means use it if you can't get one of the others, but I think you'd be happier with one of these rather than the D47 in this recipe.

09-15-2009, 01:30 PM
I picked about 13 gallons of concord grapes from my parents' yard last weeked. It came out to be about 2 gallons worth of juice. I'm not using any of the skins, but it's still pretty pink.

09-15-2009, 02:15 PM
Thanks guys, I am making a trip to my LHBS tommorow or thursday, so picking up a better yeast is now on the shopping list. Thanks Wayneb. I had read about the foxy flavor and I woud like to avoid that if possible, thus my big concern about the skins. I am not a big fan of red wine so I am not even sure I will enjoy a concord pyment, but I will try it before I poopoo it. I am considering going to the orchard and getting Niagras too, but thats another mead altogether.

09-20-2009, 12:42 PM
I made a concord pyment last month using 5.6 lbs of fresh grapes, 6.6 lbs of honey and 32 oz of organic concord grape juice. I let the must sit on the crushed grapes for about a week and then racked into a clean 3 gallon carboy and topped off with more grape juice. As of the last racking the taste was coming along. The color of this pyment is just out of this world pretty.

I used RC 212 which gobbled up most of the sugar pretty fast, but looks like it's going to leave my finished mead a touch on the sweet side, which I am a-ok with.

Here's my brew log. http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14797

good luck!

09-21-2009, 07:52 PM
Thanks jason, I will take all this in mind when I start this mead... I haven't yet becuase my mother in law said she wants to finance the batch so she can get some as christmas gifts, probably be starting it this weekend as well as picking more grapes at a higher brix level. Had only a 15 brix on the first bushel and a half I picked, and whats on the vine now is closer to 22 brix. I will be using 71B yeast and store bought clover honey. Thanks again for all the help guys.:) will keep you posted on how the brew goes once I get it started.