Blackberry suggestions or ideas, please!

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BigDaveK

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Here's the situation:
I have approximately 16 lbs of thornless and 15 lbs of wild blackberries in the freezer. I'm still learning and exploring and figuring out what I like so I was thinking about two 1-gallon batches of each. 7-8 lbs of fruit per batch should be nice. I was thinking about oaking one (probably a thornless) and adding tannin to one (probably the wild). And before anyone says anything (you know who you are) without thinking I used ALL my crab apples for a 3-gallon batch. Also, 71B is my first choice.

And then on the flip side I'm hoping to combine ALL the pulp for a 1-gallon step fed dessert wine.

So, is there another yeast strain that will give excellent results? Any other tweaks or suggestions? You should know by now that I'll try anything.

Thanks all!
 

Ohio Bob

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First question... can you taste the difference between the thornless and wild? I have wild growing in my wood line and my neighbor gave me access to his thornless. Other than a difference in acidity I couldn’t tell the difference so I combined my berries into one batch.

My goal is a port so I use EC1118 to get the ferment done quickly, add flavorings like light malt, chocolate powder, etc. I’ve also added my raspberry harvest as well, maybe 10% compared to the blackberry.

I’ve heard of plum, prunes, etc being used to add additional flavors. I’ve not tried it.

I did make 3g of straight blackberry wine, with no back sweetening. Not until I joined this forum did I become aware of the option. As expected it is quite tart, but I’m saving it for blending into future wines.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing of your experience. My blackberries for this year are still in the freezer. Was hoping to do it this weekend but I had to start my peach, which was taking up too much space in the freezer.
 

BigDaveK

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Thanks for responding, @Ohio Bob. This will be my first blackberry wine, skipping the jam, tarts, and liqueur this year.

My blackberries are truly different every year depending on weather. This year my wild have good flavor and an incredible pucker factor - that first taste hits hard. And my thornless are huge, juicy, sweet, great flavor and made me say "wow" more than once.

Thank goodness for freezers. I wanted to get this started to give me an idea what to do next year. In the future they'll be one of my main ingredients. The wild are very happy where they are and spreading like crazy, taking over a hillside. Brambles are super easy to propagate and that was one of my projects this year - I cut some thornless primocanes and should have an additional 75+ canes producing eventually.

I gave up trying to grow any stone fruit. Black knot is really bad here and nothing seems to work so I'll stick with what does grow.

It's very possible that simple is best and a basic blackberry wine with a boatload of fruit is the way to go. Hopefully I'll find out.
 

David Violante

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Dave, if they are that tart now, I imagine your pH will be a bit lower than usual. I like the idea of 71B just for that reason, even if you can temper the acidity with sweetness. I’ve read in quite a few Wine Maker Magazine articles lately that some wineries are using blends of yeasts for different outcomes. There has been a lot of discussion here about that and a few experiments if I remember correctly. Perhaps a mix of 71B and EC1118 would help to cut the acidity but also finish well. MLF?

(For my tastes) I don’t recommend trying to up the pH with something like bicarbonate. (For me) it leaves a mineral aftertaste. I would sweeten first.

…and let it sit. If I remember correctly, Dawg says a few years. I could never wait that long… LOL
 
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…and let it sit. If I remember correctly, Dawg says a few years. I could never wait that long… LOL
Make more than you drink. It's a completely effective technique, plus it's fun. ;)

I have over produced, to the point where I need to give away a few cases to make room (have cases stacked in another room), and I've got enough in production that I'll have the same problem next summer/fall.

OTOH, I've got several batches of reds that will be aged for a few years.
 

vinny

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My raspberry is at 10 months now and the pucker factor is still at 100%.

My vote is use the thornless for both. Start with the wow. Sugar will take out the tart and make a really nice jam. I don't see my raspberry ever becoming something great with that much acid to contend with.

Just my $.02
 

Rice_Guy

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Do you have numbers on the batches? I have one 2019 crop which had 1.049: TA. 0.70%; pH 3.91. you may find the domestic berries needing a bit acid.
I would expect that this wine has high polyphenols and goes on a roller coaster of flavor. Pretty good > on the astringent side so you wouldn’t want to have tannin > at five years enough complexing so that it is good again. ie NO tannin!
If I was splitting the batch I have been wondering what a gelatin treatment would do to pull some polyphenols out? Would it stay off the roller coaster?
 

