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PPBart

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My wife and I visited a local BB farm last Saturday and picked ~30 lbs of berries. That evening I washed and destemmed about 11 lbs for a 5-gallon batch of wine; the recipe is for a "Light-Bodied Dry Wine". Recipe calls for Montrachet yeast. I prepared the starter Sunday evening, and it appeared to be working well -- until I poured it into the must. Since then, not a single bubble or other evidence of activity. I'm now preparing another yeast starter, again with Montrachet. Is that the best strain for blueberry, or would something else work better?
 

Tom

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Well 1st of all you will only get colored alcohol wine. 11#'s may make 2 gallons but not 5 gallons. Blueberry wine need 5-6# per gallon.
AS far as yeast I like Cote des Blancs or D47. Did you chcek the TA? What was the starting gravity? Did you add Sugar? If so how much. You should add yeast nutrient to help the yeast.
Need more info.
 

e-wine

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Tom,

So what happens if you make 5 gallons of an alcohol wine and had used the eleven pounds of blueberry to make an f-pac to determine flavor? Just curious because I've seen where they converted grape wine to peach with an f-pac.

e-wine
 
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Tom

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to bad you didnt ck here 1st
Wade and I make Blueberry all the time and would have helped you form a recipe.
You got 19# left so buy 11# and make 6 gal. f-pac will need 6-9# more. Or, make a 3 gal batch
I would let it go as its to far along to make a big change. Your recipe said "light body" it will be so light you may not see the body. LOL

Just realized this was not from the original poster...

E-Wine. You will have flavor and no body.
 
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Tom,

So what happens if you make 5 gallons of an alcohol wine and had used the eleven pounds of blueberry to make an f-pac to determine flavor? Just curious because I've seen where they converted grape wine to peach with an f-pac.

e-wine
many wines are like this. lots of grape producers use lacking grapes/wine and add lots of fruit flavor to make "fruit" wines. to me, they are off. i can taste some of the grape and the fruit profile taste more like juice than wine. some fruit wines taste better after fermentation and some are better off tasting more like juice, IMO. most darker berry wines taste better as wine than juice IMO (meaning no f-pacs, no grape, keep it as it was made). now a good blend is different as both are wine and sometimes that makes two good wines into one great wine!

just my thoughts, taste is subjunctive and everyone is different. i encourage anyone who makes wine to find what they like and do it their way. that's what makes being a wine maker fun. HAVE FUN WITH IT and enjoy!
 

Tom

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Yep, it's been what I been saying along. "Think out of the box"
Now that can mean alot but, once you master the kits you now Know what you need to do Fresh fruit, Juice,Concentrates or just experiment. Thats the fun part. Ck here 1st to see if anyone here has done what you are thinking to avoid some common mistakes.
Hell, Wade and us mods are always learning as well.
 

PPBart

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Well 1st of all you will only get colored alcohol wine. 11#'s may make 2 gallons but not 5 gallons. Blueberry wine need 5-6# per gallon.
AS far as yeast I like Cote des Blancs or D47. Did you chcek the TA? What was the starting gravity? Did you add Sugar? If so how much. You should add yeast nutrient to help the yeast.
Need more info.
Starting SG was 1.085 after sugar addition. Yeast starter was made with yeast nutrient, and (as stated in original post) seemed quite active. Thanks for the yeast recommendation.
 

e-wine

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Tom, MWV,

Thanks. I know of some that would prefer juice tasting, light bodied wines to the full bodied wines. That's not me. I plan to check the blueberry wine recipes and see if any sound interesting.

PPBart,

Sorry to step on your thread. I have waited a few days for fermentation to start on a couple of my wines. The mulberry wine was very acidic and started slow but it did start and is aging well. I had to adjust the acid before I went to the secondary. As I understand it, it's best to adjust before fermentation starts. The lab rat in me says to test first, test often but don't rush things.

e-wine
 

PPBart

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Tom, MWV,

Thanks. I know of some that would prefer juice tasting, light bodied wines to the full bodied wines. That's not me. I plan to check the blueberry wine recipes and see if any sound interesting.

PPBart,

Sorry to step on your thread. I have waited a few days for fermentation to start on a couple of my wines. The mulberry wine was very acidic and started slow but it did start and is aging well. I had to adjust the acid before I went to the secondary. As I understand it, it's best to adjust before fermentation starts. The lab rat in me says to test first, test often but don't rush things.

e-wine

No problem -- and you're right in that I'm not interested in making a full-bodied wine with this batch (the recipe is from Jack Keller's collection). I've done that with blueberries several times, never really liked the result. This time, I want a lighter, lower-alcohol wine. I must admit, however, that I did add another 5 lbs of berries to the batch this morning. Re-adjusted TA to ~0.5%, SG to 1.085. Now if I can just get the yeast to take hold(!)
 

Tom

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Any time you see a recipe on Jacks site double it. You will find the # per gal is low and % is high.
 

e-wine

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PPBart,

Any luck with that yeast? Let us know when it kicks off.

e-wine
 

PPBart

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PPBart,

Any luck with that yeast? Let us know when it kicks off.

e-wine

Yes, after several Montrachet starters without any apparent activity, I tried Lalvin EC-1118. Shortly afterwards there was some obvious fermentation. As to whether it was due to the Montrachet finally kicking off, or the Lalvin taking hold more quickly, who knows?

