Wild Grape No Water Added?

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CortneyD

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We harvested some wild grapes from our neighbors last year. Its all frozen and in clusters and is not muscadine, just a standard wild type in northern WI, more seed than fruit TBH. The local homebrew shop owner suggested we make this without adding water to get the best flavor.
Since I'm new and used to working from established recipes I'm a bit unsure of how to proceed.

My questions, since I'm lacking a recipe to work from are:
1) Do I crush the grapes? Leave them in clusters? Crush only part (a la pseudo-carbonic masceration)?
2) If I crush only part, how do I figure out how much sugar to add? They are on the tart end of the spectrum for sure.
3) What is a good starting weight of wild grapes for a 1 ga batch? Do I just toss in what I have (maybe 10-12 lbs) and see what I get for juice? What would I add if I needed more liquid volume to fill a carboy?
4) Would I use similar measures of nutrient, PE, acid blend, and KMeta to previous recipes?

I know its a lot of questions but I appreciate any advice/tips!
 

Johnd

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We harvested some wild grapes from our neighbors last year. Its all frozen and in clusters and is not muscadine, just a standard wild type in northern WI, more seed than fruit TBH. The local homebrew shop owner suggested we make this without adding water to get the best flavor.
Since I'm new and used to working from established recipes I'm a bit unsure of how to proceed.

My questions, since I'm lacking a recipe to work from are:
1) Do I crush the grapes? Leave them in clusters? Crush only part (a la pseudo-carbonic masceration)?
2) If I crush only part, how do I figure out how much sugar to add? They are on the tart end of the spectrum for sure.
3) What is a good starting weight of wild grapes for a 1 ga batch? Do I just toss in what I have (maybe 10-12 lbs) and see what I get for juice? What would I add if I needed more liquid volume to fill a carboy?
4) Would I use similar measures of nutrient, PE, acid blend, and KMeta to previous recipes?

I know its a lot of questions but I appreciate any advice/tips!
Handle them just like vineyard cultivated grapes, at least the first time you try. Crush and destem the grapes into a container, add some enzymes to help release the juice / break down the solids. Check the specific gravity / BRIX and adjust as needed to achieve your finished ABV, measure and adjust pH / TA if you have the capability. If the grapes are clean, without mold / mildew, you can consider skipping a sulfite addition, or add it if you're unsure, and toss in an appropriate yeast about a day later.

Keep vessel covered with a towel to keep dust and bugs out, punch the cap down several times daily, and monitor the specific gravity. When you get near 1.000, siphon out the wine and press the skins, putting the clean wine into a new vessel. Once fermentation has ceased, you'll get a pretty good sediment layer, rack your wine off of that and get it into a properly sized vessel to eliminate excessive air exposure, and sulfite the wine. Allow it to sit and mature, adjust acidity as needed, bottle when completely clear and free from carbonation.

For calculations, use a program like this : FermCalc JS
 

CortneyD

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Is the sulfite necessary? This will be my first grape wine so I'm on much less steady footing with what's necessary and what's optional. Thank you for the thorough reply- I appreciate it!
 
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Potassium metabisulfite (K-meta) is an antioxidant and preservative that has been used in winemaking for centuries. It reduces or eliminates oxidation, renders other contaminants harmless, and extends shelf life. My experience with no-sulfite wines is the shelf life is very short.

K-meta is often added to the fruit at crush, to stunt or kill competing micro-organisms, including wild yeasts. This prevents problems and provides your yeast with a non-competitive environment in which to reproduce. While it's not strictly necessary, it is often a good idea, depending on how clean the fruit is. If adding, wait 24 hours before inoculating to let the SO2 do its thing. SO2 binds to contaminants, including O2, and gets used up in the process. While most commercial yeast is SO2 tolerant, giving the SO2 a day to work means there is less free SO2 to hinder your yeast.
 

Rice_Guy

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Wild grape juice has a high percentage of acid (Titratable Acidity). >> The acid will control the flavor. My read on the Jack Keller recipe is that it is designed to put the acid close to a domestic vinifera.
. The local homebrew shop owner suggested we make this without adding water to get the best flavor.
Since I'm new and used to working from established recipes I'm a bit unsure of how to proceed. . . . but I appreciate any advice/tips!

A guideline for where to balance TA on wine;
after club contest this year I collected eight first place wines which are the red triangles
View attachment 81200
The sample set "cloud" is primarily commercial wines, with some collected in the vinters club and here on WineMakingTalk
NOTE: TA is one of several quality traits which a first place wine has as absence of flavor defect, appropriate aroma for the variety and clarity , , , etc.
NOTE 2: this is an easy test, if ya'll are interested in your wine ,,, PM me
@SeniorHobby can you comment on your current wild grape wine,,,./ or meet at someplace half way to do a tasting?
 

