critique/inputs for blackberry wine

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Turock

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Hot dog!!!! I'm glad it turned out so good for you. I really like the big flavor on this wine. Of all the wines we made, this wine was my dad's favorite.
 

vernsgal

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Well I'm glad I took all the lessons taught to me here and have been able to use them on my new wines.
I do want to set at least 6 bottles of this aside and taste again next year ( the key word is "try" )
 

Turock

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I hope you're making this wine every year--if you have the fruit. We didn't have a big crop of them this year, but enough for 5 or 6 gallons. You can also use some of it for blending if you're willing to sacrifice some. Blends with red grape wine or elderberry is really good.

I've always felt that using good techniques is so important for making a tasty wine. And that's something that takes alot of time to learn by yourself unless you have someone with experience to help you along. I wish we would have had these wine forums when we were struggling to learn.
 

vernsgal

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I'll definitely make a few gallons yearly now that I've tasted.This year I used the blackberries in a couple pinot noirs.Waiting to try those.
I don't know how those of you managed without someone's experience or forums in starting out with homemade wines.
 

fabrictodyefor

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This was one of the best threads I have read. I came home today with 60# of fresh blackberries, they are washed and quietly freezing. They were on sale, $2.65 a pound, and here in WY that's a really good price. I was looking for a recipe for blackberry wine that did not use any water. I am so pleased I found this. I have a ph tester but no bentonite, so I'll have to look into getting that before I get started. I even have the right yeast. I look forward to an update, Kim, if you still have some of your blackberry left!
 

vernsgal

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This was one of the best threads I have read. I came home today with 60# of fresh blackberries, they are washed and quietly freezing. They were on sale, $2.65 a pound, and here in WY that's a really good price. I was looking for a recipe for blackberry wine that did not use any water. I am so pleased I found this. I have a ph tester but no bentonite, so I'll have to look into getting that before I get started. I even have the right yeast. I look forward to an update, Kim, if you still have some of your blackberry left!
This was my best learning experience. I was able to take all that I learned from everyone and apply to all my future wines.(even the math lessons ;) )

I bottled this back in July 2013. I do still have 5 bottles left that I'm holding for the 2 year mark. It was soo good after a year but I paced the wine so I would have 1 every 3 months or so to taste any difference in aging.It stayed about the same in taste the last few I've had (Oct.2014 & Feb.2015). I will post when I open at the 2 year mark.

Keep me updated on how yours goes :b
 

ceeaton

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Thanks you for this wonderful thread. I was talking with my wife about it and she has given me the green light (monetary green light) to try a batch, and I feel by everything I've learned on this post that I may be able to pull off a good batch on the first try. Thank you!
 

vernsgal

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Thanks you for this wonderful thread. I was talking with my wife about it and she has given me the green light (monetary green light) to try a batch, and I feel by everything I've learned on this post that I may be able to pull off a good batch on the first try. Thank you!
With everyone's help through this thread I had no problems arise. I'm sure you won't either. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

keep us updated on it :b
 

Kraffty

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I've just read this whole thread again and plan on starting my first Blackberry this weekend. Thank you Vernsgal and Turock for sharing your experience and knowledge. I plan on sticking very close to all the suggestions here, will let you know how it works out down the road.
Thanks again,
Mike
 

fabrictodyefor

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Way to go, Mike. I think about it often, I still have my 60# of blackberries in the freezer, I think I'll do the same, read over the whole thread again and maybe I'll get mine going within the next week....
Bobbie
 

jh0330

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Great thread!

I wish I had known about this forum before I began and went shopping for the first time. Unfortunately, I found out about this site on my first day.
So much info!

I also wish I had read your full thread more thoroughly ahead of time (before I was skim reading and read first few pages and last few pages and rushing to understand more thoroughly the next step as my blackberries were already mashed)!

Your right, I should have tested my pH more thoroughly pre-fermentation. I hope my wine doesn't turn out too acidic to the point of no return. Also, if I had read your thread more thoroughly before, I would have added more blackberries. I probably would have avoided adding bentonite (6~8months) too. Fingers are crossed, but I have no idea how it will turn out (I left too many factors to luck haha). I don't want to keep my only carboy sitting with a possibly bad tasting wine for that long! I wanted to bottle up ASAP, bottle age these, and start a new batch as I am certain I can do better.
 

fabrictodyefor

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Great thread!

I wish I had known about this forum before I began and went shopping for the first time. Unfortunately, I found out about this site on my first day.
So much info!

I also wish I had read your full thread more thoroughly ahead of time (before I was skim reading and read first few pages and last few pages and rushing to understand more thoroughly the next step as my blackberries were already mashed)!