Ohio Bob

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It's very possible that simple is best and a basic blackberry wine with a boatload of fruit is the way to go.
If this is your first blackberry attempt I cannot fault you for that decision. A lot of my wines suffer from what I describe as “singular”. That is they have one taste, maybe at the start, but then no finish.

When your ready to progress to the next level to avoid singularity, two options are to add additional fruits, plums, prunes, etc. or use multiple yeasts, 71b, but also possibly R56, VR21, RC212...
 

BigDaveK

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Dave, if they are that tart now, I imagine your pH will be a bit lower than usual. I like the idea of 71B just for that reason, even if you can temper the acidity with sweetness. I’ve read in quite a few Wine Maker Magazine articles lately that some wineries are using blends of yeasts for different outcomes. There has been a lot of discussion here about that and a few experiments if I remember correctly. Perhaps a mix of 71B and EC1118 would help to cut the acidity but also finish well. MLF?

(For my tastes) I don’t recommend trying to up the pH with something like bicarbonate. (For me) it leaves a mineral aftertaste. I would sweeten first.

…and let it sit. If I remember correctly, Dawg says a few years. I could never wait that long… LOL
Thanks for the input.

As a matter of fact my unplanned Black Hungarian dessert wine is using 2 yeasts. Unplanned because I used 71B for the regular wine and at the last second decided to use the pulp as part of a dessert wine, adding 1118 because I was going to step feed. I'm very curious where it will go. Still bubbling like crazy in secondary.

MLF? Oh lordy, that's out of my comfort zone. Never tried, know very little about it. Some day...

Years? Some bottles, maybe. I'll need to do some tasting to decide what to do with next years crop.
 

BigDaveK

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My raspberry is at 10 months now and the pucker factor is still at 100%.

My vote is use the thornless for both. Start with the wow. Sugar will take out the tart and make a really nice jam. I don't see my raspberry ever becoming something great with that much acid to contend with.

Just my $.02
My raspberry (my 1st wine!) turned out pretty good for someone totally clueless about this whole thing. I followed the recipe and used 3 1/2 lbs raspberries for a 1 gallon batch. Well...I have 16 lbs in the freezer and I will be nowhere near 3 1/2 lbs/gallon next time.
 

BigDaveK

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Do you have numbers on the batches? I have one 2019 crop which had 1.049: TA. 0.70%; pH 3.91. you may find the domestic berries needing a bit acid.
I would expect that this wine has high polyphenols and goes on a roller coaster of flavor. Pretty good > on the astringent side so you wouldn’t want to have tannin > at five years enough complexing so that it is good again. ie NO tannin!
If I was splitting the batch I have been wondering what a gelatin treatment would do to pull some polyphenols out? Would it stay off the roller coaster?
Thanks @Rice_Guy !
No numbers yet. I won't take them out of the freezer until I have a Plan A and a Plan B...and maybe even a Plan C.
 

Rice_Guy

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? ? How can you know plan A without knowing what you are working with, let alone plan B and C ,,,,,,
No numbers yet. I won't take them out of the freezer until I have a Plan A and a Plan B...and maybe even a Plan C.
I have seen some more acidic blackberry as pH 3.3 in which I would consider diluting the acid, not adding lemon or acid blend.
Here style is a question, my style is to use a high percentage of juice/ fruit solids and keep away from low cost of goods (work related) water wines.

I usually can pull out numbers with an ounce or two, and then toss the pulp back in the freezer bag.
 

BigDaveK

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? ? How can you know plan A without knowing what you are working with, let alone plan B and C ,,,,,,

I have seen some more acidic blackberry as pH 3.3 in which I would consider diluting the acid, not adding lemon or acid blend.
Here style is a question, my style is to use a high percentage of juice/ fruit solids and keep away from low cost of goods (work related) water wines.