ChuckD

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We harvested some wild grapes from our neighbors last year. Its all frozen and in clusters and is not muscadine, just a standard wild type in northern WI, more seed than fruit TBH. The local homebrew shop owner suggested we make this without adding water to get the best flavor.
Since I'm new and used to working from established recipes I'm a bit unsure of how to proceed.

My questions, since I'm lacking a recipe to work from are:
1) Do I crush the grapes? Leave them in clusters? Crush only part (a la pseudo-carbonic masceration)?
2) If I crush only part, how do I figure out how much sugar to add? They are on the tart end of the spectrum for sure.
3) What is a good starting weight of wild grapes for a 1 ga batch? Do I just toss in what I have (maybe 10-12 lbs) and see what I get for juice? What would I add if I needed more liquid volume to fill a carboy?
4) Would I use similar measures of nutrient, PE, acid blend, and KMeta to previous recipes?

I know its a lot of questions but I appreciate any advice/tips!
I have a recent thread on wild grape wine that you could search for. It was my first and it’s still a work in progress. Here are my thoughts:
1) If you are going pure grape juice you will need a LOT of grapes. I think I used 5 lbs per gallon and there is plenty of grape flavor and an overpowering grape aroma.
2) freeze, de-stem and crush the grapes. I put them in a straining bag and used the bottom of a bottle. Don’t crush too many seeds.
3) you will need to add sugar.
4) plan on adding oak and aging it for a good long time.

Others have more experience with wild grapes. I’m sure they will stop by.

Oh, and you probably have virus riparian. Riverbank grape. It’s everywhere in northern WI.
 

CortneyD

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Potassium metabisulfite (K-meta) is an antioxidant and preservative that has been used in winemaking for centuries. It reduces or eliminates oxidation, renders other contaminants harmless, and extends shelf life. My experience with no-sulfite wines is the shelf life is very short.

K-meta is often added to the fruit at crush, to stunt or kill competing micro-organisms, including wild yeasts. This prevents problems and provides your yeast with a non-competitive environment in which to reproduce. While it's not strictly necessary, it is often a good idea, depending on how clean the fruit is. If adding, wait 24 hours before inoculating to let the SO2 do its thing. SO2 binds to contaminants, including O2, and gets used up in the process. While most commercial yeast is SO2 tolerant, giving the SO2 a day to work means there is less free SO2 to hinder your yeast.
Yes, I'm used to using the KMeta up front, I was just trying to figure out if adding it after fermentation is in ADDITION to KMeta up front or IN PLACE of?
 

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oh, man am i glad i stumbled across this thread, i got to cut my possum grapes back tomorrow, i have some huge vines, at one time i knew older people that talked about eating these and their folk going back over 100 years, i got some that's better than 2 inch thick stems
Richard
 

Rice_Guy

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forgive me if I am saying something you already know; a normal vinifera red must is pH 3.5 to 3.7 or 3.8/ This translates into the food safety is good below 3.7 and better the lower it goes.
The TA relates to the strength of flavor impact. A dry red wine might be TA 0.50% and a sweet red might be 0.70% acid.
I have two pickings of wild grape: 2016 pH 2.83/ 1.082 gravity; 2021 pH 2.63/ 1.090/ TA 6.32%. This translates into lots of acid in 100% juice that needs to be dealt with and a gravity that is low but OK. For TA folks can remove it by making tartrate crystals at 33 or 40F, and/or running a malolactic fermentation, and/or adding a bicarbonate as calcium or potassium, and/or diluting with water. (This gets us back to usual recipes which say a few pounds of fruit per gallon.) If you do add water you need to make up for sugar that is missing from water. Acid? Maybe and maybe it dilutes to at least pH 3.2. (Yeast die off below 2.8)
The graphic I posted above basically says sugar creates balance, ,,, the more acid impact the more sugar in the back sweetened wine. A young back sweetened wine needs to be stabilized as with potassium sorbate.

Going into the fermentation I would do something to deal with high acid. (Factories run based on a standard formula) ,,, I guess I sin and dry lab my fermentations before I add the yeast.
If you have the tools to run TA and pH I would design my own recipe, ,,, otherwise what grandpa (or Jack Keller) did is reliable.
 

hounddawg

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forgive me if I am saying something you already know; a normal vinifera red must is pH 3.5 to 3.7 or 3.8/ This translates into the food safety is good below 3.7 and better the lower it goes.
The TA relates to the strength of flavor impact. A dry red wine might be TA 0.50% and a sweet red might be 0.70% acid.
I have two pickings of wild grape: 2016 pH 2.83/ 1.082 gravity; 2021 pH 2.63/ 1.090/ TA 6.32%. This translates into lots of acid in 100% juice that needs to be dealt with and a gravity that is low but OK. For TA folks can remove it by making tartrate crystals at 33 or 40F, and/or running a malolactic fermentation, and/or adding a bicarbonate as calcium or potassium, and/or diluting with water. (This gets us back to usual recipes which say a few pounds of fruit per gallon.) If you do add water you need to make up for sugar that is missing from water. Acid? Maybe and maybe it dilutes to at least pH 3.2. (Yeast die off below 2.8)
The graphic I posted above basically says sugar creates balance, ,,, the more acid impact the more sugar in the back sweetened wine. A young back sweetened wine needs to be stabilized as with potassium sorbate.

