How to Make Wine from Concord Juice

Awww...the good old days.  I found this recipe from my old blog saved on a usb drive.  💕  

Since I have been harvesting grapes this weekend, I thought I would give it a new flair.  Our  concord grape production was abundant.  I had enough to make 8 jars of jelly after the first row of grapes.  So, I figured I might as well re-try my hand at making a little mama juice.

I have become a bit more selective in my taste over the years.  I have even tried those fancy kits I couldn't afford back in the stay-home days.  However, it just became more work than I wanted to take on...and I am not patient enough to wait long enough for it to be good enough to make it worth my time.  (Did you actually get through that run-on?!  😂)

Anyway...I did not want to scour the internet for easy wine making recipes, when I knew I had my own somewhere in cyber-land.  And sure enough I found this old gem.  Why not give it renewed access in a fresh re-post, while I re-attempt an old tradition?  I will have to do a little research since I'm not using Welch's concord juice will require different measures of sugar and water, I'm sure...but this will be a helpful start.

How to Make Wine From Welch's Concentrate

I love to make things from scratch, and I love to have a glass of wine before bed. It was inevitable that the two interests should collide.

When I was researching wine making, I became a bit discouraged. It seemed I was going to need to go all out and buy a $200 kit to make "the perfect wine." Then, I realized, "Hey, I'm not a connoisseur here. I'm a simple, homesteading girl. Let's do it the backwoods way!"

So, I got ahold of Abigail Gehring's Homesteading Handbook, researched some recipes on the internet, and came up with our own way of making wine...this time using Welch's Concord grape concentrate.

It's a long wait to find out if it is going to be a good batch, but it was well worth it. We were pleased with the results.


  • 3 - 11 oz. pkgs frozen 100% grape concentrate, thawed (We used Welch's Concord.)
  • 1 pkg or 2 1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (We used Fleischmann's.)
  • 2 cups sugar (We used C & H.)
  • medium to large mixing bowl
  • Primary Fermenter (We used gallon-sized jar from an antique butter churn and a towel to cover it. Primary fermentation is open-air.
  • Secondary Fermenter (Gallon sized glass jugs work well) *
  • Storage containers. We used recycled, sterilized wine bottles with screw tops.
  • Balloon* 

Primary Fermentation...the yeast multiplies

  1. Allow the yeast to warm to room temperature if it has been refrigerated.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 2 cups very warm water. (Not so hot that you kill it!)
  3. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of very warm water.
  4. Pour all of the contents into the primary fermenter and stir. Add water to fill the fermenter (about 4 or 5 cups, for a total of 7 to 8 cups of water...Leave room for stirring!)
  5. Cover with a towel and secure.
  6. Let it ferment for 7 days, stirring once each day.

(Our wine started bubbling and frothing by the next morning. For the first few days, when I tried to stir it, the wine would almost froth over the top of the container. I just used 1 light stir. After a few days, I was able to stir it a bit more.) 

Siphoning the wine

We siphoned the wine into our gallon jug - which we had thoroughly cleaned with a small amount of bleach water and then soapy water. Matt used some tubing and a syringe to create a siphon.
  1. He put one end of the tubing into the primary fermenter, making sure to avoid the sediment at the bottom of the container.
  2. He situated the secondary fermenter lower than the primary fermenter.
  3. He removed the air from the tubing with a syringe.
  4. When the wine began to flow, he inserted the other end of the tubing into the secondary fermenter.


Secondary Fermentation...the yeast produces alcohol

  1. On day 7, transfer the wine to a closed container.
  2. Here, we sealed the jar and stored it in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks. DO NOT SEAL THE JAR.  COVER WITH A BALLOON.  SEE NOTE.  *👇
* We have since learned that using a screw cap to seal the jug for the second fermentation is NOT WISE! (Imagine your basement after the jug explodes. I did not take photos!) We are currently trying a new method, which skips the initial open fermentation and substitutes the balloon method. (We placed a balloon over the jug opening, secured it with a rubber band and stored the wine in a dark, cool place. The balloon expands as the wine ferments, and the wine should be ready when the balloon deflates.)
4. Siphon the wine a second time and transfer into storage bottles. It is now ready to drink or store as you wish!