Critique my Muscadine recipe

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RylanJacobs

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I'll be harvesting fresh muscadine locally in about 4 weeks. Please critique my recipe. If all goes according to plan, I will follow these steps:

1) De-stem, crush, test pH, TA, SG, and Brix (I don't know what any of these will be prior to bringing them home and checking the must)
  • pH: 3.3-3.4 (can manipulate this into range with Potassium Bicarbonate and Tartaric Acid)
  • TA: approximately 9 (Open to suggestions)
  • SG: 1.080-1.110 (increase with table sugar, decrease with distilled water)
  • Brix: 19.2 - 25.8
  • I may consider a cold soak, but not sure if this appropriate for muscadine, would like suggestions!
2) Pre-fermentation fining/purging:
  • Bentonite to preserve color (0.16g/L)
  • Pectic enzyme (0.5 tsp/Gallon)
  • K-Meta (50PPM)
2) Fermentation:
  • Fermentation temp: 65-75F
  • Yeast: Overnight starter mixing Go-Ferm and EC-1118. Will add to must at 24 hours.
  • Nutrient: Fermaid O added at 48 hours, or 1/3 fermentation
  • Rack into secondary around SG 1.010. No degassing to allow for CO2 layer to prevent oxidation.
  • Place airlock
3) Post-fermentation:
  • When SG: 0.995-1.000, will rack into secondary
  • Degas with drill mount
  • Add K-Meta (50PPM free SO2)
  • Reduce headspace
4) Bulk aging:
  • Will heed WineMaker81's recent study and NOT add K/C unless absolutely necessary
  • Will bulk age 6 months (minimum) adding K-Meta (50PPM free SO2) every 3 months
  • Will likely leave on fine lees to promote muscadine flavor
5) Clearing and Bottling
  • Once fully cleared/degassed, will rack off fine lees
  • Bottle!

Thoughts? What am I missing? Thanks!
 
The only thing I would recommend is to refrigerate the wine after finishing the fermentation process to help settle the acid crystals out. You will be surprised to find out how many crystals that will ppt out in the bottom of the carbon. I have been making muscadine wine for 9 years and have learned a lot during the process.
 
The only thing I would recommend is to refrigerate the wine after finishing the fermentation process to help settle the acid crystals out. You will be surprised to find out how many crystals that will ppt out in the bottom of the carbon. I have been making muscadine wine for 9 years and have learned a lot during the process.
I appreciate the reply. I will definitely refrigerate after fermentation. What temp are you talking about....45F? My cellar is at 61F currently.

Any other tips you recommend? I'm thinking about keeping the wine dry, but may backsweeten some.
 
No, put in refrigerator for at least 1 to 2 weeks. It wet I’ll settle out quickly. Nd transfer to clean carbo while it is still cold. That will leave all the crystals in the old one. I recommend sweetening the muscadine. It tastes pretty rough unsweetened to me. All the awards I have won from winemakers magazine contest have been sweet. I start out at 1.090 on gravity and use different kinds of yeast like EC1118 , and 2 others depending on the pH of the must. I use Carlos, Norton and Ison as the 3 main ones. I also like to make strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry. I have made just about all kinds but can’t get any grapes to grow here in Alabama, guess I don’t spray enough. I use an all the normal additives that you mentioned, yeast nutrient, pectin enzyme, Opti-red and white to pull out the flavors. Good luck on your wine. Contact me anytime you like.
 
That sounds good. But you will be making the wine before then. I like to freeze my Muscadines for a few days, then take them to the crusher and break them down. It seems to release more of the juice that way.
 
Remember great tasting grapes make great tasting wine. Don’t pick them too early. Last year I picked to early and the wine was a little tart.
 
Remember great tasting grapes make great tasting wine. Don’t pick them too early. Last year I picked to early and the wine was a little tart.
Very true. I called the farm and asked about the ripeness of the muscadine. They only cared about the ripeness from an eating perspective, not vinification. We'll see what we get when we get there lol
 
fermenting, ,,, my current protocol is use a rehydration nutrient, to add Fermaid O at the start, roughly 1.5gm/ gallon and then add Fermaid K at 1/3 sugar combined with air. Most of the yeast reproduction is in exponential growth phase from a day in to 1/3 sugar depletion.
 
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