Blueberry wine Not sure what to do next

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Movienut50

Junior
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
This is my first time at this so here is what I have done. 10lbs of frozen blueberries and 8lbs of sugar (I know too much) for 3 gal. After boiling in spring water and crushing berries put in nylon straining bag (Honey strainer). I followed the recipe and the specific gravity was 1.120 Fermentation stopped at a specific gravity of 1.030 which makes a about 12% ABV (I think)which is good. It taste really good, But after racking for clarifying 7 days it is not clear and there is suspended particles. What do I need to do before bottling? It really taste good now but don't want to ruin it so anyone with advice would be greatly appreciated
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
14,154
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Welcome to WMT!!!

You boiled the fruit? You need to add pectic enzyme, as the heat activates natural fruit pectin, the substance that makes jelly gel. The wine will not clear without the enzyme.

This is not a significant problem. Your wine should turn out fine. Most folks recommend against boiling the fruit, but pectic enzyme fixes it. [I add pectic enzyme to most fruit wines, as it helps with extraction from the skins/pulp and prevents a pectin haze, which can occur even when no heat was applied.]

Once you've added the pectic enzyme, the wine should clear with time. Alternately, you can use a fining agent such as Super-Kleer (kieselsol & chitosan). Even if you use a fining agent, let the wine bulk-age for at least 3 months. Wine goes through a lot of chemical changes during the beginning of its lifespan and you'll get a more consistent wine -- and a better one -- if you let it bulk age.

Most folks on this forum will tell you to age it longer. I agree ... but it's your first wine? The bottles will evaporate off your shelf faster than you believe. :)

Before bottling, make sure the wine is clear and not dropping sediment. If it dropS sediment in the jug, it will drop it in the bottle. The wine is already sweet so it doesn't need backsweetening.

When backsweetening, the common method is to ferment dry, clear it, then add potassium sorbate (which prevents a renewed fermentation) and potassium metabisulfite (K-meta), which is an antioxidant and preservative. Then sweeten to taste.

Given the high initial gravity, it's very likely the alcohol level has exceeded the yeast's tolerance. If the wine sets for 4 to 6 months with no restart of the fermentation, it's very likely it won't. However, you can add sorbate if you want to guarantee it won't re-ignite in the bottle. Most folks on this forum recommend adding K-meta at bottling time.
 

Movienut50

Junior
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
Welcome to WMT!!!

You boiled the fruit? You need to add pectic enzyme, as the heat activates natural fruit pectin, the substance that makes jelly gel. The wine will not clear without the enzyme.

This is not a significant problem. Your wine should turn out fine. Most folks recommend against boiling the fruit, but pectic enzyme fixes it. [I add pectic enzyme to most fruit wines, as it helps with extraction from the skins/pulp and prevents a pectin haze, which can occur even when no heat was applied.]

Once you've added the pectic enzyme, the wine should clear with time. Alternately, you can use a fining agent such as Super-Kleer (kieselsol & chitosan). Even if you use a fining agent, let the wine bulk-age for at least 3 months. Wine goes through a lot of chemical changes during the beginning of its lifespan and you'll get a more consistent wine -- and a better one -- if you let it bulk age.

Most folks on this forum will tell you to age it longer. I agree ... but it's your first wine? The bottles will evaporate off your shelf faster than you believe. :)

Before bottling, make sure the wine is clear and not dropping sediment. If it dropS sediment in the jug, it will drop it in the bottle. The wine is already sweet so it doesn't need backsweetening.

When backsweetening, the common method is to ferment dry, clear it, then add potassium sorbate (which prevents a renewed fermentation) and potassium metabisulfite (K-meta), which is an antioxidant and preservative. Then sweeten to taste.

Given the high initial gravity, it's very likely the alcohol level has exceeded the yeast's tolerance. If the wine sets for 4 to 6 months with no restart of the fermentation, it's very likely it won't. However, you can add sorbate if you want to guarantee it won't re-ignite in the bottle. Most folks on this forum recommend adding K-meta at bottling time.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
4,817
Reaction score
4,170
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
Thankyou for the reply . I did all the things you said except for the 3 month aging after fining (only 7 days so far) I guess it's just wait a little longer.

