boring newbie worries

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
Hello all, I'm night 3 into my first batch of blueberry wine (or any wine for that matter). As I understand it I was to check my SG at initial "assembly" but when retrieving my brand new hd out of my brand new handy dandy wine making kit, the glass was broken. I also had my must in the 60* garage. Got the hd replaced and it's 1.100 and the very helpful brew/wine shop owner had me move it to a warmer space in the house. I'm confused if that reading is ok, or should I shoot for the 1.085 - 1.095 like my tiny little barely a book says. I have no visible action happening yet, I have stirred & flipped the fruit bag every day, but no visible "working" yet. Was it too cold?
If I need to move it toward the above numbers, am I adding sugar or water? Help!! I'm only making 2 gal in this first try but am anxious to start another. The berries are wild from our land and we have about 15 more pounds in the freezer taking up space that could be used by other "stuff" that can't be put in a bottle:h
I am not a big (normal) wine drinker but love home made fruit type (sweet) wines that always showed up at casual get together's (party's) when I lived down south. FWIW I usually have a bottle of some type of Port wine in the shop refridg but that's it. Thanks and I look forward to a lot of good reading & learning along with some new interweb friends:db
 

Rocky

Chronologically Gifted Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
6,453
Reaction score
3,197
Location
Columbus, OH
Hi Juice, and welcome to the forum.

If you are confident in your hydrometer reading of 1.100 you may want to dilute the juice a bit. If you ferment that juice to dry, i.e. SG 0.992-0.995 you will have a very high alcohol content (between 13.5 and 14%) and my experience with fruit wines (which is not extensive) is that higher alcohol content takes a lot of the fruit taste away. I would move it to a warmer spot, something in the 70's F. You did not mention the yeast you are using. Which did you use?

There is a topic on the main page "Country Fruit Winemaking." I suggest you try there for more accurate advice on Blueberry wines.
 

hounddawg

Dawg
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
3,081
Reaction score
2,532
Location
very N.E. Arkansas in the instep of MO, BOOTHILL,,
come time to back sweeten instead of using canesugar usr grandular honey, not powder an not liquid honey, use a high quality i like wild flower or clover grandular, cant tell you why, i back sweetewn my country wines from 1.030 to 1.040, then ageing, your fruit taste will be restored and you'll not tastethe alcohol, but be very careful, it might taste tame but 2 glasses will give you aDWI, kicks like a mule, i always run my starting SGusing cane suger to 1.100,,,
but thats just me, the only difference is use smaller glasses, i use wine instead ofsleeping pills, i havecronich insomenia,,, 1 glass an sleep like a baby and tasteis great, no harse acohol or overly sweet taste,
Dawg




QUOTE=Rocky;634190]Hi Juice, and welcome to the forum.

If you are confident in your hydrometer reading of 1.100 you may want to dilute the juice a bit. If you ferment that juice to dry, i.e. SG 0.992-0.995 you will have a very high alcohol content (between 13.5 and 14%) and my experience with fruit wines (which is not extensive) is that higher alcohol content takes a lot of the fruit taste away. I would move it to a warmer spot, something in the 70's F. You did not mention the yeast you are using. Which did you use?

There is a topic on the main page "Country Fruit Winemaking." I suggest you try there for more accurate advice on Blueberry wines.[/QUOTE]
 
Last edited:

Stressbaby

Just a Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2012
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
830
Yes, I think it was too cold. I have the same problem this time of year, and I have to bring the fermentation buckets upstairs into a warm central closet with a heat register to get them moving some times.

I agree with Rocky that 1.100 is a bit high. I shoot for 1.085-1.090 on fruit wines.
 

bkisel

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
3,681
Reaction score
1,807
Welcome to the forum!

If it were a bold red wine giving me that starting SG I'd have no problem. With my fruit/country wines I shoot for 10-11 % ABV. If the hydrometer is reasonably accurate I would dilute with water.

Is this your first batch of wine ever or just your first Blueberry wine?
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
Thanks for the help, yes, this is my first try at making wine ever. I moved it last night into lower 70's room, but if it helps I could put it in with the wood stove. I'm not sure of the yeast, the helpful wine making store guy just took it out of the 'fridg and handed it to me. It may have said burgundy?? not sure at all. I'll be checking it shortly and report back in, and if I add water, how much for 2 gal?
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
OK, it's now reading .086-86. The mesh fruit bag realy covers the whole surface of the bucket and I still don't see any foaming or "working". I don't know if it's my imagination, but it's tasting a little like it might be starting to work.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Need to use a stirring spoon or some sanitized utensil and push that bag down under the must at least once a day until your SG is down to about 1.010 THEN you can move to a carboy(s)

