Saturday, September 15, 2012

Homemade Muscadine Wine

After homemade cherry wine, muscadine and blackberry are a tie for second. On the heels of bottling the blackberry wine we started two months ago, it's time to start the muscadine. When Dale and Amanda were married last year, I fixed little gift bags of goodies for the rehearsal dinner that represented our side of the family to our soon to be new members. One of the items that went in the bag was the specially labeled bottles of sweet muscadine wine we prepared. Let's just say it went over VERY WELL!
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 quart of crushed fruit per gallon of wine 
  • 1 pack yeast
  • 3 lbs. sugar per gallon of wine
  • water
ADDITIONAL ITEMS NEEDED:
  • Pillow case
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • 3 gallon wine jug
  • Airlock
We use our food processor to "crush the fruit. We use a four cup measuring glass to put the batches in until we get a level quart. Line a 5 gallon bucket with a pillowcase. Pour 12 cups (3 quarts) of fruit inside the pillowcase to make 3 gallons of wine.
Pour in 9 pounds of sugar into the bucket.
Pour pack of yeast on top of sugar. With a wooden spoon, blend well. Fill the bucket half full with warm water. Stir again. Twist the pillow case closed. Cover the top of the bucket. Andy uses a wire to tighten the cloth over the top to keep ants out.

Every day, for five days, uncover and stir with a wooden spoon. On the next day, squeeze the juice out of the pillowcase filled with the crushed fruit and remove. Using a funnel, pour the liquid into a 3 gallon jug. Fill up with water to three gallons. 

Seal off with an airlock. 


Let it ferment for 6-8 weeks. When it quits bubbling, it's ready to bottle.


35 comments:

  1. would this work for concord grapes too?

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    1. Danny, Andy got his hands on some white grapes about three weeks ago. We are testing a five gallon jug using the muscadine recipe. It smells really good and I can't wait to test it! I'll let you know how it turns out.

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    2. Danny, I just took a straw and drew out a "taste" of the white grape wine. Pretty awesome so far!! Still has a lot of settling/clearing up to go but we're satisfied.

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  2. Danny, we never have tried this with grapes. Andy said all the grape recipes he's looked at were more complicated. He has an old book about wine making but we are away from home. He said to make one gallon and see how that works out for you. Or to make it with welch's frozen grape juice. That's how he started out making wine. I can share that recipe with you later if you want.

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  3. Denise,

    In the last stage, is there anything to drain off when you go to bottle it? Or do you just transfer it from the 3 gallon container to the bottles after it has stopped bubbling? My husband and I are about to try our first batch of Muscadine. Thanks for posting pictures for each stage! That helps a lot!

    -Brandi

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    1. Brandi,
      We use a 1/2" clear hose (we got ours from Home Depot) and siphon from the jug to the bottles. Be sure to keep it raised a few inches from the bottom to keep the settlement from getting siphoned. You might still get a little of the settlement, but this has worked well for us. We pour out the bottom few inches and clean out the jug. I recommend doing this outside because no matter how careful you are, if you don't crimp that hose or have several bottles sitting side by side it can get messy. Let me know how it turns out for you!!
      Thanks,
      Denise

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    2. Our wine is amazing!!! I surely hope my batch next year will be this good. We let ours ferment for about 6 weeks. Thanks for posting this-- it really helped seeing pictures of the step by step process and having the ratios listed.

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    3. Brandi,
      Thank you for sharing your success!! Everyone seems to Love a glass of homemade muscadine wine best.

      Cheers!!
      Denise

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  4. Hi Denise, I am making my first batch of Muscadine Wine. I have followed your instructions very carefully. On saturday I Squeezed the pillow slips to get every drop I could and transfered the juice from the bucket to a Water Cooler Bottle. I had cleaned and sanitized the bottle with products purchased from a brewing company. I topped the bottle with a cork and an air lock. Today is Tuesday and one of the bottles have some stuff floating near the bottom. Kinda looks like white strings. Is this normal? If not what can I do, is that batch ruined! I hope not we picked these on a camping trip we took a few weeks ago :( Help?

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  5. Freda, It's normal to have some settlement, but I don't know that I would describe it as stringy. If you could, email me a few pics to lifeisgood@energize.net and Andy and I will try to figure it out. Is the wine still working/bubbling? Thanks, Denise

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  6. It is working. Not sure if it will show up in pictures but I will try.

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  7. Got your picture and will have Andy check it out when he comes home. I've sent you a few emails. Thanks!! Denise

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  8. What kind 7of yeast do you use?

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  9. When we buy yeast specifically for wine-making, we order it from here: http://allseasonsnashville.com/product-category/home-brewing/wine-ingredients/wine-yeast/ or drive up there and pick out a few varieties for red and light wines.
    However, Andy has used 1 pack of Fleischmann's yeast countless times and I personally cannot tell the difference. Thank you for checking out my blog!

