Blueberry Wine experiment

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by DAB, Jun 8, 2018.

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  1. Jan 13, 2019 #41

    iridium

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    This is great news. Does anyone have a recipe or information on how to make a blueberry dessert wine that @Scooter68 recommended? I would like to try that. I just started thawing the blueberries so can start that batch soon.
     
  2. Jan 13, 2019 #42

    Scooter68

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    Same as a regular wine with these changes:

    1) Increase your starting SG so that the expected ABV will be about 14% or higher (Be aware that while a yeast may be 'rated' to be capable of fermenting up to 18% ABV - that assumes the perfect conditions.) * I wouldn't aim higher than 15-16% for now. Remember to use an ABV calculator and figure on the wine fermenting to .990
    2) Once the wine has fermented all the way dry (.990 - .995) age just as you do your regular wine. (At least 6-12months - longer is better) THEN when it's degassed itself, aged, and cleared you will back-sweeten to whatever sweetness you like. Normally Dessert wines are sweetened back to 1.010 or slightly higher. You need that sweetness to cover for the higher ABV so that it's not like drinking everclear. (Not really that bad but....) Once you reach the point where you find the sweetness balances out the higher 'octane' of the wine you are good to go. (OF COURSE stabilze the wine before back-sweetening)

    One nice benefit.... Normally folks serve smaller servings of a dessert wine, unless you are trying to seriously intoxilate, uh entoxxicatel, hmmm is that intoxicate your friends/family. :d

    At least that's the way I make my dessert wines with fruit. Others may have different methods. Just don't skimp on the fruit for a dessert wine, you need plenty of flavor with a high ABV.


    * My first effort at a dessert wine was with a can of Vintner's Harvest Black Currant. I aimed at an ABV of 16.5% (A starting SG of 1.127) and the yeast gave out at an SG of 1.008. The good news was that after aging it didn't try to ferment any more for the 9 months I aged it. So I tasted it and it was great. I figured that when it stopped at 1.008 I still had an ABV of 15.6%. My wife was afraid to drink more than about 3-4 ozs at a time. It was wickedly good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  3. Jan 14, 2019 #43

    Stressbaby

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    By the way, you might consider holding back 10% of your must and using that for back sweetening. That will bring you closer to the original fruit flavor of that particular wine.
     
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  4. Jun 15, 2019 #44

    DAB

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    Scooter,
    In a previous post you said:

    "IF you have 10 lbs of good blueberries (Even if they have shruken - Lost some water content) in the freezer you should be able to make two gallons of a very good blueberry wine. At the risk of poluting the wine you could try adding about 2-3 oz of White Grape concentrate/per gallon to the batch before you start the fermentation. That may not be a "Pure Blueberry" wine but it will have a beautiful aroma.

    10 lbs/gallon would be a bit overkill and probably cause your wine must to be overly acidic - common with blueberry wine, that's why I recommend the split into 2 One gallon batches. You could even do 1 with the White Grape concentrate addition and 1 without. But now I'm meddling."

    So, if I wanted to make 6 gallons of blueberry wine using 4lbs of blueberries/gal (20lbs total) and 3oz/gal (18oz total) of "Winexpert White Grape Concentrate" OR, PERHAPS,("Home Brew Ohio Vintners Best Fruit Wine Base, Blueberry") would there be a need/requirement to add 10-12 lbs of dissolved sugar to get the SG to a point necessary to achieve a 12-15%ABV? Also, do you see any issues with these ingredient ratios? Finally, thinking of using EC 1118 yeast unless you have a better suggestion.

    I did this last year but at 2.5 lbs of blueberries per gallon (plus 12 lbs of dissolved sugar) the wine is light in color and flavor.