Your right, I should have tested my pH more thoroughly pre-fermentation. I hope my wine doesn't turn out too acidic to the point of no return. Also, if I had read your thread more thoroughly before, I would have added more blackberries. I probably would have avoided adding bentonite (6~8months) too. Fingers are crossed, but I have no idea how it will turn out (I left too many factors to luck haha). I don't want to keep my only carboy sitting with a possibly bad tasting wine for that long! I wanted to bottle up ASAP, bottle age these, and start a new batch as I am certain I can do better.
It might be better to get a new car boy....sometimes that bulk aging works miracles! I hand a choke cherry/grape made last year, every time I racked it to a clean car boy I tasted it and every time I thought...this might be the batch I have to toss...it proved me wrong. This last time I racked it and taste tested I was so shocked, it is so smooth that now I am having a hard time leaving it alone! I wanted to bulk age it for a month or two longer, but I may just have to bottle it now!
 

vernsgal

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I probably would have avoided adding bentonite (6~8months) too.
My rule of thumb is to always add bentonite in primary in the 1st few days.

I think your wine will turn out just fine! Unfortunately you'll have to waitto find out.lol

I don't think anyone truly nails their 1st wine. You have to make it to the best of your knowledge(and yes, read, read and read before hand) Then make sure to age.After aging and you've tasted your wine you will be able to perceive what "you" feel is needed to add to the finished product and will make your next even better!

You will hear a lot on body,oak, tannins, sweetness etc. but truthfully it will always come down to your own personal taste. That's why liquor stores are full of so much variety!

Enjoy your new addiction! (oops, I meant hobby :) )
 

fabrictodyefor

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Procrastination is over! We have a side of beef coming tomorrow and the blackberries have to be removed from the freezer! I'm glad for the push. I've read the thread again, and the blackberries are now thawing!
 

fabrictodyefor

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I don't think I did anything wrong, brought the sg up to 1.086 added all the rest of the chemicals, it fermented fine. It was at 1.000 this afternoon, so we pressed them and I only ended up with 3 1/2 gallons. :( I started with 62 lbs of blackberries. I guess it is what it is. I didn't add any water...except what I dissolved the chemicals in and also dissolving the bentonite.
 

Stressbaby

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I did an "all juice" blackberry this year, didn't press the fruit at the end, just used free run juice, and I got 2 gal from 29# of fruit.
 

Scooter68

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I think you've had some good advice as to not needing acid blend. Test before you proceed into primary fermentation. I invested $15.00 on a electronic pH meter that has proved very helpful.

Don't think you'll need anything to clear the wine at the end. Mine turned out beautiful. After the 3rd racking it there was virtually nothing on the bottom of the carboy. Of course this was just a 1 gallon batch. But I squeezed the daylights out of my fermentation bag so there was a lot of lees when I got to the first full racking.

Just watch the fermentation time. All mine efforts with the fruit this year finished primary in less than 4 days and were down to .990 in less than 10 days at the outside. The scary part was that the my Blueberry had very little fragrance all through the fermentation and early aging. The Blackberry (Use I think 4 1/2 lbs for a gallon) had a beautiful light "bouquet" from day one.

As to quantity of fruit, I was working with a Starter Fruit Wine kit that listed all the quantities for me. I will make them all about 25-50% stronger next year since one can always dilute down a batch if needed as long as you maintain the minimum ABV level.
BTW In my Avatar image the Blackberry is 3rd from the left.
 
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wildhair

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Great thread..........I found it a few days late, however.

I read this entire thread and got some VERY useful info, even if a bit late. And useful info on some other topics, as well. Thanks for that.
I had 2 qt. of blackberry juice I canned, 2 qt. of blackberry syrup I canned and 20 cups of frozen blackberries (left over after 3 batches of blackberry jam). Try to find a recipe for that! So this was my first "wing-it " wine, based on what little i could find.
So - I chopped the berries in the Ninja, added them to the fermenter w/ the other juice and maybe a qt. of water. I did not think to check the ph OR to add Cal. Carbonate in the primary. I added a small amount of acid blend, nutrient, pectic enzyme, but no tannin, no bentonite. The SG was 1.085 to start, I used RC212 yeast. In 3 days the SG was .994, I strained it and put into the secondary.
I read the comments on how folks screwing up before asking Q's - that would be the category I'm in. Can calcium carbonate be added post-ferment? Anything I can do or should check at this point?
I bookmarked this thread and will go back to it again this spring - blackberries I have no shortage of.
Again - great thread, lots of valuable info. Like Arnold said - "I'll be back".

Edit - I checked the ph - it's 6.6
 
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Scooter68

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1) Calcium Carbonate is only needed if your wine is too acidic. That's why before you pitch yeast into a batch you need to check both the SG and the pH or do a titration test.
2) You currently have an extremely low acid wine IF indeed the pH is actually 6.6. Or are you talking about the titration test results? SO if it is indeed a pH of 6.6 you need to add acid now before the wine gets infected with a bacteria. The alcohol will help but you still need much more acid to protect it. The other items, tannin, bentonite, pectic enzyme are not critical.
Bentonite is a clearing agent and you may not need it at all.
Pectic Enzyme can be added now or later - again it's to help remove any pectic haze.
Tannin, you can add it now but not a big deal if the taste is good without it.
 
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