Blueberries: lbs/gal?

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by FunkedOut, Sep 21, 2019.

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How many pounds of blueberries per gallon of wine do you prefer?

This poll will close on Jan 1, 2020 at 4:25 PM.
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  1. Sep 21, 2019 #1

    FunkedOut

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    I have finally reached the end of the internet searching recipes to find the answer...
    How many pounds of blueberries per gallon of wine do you prefer?
    It should be interesting to collect responses to a poll, to see this community's preferences.

    I am allowing up to 3 choices for your response, should you rather specify a range.
    Poll runs through the end of the year.

    Thanks for your contributions!
    blueberry-wine-ts-94268138-1440687836.jpg
     
  2. Sep 21, 2019 #2

    Scooter68

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    More than 7 and you usually will have some serious acidity issues.
     
  3. Sep 22, 2019 #3

    jgmillr1

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    I did 10#/gal (essentially no water added) this year and still had to *add* some citric to get the acidity up. I was shooting for a sweeter style so needed the higher TA anyway. Turned out spectacular too
     
  4. Sep 23, 2019 #4

    Scooter68

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    More than a little unusual - Have never heard anyone on her talk about a blueberry wine batch from real blueberries needing MORE acid.
    Every comment I have heard here is how blueberry wine batches are way to acidic, and that has been my experience with at least 6 batches of Blueberry wine. Starting, unaltered pH readings ranged from 2.78 - to 3.30
     
  5. Sep 23, 2019 #5

    jgmillr1

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    I wonder if this may be coming from different blueberry species or ripeness. The blueberries I got only had an initial TA of 6.5 and pH of 3.6-3.8. So a little more acid helped guide the balance where it needed to be
     
  6. Sep 23, 2019 #6

    Scooter68

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    Could be. I've noticed that those HUGE store bought Blackberries really lack the concentrated flavor of wild blackberries. So perhaps those you got were from a domesticated, modified blueberry bush variety grown for low acidity.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2019 #7

    FunkedOut

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    I would imagine the pH of the soil has to translate to the pH of the berry.
     
  8. Sep 24, 2019 #8

    Scooter68

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    Well if that were true then blueberries should grow in a wide variety of pH ranges but in reality blueberries, at least for home growers, HAVE to have a fairly acidic soil. Before I planted mine I researched and found that they need a soil pH range of from 4.5 - 5.5 (quite acidic really) or they will likely not survive.
    This is from a wide variety of sources including:

    Michigan State https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/soil_test_before_you_plant_blueberries
    Oregon State https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8918.pdf
    Stark Nurseries https://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/how-to-grow/berry-plants/blueberry-plants/soil-preparation
    Burpee https://www.burpee.com/gardenadvice.../how-to-grow-blueberry-plants/article10389.ht
     
  9. Sep 24, 2019 #9

    FunkedOut

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    Wide and narrow are relative terms.
    4.5 - 5.5 is a range, nonetheless.
    “I would imagine that the soil pH has to translate to the pH of the berry. “
    Just a supposition. Not a driver for blueberries to grow in a pH range outside of the possible.

    While we’re discussing soil, I looked at growing a few bushes myself.
    I’m in Florida, so naturally researched local data.
    UF suggests soil pH of 4 - 5 for cultivars that do well down here.
    These numbers even more acidic than those you found from other parts of the country, but in the same ballpark.
    UF research has found wild blueberries to be found throughout the state, “except where soil pH is above 6.0.”
    http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/gulfco/2014/06/10/growing-blueberries-in-the-edible-landscape/

    Perhaps the wild blueberries for the recipes I’ve found across the net that specify the addition of acid?
    Heres’s a couple:
    https://blog.eckraus.com/blueberry-wine-recipe
    https://wineladybird.com/blueberry-wine-recipe/
     
  10. Sep 24, 2019 #10

    Scooter68

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    At the risk of going too aggressive on the topics of pH and pounds per gallon - Other that the one above post, every other post I've seen on this site reports that blueberry wine runs very acidic. My personal experience track exactly along that line. I have 30 bushes and my blueberry wine juice always starts out at the bottom end of recommended fermentation guidelines you will find for wine making. In most questions you ask you will get out-lying answers or results. You follow those out-lying answers if you wish but it's a risk I don't care to accept.

    Many folks recommend an follow Jack Keller's recipes and they have success, but the more I read and my personal experience leads me to conclude that his recipes are too low on fruit content and relatively high on the ABV. At the same time more is not always a great answer either especially with blueberries.

    Granted I've only been doing this for 4 1/2 years now and only 40 batches of the following types of wines:
    Blueberry
    Blackberry
    Black Raspberry
    Black Currant
    Sweet Cherry
    Tart Cherry
    Loquat
    Peach
    Peach Vanilla
    Zinfandel (canned juice)
    Blush Zinfandel (canned juice)
    Peach Riesling (Fruit & canned juice)
    Strawberry
    Elderberry
    Red Raspberry
    Apricot
    Apple
    Plum
    Pineapple / Mango

    Those in Red do not, according to my experience and a number of other folks reports, need to be really heavy on the pounds per gallon to make an excellent wine.
    Your results may vary according to your tastes.
     
  11. Sep 24, 2019 #11

    FunkedOut

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    Keller’s recipes are in the 3 - 4 lbs per gallon range and call for acid as well.
    https://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request227.asp

    To a novice like me, it would seem that adding more fruit would produce a better wine.
    I think I would strive for adding enough fruit until no acid is needed, but not so much that the must is too acidic.
    That target seems to fall right in the curve for the poll responses at the moment.
    More fruit also adds more sugar, color and tannins.
     
  12. Sep 24, 2019 #12

    Scooter68

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    So I see - And I'm at the upper end because I want enough concentrated flavor that I don't have to worry about using water to top off. I start with a higher ABV potential as well so that doesn't drop too much either. I don't like the idea of adding another similar or same wine (even from my own stock of wines) because it may change the ending flavor. I want that batch to stand on it's own. I'm still playing with different quantities and now and then an additive like oak chips or a piece of vanilla bean (Peach-Vanilla). So I want to be able to assess each batch without wondering what that topping off wine might have added or changed.

    Yes more fruit generally means better flavor but some folks are quite happy with a little less flavor. My first peach wine was with only 4 1/2 lbs of fruit. I used the term "Light on the Palette" to describe it. Now if you want something more like a white wine, then that first peach batch was certainly like a white wine.
    But I wanted and still prefer bolder flavors - hence my proclivity towards more more more fruit. :db (Except with blueberries.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  13. Sep 29, 2019 #13

    Stressbaby

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    If you stop adding fruit when the acid is right, you'll still end up low on fruit for a wine like blackberry.
     
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  14. Oct 2, 2019 #14

    Scooter68

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    Country Fruit wine is a bit different than grape wines. Vintners have learned over their years of experience how to judge what they need to do. Sugar content and acidity (As well as other elements) do vary with their grapes from one variety to another, and year to year but the variation is relatively predictable.

    That's is certainly not the case when you discuss the WIDE variety of fruits, vegetables and other things folks make into "Country Fruit Wine." Some things folks use have extremely low sugar content or even acidity. Wild vs Domesticated fruits and veggies also vary significantly.

    All of the element not only Acidity, Sugars, Tannins, Flavor etc vary so much that there is NO one size fits all method that works.

    Acid level or even sugar levels alone really are not a sound basis to use in determining how much fruit should be in a wine batch.
     

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