Pyment Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Vitis Aestivalis Pyment (1 Gallon)

April 5, 2001
  • 6-8 lbs of
  • V. aestivalis
  • (or
  • V. aestivalis
  • var.
  • lincecumii
  • ) grapes
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs honey (try to get a starting SG at 1.095)
  • Water to bring total liquid to 1 gal
  • Acid blend to raise acidity to 0.55 to 0.6
  • 2 Campden tablets
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • wine or mead yeast

Crush grapes, tie inside nylon straining bag and place in primary along with any juice
emitted. Bring one pint of water to a rolling boil, remove from heat and carefully add honey.
Gently stir to dissolve honey, pour over grapes in secondary and add a quart of cool water.
Wait about an hour to cool further and test acidity; add acid blend to 0.6. Add one finely
crushed and dissolved Campden tablet and yeast nutrient. Cover and set aside 10-12 hours while
feeding your yeast starter solution. Meanwhile, begin a yeast starter solution and maintain it
until needed. After 10-12 hours, stir yeast starter into must. After five days, remove grapes
and press, returning juice extracted to primary. When vigorous fermentation subsides, transfer
to secondary and attach an airlock. Ferment to dryness, wait an additional month and rack. Set
aside 2-3 additional months and rack into a sanitized secondary containing another finely
crushed and dissolved Campden tablet. Set aside at least 30 days. Rack if required and
bottle. Age at least a year — two will be better but requires great will power. [Author’s own
recipe]

Wild Muscadine Pyment (1 Gallon)

April 5, 2001
  • 10 lbs Muscadine grapes
  • About 1 lb honey (target starting SG at 1.095)
  • Water to bring total liquid to 1 gallon
  • 2 crushed Campden tablets
  • possible acid blend
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • wine or mead yeast

Make a yeast starter solution and husband it until needed. Crush grapes, tie inside nylon
straining bag and place in primary along with any juice emitted. Bring one pint of water to a
rolling boil, remove from heat and carefully add honey. Gently stir to dissolve honey and let
sit about an hour to cool. Stir in one finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet and yeast
nutrient and carefully pour the honey-water over the bag of grapes. Cover primary, set aside
10-12 hours and then stir in starter solution. Recover primary and set aside. After 5 days,
remove nylon straining bag and press the grapes, returning their juice to primary. Do not add
water at this time to make one gallon. When vigorous fermentation subsides, transfer to
secondary and attach airlock. Wait about a week and then top up. When fermentation finishes,
rack, top up and test acidity. It should not need much correcting, but bring up to 0.55-0.6 (if
using Scuppernongs, bring to 0.6 to 0.65). Refit airlock and set aside 2 months. Rack again,
wait another 2 months and rack once more, adding another finely crushed and dissolved Campden
tablet. Check liquid level in airlock and set secondary aside for 3-4 months. Carefully check
bottom for evidence of fine dusting of dead yeast. If present, rack very carefully, wait 2 weeks
and bottle. If dusting is not evident, go ahead and bottle. Mead improves incredibly with age,
so wait at least a year — longer if you can stand it. [Author’s own recipe]

A Texas Pyment (1 Gallon)

April 5, 2001
  • 4 lbs Mustang grapes
  • 2-1/2 lbs honey
  • Water to bring total liquid to 1 gallon
  • 2 crushed Campden tablets
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • wine or mead yeast

Crush grapes, tie inside nylon straining bag and place in primary along with any juice. Bring
one quart of water to a rolling boil, remove from heat and carefully add honey. Gently stir to
dissolve honey and let sit about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make a yeast starter solution and husband
it until needed. Add 1-1/2 quarts cold water to honey-water and stir in one finely crushed and
dissolved Campden tablet and yeast nutrient and carefully pour water over grapes. Cover primary,
set aside 10-12 hours and then stir in starter solution. Recover primary and set aside. After
5 days, remove nylon straining bag and press grapes, returning juice to primary. When vigorous
fermentation subsides, transfer to secondary and attach airlock. When fermentation concludes,
rack, top up and test acidity. Bring up to 0.55-0.6. Refit airlock and set aside 2 months. Rack
again, wait another 2 months and rack once more, adding another finely crushed and dissolved
Campden tablet. Make sure liquid level in airlock is sufficient and set secondary aside for 3-4
months. Carefully check bottom for evidence of fine dusting of dead yeast. If present, carefully
rack, wait 2 weeks and bottle; if dusting is not present, bottle. Mead improves incredibly with
age, so wait at least a year — two if you are strong-willed. [Author’s own recipe]

Blanc Du Bois Pyment (3 Gallons)

April 5, 2001
  • 14 lbs of Blanc du Bois grapes
  • 6 lbs honey
  • Water to bring total liquid to 3 gal
  • Acid blend to raise acidity to 0.6 (5-6 tsp)
  • 3 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Campden tablets
  • potassium sorbate
  • wine or mead yeast

Disolve honey in 1 gallon of water. Crush and press grapes, add juice to honey-water. Add
water to make 3 gallons. Test acidity and add acid blend to 0.6. Add three finely crushed and
dissolved Campden tablets and yeast nutrient. Cover and set aside 10-12 hours while feeding a
yeast starter solution. After 10-12 hours, stir yeast starter into must. When vigorous
fermentation subsides, transfer to 3-gallon carboy and attach airlock. Ferment to dryness, wait
additional month and rack. Set aside 3 additional months and rack into sanitized carboy
containing 3 finely crushed Campden tablets and 1-1/2 tsp potassium sorbate. Wait 2-4 weeks and
sweeten with 1 to 1/12 pounds of honey. Stir well and set aside at least 30 days. Rack if
required and bottle. Age at least a year — two will be better. [Author’s own recipe]