A Tale of Two Raspberry Wines

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BigDaveK

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Thought this might be interesting/helpful especially for new wine makers.

I recently bottled my second raspberry wine and the differences are truly amazing. The most obvious difference is color.

20231226_085218.jpg

The bottle on the right is the very last bottle of my very first wine. (I don't think I'll ever open it. It has historical importance. 😄 )
I used 3.5 lbs of raspberries for a gallon. After making a wonderful jam that's all I had left. Raspberry aroma with my nose in the glass. Flavor was identifiable as raspberry, similar to some commercial brands. As my first wine I was happy and considered it a great success.

The bottle on the left had 5.5 lbs of raspberries/gallon. Raspberry aroma was noticeable with the glass a foot away from my nose! And the flavor was knock-your-socks-off! In fact, one could almost imagine that raspberry flavoring was added, that's how intense it is. Without question, one of my favorites and I wish all my wines were such a success. Fortunately for me it was one of my rare larger batches, 3 gallons.
 
Both look beautiful, besides amount of fruit per gallon. any other differences, techniques, finings, or. aging. I personally use around 1 pound per liter found it perfect. are your berries very tart, the raspberries I. grew up with were much more tart and stronger flavor than the ones I get now, I found I have to tweak my recipe each season because berries are so different from year to year.

you'll definitely need to make 5 or 10 gallon batches if you share others. that wine on the left will be a big hit. looks perfectly appetizing. I can smell it from here
 
Thought this might be interesting/helpful especially for new wine makers.

I recently bottled my second raspberry wine and the differences are truly amazing. The most obvious difference is color.

View attachment 109009

The bottle on the right is the very last bottle of my very first wine. (I don't think I'll ever open it. It has historical importance. 😄 )
I used 3.5 lbs of raspberries for a gallon. After making a wonderful jam that's all I had left. Raspberry aroma with my nose in the glass. Flavor was identifiable as raspberry, similar to some commercial brands. As my first wine I was happy and considered it a great success.

The bottle on the left had 5.5 lbs of raspberries/gallon. Raspberry aroma was noticeable with the glass a foot away from my nose! And the flavor was knock-your-socks-off! In fact, one could almost imagine that raspberry flavoring was added, that's how intense it is. Without question, one of my favorites and I wish all my wines were such a success. Fortunately for me it was one of my rare larger batches, 3 gallons.
If you want to have some fun consider adding 1 bottle of Chambord (French black raspberry liqueur to a 3 gallon batch next time - you'll have to sorbate it). I make raspberry wine all the time from the ripest late season raspberries I can pick.
 
Both look beautiful, besides amount of fruit per gallon. any other differences, techniques, finings, or. aging. I personally use around 1 pound per liter found it perfect. are your berries very tart, the raspberries I. grew up with were much more tart and stronger flavor than the ones I get now, I found I have to tweak my recipe each season because berries are so different from year to year.

you'll definitely need to make 5 or 10 gallon batches if you share others. that wine on the left will be a big hit. looks perfectly appetizing. I can smell it from here
I definitely won't go below 5 lbs from now on, that's for sure. And the results with 71B were so wonderful I'm afraid to try anything else. I generally avoid fining, preferring to let time do the work. And like you said, the raspberries are different every year. Maybe this harvest was a good year? And unfortunately I'm stuck with 3 gallon batches. I top off my canes early in the year hoping to increase yield but I usually end up with about 17 lbs. I'll keep my fingers crossed because I'd love to try a step fed dessert wine.

Last year for the first time I found some wild black raspberries and harvested almost 6 lbs. Of course making wine was my only option! I'm really excited about it. Going into bulk the flavor was phenomenal. I'm very seriously considering propagating them in the yard.
 
Thought this might be interesting/helpful especially for new wine makers.
This could possibly end up as my favorite topic on WMT because raspberry is my favorite. Since 2016 I've been making the Island Mist raspberry kit 1-2 per year, but my goal is to do something different this year and use real raspberries and not just the favoring like Island Mist. BigDave ... I know you've made Dragons Blood after reading some other posts from 2022 so was the raspberry wine making similar to that? Hazelemere .... you make it all the time is there a recipe sorta explaining the steps because I've just been a kit wine maker where the steps are spelled out every step of the way.

