Wild Muscadine Pyment (1 Gallon)

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  • 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]