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Blackberry Wine & a few questions!

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Bones-Among-Briars

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Hello! This is my first post on this forum; I’ve lurked here off and on for the past 3 years or so drinking up information on wine making as I went along.

I’ve searched and found info insufficient to my liking on the question(s) I have, so apologize if this is the wrong place for this post to be made and if my questions have been answered somewhere and just couldn’t find it.

I’ll start by sharing my logs on this batch of wine!
Criticisms and advice to help me learn and better my process(es) are more than welcome!


  1. 1 Gallon Blackberry

    Start-9/22/2017 6:15 pm-
    2gallon food grade bucket
    -4.5 pounds of fresh picked blackberry- froze 12 hours prior and thawed/mashed in muslin.
    -Boiled 1.1 liters of water and stirred thoroughly with mash and blended with 1 tsp pectic enzyme and 1 crushed campden tab.

    9/24/2017
    12:12 a.m
    -1.4 liters of simple syrup (3lb sugar) and the works! (2 grams of activated Montrachet, 1tsp of acid blend, 1 tsp of yeast nutrient)

    -transfer to another sanitized 2gal bucket
    -covered with cheese cloth and tied off; forgot to write down gravity reading.

    9/25/2017 4:00 pm
    Bubbling steady, smells strong in a delicious way, should be ready for secondary by 10/1/2017

    10/2/1017 1:30 pm
    Hydrometer sunk to the bottom, smelled great! Tasted great!
    Racked into second carboy and air locked for secondary ferment.
    Be ready 11/13/2017


———

This is only my second batch of blackberry ever; my first had white mold colonies in it by third day of primary back in 2014 and smelled way off. So am quite excited with my success here thus far!

My first question is regarding clarification, I’ve read a lot of conflicting information about the clarification of blackberry wine.

For my grape wines, I’ve always used bentonite, especially since I largely made wine to drink it as soon as possible. Spending summer nights skinny dipping in the river with a bottle of my wine, the stars,. sounds of crickets and night animals and occasionally my girlfriend when I could talk her into it joining me in my feral ways.

This being said, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with letting a wine that I’ve made myself, age proper!

I’m actually quite surprised that my blackberry seems as clear as it does! I hold the gallon carboy up to the light and where light can more easily pass through, around the neck- it’s very pretty and looks quite clear.

(?)Will it benefit my wine to add a bentonite slurry at the end of my 6 week 1 day secondary ferment period? Or will letting it sit clarify it enough?

I very rarely consume alcohol anymore these days, so letting this age shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but I can’t say that I’m not anxious to try a bottle at least and share it with people!

(?)If I wanted to, should it be safe to the gut and pallet to do so without using my bentonite to clarify?


Also, as far as aging goes,
(?)after the secondary ferment, should I be adding my sorbate and bottling or should I pop it in another carboy and let it age???


On a final note here, I study and make medicines from my native plants here, know a lot of wild plant edibles and native berries that I’d love to try to make into wines…

I’ve read of people making elderberry and elderberry flower wines, and things along those lines and am anxious to create wine from some of the far more obscure plants and berries I know.
I’m not finding much yet of that on this site, so if I can be directed to who and/or where that is being discussed, it’d be deeply appreciated!!
 

salcoco

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I would let the wine clear on it own. I would rack after about three days an then add some potassium metbisuflite. dosage is normally 1/4 tsp for 5 gallons. age the period you desire. rack again before bottling to insure no fine lees then at metabisufite again before bottling. sorbate only required if you add additional sugar o sweeten wine.
 

Stressbaby

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The bentonite can help stabilize the wine against protein haze but that's probably more important for a white wine and wines which are going to experience temperature swings. It probably won't hurt but it is not unsafe to drink now.

One issue to think about is residual sugar. You used 3# in a gallon (not counting the sugar in the berries) and that is a potential alcohol of 15.1%. Montrachet has an alcohol tolerance of 13%-15% depending on which source you believe. Either way, you quite possibly have some residual sugar. If it were me, I'd probably add the sorbate whether you backsweeten or not.

I'd be interested in any numbers on this wine if you have them. I've never added acid to blackberry...I've always been in the opposite situation of having to reduce the acid.
 

Bones-Among-Briars

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I would let the wine clear on it own. I would rack after about three days an then add some potassium metbisuflite.
After 3 days in secondary ferment you mean? Looking at it, there is a new, albeit smaller, layer of lees at the bottom and ought to rack it off that I imagine.


The bentonite can help stabilize the wine against protein haze but that's probably more important for a white wine and wines which are going to experience temperature swings. It probably won't hurt but it is not unsafe to drink now.

One issue to think about is residual sugar. You used 3# in a gallon (not counting the sugar in the berries) and that is a potential alcohol of 15.1%. Montrachet has an alcohol tolerance of 13%-15% depending on which source you believe. Either way, you quite possibly have some residual sugar. If it were me, I'd probably add the sorbate whether you backsweeten or not.

I'd be interested in any numbers on this wine if you have them. I've never added acid to blackberry...I've always been in the opposite situation of having to reduce the acid.
As I noted in my log I transcribed, I forgot to physically record the gravity at the start, but it was was definitely somewhere in the 13.5 - 15 range, which is what I was aiming for. My post ferment reading swallowed my hydrometer, no floating. I feel I ought to do a retake on that regardless when I rack it off the newer settled lees here.

As for numbers, do you mean pH?

I may not have added acid if the berries had been store bought, but I picked them from the fields, juicy, tasty, mouthwatering berries in their prime. Delicious, but imo could have used the extra pinch of acidity in wine, I'm curious to see how it made it turn out.
 

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