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Scooter68

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Well the blueberry plants are in full production now. I've been picking about 5 cups every other day for the last 2 weeks. As a result, since we freeze or give away a good portion of that harvest. (Nice thing about a small town barbershop - I get a really good haircut when I tip my barber in advance with a two cup bag of Blueberries)

So in putting away a few bags of berries I found that we had a pretty good stash of berries from the last few years. 15 3/4 lbs to be exact. That's about right for a 3 gallon batch of blueberry wine. I will probably add in one days new picking to the batch (about 1 lb more) and get this batch going. Right now they are defrosting in the bucket since yesterday.

With this being a rainy day it looks like a good project to go mash the berries and put the pulp into a fruit bag.

This time I'm going to aim my ABV at a bout 13-14 %. I prefer to aim a little higher.

Saturday 6/17/2017 1:00PM - Crushed total of 16 .75 lbs of blueberries with a manual conical ricer. Total juice and pulp = 2 gallons. Juice SG 1.042 pH 2.98 Added 2 dissolved campden tablets will make simple syrup to bring SG to 1.100 approx. At same time will push volume up to 3.4/3.5 approx to allow for loss of pulp volume. (Later today)

Question for the old hands - Thought about straining out the seeds with fine mesh strainer. Any chemical analysis of what the seeds contribute to the situation? Wonder if they are higher in acid or bitter - wouldn't mind reducing the volume of seed since they slip through my fruit mesh bag.

(I will post occasional updates as this progresses (Until end of fermentation)
 
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Arne

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Don't know about the blueberries, but most seeds give a bitter taste. Usually that taste goes away with time, but it is nice not to have to deal with it. Hope that helps, Arne.
 

Scooter68

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Yeah it helps -But I was wearing thin getting everything right. Next batch - I get my fine mesh strainer ready before I start. I couldn't remember where I put it when I moved my stuff around last. I think both Strawberry and Blueberry seeds are a challenge because they are so small and so plentiful.
 

Scooter68

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OK - And the Yeast has been pitched !

Starting SG 1.095
Starting pH 3.15 (Low but that's blueberries for you - and that's with ZERO additional Acid.

1) 5 lbs of sugar.
2) 16 3/4 lbs Blueberries (15 3/4 lbs of frozen homegrown blueberries & 1 lb fresh from the bushes to the bucket after a quick water rinse)
3) 2 3/4 tsp pectic enzyme (first 1 3/4 tsp put on frozen berries as they thawed
4) ZERO Acid added (Last batch was extremely acid initially during fermentation it dropped to pH 2.86)
5) Zero Tannin (May add that later tonight as I think about it
6) 1/2 tsp Fermaid K
7) 1/2 tsp Yeast Nutrient
8) 3 Campden tablet added yesterday

9 )Yeast is K1V-1116

Current volume with bag of blueberries is 3 3/4 gallons a little higher than I was aiming.
Temperature upstairs was 78 so I moved it into the basement where it's a steady 70 degrees.

Yeast starter - Started it at 2:45 pm - Used 2 oz very warm water 1 oz juice from the batch 1/16 tsp Fermaid K, 1/16 tsp yeast nutrient. Mixed it up then and covered it with a paper coffee filter in 1/2 pint jar.

Whoa ! 3:35 pm 50 mins later the starter is bubbling fiercely and pushing up through the paper filter - Guess it was ready to go. Pitched the yeast then.


Side note. Got a little surprise as I racked my new 3 gallon batch of Black Current (It's stopped bubbling the airlocks for several days now.) Added the campden tablets and did my ending SG reading.
Reading was .987 @ 70 degrees (See photo and double check this please)
Checked Hydrometer with distilled water reading was .998 @ 78 degrees - Temp correction for that temp makes the hydrometer reading .999 (Hydrometer is calibrated at 68 degrees f)
 
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Scooter68

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Fermentation clearly started as of this morning.

