In this episode, we invited our friends Amy Jones (Austin's wife) and Vicki and Steve Brown to sit in and talk with us about winemaking from ingredient kits and wine made from scratch using hand picked fruit, like mustang grapes. We constantly have our customers coming in interested in winemaking and the folks asking us questions often fall into two categories: they either want to make it from scratch or go for the sure and smooth route with an ingredient kit.
Most folks think that it’s a difficult process, but it’s actually less complicated than brewing a beer. With a kit you can have a 5 to 6 gallon batch prepped and in a fermenter in around 30 minutes (the same applies to a 1 gallon kit). Then, about a month later you’ll have 30 bottles ready to drink or lay down. On the other hand, wine that you make from scratch just takes a little more time and effort. But after that effort, your reward is that it’s your creation. Plus, once you've made wine from scratch, you can apply that knowledge to multiple types of fruit to try new things.
Also, be sure you check out Amy's recent blog posts about when she made her first ingredient kit and when she tried out our new 1 gallon wine ingredient kits to make a micro batch!
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Mustang Grape Wine Recipe [1 gallon - Semi-Sweet Red]
- 8-10 lbs. black Mustang Grapes
- 1 nylon mesh bag for straining
- 2 lbs. granulated sugar
- 5 pints water
- 1 tsp. pectic enzyme
- 1 Campden tablet [crushed]
- Tartaric acid to lower pH [to increase acidity], Potassium Bicarbonate to raise pH [to decrease acidity] *As needed*
- EC-1118, 71B-1122, Montrachet, or Premier Blanc wine yeast
- Wine nutrient
- Potassium Sorbate or Wine Conditioner
- Wash your grapes and remove all stems and debris. Add grapes to your nylon mesh bag. This will make straining and pressing juice from the grapes easier later.
- Boil your water.
- Crush your grapes in your fermenting bucket. [WEAR RUBBER GLOVES]
- Add the sugar to your fermenter of grapes.
- Add the boiled water to your fermenter of grapes.
- Stir well to dissolve added sugar.
- Cover your fermenter and allow mixture to cool for 2-4 hours.
- Check for your starting gravity.
- Add crushed Campden tablet and let sit covered for another 5-10 hours.
- Add pectic enzyme to mixture and let sit again for another 10 hours.
- Add yeast and nutrient to mixture and stir. Be sure to break up and push down the "cap" of grapes floating on top in your bag.
- Stir 2-3 times daily for a week until your gravity approaches 1.020-1.030.
- Measure acidity and modify pH as needed.
- Transfer your fermenting wine to a secondary fermenter and strain the grapes to get as much juice as possible. Let sit until gravity does not change for 7 days. Transfer again to a tertiary fermenter to continue clarification.
- Add Potassium Sorbate to stop fermentation and back sweeten as needed.
- Add or subtract sugar to increase or decrease sweetness in your wine by manipulating starting gravity.
- Add Potassium Sorbate earlier in the process if the sweetness of the wine is to your liking and the gravity is between 1.005 and 1.015. This eliminates the need for adding sugar at the end of the process.
- Scale this recipe as needed for larger batches.