    Thank you
     
  5. Jun 15, 2019 #45

    Scooter68

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    After 5-6 batches of Blueberry I've pretty much found that for my tastes -you don't need more than 7 lbs of blueberries to get a great wine. On the other end I would recommend at least 5 lbs of blue berries. Addition of White Grape juice concentrate has given my wines a beautiful floral aroma with not too much alteration of the taste. (I've had those good results with as little as 2 oz of White Grape Frozen Concentrate for a gallon of wine. Start low with it to be safe)

    As to sugar.... I just make up a simple syrup 2:1 (SS) and add until I reach the desired target. Technically that simple syrup is adding water but not enough to dilute flavor. For a gallon I believe I've used something just over 1 batch of SS per gallon so that's something over 2 cups of sugar. Remember that Blueberry wine is a lighter flavor and may not work well with a high ABV So I'd aim for between 10% to 12.5% ABV. At 15% the burn of the ABV is going to overwhelm the flavor

    As to yeast you can't go wrong with EC 1118 but perhaps you might find a different yeast to may help bring out the floral and lighter flavors of blueberries. I would think a yeast for white wines might actually do a good job. But EC 1118 is pretty tried and true.

    Finally just check and adjust that pH. You can start it with a pH below 3.4 but if you get down below 3.2 you risk issues with getting things started.
     
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  6. Jun 15, 2019 #46

    DAB

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    Okay, for my planned six gallon batch I'll split the difference and add 36 lbs of blueberries (6lbs/gallon) and 12 oz of white grape concentrate (2oz per gallon) plus whatever SS I need to achieve a SG of around 1.105-1.10.

    Also, would it be feasible to add 1-2oz of white grape concentrate to last years five gallon batch of blueberry wine? As previously stated, it's a bit short on flavor and aroma--over all, it seems to lack personality.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2019 #47

    Scooter68

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    I'm assuming it's aging still in a carboy? If so there is no reason you can do that.

    FIRST - You'll need to ad K-Meta and K-Sorbate to the wine and wait at least a couple of days. (If you've recently racked and added the proper K-Meta dosage you just need the Sorbate addition.)

    I always start with a cup of the wine and bench trial that using small increment of my SS when back-sweetening. In your case you'd be using the White Grape Concentrate doing the same thing. Once you hit the point just short of perfect... then you'll know to add 79* times that amount to the rest of the batch. *(5 gallons = 80 cups minus the back-sweetening sample) When working with cup (8 oz) of wine I use a and add about 3-5 ml at a time to the cup of wine, stir and taste test it.

    Back-sweetening at this point should help out that wine. AND since it's aged you won't be trying to offset that young wine sharpness.

    For your new wine those starting SGs are pretty high you'll have an ABV of 15 % or higher. IF you go that route you might want to plan on making that a dessert wine - sweeter than normal to offset that alcohol burn that will be there. Also don't forget to start high in volume - you need to have a starting volume of about 5 1/2 to 6 gallons starting out to account for sediment losses. And of course that means some additional blueberries as well.
     
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  8. Jun 16, 2019 #48

    DAB

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    Yes, it's still in a carboy. Thank you very much for the information, I'll try it!
     
  9. Jun 23, 2019 #49

    DAB

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    Believe it or not, 5 ml's per cup was the sweet spot--pun intended. Any more made it too sweet...thanks for the guidance, I'd have surely thought it would have taken more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  10. Jun 24, 2019 #50

    Scooter68

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    Glad that worked out.
    Recently I was in my local supply store and someone had provided the owners a bottle of Muscato. While the flavor was good, though I'm not a fan of Moscato, the sweetness was off the scale for me, borderline syrupy. Which is funny because I normally like things sweet. Most of my wines get back-sweetened to the ballpark of and SG of 1.002 - 1.010.

    Don't forget to check the SG. It's always a nice number to have for comparison with later batches.
     
  11. Jun 24, 2019 #51

    Dennis Griffith

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    Since this is about blueberries, thought I post a pic my wife shot while she was picking.

    IMG_8378.jpg
     
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  12. Jun 26, 2019 #52

    G259

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    We have a blueberry winery near us, and they make several variants. One was a Riesling with strong apricot notes, they said that there was no apricot in it, but I'm thinking that an apricot brandy fortification was used, it was tasty though.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2019 #53

    sour_grapes

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    How do you get Riesling from a blueberry winery?
     
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  14. Jun 26, 2019 #54

    Johnd

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    Technically speaking, it’s impossible.
     
  15. Jun 26, 2019 #55

    G259

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    OK . . . Reisling - like.
     

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