SG Reading as of 4:00PM today was 1.088 - not a big drop from 1.095 but it is movement and it's only been 24 hours.

I'll edit/update this post later with the reading 24 hours after pitching the yeast. My very first wine batch was a 1 gallon blueberry fermented all the way dry in less than 4 days to 13.4% ABV with Montrachet Yeast.
 
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randicoot

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I've never had a problem with blueberry seeds imparting any bitterness. I think you have to crush the individual seeds for that to happen.
 

Scooter68

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Tuesday Update - At 3:00 PM SG is 1.046

Temp in the room is remains at 70 degrees (Fermenting in the basement since upstairs temp is set at 78. (Will not go lower because this home is not currently occupied and we keep the upstairs temp set at 78 degrees.

Punching down the fruit bag was surprisingly tough today - I suspect a lot of captured gas under it.

If the SG drops under 1.015 tomorrow I may rack to secondary to get it away from all the seeds. There were a lot of smaller blueberries and they typically have just as many seeds as larger berries so even without crushing them, I don't want to let this sit on the seeds too long. I crushed the entire batch with an old conical ricer so the pulp and skins should have had plenty of time to give up their 'essences' by the time it the SG gets down below 1.015
 
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Scooter68

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Outta time to rack it tonight but it's ready to go to secondary tomorrow for sure. SG = 1.012
Last night SG was at 1.036 with a pH of 2.86. (That should rise in a few weeks as the citric acid converts)
 

Scooter68

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OK you got me, what does it convert to?

Ok you got me - It "Metabolizes" *

"The most important significance associated with citrate fermentation is the production of diacetyl. The lactic acid bacteria,Oenococcus oeni is used during malolactic fermentation for the deacidification of wine during which the metabolism of diacetyl occurs. The biosynthesis of diacetyl is dependent on the citric acid metabolism. Citric acid is first degraded to acetic acid and pyruvic acid. Most of the pyruvic acid is then metabolized to lactic acid with a portion going to diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-butanediol. Co-metabolism of citrate-glucose has been shown to enhance the growth rate and biomass yield of the bacterium O. oeni. The increased growth rate and yield will result in increased ATP synthesis. The metabolism of citric acid usually occurs after malic acid in wine during malolactic fermentation, and is not initiated until more than half of the malic acid has been metabolized."

http://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/industry/enology/methods_and_techniques/reagents/citric_acid.html
 

Smok1

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Did you add mlf bacteria to get it started or does blueberry wine natuarlly go through mlf?
Just curious because i have a batch of blueberry wine going right now as well
 
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Scooter68

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Not doing MLF. I understand what you are saying - that the metabolism of citric acid is associated with MLF - the article I posted states that citric acid is only metabolized after most malic acid has gone through the MLF. Not intentionally doing any MLF so the likelihood of citric metabolizing is low to zero if that's the only way it gets metabolized. My bad.
 
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Scooter68

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Racked to carboy tonight SG was down to .992. Had intended to do the racking yesterday when it dropped to 1.012 but my projects at home had em too tired to do it. Forced myself to get this done tonight. My 3.75 gallons is now down to 3 gallons and 20 oz. Imagine it should be completely done in the next day or two. Plenty of bubbling after racking but not much foam. May just be CO2 gassing off now. Will give it two or three days and re-check SG and pH. Last batch was an 8 lbs per gallon batch and it had very low pH. Hopefully with just a little over 5 lbs of berries per gallon this batch won't have that issue.
 

Ambugaton

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I have only made blueberry wine on one occasion but I plan on another batch here in a month when they come in... But as far as the seeds go. How do you juice them? I figure as long as you don't break the seeds they don't impart any bitterness. I may be wrong. I just juiced them by hand.

Also, you probably already know this but they make berry picking rakes where I'm at and it really helps out. I can get about 20lbs in an hour or two (if I'm being focused and efficient). I have about 30 blueberry bushes on my property that I plan on taking advantage of. I will be waiting to see how this turns out.
 