When making raspberry wine did you add tannin?
Muslin bag for the raspberries?
71B yeast?
Invert sugar to 1.100sg?

Any particulars would be appreciated.
 
This could possibly end up as my favorite topic on WMT because raspberry is my favorite. Since 2016 I've been making the Island Mist raspberry kit 1-2 per year, but my goal is to do something different this year and use real raspberries and not just the favoring like Island Mist. BigDave ... I know you've made Dragons Blood after reading some other posts from 2022 so was the raspberry wine making similar to that? Hazelemere .... you make it all the time is there a recipe sorta explaining the steps because I've just been a kit wine maker where the steps are spelled out every step of the way.

When making raspberry wine did you add tannin?
Muslin bag for the raspberries?
71B yeast?
Invert sugar to 1.100sg?

Any particulars would be appreciated.
For each 6 lbs frozen I add 3 lbs cane sugar and let the frozen raspberries thaw.
Then add 1 Imperial gallon of water for every 6 lbs of fruit with pectic enzyme e.g. 1 tbsp should be enough. You get more juice with frozen berries than fresh.
Add 1/2 tsp nutrient for each 6 lbs of fruit. Adjust the specific gravity to between 1.085 to 1.100.
Sprinkle 71B yeast on top and let it soak for 24 hours before your stir it in (notice I didn't add sulphite at the start
After 5 days of vigorous ferment strain out the seeds (~SG 1.030 to SG 1.040). Panty hose works but I use a stainless steel bladder press since I ferment raspberries in 30 lb batches. Straining the seeds out at ~5% alcohol stops seed tannin from messing up the flavour.
Rack it into a glass carboy between SG 1.000 and SG 1.010 and then sulphite 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulphite per 25 bottle carboy.
Rack it again when it clears (usually 3-4 weeks) and add 1/8 tsp sulphite. Each 1/8 tsp sulphite counts for 10 ppm per Imperial gallon as long as it isn't lumpy.
I add 1 bottle of French Chambord liqueur per 3 to 5 Imperial gallons, sweeten with dextrose (corn sugar to SG ~1.012) and add potassium sorbate so it doesn't ferment in the bottle. I sulphite to about 70 ppm total which works out to ~23-24 free sulphite at bottling. I pick about 70 lb homegrown raspberries per year, use the early ones to make raspberry juice and the late ones (less acidic and more flavourful to make wine). I also mix raspberries with wild black cherries (optional), blackberries and dried elderberries to make fruit table wine or fruit port with either Chambord or Cassis (black currant) liqueur. For the port I use bayanus 1118 yeast because 71B can't handle the 18% alcohol that 1118 yeast can. You don't need to add tannin to raspberry wine. You get enough from the seeds even at low alcohol. 71B is a good choice for table wine because it consumes some of the malic acid in the raspberries so you don't need as much corn sugar (dextrose) to back sweeten the wine to balance the acidity and sweetness. I grow 3 kinds of raspberries and mix them all including Meeker. I've also done Raspberry Melomel with unpasteurized raspberry blossom honey instead of sugar and raspberry apple.
 
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This could possibly end up as my favorite topic on WMT because raspberry is my favorite. Since 2016 I've been making the Island Mist raspberry kit 1-2 per year, but my goal is to do something different this year and use real raspberries and not just the favoring like Island Mist. BigDave ... I know you've made Dragons Blood after reading some other posts from 2022 so was the raspberry wine making similar to that? Hazelemere .... you make it all the time is there a recipe sorta explaining the steps because I've just been a kit wine maker where the steps are spelled out every step of the way.

When making raspberry wine did you add tannin?
Muslin bag for the raspberries?
71B yeast?
Invert sugar to 1.100sg?

