Now, you can easily double your fruit in the primary (as James does) to increase fruit flavor. It takes a little longer, but what I prefer to do is steep some fruit in the cleared wine after it is finished. I'm currently doing a straight blueberry verion this way. I waited until the wine was clear, then I racked it to a carboy into which I had stuffed 3 lbs of blueberries. You can use dried, fresh, or frozen (thawed). I used frozen blueberries, thawed in the microwave, and stuffed (juice and all) down a large funnel into the carboy. I'll let them soak in there for about a month, really amping up the flavor!
A couple questions about your adding fruit to the cleared wine....
1. Do you bottle the fruit with the wine, or rack the wine back off this fruit before bottling?
2. Since the wine is already cleared and then you add the "stuffed" (read: slightly smashed) fruit back into it -- do you have any issues with the wine becoming cloudy again and needing to be re-cleared?
1. No. Do not bottle the fruit with the wine. I will usually stir the wine once a week, then let the fruit settle out, and rack off the wine at the end of four weeks.
2. The fruit is very good at settling out over the last week, but it may need additional time to clear. I have yet to have to re-dose with a clearing agent afterwards.
I usually filter my wines before bottling, so that takes care of any leftover sediment. You will lose some extra wine with this method, when you discard the fruit. If that goes against your liking, then squeeze all the wine out of the soaked fruit and add that back into the wine. It can be a longer, more drawn-out process, but worth the extra effort. I have tried this with several kinds of fruit. The firmer fruits seem to work better. Strawberries (darn them!) fall apart completely, and are hard to clear out afterwards. Blueberries and raisins hold together better. The triple berries added to the DB work great!
Another method for adding flavor would be to make an extract of the fruit. There are several methods for this. Essentially, you add a little water to the fruit, and simmer it in a pot until it is reduced by half. Strain and add the resulting extract to the wine. Do a search for extracts in this forum for more methods.
I LOVE all things blueberry so I did try doing a blue blood for my first foray into dragon blood/skeeter pee. I have to say it has far exceeded my expectations. I look forward to seeing how it ages. With 6 months on it now, it is really good. Thanks for your inspiration, Dave!
DB No. 4 made this morning. My No. 5 is going to be blueberry and I can't wait!
Bottling No. 2 this afternoon. No. 3 in carboy waiting for No. 2 to get out of the way,
so I can degas No. 3 (which I only racked yesterday and is cleared halfway down by itself)!
Hmm. Is there a forum for DB addiction?
DB rehab lol! I have to say this could easily be an addiction!! My slightly modified version turned out outstanding!
Sad to say that after giving several bottles away and drinking the rest, we only have 1 bottle left which I hid to keep until next year! I had originally wanted to keep at least 6 bottles... *sigh*
My slight deviations were as follows:
- 12lbs frozen fruit (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
- 40oz lemon juice
- 1lb sultana raisins
- 1 banana
- 1 large jug antioxia juice the one with pomegranate, elderberry etc (I added it just because I came up short on sugar)
This batch came out incredibly fruity and smooth and everyone who has tasted it, loved it! Now I'm going to have to make 2 batches at the same time this stuff doesn't stick around long enough! Apart from another immediate batch of the quad berry, I'm definitely trying tropical and blueberry!