I don't make a lot of country wines though the process is the same. Your calculations are correct with the ABV being around 12%. But I'm not aware of any wine yeast that would die off at 12%. I'd be a little concerned it's either stuck or still fermenting. If it's still fermenting I'd definitely be wary about bottling and if it's stuck there is a chance it can start again. If you are able to sulfite it and wait the 3 months to 6 months as @winemaker81 recommends. There is always the sorbate addition if you really wanted to bottle.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
4,029
Reaction score
3,368
Location
Northwest Arkansas
All the wine I make is country wine so here are few things particularly about blueberry wine. (Don't take this as just being negative but more to help you save time, effort and perhaps a little frustration.
1) Blueberries* don't need to be cooked, heated or really processed much at all. A good solid mashing or crushing is all you need. You could freeze them for a few days then thaw and that will make the mashing easier.
2) Your current wine could be fermented more if you wanted to get the sweetness reduced a bit.
3) Clearing, as others have said should occur naturally with blueberry wine. Normally 3-6 months and it should be close to sparkling clear - however, having set the pectin by cooking the berries it may take longer and more pectic enzyme than normal (as much as 3 times the normal amount) But it should clear with little to no intervention (No Fining agents or Bentonite needed)
4) The longer you can let it age, the happier you will be with the results. I opened my first wine at 4 1/2 months with friends. They were kind and we were all excited - the first homemade wine they had and my first as well. BUT - 5 months later I opened another bottle and the wine was totally different - Impressively different. Time makes a HUGE difference in blueberry wine and many others as well. I know, this is the hardest part of wine making.
5) The quantity of fruit needed for a good wine is very dependent on your tastes. Some folks prefer a wine made with no added water - 100% fruit juice, some go very light on pounds of fruit per gallon. I ten to go toward the upper middle with blueberry wine - About 6 lbs per gallon of wine. You can get a decent wine with 4 lbs./ gallon but the flavor falls off a bit if you go lower. (This is just my personal preference)
6) To add sugar and get quicker more reliable SG readings, make a 2-1 Simple Syrup with 1 Cup Water & 2 Cups Sugar. Heat the water almost to boiling and then add the sugar. That way when you stir it in the SG reading will be very close to accurate right away. (See this post on the beginners forum to learn from someone else's mistake - better than the school of hard- knocks Hydrometer reading has increased after fermentation... )
7) Once you have your wine must prepared - give it overnight to settle - for the ingredients to fully blend, before you pitch your yeast. Typically I prepare the must on one day, using K-Meta to kill off any bad yeasties or bacteria, then the next day (18-24 hrs later) , recheck your SG and pH and see if you need any further adjustments. If they are just small changes, do those and then pitch the yeast. Try to avoid going beyond 23-48hrs after the initial prep before pitching the yeast.

By the way, you need to start another batch of wine ASAP, That's the best way to make waiting easier. The more you have "in process" the easier is it is to wait. Also keep a notebook of each batch to include all your steps dates times measurements. It helps later. I also tag each container so I know what I did when.

* Very few fruits, if any, need to be cooked before making wine. Steaming to extract the juice helps with some fruits but, most don't need any heat to prepare.
 

DizzyIzzy

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
554
Reaction score
398
Location
Near Columbus, Ohio
Welcome to WMT!!!

You boiled the fruit? You need to add pectic enzyme, as the heat activates natural fruit pectin, the substance that makes jelly gel. The wine will not clear without the enzyme.

This is not a significant problem. Your wine should turn out fine. Most folks recommend against boiling the fruit, but pectic enzyme fixes it. [I add pectic enzyme to most fruit wines, as it helps with extraction from the skins/pulp and prevents a pectin haze, which can occur even when no heat was applied.]