Going into the fermentation I would do something to deal with high acid. (Factories run based on a standard formula) ,,, I guess I sin and dry lab my fermentations before I add the yeast.
If you have the tools to run TA and pH I would design my own recipe, ,,, otherwise what grandpa (or Jack Keller) did is reliable.
dumb question from me of course, are there many different types of wild grape in the USA? i have possum grapes, and other then being mostly seed, they taste great, your up on the tech kinda stuff, dark purple and kinda small, same as my wild plum just smaller then a big marble and 85% stone,, thanks
Richard
 

Johnd

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Yes, I'm used to using the KMeta up front, I was just trying to figure out if adding it after fermentation is in ADDITION to KMeta up front or IN PLACE of?
During the life of your wine, if you’re using sulfite properly, you’ll make numerous additions, it does “get used up” doing its job, leaving your wine unprotected from unwanted organisms and oxidation. The answer is “in addition to”, and that won’t be the last.
 
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dumb question from me of course, are there many different types of wild grape in the USA?
According to the site below, there are believed to be ~25 varieties of native North American grapes. I did a quick search and it appears these are the most common (names in brackets are alternate names)

Arizona Grape (Vitis Arizonica)
California Grape (Vitis Californica) [Pacific]
Fox Grape (Vitis Labrusca)
Frost Grape (Vitis Vulpina) [Winter, Fox]
July Grape (Vitis Rupestris) [Sand, Beach, Mountain]
Muscadine Grape (Vitis Rotundifolia)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis Riparia)
Summer Grape (Vitis Aestivalis)

Labrusca (Concord, Catawba) and Rotundifolia (Muscadine, Scuppernong) have been domesticated, but AFAIK also grow wild.


I learn something new each week from this forum! :)
 

hounddawg

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According to the site below, there are believed to be ~25 varieties of native North American grapes. I did a quick search and it appears these are the most common (names in brackets are alternate names)

Arizona Grape (Vitis Arizonica)
California Grape (Vitis Californica) [Pacific]
Fox Grape (Vitis Labrusca)
Frost Grape (Vitis Vulpina) [Winter, Fox]
July Grape (Vitis Rupestris) [Sand, Beach, Mountain]
Muscadine Grape (Vitis Rotundifolia)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis Riparia)
Summer Grape (Vitis Aestivalis)

Labrusca (Concord, Catawba) and Rotundifolia (Muscadine, Scuppernong) have been domesticated, but AFAIK also grow wild.


I learn something new each week from this forum! :)
fox grape looks like it,
Thank YOU
Richard
 

CortneyD

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During the life of your wine, if you’re using sulfite properly, you’ll make numerous additions, it does “get used up” doing its job, leaving your wine unprotected from unwanted organisms and oxidation. The answer is “in addition to”, and that won’t be the last.
I suppose this means I'll need to do more grape-specific research before I venture down this path because that is new information to me! I've only ever added it once during my fruit wine making, so thank you for the info and I'm off to do some learnin'!
 

CortneyD

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forgive me if I am saying something you already know; a normal vinifera red must is pH 3.5 to 3.7 or 3.8/ This translates into the food safety is good below 3.7 and better the lower it goes.
The TA relates to the strength of flavor impact. A dry red wine might be TA 0.50% and a sweet red might be 0.70% acid.
I have two pickings of wild grape: 2016 pH 2.83/ 1.082 gravity; 2021 pH 2.63/ 1.090/ TA 6.32%. This translates into lots of acid in 100% juice that needs to be dealt with and a gravity that is low but OK. For TA folks can remove it by making tartrate crystals at 33 or 40F, and/or running a malolactic fermentation, and/or adding a bicarbonate as calcium or potassium, and/or diluting with water. (This gets us back to usual recipes which say a few pounds of fruit per gallon.) If you do add water you need to make up for sugar that is missing from water. Acid? Maybe and maybe it dilutes to at least pH 3.2. (Yeast die off below 2.8)
The graphic I posted above basically says sugar creates balance, ,,, the more acid impact the more sugar in the back sweetened wine. A young back sweetened wine needs to be stabilized as with potassium sorbate.

Going into the fermentation I would do something to deal with high acid. (Factories run based on a standard formula) ,,, I guess I sin and dry lab my fermentations before I add the yeast.
If you have the tools to run TA and pH I would design my own recipe, ,,, otherwise what grandpa (or Jack Keller) did is reliable.
I suppose his recipe is a good place to start and I can tweak from there based on the grapes year to year. Thanks for the suggestion and advice!
 

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