As of early this morning, SG is down to ~1.070. I'll continue stirring periodically and checking SG each morning to monitor progress.
 

gfrank07

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I'm having a similar problem with my blueberry wine. Recipe called for 2-3 #'s of fruit. I went with 3. Sugar addition made the original gravity 1.090. Using Lalvin 72B-1112. It's been over 24 hours and there isn't one bubble in the bucket. I'm using a one gallon bucket with a cloth and rubber band so the yeast should definitely be getting oxygen. The temperature is about room temperatue, maybe slightly higher. I'm not too worried yet, but I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions or tips.
 

Tom

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Bluebreey can be hard to start so, Patience...
 

Ken914

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As long as there is a thread on blueberry wine, I didn't want to start another.

I'm about to start a batch, using this recipe:

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4549

After doing some searches, it seems that getting blueberry to ferment correctly is a common challenge. Two questions:

1. What are the steps to "proof yeast"?

2. Is the "Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast" the only yeast that will do a good job? Not sure that I remember that one on the shelf at my local shop. Any other acceptable options out there?

thanks in advance for any wisdom. :)
 

PPBart

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I'm about to start a batch, using this recipe:

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4549

After doing some searches, it seems that getting blueberry to ferment correctly is a common challenge. Two questions:

1. What are the steps to "proof yeast"?

2. Is the "Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast" the only yeast that will do a good job? Not sure that I remember that one on the shelf at my local shop. Any other acceptable options out there?

thanks in advance for any wisdom. :)
I won't comment on the recipe, but would suggest you review Jack Keller's recipes for blueberries for info -- I know some disparage any of JK's recipes, but I've had pretty good results from some.

EC-1118 is certainly not the only yeast; I've also used Montrachet successfully in the past (despite recent problems!) and I imagine there are numerous other options.

Re proofing yeast, I usually follow the following procedure for making a "yeast starter" -- don't remember where I got it originally, but it's worked well for me for years...

Yeast Starter:
A media in which a wine yeast is activated and encouraged to multiply to a high density so that when added to a must it will have a better chance of populating it successfully. To make a really vigorous starter for inoculating a must initially or restarting a stuck fermentation:

1. In a quart jar dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast nutrient in 1 cup of warm water (less than 104° F.).

2. To this, add 1/4 cup of the juice from the must to be fermented.

3. Sprinkle 1 packet of active dry yeast on the surface of the liquid. Do not stir.

4. Cover the jar with a paper towel or napkin held in place with a rubber band. Wait for the yeast to become active. This could become obvious in as little as 15 minutes or could take as long as 2-4 hours.

4a. If no evidence of activation in 4 hours, the yeast was too old or dead from exposure to temperature extremes (usually heat, but possibly extreme cold). In such a case, sprinkle another packet of yeast into same jar and recover.

5. When yeast (first or second sachet) is evidently active, add another 1/4 cup of juice from the must and recover.

6. Wait until vigorous activity returns (usually 30-90 minutes) and add another 1/4 cup of juice.

7. When again vigorously active, add yet another 1/4 cup of juice.

8. Wait 1-2 hours and gently pour half the liquid over the surface of the must. Do not stir. The idea is for the starter to remain on or close to the surface where there is plenty of air for the yeast to "breath." Cover the primary fermentation vessel with a sanitized cloth or sheet of plastic.

9. After 2-4 hours, the surface of the must should have small bubbles rising from fermentation or a healthy layer of yeast culture. Stir shallowly and recover the primary.

10. Wait another 2-4 hours and fermentation should be more vigorous. Add the remainder of the starter and stir deeply. Recover primary.

11. If the starter does not produce a vigorous fermentation in the primary, add another 1/4 cup of juice to the reserved half of the starter media.

12. Wait 2 hours and add yet another 1/4 cup of juice. This starter is now 2 parts juice and 1 part water. When this is fermenting vigorously, add half of it to the must as before and try again.
 

PPBart

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I'm having a similar problem with my blueberry wine. Recipe called for 2-3 #'s of fruit. I went with 3. Sugar addition made the original gravity 1.090. Using Lalvin 72B-1112. It's been over 24 hours and there isn't one bubble in the bucket. I'm using a one gallon bucket with a cloth and rubber band so the yeast should definitely be getting oxygen. The temperature is about room temperatue, maybe slightly higher. I'm not too worried yet, but I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions or tips.
I don't think I've ever used that yeast, but no matter. My current batch sat in the primary from Saturday night until Wednesday morning (and I dosed it with 4 yeast starters!) before I saw real evidence of fermentation.
 

Tom

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here a few things from experience
I like 1116 or Cote des Blancs (preferred) yeast
Do a TA (acid) test
Use your hydrometer and no higher gravity than 1.085
 

Wade E

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I use Montrachet all the time and never had a problem with it. 24 hours for a yeast to start is asking way too much if you havent made a starter. Sometimes it can take up to 72 hours to show sign and that is one reason that a starter is the way to go as waiting that long leaves your wine susceptible to bacteria during that time. If you do use Montrachet make sure t=you use both nutrient and energizer as this yeast is susceptible to H2S which can be a problem but given the proper nutrients this yeast does a really nice job with darker fruit wines as does Pastuer Red.
 

Ken914

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thanks so much for the replies, especially BBs detailed explanation of a yeast starter process.

Is there a recommendation for OG/starting PA for the must?

Also, I've never done an acid test. When should I test... and what should I expect my results to be?

thanks!
 
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