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10/14/08 12:53 PM  
Muscat-skins or not skins?
Hi all! Haven't been around in a while as I've been brewing uninfected beers, hahah. Anyway, I'm going to pick up a bunch of Muscat Ottonel grapes for an upcoming strong ale. I plan to ferment through primary, and rack onto the (prefrozen) grapes, but I don't know whether to leave the skins on or remove them.

I've red that vintners often let Muscat ferment on the skins for up to 5 days to develop the more characteristic pungency from these grapes. Perhaps I could rack onto the whole grapes for that length of time followed by another racking to prevent excessive tannins from leaching in. I'm not looking to sour the hell out of this thing, by the way, but a bit of tartness and funk is fine.

In need of guidance,


seanywonton (Sean White)
10/14/08 08:48 PM  
Re: Muscat-skins or not skins?
I have never used whole grapes in any beer, but it seems to me like you are talking about mainly tannin contribution from the skins. That's not an altogether bad thing. And since you are probably not fermenting a huge amount like a wine maker would be, I doubt that getting too much tannins from the skins over time would be a problem.

Why don't you email Scott at Captain Lawrence Brewing? He uses them in the Cuvee du Castleton.

10/15/08 04:17 PM  
Re: Muscat-skins or not skins?
Thanks, Sean. I'll definitely send him an email. He'll likely be able to shed some light on the quantity that I would want to use. I'm thinking somewhere between five and ten pounds for a 5 gallon batch.

Thanks again!

10/21/08 11:56 AM  
Re: Muscat-skins or not skins?
Scott emailed me back, hooray! He said that they leave the Cuvee du Castleton on the Muscats in barrels for at least 6 months and recommended 1 lb. per gallon or less to get good, but not overpowering muscat character.

Thanks again for the referal, Sean.

I racked 5 gallons of a recently brewed tripel onto about 4.5 lbs. of muscats a couple days ago. The smell is heavenly. It think I'll pull this off the fruit pretty soon, but I'll be brewing a strong golden in the near future that will be left on for extended aging.

10/13/10 12:08 PM  
Re: Muscat-skins or not skins?
I know this thread is pretty old but I have some Champagne grapes that I am wondering the same thing about. I just wanted to know if you think it was a good idea to leave the skins.
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