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Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Wine Making from Grapes > Help with Muscadine Wine!
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
WindyCoastWine
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Default Help with Muscadine Wine!

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!

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Old 08-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
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well on number 1. I normally crush mine and I'll fill the bucket(5 gallon)up to about 3 1/2 gallon mark this is with grapes that have a very loose skin if the skin is tight it's not ripe enough for wine. Once that's done I get about a quart of the juice and check sg if it isn't above 1.060 then I'll add about 5 pounds of sugar to juice and heat slowly till dissolved ok who am I kidding I'll add 5 pounds normally no matter what the sg is. Up till recently I didn't add pectic but now probly will most of the time but not necessarily on the reds mainly the bronze anyway I'll let juice get back to room temp then dump back into must and cover no yeast no nothing. It works normally like the dickens. The only ones I'll normally add a little water to is the nobles but that's cause when ripe they are really strong. As far as 2-6 I have no idea never measured any of the above. Sorry as far as #4 you can take eggwhites and add once the wine is done and it'll take a ton of the tannins out

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Old 08-30-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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For my grape wines i make i do this:

1. I use 18 #'s per gallon - this give me enough juice that i have extra for topping off with.

2. Dry whites i do a TA = 0.65 - 0.75%
Sweet whites i do a TA = 0.70 - 0.85%
Dry reds i do a TA = 0.60 - 0.70%
Sweet reds i do a TA = 0.65 - 0.80%

NOTE: I like my starting SG to be around 1.095.

3. I have added some sugar to sweeten my wines - but if you use a yeast that only tolerates a certain ABV - then yes - you can harvest the grapes at a higher Brix - the acidity might be lower - so you may need to add some acid to balance it out.

4. For whites just leave the juice in contact with the skins for about 24 hours - long enough for the pectin to work. Then press the skins and ferment only the juice - I like to do a cold ferment (54*). For reds - you want to ferment on the skins to extract more color. Ferment around 70 - 75*.

5. As far as a recipe goes - it will vary from year to year - it all depends on your measurements. I go with 18 #'s per gallon, k-meta, pectic. If harvested at the right time i usually don't add any sugar or acid.

6. Brix 23 - 25. If you do a late harvest - the Brix can reach up to 46 for like an ice wine.

Probably need to up the annie on your #'s of grapes and minimize your juice to skin contact. Keep your SG and TA levels in target - sweeter wines will have a higher acidity to balance it out - drier wines will have a lower acidity.

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Old 08-30-2011, 04:34 PM   #4
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I have a youtube video of how I do mine post on here. Check it out. It normally takes me about 5lbs / gal of my bronze muscadines for my recipe

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Old 09-04-2011, 10:45 AM   #5
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Winemaker- I am planning on trying my hand at some bronze muscadine wine. What is a good starting PH level? I know inherently muscadines are high in acid but looking for ballpark number. I have litmus paper to help gauge. I didn't think about a ph kit until it was too late and already walked out of store.

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Old 09-27-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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The Jack Keller recipes recommend 6 to 8 lbs of muscadines per gallon of wine. His recipes tell you to add 3 qts water to each gallon wine. To me this means he assumes you'll get ~1 qt muscadine juice from 6-8 lbs of muscadines. Side note: If I cut the top off a 1 gal plastic milk jug and fill it with whole muscadines, it weighs about 6 lbs.

For my taste, the above is too "thin." I'd recommend at least 16 lbs of muscadines to make 1 gal wine. This means you'll roughly have a 50% juice and 50% sugar water (simple syrup) mix. Another side note: In order to get 2 qts of simple syrup, you don't put 2 qts water into the boiling pot and then add the sugar...if you do, you'll wind up with more than 2 qts syrup.

I use Montrachet yeast and back sweeten to ~0.998 SG. If you like it sweet, then you should go to higher SG...maybe 1.008h.

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Old 09-27-2011, 10:26 PM   #7
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only thing is muscadine is not like your ordinary grape it will fool you if you do about like I said your wine should come out fine might need to let it set a few months as it can be very strong at times

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