Once you've added the pectic enzyme, the wine should clear with time. Alternately, you can use a fining agent such as Super-Kleer (kieselsol & chitosan). Even if you use a fining agent, let the wine bulk-age for at least 3 months. Wine goes through a lot of chemical changes during the beginning of its lifespan and you'll get a more consistent wine -- and a better one -- if you let it bulk age.

Most folks on this forum will tell you to age it longer. I agree ... but it's your first wine? The bottles will evaporate off your shelf faster than you believe. :)

Before bottling, make sure the wine is clear and not dropping sediment. If it dropS sediment in the jug, it will drop it in the bottle. The wine is already sweet so it doesn't need backsweetening.

When backsweetening, the common method is to ferment dry, clear it, then add potassium sorbate (which prevents a renewed fermentation) and potassium metabisulfite (K-meta), which is an antioxidant and preservative. Then sweeten to taste.

Given the high initial gravity, it's very likely the alcohol level has exceeded the yeast's tolerance. If the wine sets for 4 to 6 months with no restart of the fermentation, it's very likely it won't. However, you can add sorbate if you want to guarantee it won't re-ignite in the bottle. Most folks on this forum recommend adding K-meta at bottling time.
How much pectic enzyme do you recommend?
 

Movienut50

Junior
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
All the wine I make is country wine so here are few things particularly about blueberry wine. (Don't take this as just being negative but more to help you save time, effort and perhaps a little frustration.
1) Blueberries* don't need to be cooked, heated or really processed much at all. A good solid mashing or crushing is all you need. You could freeze them for a few days then thaw and that will make the mashing easier.
2) Your current wine could be fermented more if you wanted to get the sweetness reduced a bit.
3) Clearing, as others have said should occur naturally with blueberry wine. Normally 3-6 months and it should be close to sparkling clear - however, having set the pectin by cooking the berries it may take longer and more pectic enzyme than normal (as much as 3 times the normal amount) But it should clear with little to no intervention (No Fining agents or Bentonite needed)
4) The longer you can let it age, the happier you will be with the results. I opened my first wine at 4 1/2 months with friends. They were kind and we were all excited - the first homemade wine they had and my first as well. BUT - 5 months later I opened another bottle and the wine was totally different - Impressively different. Time makes a HUGE difference in blueberry wine and many others as well. I know, this is the hardest part of wine making.
5) The quantity of fruit needed for a good wine is very dependent on your tastes. Some folks prefer a wine made with no added water - 100% fruit juice, some go very light on pounds of fruit per gallon. I ten to go toward the upper middle with blueberry wine - About 6 lbs per gallon of wine. You can get a decent wine with 4 lbs./ gallon but the flavor falls off a bit if you go lower. (This is just my personal preference)
6) To add sugar and get quicker more reliable SG readings, make a 2-1 Simple Syrup with 1 Cup Water & 2 Cups Sugar. Heat the water almost to boiling and then add the sugar. That way when you stir it in the SG reading will be very close to accurate right away. (See this post on the beginners forum to learn from someone else's mistake - better than the school of hard- knocks Hydrometer reading has increased after fermentation... )
7) Once you have your wine must prepared - give it overnight to settle - for the ingredients to fully blend, before you pitch your yeast. Typically I prepare the must on one day, using K-Meta to kill off any bad yeasties or bacteria, then the next day (18-24 hrs later) , recheck your SG and pH and see if you need any further adjustments. If they are just small changes, do those and then pitch the yeast. Try to avoid going beyond 23-48hrs after the initial prep before pitching the yeast.

By the way, you need to start another batch of wine ASAP, That's the best way to make waiting easier. The more you have "in process" the easier is it is to wait. Also keep a notebook of each batch to include all your steps dates times measurements. It helps later. I also tag each container so I know what I did when.

* Very few fruits, if any, need to be cooked before making wine. Steaming to extract the juice helps with some fruits but, most don't need any heat to prepare.
Thank you for all the good info.
 

Latest posts

Top