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Old 05-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
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May 2012
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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.
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.

40% of the time, this works 100% of the time.

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Old 05-16-2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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1. The more juice the better. Different recipes call for differing amounts. The amounts also vary by fruit. Good rule of thumb is, 6 pounds fruit to one gallon must. Exceed that whenever you can. Also good to save some juice in the freezer for backflavoring, f-pac, etc.

2. You can oak chip at any of those times. I like it affter the wine has cleared. Try spirolls attached by a sanitized fishing line for easy cleanup. Taste-test often to see if oak is at correct level for you and avoid over-oaking.

3. Lots of people, do but not me. I have added blueberry concentrate to some recipes just to get the blueberry flavor in there. I like that flavor. One common addition is cinnamon sticks to apple wine.

4. I don't mess with ports; someone else will have to answer that.

5. Pectic enzyme is something I always add. Cheap insurance.

6. No.

7. My software program is in my head. But it has a bug.
...And People Wonder Why I Drink!

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Old 05-16-2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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Stick around here long enough and you will find all these answers and more soon. I often go to the recipes forum and look at the varying recipes and comments and you will get an idea. I think some fruit wine takes more fruit than others. It seems that strawberry takes more poundage of fruit to water than others.

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:36 AM   #4
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May 2012
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thanks jswordy and olusteebus for the insight.

Jswordy do you add the pectic enzyme to the must or on the fruit before you press?
40% of the time, this works 100% of the time.

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