First season with Mustang grapes

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by Chris Gibbs, Sep 7, 2018.

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  1. Sep 7, 2018 #1

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

    Gibbs' Grapes

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    I went out and collected about 50 pounds of mustang grapes in mid June this summer. There was a great fruit set this year!
    20180620_143922.jpg

    So I put them all in the freezer until I got my new steam juicer...
    20180720_175308.jpg

    At this point, I hadn't committed to a particular recipe to make mustang grape wine because most the traditional recipes involve two separate stages fermentation. An initial ferment with only the crushed grapes and wild yeast, then a follow up fermentation where sugar is added and the must diluted to reduce acidity. This wasn't an option for me because of work/travel obligations. So I canned the juice and made some jelly . 20180721_183933.jpg
    I got about a gallon and a pint of juice from each 10lb batch of grapes. And now you notice there are only four gallons of juice there...
     
  2. Sep 7, 2018 #2

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

    Gibbs' Grapes

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    I made some jelly with the other gallon. Regular mustang grape jelly and habanero mustang grape jelly. I highly recommend mustang grape jelly!! It is sweet-tart, with a very good grape-cranberry like flavor.

    I decided to use a Jack Keller recipe for mustang grape wine from juice, at the ratio of 1qt juice per gallon of wine must. A two gallon batch to start... 20180826_203758.jpg

    And here is is in secondary where it currently sits. 20180901_163752.jpg

    So now I have a couple of question for anyone with mustang grape wine experience.

    This fermented dry, and its very tart for now. I plan to back sweeten a little, but I used a recipe that was conservative with the juice quantities. I guess this is roughly 2.5 lbs of grapes per gallon of must. Does this seem in the ballpark for mustang grape wine?

    Also, this stuff is neon pink! Does the color appear to be on par with other mustang wines?

    I'm sorry if my inexperience is showing...
     
  3. Sep 14, 2018 #3

    M38A1

    M38A1

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    This is my second year of winemaking and also my second year 'attempting' to make Mustang wine. The color looks about like mine did without the skins which is where the deep red color comes from. My non-skinned grape must was that pinkish color. The batch where I left the grapes in the primary was much deeper red.

    As for quantity of grapes per gallon, I used about 50lbs for 11 gallons. What I found was the Mustangs don't typically give up a lot of juice and the acid is so high I took the water dilution route to bring it down. BIG MISTAKE I believe. All I did was dilute the Mustang grape flavor profile in the process. So another batch I added some potassium bicarbonate (a base) to counteract the acids. We'll see how it all turns out in a few months. It's all out of primary fermentation now, been racked once out of carboys and just sitting there for another month while I decide what to do with it. For sure it'll be back sweetened by some unknown amount. And yes - mine is very tart at the moment.
     
  4. Oct 29, 2018 #4

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

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    20181018_193643 (600x800).jpg

    Thanks for the help M38A1! So going off my juice yields, for your 50 lbs per 11 gallons you were at about a 1:1 ratio of juice to water for the batch with potassium bicarbonate? Please let us know how yours turns out, as I would like to know the upper limit of the juice to water ratio.

    I like the way my wine turned out at 1:3 qts juice to water. It is very mild and mellow. I can tell it will be great after a little time in the bottle. I back-sweetened with 1/2 cup per gallon after stabilizing, and i think it might be too much for such a light wine. I will up the juice ratio to 1:2 for my next batch, and try to bulk age before back sweetening.
     
  5. Oct 29, 2018 #5

    robert81650

    robert81650

    robert81650

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    Where did you find the mustang grapes? I live in North Alabama and we don't have this type of grape.
     
  6. Oct 29, 2018 #6

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

    Chris Gibbs

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    I live in East Texas, between Houston and Galveston. Fence lines and trees near water sources almost always have vines on them. Vitis Mustangensis is the scientific name.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2018 #7

    robert81650

    robert81650

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    Thanks.....I googled them and said they grow in Alabama and panhandle of Florida. Wish I had about 100 pounds,,,, but o well. Just have to stick to muscadines...Have picked over 2000 pounds this year, red and white.
     
  8. Nov 7, 2018 #8

    M38A1

    M38A1

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    Will do!
     
  9. Nov 30, 2018 #9

    M38A1

    M38A1

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    Well, we tried it and it was 'drinkable but not great'. I was ready to just toss it and rack it up to inexperience or something just didn't go right. Yet my friend said "lets blend it". Mmmmm, ok. She went to the closet and got a couple bottles of the IKEA blueberry concentrate and poured a glass of the wine and added a bit of the syrup and a tad bit sugar. Man, that might work! So we scaled it up and put two bottles in 3 gallons along with 1/2C sugar/gallon and it's actually pretty nice. Certainly changed the color and taste profile. She named it "Train Wreck".

    I thawed and smashed 48lbs (about 6gal gross grapes) last night. That juice yield was right at 4 gallons of pulpy mess. I split the juice into two primaries and added 9L spring water to each (2+gal for about a 1:1 ratio). Tossed some k-meta at it and called it a night. This evening or tomorrow morning I'll get the pH and SG under control and pitch a couple different yeasts just to see how they might be different in the end. Part of me wants to add some more water since I think all this pulpy stuff will settle out and the yield will be sort of small in the end. I forsee a lot of cold crashing in the fridge of the first one or two racks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018

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