I have my first batch of wine fermenting now. I am new to wine making and have a million questions bouncing around my head. If someone can answer a few of them i would appreciate it.
I live in jacksonville FL and have 15 muscadine vines planted (different cultivers)
1. When I take the grapes to juice, how much juice to water is used when making wine? Not just muscadien grapes but strawberry, blueberry ect. do you test the sugar/acid and add water to dilute? Or do you taste it to decide. I have heard of wines being"Jammy" is this because it has to much juice and not enough water?
2. When is a good time to add Oak chips to the wine. During fermentation, first rack, 2nd rack?
3. Does anyone else add herbs or other flavors to the must and not just grape juice? cloves, nutmeg, vanilla beans? If so what are some experimental flavors you have found work with certain juices?
4. I would really like to experiment with ports. i know "real port wine" comes from one valley in the world. But are there some recipes out there that involve fortifying the wine with brandy? like a strawberry, blueberry port wine.
5. Do you always have to add pectic acid to help break down the fruit?
6. Do you always add grape tannin to wines that don't involve grape juice?
7. Are there any software programs to recomend? I see the add for Brewtrax. http://www.brewtrax.com/
Just wondering if anyone else uses them.
thank in advance for the answers. also any links provided for recipes or wine experiments would be great.