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I've made a few batches now and I'm thinking I finally have it down. Keller's recipes have you adding red grape concentrate - DON'T use Welches. Concord grapes in my view ruin any fruit wine they are used in and nowhere is this more evident than with blueberry. Use red grape concentrate intended for winemaking instead - merlot or cab concentrate. Blueberry seeds are tiny and insignificant, I've never had any trouble with blueberry seeds.

Last year I made what looks like a WONDERFUL blueberry rosé. Pressed the blueberries straight away, got about 1.5 gal of straight juice, then used a little Sauv Blanc concentrate to get to a 3 gallon batch. I had to make a little acid adjustment at the end to knock off some rough edges but it made a really nice wine.
 

Scooter68

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Stressbaby - I fully agree. Blueberry with pretty much anything else is no longer blueberry wine. The flavor is too delicate. Perhaps some oak chips sometime but that's about all I'll try.

Did add Old Orchard White Grape juice to backsweeten some Blackberry first time around. Total of about 2 oz in a gallon added a beautiful "bouquet" Other than that sort of addition I'm not a blender of different fruits. Closest I'll come is some black cherry to my tart cherry. Oh and there was that 4 gallon of peach the I added 20 dark sweet cherries to for color. I just enjoy the individual fruit flavors.
 

Ajmassa

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Hey @Scooter68, we're all going blueberry pickin tomorrow! (The family) A great benefit of living in the "Garden State". I'm thinking about jumping on this recipe with ~6 lbs per gallon. For a 3 gallon batch.
Aside from nutrients and enzymes and yeast and all the standards, is there anything else recommended for this wine for primary? I haven't made much aside from grape wine, and I understand blueberry needs quite some time to age.
Also, 17 lbs got you about 2 gal of juice and pulp. Did you just add water to push the volume up to 3.5 gal?
I'm really looking forward to this. A LHBS has some homemade wines and beers on tap as you shop. I tasted the blueberry and immediately knew I wanted to make it.
 

Scooter68

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Yes, water was added. With 17 lbs of all fresh blueberries you may not need as much additional water. My batch needed every bit of the 3.5 gallons because the majority of the fruit was frozen and had lost a little moisture. When I pulled out the pulp in the bag I worked it over very hard to get every bit of juice out of the pulp.

Watch the acidity level. Mine started out very acidic at 2.86 but fermentation fired up just fine using a starter with a little less than 1/8 tsp Fermaid K and 1/8 tsp yeast nutrient in about 3 oz of very warm water, 1 oz of the juice and a full packet of the K1V-1116 yeast. The starter mix was bubbling very well in less than an hour so I went ahead an pitched it. Positive fermentation signs were present within 24 hours. I don't understand all the problems folks have with starting Blueberry fermentation. This was my 3rd batch and they all fired up just fine. The first was with Montrachet.

Yes to aging well. After 1 year it's very drinkable. At 2 years it was almost too sweet. So give it a year at least. I normally don't back-sweeten higher than 1.005 in most of my fruit wines. I do it to taste but afterwards I check the SG and that's how they have turned out.

Good luck on that picking and wine. You might try straining out some of the seeds if possible. Didn't get to do that this time but I want to see if that will stop some of the extreme acidity I keep getting.

Again good luck and keep us posted.

(Sorry had to correct a couple of things the corrections are in this color)
 
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Stressbaby

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@Ajmassa5983,

Last year I made blueberry rosé and this will give you some idea - 19# blueberries frozen, pressed preferment, yielded 1.5 gallons of straight juice. That is more or less the same as grapes.

And to second @Scooter68, every blueberry I've made has started out with pH under 3.00. The rosé started at 2.64 and I adjusted up preferment to 3.29. After ferment and aging a year it was STILL to acidic and required a little more tweaking in order to be drunk dry. If you like your wines a little sweeter you may be able to pull it into balance with some sugar instead.
 

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