I have been making wine for 3 years now and have become competent with most fruit wines and several juice kits. I have tried my hand at muscadine wine 2 times now since I have access to a large number of grapes, and both were a failure. Both wines were bitter and not what I considered drinkable. This is my favorite type of wine and the one I want to perfect the most, yet it is my worst product. Many of the muscadine wines that I like are sweet and taste like biting into a muscadine grape and I am attempting produce a similar product. I have numerous questions, and any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated.
1. How many lbs per gallon of grapes to use? (Local winery uses 5 lbs/gal.)
2. Starting Ph value?
3. Use an F-Pac to back sweeten or as a local winery does, use 12% alc. Tolerant yeast and set sg to have 3% residual sugar? (They also claim to add no additional sugar, all comes from picking the grapes at peak ripeness to get the maximum sugar from them, hence the following brix quest.)
4. How to reduce tannins which I believe are the flaw of my wine? (how long to keep pulp and skins in? cold stabilize? Use gelatin fining agent? Less grapes per gallon?
5. Any suggested/proven recipes?
6. Brix value of the grapes when picking?
Thank you in advance for your help!