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  10. Is it 1 pack of yeast for three gallons of wine? Or is 3 packs. Your tripling all of the ingredients

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  11. 1 pack of yeast total to make a three gallon jug or five gallon jug. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

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  12. Thank you very much, I just wanted to make sure . You have been very helpful.

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  13. Good luck!! Let me know how it turns out for you. We have five gallons of muscadine wine cooking away along with a jug of white grape wine...which is a new one for us.

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  14. Ok, did your recipe and just now got to the bottom comments where you say you trpiled all other ingredients EXCEPT the yeast! YIKES! I now have three packets in because you tripled the recipe. What will this do?

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    1. Oh no! I'm not sure what will happen. Andy is thinking you need to set your jug somewhere in case it boils over, like a big aluminium pan. Please keep me posted on how it turns out!!

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    2. Nothing really happened. Everything seems fine now. I read somewhere else from a scientist type that said no way to give it too much yeast. The amount of sugar you use can only provide so much fuel for the yeast. The rest will die off because of lack of food. I just transferred it last night to the glass jar to wait out the 6 weeks. Old farmer friend of ours told us to put a latex glove over the top and make a small pin hole in one of the fingers. He says when the glove lays down after 4-6 weeks, you are ready to bottle. Thanks for your tutorial. We are hopeful everything will turn out but we've had a good time trying.

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    3. Janet, Thank you so much for posting the information about the extra yeast not being a problem!! I'm sure it'll help others who check in. We will have to try the glove. That is very interesting. :-) Let me know how it turns out. I have some raspberry wine that I'm trying for the first time. It smells heavenly. If it turns out well, I'll add it to the blog also. Thank you! Denise

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  15. Do you think three one gallon jugs would do as well as one three gallon. 6th day and I don't have my 3 gallon jug yet

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    1. We haven't had this happen yet, but we've talked about it. Before we met it go to waste, we would stir well, divide equally between three jugs, add the water and top each with an airlock.

      Let us know how it turns out please.

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  16. Will do. How long would you wait?

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    1. Not sure what you mean by wait. If you mean processing time, wait until there are no more bubbles/ action.

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  17. Hi! I just made my first batch of muscadine wine. I started out with the muscadines in the pillow cases in two old churns that were my grandmothers. These I left for almost a week, as instructed, stirring daily. Combined they are appx 5 gallons. I used almost two pkg of yeast. I then transferred to a five gallon water cooler jug and used a �� Condom with a tiny hole in the top as the air lock. I saw this on several sites I researched. It worker wonderfully and got lots of laughs from friends and family. I have photos!! My question is this. It has been in the jug for just under 3 weeks and has stopped " bubbling". And very little gases are being formed. Does this mean it is ready to bottle or do I need to wait a few more weeks? Thanks so much

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    1. Lynn, Thanks for your comments!! I have heard of people using balloons and gloves, but the condom is a new one on me! :-)

      I recommend waiting until there is absolutely no activity. Andy and I will normally wait a few additional weeks to bottle but that's because we always have some in reserve and aren't in a hurry. However, that wouldn't stop me from enjoying it. Just be sure it's sealed back properly if you decide to siphon off some and hold off on bottling.

      My brother-in-law had a batch that was finished in close to a month. That was right around the time we went up to visit them and had it bottled and ready for us to ejoy.

      One more thing--if you siphon off some early, don't put the hose all the way to the bottom of the jug. You don't want to pull up what has settled on the bottom.

      BTW--I'd love to see your pictures! Send me one at lifeisgood@energize.net and I'll be happy to feature it here on this page.

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    2. I will be happy to send you a photo! That are quite funny. Just so that I understand, did you continue to wait a few more weeks even when there was no activity? I'm in no hurry. I just don't want to let it spoil or ruin.

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  18. Received your picture. Love it!!! Andy lets it sit so it clears up a little more. He thinks you might want to tie a knot in that condom so no air will get in there. Necessity is the mother of all invention...I'll have to share your picture when we return home next week. Thanks again for sharing!! Denise

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  19. I did tie a knot in it! I think that it what made it work so well. But that photo was from the first day. Now there is no air in it at all. That is why I am wondering if I need to let it continue to sit any longer?

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    1. Andy and I talked about it. He said to siphon off a small bottle (keep hose off the bottom!) And look at how clear it is. If it's cloudy,  it will continue to settle in what you rebottle. If you are ready to drink it, just do one bottle and reseal it.

      When we bottle, our wine is a pretty crystal clear purplish color.

      Have you tried it yet?

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  20. No, but I did replace the old "airlock""with a new one. And upon closer inspection, I noticed I still,have some bubbles along the edges of the wine. And the new airlock is now working properly again. So I am guessing that as long as some fermentation gases are being emitted, then I should still wait? Thanks again for your help

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  21. Absolutely wait! You don't want the tops to pop off, lol!

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  22. I went and bought a 5 gallon water jug. After getting all the muscadine juice in bottle it only took 2gal of water. Is the wine just going to be a little stronger? This is my first time ever doing anything like this. Its still bubbling and looks beautiful. I'm hoping it will taste good not adding that extra gallon of water.

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