"We picked A LOT of wild Mustang Grapes over the past 4th of July
weekend. We enjoy mom's Mustang Grape Jelly. She has just finished
'Making all the jelly to be made for a while!' and she wants to make
some wine out of the already juiced grapes. (We juiced them and froze
the juice until we could 'deal with it'). Can you please tell us how to
make wine starting with juice, instead of fruit, and how many cups
(gallons) of juice can be substitued for bushels of grapes."Brian King,
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You and I did pretty much the same thing--we saved the juice for another day. You froze yours; I canned mine. I harvested 63 buckets of grapes from my three vines, but only had enough empty carboys to handle about half the juice. So I boiled the juice and canned it in quart-sized mason jars. I have cases of it stored in our pantry. The main difference between my juice and your juice is that mine has been cooked and therefore the color has set to a deep burgundy.
I have several friends who always freeze their grapes before pressing them for the juice. They claim it helps break down the pulp and enhances the sugar content. I don't know if this works for the juice itself, but it certainly can't hurt it.
The Mustang Grape produces a powerfully acidic wine with a somewhat astringent feel and tatse. The easiest way to overcome these drawbacks is to dilute the juice with water. I like the ratio of 1:3 juice to water. This makes a good-tasting wine without too much acid. If you want a more "Mustang-tasting" wine, use the ratio of 1:2 juice to water. I have two ingredient lists below and one instruction. The instruction works for either ingredient list. The first list is for a 1:3 ration and the second is for a 1:2 ratio. Each recipe makes 1 gallon of wine, so if you want to make 5 gallons just increase all ingredients by a factor of five except the yeast (1 packet makes 1-5 gallons of wine).
Dissolve sugar in water and add juice and yeast nutrient in primary fermentation vessel. Check Specific Gravity with hydrometer to ensure it is at least 1.090. If shy of this number, add additional sugar as required (see http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/hydrom.asp for table). Sprinkle yeast on top of must (do not stir into liquid) and cover with a clean cloth. Stir into liquid when evidence of fermentation is obvious. Ferment until S.G. drops to 1.020 or lower (6-7 days). Siphon off sediments into secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days until wine clears, topping up each time. When wine clears, wait another 30 days, rack and bottle. If you want to sweeten the wine, stabilize before final racking, wait additional 10 days, rack, sweeten to taste, and bottle. This wine will be drinkable right away, but like all red wines it will improve with age. I would let it sit at least a year before drinking. [Author's recipes]
My thanks to Brian King for the request.