Blackberries, black raspberries and other similar

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Newbie Mel

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With the help of other members on this forum I have decided on my next wine. It will be blackberry. But it could be black raspberry or some other berry. I have identified wild blackberries on my property, and lots of them. But I also have some other berry that I have not identified yet. It’s not ripe yet so I haven’t tried to pick any to see if hollow or not? The first two pictures are the blackberries (and there are way more on the way). The third picture is unknown berry. Any ideas on what type it is? Is there any reason I would not want to mix blackberries and raspberries in the same wine?
 

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I assume you're asking about black raspberries. I think red raspberries deserve a wine of their own and the color is gorgeous. With luck maybe you'll harvest enough berries for a variety of wines.

The wild blackberries will be different each year so make sure you test them. Last year mine were super acidic but still delicious.
 
I was mostly thinking in terms of not taking advantage of the color. And the flavor? My mouth couldn't detect it mixed with blackberries. But then I also don't consider jalapenos a hot pepper. My poor mouth.
Lol! We had the hottest jalapeños last year and salsa was great. This year they taste like a bell pepper, not even worthy of salsa. Hopefully some of them will get hotter, plants just started producing.
 
There appears to be rose hips on the plant. What was the flower like? I assume thorns, about three to four feet high, a spray originating from a central point.
Unfortunately I missed seeing the blossoms, just started exploring the field recently to see what’s out there. I’ll have to keep an eye on them and get out in earlier in the season next year.
 
Those look like blackberries to me. Raspberries will have a hollow core when picked, while these will come off the plant with a solid stem in place. Check out this link from Sycamore Gardens.

I have several of these on my property from which I’ve made pretty good jams and wines. If the stalk is in a star shape and thorny, it is quite possibly a Himalayan Blackberry, which some states consider invasive.
 
I have picked about 8 lbs of wild blackberries and getting ready to start wine soon. I do not have a ph meter and can’t substantiate the cost right now. I do have some testing strips that will get me in the vicinity of where I need to be. I have Jack Kellers recipe and he mentions calcium carbonate to get ph up if needed. I’m curious to know from others who have made blackberry wine how often that is needed? He also mentions maintaining free SO2 at least 20 mg/L. Being a beginner, I am not sure what that means and how to measure it. If anyone has recipes to share and advice, I would love some guidance!
 
I’m curious to know from others who have made blackberry wine how often that is needed? He also mentions maintaining free SO2 at least 20 mg/L. Being a beginner, I am not sure what that means and how to measure it. If anyone has recipes to share and advice, I would love some guidance!

For what it’s worth... I’ve made blackberry picked from wild several times. Never checked the pH, I’m sure it was low. Even added acid a few times until I got my feet under me. Never had a problem with it starting or finishing. Not advice for what you should do, but advice not to freak out.

SO2 protocol, should follow that for grape wines. Some people sulfite after freezing, before pitching. I do not. Follow the instructions for grape must. The reason I don’t sulphite here is I prepare a yeast starter 24 hours in advance. When pitched, that slug of yeast overwhelms any wild things.

After fermentation is complete, rack adding sulfite (1/4 tsp per 5 gallons). Rack again after 3-4 weeks, then every 3 months, always add sulfite at each racking. Always top off the carboy to minimize the airspace.
 
Agree with everyone here. Also, Lalvin 71B-1122, reduces the acidity in the fermentation process by metabolizing a pretty good amount of malic acid. For whatever reason, I haven’t liked the taste of a wine in which I added something to increase pH. It tastes a little metallic or of minerals. Just me. And definitely increase the fruit level.
 
I would not add any calcium carbonate without being able to measure the pH. Unless your must is extremely acidic, you can probably get the yeast started. Lalvin 71B-1122 is a good choice if the acidity is too high, as long as malic acid is one of the primary acids in the fruit. It won't affect other acids.

haven’t liked the taste of a wine in which I added something to increase pH
Agreed. We expect blackberries to be on the tart side. If the pH is too high, it won't taste like blackberries. When your wine is finished, you can backsweeten to bring out the fruit flavor and balance the acidity.
 
I just found this site: Master List of Typical pH and Acid Content of Fruits and Vegetables for Home Canning and Preserving It lists the typical pH of blackberries as 4.18. If you search, you might find other sites with info about blackberries. In practice, the pH will vary according to variety, location, weather, and ripeness at harvest. You might actually need to add some acid rather than remove it. pH strips would help, eventually a pH meter is better. To start with you can taste your must to get an idea.

If the pH is around 4.0, then I might not want to use Lalvin 71B because it would raise the pH even further. The idea pH for a fruit wine is around 3.4 or 3.5.

If you can get fermentation started, I would not try to change the pH at all.
 

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