I usually can pull out numbers with an ounce or two, and then toss the pulp back in the freezer bag.
Basic scenario planning:
If "A" conditions exist, I'll do #1.
If "B" conditions exist, I'll do #2.

Yes, I'm curious about the acid. My crab apple was my first and only wine (so far) that didn't get an acid addition. Came in at about 3.3 and I decided to let it go for the heck of it.

I could take a sample, yes, but the blackberries are in perfectly sized vac seal bags. I'd have to re-bag and that would be about .10 out of my pocket. :D

And yesterday I had a crazy thought: this was my first year growing beets and I found a couple I missed. The flavor is fantastic! I was impatient with my beet wine (darn it!) and I really should have let them go through a couple frosts. Live and learn. I might have about a pound. Hmm....
 

FlamingoEmporium

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And yesterday I had a crazy thought: this was my first year growing beets and I found a couple I missed. The flavor is fantastic! I was impatient with my beet wine (darn it!) and I really should have let them go through a couple frosts. Live and learn. I might have about a pound. Hmm....
Blackberry Beet wine 🤔. BBKing
 

hounddawg

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Here's the situation:
I have approximately 16 lbs of thornless and 15 lbs of wild blackberries in the freezer. I'm still learning and exploring and figuring out what I like so I was thinking about two 1-gallon batches of each. 7-8 lbs of fruit per batch should be nice. I was thinking about oaking one (probably a thornless) and adding tannin to one (probably the wild). And before anyone says anything (you know who you are) without thinking I used ALL my crab apples for a 3-gallon batch. Also, 71B is my first choice.

And then on the flip side I'm hoping to combine ALL the pulp for a 1-gallon step fed dessert wine.

So, is there another yeast strain that will give excellent results? Any other tweaks or suggestions? You should know by now that I'll try anything.

Thanks all!
everyone's different, for wine I like wild blackberries, but mixing them together is great as well to me,,
at home i have 2 wild kinds, one has big juicy beads and taste great to eat, the other has small beads and are way to tart to really enjoy eating, but for years i have mixed them for my wine, in the last several years i have some thornless blackberries, i also mix into my must of wild berries, most all thornless blackberries come from a college in north west Arkansas,
Dawg
 

hounddawg

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Basic scenario planning:
If "A" conditions exist, I'll do #1.
If "B" conditions exist, I'll do #2.

Yes, I'm curious about the acid. My crab apple was my first and only wine (so far) that didn't get an acid addition. Came in at about 3.3 and I decided to let it go for the heck of it.

I could take a sample, yes, but the blackberries are in perfectly sized vac seal bags. I'd have to re-bag and that would be about .10 out of my pocket. :D

And yesterday I had a crazy thought: this was my first year growing beets and I found a couple I missed. The flavor is fantastic! I was impatient with my beet wine (darn it!) and I really should have let them go through a couple frosts. Live and learn. I might have about a pound. Hmm....
i use sergeants crabapples (both red & yellow) as a tanning in my fruit wines especially, banana, peach, apple and so forth,
Dawg
 

BigDaveK

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Blackberry Beet wine 🤔. BBKing
You're good. I had the "BB" but my mind didn't make the jump to adding "King".

Seriously, the taste is night and day compared to the beets I harvested a couple months ago. Sweet! I mean, eat raw sweet! I'll grow beets again next year and I will never ever harvest until fall.

Harvested the rest of the beets today and I think it's a done deal. Now I have to decide if I'll have a Wild BBKing or a Thornless BBKing.
 

BigDaveK

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everyone's different, for wine I like wild blackberries, but mixing them together is great as well to me,,
at home i have 2 wild kinds, one has big juicy beads and taste great to eat, the other has small beads and are way to tart to really enjoy eating, but for years i have mixed them for my wine, in the last several years i have some thornless blackberries, i also mix into my must of wild berries, most all thornless blackberries come from a college in north west Arkansas,
Dawg
Most of my wild blackberries are on a slope that I stopped mowing I think 2 years ago. And I have new growth 15 feet away from the old canes. That means, heck with it, no more mowing at all there. I do need to make paths, though. Those thorns are deadly.

Yeah, I think the University of Arkansas has patents on 3 or 4 thornless varieties.
 
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