Any particulars would be appreciated.
You definitely can't go wrong with raspberries!
I harvest every day for about 2 weeks, twice a day when they're ripening like gangbusters. I'm selfish and don't want to share with birds and spiders. (Who knew spiders like raspberries?!) I vac seal and freeze. One advantage of vac sealing is that the pouches are strong - once thawed I'll crush before opening the bag.
Dump the raspberries in the bucket and add water. My water is around 170 F. I like to think the bit of heat will extract more color. Does it? I really don't know for sure.
Once it's cool I add pectic enzyme and nutrient. No acid! My raspberry juice was below 3.00, water brought it to 3.00ish, low but I don't care. I like my berry wines a bit tart and I think it tastes more like the original fruit. BTW, it finished at 3.45.
The SG of my raspberry juice was 1.015 and I added sugar to the must to 1.095. Basic yeast rehydration, warm water and some sugar, add to must when foaming, usually less than 20 minutes.
I should mention that I oversize my batches a little. My secondary was almost 3.5 gallons, giving me enough to fully top up going into bulk and maybe a glass or so to enjoy right away.
I transferred to secondary when the SG was 1.020, that was on day 5. And by transfer I mean I pour it into a bucket lined with a brew bag to remove most of the pulp and seeds. Remove bag, pour wine into carboy, add airlock. After 3ish weeks I rack to bulk and add kmeta. From this point on I'm just getting fine lees so I don't open it and don't add more kmeta and don't rack and will do sur lie and batonnage. My next racking will be just before bottling. In this case it was in bulk for 10 months.
I add kmeta, sorbate, and some of the sugar syrup for back sweetening. I say "some" of the sugar because to me on the day of back sweetening the wine tastes "sugary" and it will change in just a day or two. Sometimes I need to add more syrup, sometimes I don't.
I should also mention I make a 10% kmeta solution. I find it easier and more convenient to add 2+ ml per gallon rather than adding powder.

All this talk about raspberries breaks my heart thinking I have to wait SOOOOO many months for the next harvest.
 
I'm aging a raspberry wine now made from frozen raspberries, 3lbs/gallon. I added 3/4 tsp of tannin. I didn't realize that there are a lot of seeds and tannin would be sufficient. How about aging. I heard raspberry wine need at least 18 months of aging to be drinkable.
 
I'm aging a raspberry wine now made from frozen raspberries, 3lbs/gallon. I added 3/4 tsp of tannin. I didn't realize that there are a lot of seeds and tannin would be sufficient. How about aging. I heard raspberry wine need at least 18 months of aging to be drinkable.
I think you'll be fine with the added tannin.
Natural tannins are certainly a fuzzy ingredient. The amount produced by a plant can change year to year. Of that, how much will be extracted during fermentation? And raspberries have a fair amount of hydrolysable tannins which may not survive.

I'll share a bad seed experience with you. My first rose hip wine (in bulk now) was fermented with the seeds. I think I made tannin wine. 😂 Live and learn. My next one will have NO seeds.

Doing the math, my raspberry wine will have approximately 1.09 gr tannin/gallon, about a 1/4 tsp. At 3 lbs/gallon you'll have about half that.

We've all had truly undrinkable young wines but IMO raspberry doesn't fall in that category. I thought it was delicious at bottling, though at that point it was 10 months old. I back sweetened so maybe a dry wine would need more time.
 
Thought this might be interesting/helpful especially for new wine makers.

I recently bottled my second raspberry wine and the differences are truly amazing. The most obvious difference is color.

View attachment 109009

The bottle on the right is the very last bottle of my very first wine. (I don't think I'll ever open it. It has historical importance. 😄 )
I used 3.5 lbs of raspberries for a gallon. After making a wonderful jam that's all I had left. Raspberry aroma with my nose in the glass. Flavor was identifiable as raspberry, similar to some commercial brands. As my first wine I was happy and considered it a great success.

The bottle on the left had 5.5 lbs of raspberries/gallon. Raspberry aroma was noticeable with the glass a foot away from my nose! And the flavor was knock-your-socks-off! In fact, one could almost imagine that raspberry flavoring was added, that's how intense it is. Without question, one of my favorites and I wish all my wines were such a success. Fortunately for me it was one of my rare larger batches, 3 gallons.
Outstanding colors
 

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