I have always utilized real, whole fruit in all my batches and I am not sure if there are recipe differences when using pure juice. Do you have a Muscadine recipe or a Scuppernong recipes that I could follow utilizing 100% grape juice? Are all the wine making ingredients the same? Do I add water or more sugar considering the Brix is in the ideal range?
I really appreciate your assistance.
John and Cathy H.
Hello John and Cathy,
Most fresh Muscadine or Scuppernong wine recipes you will find typically call for both water and sugar in addition to the juice/grapes:
- Water: to lower the higher acidity typically found in these grapes. If you use straight Scuppernong or Muscadine juice, you will most likely end up with a wine that is too tart.
- Sugar: to bring the potential alcohol of the wine back up to a decent range. Because you added water to dilute/lower the acidity of the juice, you will need to add sugar to bring the potential alcohol level up to a descent range: 10% to 13%.
- Acid Testing Kit: This kit will allow you to test the acidity level of the Scuppernong or Muscadine juice. The acidity relates to the sourness/sharpness of the wine verses the flatness/lifelessness of the flavor. The acid testing kit also comes with directions that will tell you what the optimal readings are, so you can calculate how much water to add to the juice, if any. I would shoot for an acid reading of around .65%.
- Wine Hydrometer: This priceless instrument is what tells you what the brix reading is of the juice. Your supplier has already given you a brix range of 22 to 23, but these numbers will change if you have to dilute the grape juice with water to lower the acidity. The wine hydrometer will tell you what the new brix reading is and help guide you back to a brix range of 22-33 when adding sugar back to the wine must.
As for the rest of the wine making ingredients, you can follow the wine recipes on the wine recipes page of our website. There you will find a Muscadine wine recipe and a Scuppernong wine recipe. Basically, add the following for every 5 gallons of wine must:
What About Fresh Muscadine And Scuppernong Grapes?
I would also like to point out that the above information can be applied to making wine from actual Muscadine a Scuppernong grapes. Just crush the grapes then take a reading with your gravity hydrometer and acid test kit, and take it from there.
Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.