As to the SG of 1.100 - Blueberry is a mild flavor so I agree with the comments that you probably will have an ABV a bit higher than desired by most folks. Other berries like Blackberry and Black Raspberry are strong flavored enough handle a higher ABV. It all depends on your taste in wine. I didn't see anything about how many pounds of berries are in your 2 gallons - that will impact how much you can dilute with water before losing taste. IF you have the space for it you could bump your batch up to 3 gallons and adjust for a lower SG. After a few batches of Blueberry wine I've pretty much decided that an idea qty of berries per gallon for me is between about 5-7 pounds. (With 8lbs of blueberries the only water I added was the water in my simple syrup.) More berries than that (5-7) and the acidity of the blueberries presents a little challenge. Less than 5 lbs and the flavor is a bit on the weak side.
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
I followed the recipe in the book that came in my "BSG" kit, 2.5 pounds of berries per gallon. ABV, = alcohol by volume?? I don't really mind how strong it is as long as it still tastes like the berries. Thanks for responding, this is my very first wine and I'm not really "connecting the dot's" yet as far as what is going on chemically.:?
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Yes - ABV = Alcohol By Volume (Minimum normally at least 10%)

-Basically the Sugar is being converted into Alcohol - That's the primary desired chemistry
- Additionally - "Volatile Oils" from the berries are being released along with the flavors and colors. (This is a complex process that we can add to or alter by other actions beyond the basic fermentation - example would be oak chips added to add a more complex flavor)
- Acids are being released (The 3 Primary are Citric, Malic, and Tataric) and in some conditions unwanted bacteria can convert that acid into forms that give "off tastes" to the wine such as the taste of vinegar. (The purpose of the Potassium Metabisulfate - to kill the undesired yeasts and bacteria and prevent that conversion from happening)

The critical parts of the process are obtaining a minimum alcohol level to preserve the wine and maintaining sufficient acid which also aids in preserving the wine. It's a bit of a balancing act but not really all that hard if you check the wine as you start and monitor it along the way.

There's a LOT more going on but that's the basic, basic view. Jack Keller and others have some excellent articles that break the process into smaller parts such as this article on acids - http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/acid.asp

As to the quantity of berries - 2.5lbs/gallon is pretty light. I'd try to move that up to at least 4 lbs or the flavor will be so light you might be disappointed in the whole process. Some berries are fine at that level - Elderberry is one so I am told, but most you want to go a good bit heavier. Sweetening after fermentation is complete can help but only so much.
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
Is it posible to dump in some more berries at this point? I put it together thurs night & it's was in a 60* garage until yesterday if that matters.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Don't see any reason you cannot add to it now - you are still early in the process especially if the temps were that low. Be sure to put those berries in a bag or you will have a messy racking process. If you already have berries in the bucket loose, you ought to invest in a large stainless steel strainer.

Even 4 lbs/gallon should give you a better product in the end but pushing up to 5 or higher would give you a much better result. My first was decent at 4 1/4 lbs/gallon but I had to sweeten it a fair amount to bring out the flavor.

You'll get there be patient.
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
The numbers are getting better and I just left it alone. This evening it's 1.072 and that's good right? (was 1.100 @ day 3) It is day 5 in the bucket, someone said to rack it at about 1.00 or a bit under? If figure it will be good enough for my first try and boone's farm palate:h Baby steps right?
 

Arne

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
5,034
Reaction score
1,148
Location
central Nebraska
If you have any left it might be a good time to add a little more nutrient. Be forwarned, if you do not have enough headspace and add ingredients to your wine you can wind up with something we call a wine volcano. Over the sides of a bucket, out the spout of a carboy. If fermenting in a carboy a good or bad however you look at it, volcano can actually hit the ceiling. What I am saying is add slowly and stir it in gently and you should be ok. If fermenting over nice flooring it is agood idea to have a tray or something under your fermenter to catch any spills or overflows. Keep this hobby up long enough and you will probably have it happen to you. Good luck with it, Arne.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Sounds like you are past the point of adding to the existing fermentation - However - you can search the boards here on how to make an F-pack to add flavor before you bottle .... down the road.
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
I have not seen any foaming at all, just a few bubbles on the surface, really just a few that are prolly from stirring & flopping the fruit bag over & trying to fully sink it.. With the number going down (Have not checked tonight yet) that means the sugars are being eaten and it is working right? I expected a whole lot more impressive show than what I'm seeing.
I'm using a 7 gal bucket and only filled it to 2 gals. The yeast was out of the brew store's fridg and into mine for a few months, I used the whole packet. Am I just making juice:)

edit; 1.060 reading, was 1.072 last night, no foam.
 
Last edited:

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Some batches produce a lot of foam, others next to nothing. - The Hydrometer is the only thing that matters for now. Keep watching that and normally somewhere between 1.020 and 1.010 is the time for that first rack to a carboy. Until you get there just keep stirring once or twice an day, keep a cover on the bucket (cloth or loose lid and be patient. Nows a good time to check your record keeping and start thinking about that next batch. (Fermentation buckets look so sad when they are empty.) :)
 

juice

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
Well I'm at 1.030 for the 2nd night on my little 2 gal. blueberry batch. I've been getting some advice on my thread @ the intro. section and I think someone said that at 3 day's with no movement, time to rack it?
I think it's is in one of my books's, but at racking, I'm done with the fruit right? Squeeze the fruit bag and siphon over to the carboy. I'm actually planning on using 2 1 gal. wine bottles because of my small batch.
Funny/embarrassing thing about my earlier posts concerning my mix "working". I did not add water to the air lock:ft This is day 16 and I still have yet to see any foaming or bubbles other than the bubbles introduced by flipping the fruit bag.
 

Latest posts

Top