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Ken914

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I'm certainly not Tom, but I've learned a lot from him.

Did you check your SG before you added the sugar? I always sugar up to the SG that I want, rather than blindly trusting a recipe. I've learned this lesson. :)

It may take a fair amount of water to get down to 1.085... and then you've diluted the fruit : water ratio. I'd plan on a significant sized flavor pak.

Will you have enough carboy space to put in a secondary? Once in a while (if I'm over my 5g or 6g carboy), I just grab an old 1g glass wine jug. I get them at the glass recycling center for free. Wash them out and I have an overflow if i need it!
 
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Tom

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This is my first venture in making wine from fruit. I'm using Tom's blackberry wine recipe. My first SG, after berries, enzyme, sugar, etc. were added, was 1.132, which seems way too high. I added about a gallon of water, taking it to within 1" of the very top of my 7.9 gal fermenting pail. The SG was essentially unchanged. I think I may be confused about what the reference to higher and lower SG actually means.

- Does higher mean a higher number (therefore a more dense solution)?
- Is 1.132 too high to continue? My level is already too high to add anything else.

I am really afraid that after the yeast is pitched, this thing will take off big time, creating a big mess of overflow.

I have everything ready to proceed to the next step, but this SG seems out of whack. I have a second 7.9 primary I could use but would have difficulty in splitting the fruit in the bag into two equal parts
- What action is recommended here?
NS
You will need TWO 6 gallon buckets to fit all the berries and water. No way can that fit in a 7.9 gal bucket.
 

Tom

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How much water did you add? the berries will give up some juice but you still need to add 5.5 gal of water. The sugar added will bring that volume to 6 gal. You will wine up over 6 gal aftewr primary but, you will need that extra to top off @ rackings.
 

NoSnob

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Given the SG and the high liquid level in the fermenter, it was clear that the 7.9 pail would not be adequate. So I quickly got another primary, another fermentation bag, and divided both the berries and the juice equally into two fermenters. The SG of each was checked and they were divergent, but I was just winging it and added enough water to bring each up to about the 4 1/2 to 5 gal level. Then the SG was almost dead on 1.085 for each. Thanks to the WineForum expert advice, it looks like we're underway.

NS
 

Tom

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KOOL.
Just remember with fruit split in 2 buckets. Treat it as 2 3gal batches in the primary then rack to one. Add a total of about 5 1/2 gal of water split between the two PLUS the berries in a bag.
 

NoSnob

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Update on my blackberry wine (Tom's recipe): Racked the two primary buckets into a 6 gal carboy and a 1 gal jug. When secondary fermentation was complete, the SG was .995 and considerable sediment. I again racked the 6 and the 1 into another 6 and 1. It's been 10 days now and it's clearing. I want to age this in the carboy for at least 2-3 months.

Here's my question: How long should I wait before racking again? 10 days ago I added 1/4 tsp K-Meta and 3 tsp Pot Sorbate so from that standpoint it's good for 3 months. But there is an inch of sediment and I'm not sure whether to leave it on the lees, or rack it again til clear before aging for several more months. Is this a matter of opinion or is there a principle here I should go by?
NS
 

Tom

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If you didnt add any clearing agent nows the time. I would not rack for 3-4 weeks and then repeat. May take 6 months to be really clear.
 

NoSnob

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If you didnt add any clearing agent nows the time. I would not rack for 3-4 weeks and then repeat. May take 6 months to be really clear.
I haven't added any fining agents. Is Bentonite OK?
NS
 

docanddeb

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Clearing agents are optional... not mandatory. Time will take care of it too. If you are aging a year... then it's not really necessary.

Debbie
 

Tom

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Clearing agents are optional... not mandatory. Time will take care of it too. If you are aging a year... then it's not really necessary.

Debbie
True but Blackberry need help. I would use superkleer or isinglass at this stage.
 

bchilders

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I'm certainly not Tom, but I've learned a lot from him.

Did you check your SG before you added the sugar? I always sugar up to the SG that I want, rather than blindly trusting a recipe. I've learned this lesson. :)

It may take a fair amount of water to get down to 1.085... and then you've diluted the fruit : water ratio. I'd plan on a significant sized flavor pak.

Will you have enough carboy space to put in a secondary? Once in a while (if I'm over my 5g or 6g carboy), I just grab an old 1g glass wine jug. I get them at the glass recycling center for free. Wash them out and I have an overflow if i need it!
I totally agree with you Ken. I just put a 2gal batch in last night. My father grows his own and freezes the juice. I partially thawed enough to get 1.5gals of concentrate and then added simple syrup till I got an SG of 1.08 I will add more after primary fermentation if it needs to be sweeter.

I took the time to sterilize over night with SO2 and then pinched it with Cote Des Blancs Red Star yeast along with the normal enzymes and energizer. This is my first attempt with Blackberry. Wish me luck.
 

penderwoman

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my first wine...blackberry

Hi...I am hoping that my wine will be alright. I used 20lbs of berries and 11 lbs of sugar...quite a different ratio that in this recipe. Its fermenting nicely, won't be due to rack for another few weeks. Does crossing your fingers work?
 

mamero

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I have followed Tom’s recipe pretty close and so far everything is going very well. I used 40 lbs of berries. I tried a glass after fermentation and stabilising and it was quiet good even at this early stage. My wine is now “complete” and is about 3 weeks in to clearing.

My 6 gallon carboy has at least 1 to 1 ½ inches of sediment at the bottom and I am not sure what to do with it.

Should I rack to get rid of the sediment or leave it until bottling?
If I rack what should I use to top up the empty volume in the carboy? I’m concerned about diluting my wine if I use water but I also want to maintain my yield. I do have some extra blackberries in the freezer. Should I use the juice from them to top up? I want my wine to be completely dry so I don’t think an F-Pac is the answer.

Advice?
 

Easydraw

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Almost ready to begin fermenting 40 pounds of berries, now I see your comment about adding a can of Red Wine/grape concentrate. seems like a great idea. I am thinking merlot. Question: how large a can of concentrate? I have seen various sizes. Thanks and wish me luck, second wine batch for me--
 

roadwarriorsvt

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If I rack what should I use to top up the empty volume in the carboy? I’m concerned about diluting my wine
Advice?
Just buy a bottle of cheap blackberry wine from your local liquor store and use it to top up with.
 

mamero

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roadwarriorsvt said:
Just buy a bottle of cheap blackberry wine from your local liquor store and use it to top up with.
I still have 10 to 15 lbs of berries in the freezer. Can I use the juice from these? Or maybe make a small batch of blackberry wine from the extra berries to use for topping up? Buying wine to make wine seems counter productive to me.
 

bchilders

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I still have 10 to 15 lbs of berries in the freezer. Can I use the juice from these? Or maybe make a small batch of blackberry wine from the extra berries to use for topping up? Buying wine to make wine seems counter productive to me.
While it may seem counter productive it is the industry norm to top off with other wines. Using your frozen berries as either wine or juice could work as long as the juice has been heated or treated with an SO2 additive. You could also rank into a smaller container and just drink what is leftover.
 

ckassotis

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That's a bit confused. It certainly isn't the industry norm. Commercial wineries would be crucified for that practice. So I'll assume that you mean for home winemakers. I wouldn't even agree with that though. Juice is used far more often IMO, or a similar wine that you have made in the past, or using glass marbles to displace the space - all before I would ever suggest going to the store and getting a bottle of someone else's wine.
 

penderwoman

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I wonder what adding 1/8th teaspoon on Diversol (accidently) like I did yesterday to my wine will do? 5 gallons. Was nice, now I'm scared of it.
 
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