DangerDave's Dragon Blood Wine

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by dangerdave, Nov 9, 2013.

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  1. Nov 8, 2018 #4461

    Johnd

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    I have a DB variant that I'm trying this year, no lemon juice, acid adjusted with tartaric, Lallzyme EX-V, tsp tannins, 60 lbs triple berry, very little water, sugar to 1.110, KV1-1116 temp spiked up into the high 80's. Been done a few months and sitting in a six and one gallon vessel clearing (got 7 gallons). It was a bear to press with all of the tiny particulate matter from the raspberries and blackberries, they just broke down into sludge. Haven't tasted it yet and probably won't fool with it until this years wine goes into the barrel, smells super good and very fruity so far.
     
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  2. Nov 9, 2018 #4462

    abrewkat

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    Thanks Bleedaggie and dangerdave! I had been reluctant to try it if it was going to turn out like that. They are very new to the process, so it could be some soap residue, or too much sorbate. I'll definitely keep that in mind, and will work a Triple berry into my schedule. Don't think they have Wyman's here, but I'll definitely look! Happy fermenting!
     
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  3. Nov 11, 2018 #4463

    rca

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    Wow, took a week, but I read the whole DB thread. I've got several versions to try now.

    Reporting in on my first triple berry batch, day 6 and I'm down to .993 and it smells great.

    Thanks all.
     
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  4. Nov 11, 2018 #4464

    dangerdave

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    Keep us appraised!
     
  5. Nov 15, 2018 #4465

    rca

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    OK, racked from primary tonight, but now I'm confused about a couple of additions in the secondary.

    I think the original recipe says to add the sulfite and sorbate, degas and then add the clearing agent. Is this all done on the same day? I think Dave also said he likes to add 3 tsp of tannin in secondary. When would this be added in the process, before the clearing agent?

    Thanks for the assistance, this is my first attempt at wine making.
     
  6. Nov 15, 2018 #4466

    jumby

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    Yes this step is all done on the same day. Let clear for a week, then back-sweeten.
     
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  7. Nov 15, 2018 #4467

    dangerdave

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    I add my tannin to the primary but it can also go in the secondary just as well.

    Like jumby says. Do the dining and the clear on the same day.

    Best of luck rca!
     
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  8. Nov 15, 2018 #4468

    rca

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    I thought I read somewhere in the thread you add tannins in primary and secondary?
     
  9. Nov 20, 2018 #4469

    Countrygent

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    Bottled today after a 10 day rest post-sparkaloid. 20 days start to finish. Looks crystal clear. Taste ... pretty balanced and drinkable, only put 1/3 cup sugar per gallon to backsweeten. Unstructured though, the light oak tastes ‘on top’ not integrated - can’t quite figure whether the bourbon I tried to sterilize my oak cubes with by soaking for a few days comes through or not.

    I’m hoping a few weeks or months in the bottle it will smooth out and get more fruit-forward. Had two glasses left in the bucket beyond the full bottles ... holy mackerel easy to drink and packs a punch. I think probably best to warn people if they are drinking it like beer or a cooler that they are in the fast lane.
     
  10. Nov 20, 2018 #4470

    dangerdave

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    Yes, it should come with a warning ⚠️

    It will improve over time. Particularly in the first couple of months. Mine rarely lasts that long.
     
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  11. Nov 20, 2018 #4471

    Countrygent

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    I found an old book, The Art of Making Wine, Anderson & Hull, (Penguin, 1970), was surprised to read this: After much experimentation I began to suspect that fruit wines were improved by reducing the fruit content in relation to sugar and water ... low fruit content, 2 to 4 Lbs per gallon, yields a wine in which the basic fruit is not identifiable, which can be mistaken for one made from pure vinifera grapes.

    He goes on to suggest trying an experiment with more and less fruit and comparing after six months and then a year aging, and that heavy fruit will require aging for a year or two longer to be drinkable ...

    There was quite a bit of outdated info in the book - especially how few grape varieties were accessible to amateurs, how yeast strains and chemicals were very difficult to access, how few concentrates could be sourced. I got a kick out of repeated references to going to your local cooperage for various barrel issues.

    In any event, surprising and counter-intuitive that maybe less fruit could be better. I suppose the only way to find out what we prefer is to try both ways. You have “a lot of fruit” covered in that batch?

    I
     
  12. Nov 20, 2018 #4472

    Johnd

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    Interesting take on the issue, but I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to fruit wines (which I've not made a lot of). I prefer as little water as possible, shooting for a fruit wine as opposed to a fruit flavored wine. I put just enough water in the the triple berry mix as I deemed necessary to get it to be relatively fluid like a grape must. Don't hurry my wines much at all, and haven't tasted this one yet, though it's probably still pretty green and rough around the edges. It has a very pleasing, fruity nose at the moment. The plan is to do some bench trials next year and sweetening if it's in order, and do want to bottle some of it without any sugar added at all to see how it improves or gets worse with age. It's pretty much an experiment, just have to wait to see how it evolves as time passes.........
     
  13. Nov 21, 2018 #4473

    JMStudios

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    Hi all, I'm only about 80 pages into the 224 pages of this thread, but I'm already fascinated. I just started my first batch of DB tonight. I followed the original recipe, cutting down on the lemon as I've read. The only change I made is that I used all blackberry instead of the triple berry, just because I've never been crazy about raspberry. Very excited to see how this goes. I'd love to have something to partake in, while I wait for my other wines to age as long as those directions call for.
    Photo is my very first DB, behind it you can see my first Blueberry wine following the directions in the little purple book I got from my LHBS. About to rack that to a smaller carboy since it's almost dry.
     

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  14. Nov 21, 2018 #4474

    Countrygent

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    I wonder if there was a stronger inclination among home vintners 48 years ago to try and emulate commercial grape wine styles as it must have been quite a challenge with limited grape/must sources or choices to make good varietal grape wines at home.

    When I recall the kind of wine that was widely popular when I was a kid - cheap Gallo wines, horrible sweet Black Tower, Baby Duck, those Boones Farm fruit wines, it was a different time for sure. Of course there was excellent wine available as well, but probably not nearly as widely accessible as today. I have wondered when you read a book that says ‘they served an excellent claret’ from the 1920’s whether it truly was excellent by today’s standards, or closer to two buck chuck. Before a more scientific approach, accessible chemistry testing and much more access to corrective additives ... so I read that with a huge grain of salt, thought it was interesting that more fruit forward was not the goal. As this monster thread indicates, so much experimentation and differing preferences can be pursued now with access to ingredients but also much more information. We can be thankful for that!
     
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  15. Nov 23, 2018 #4475

    MickeyB

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    My second batch of DB is clearing, with four bottles squirreled away from the first batch. Plan on sweetening this one with some niagara concentrate. Used it to sweeten a mscadine/cherry batch and was very pleased. The sweetness doesn’t seem to layer so, if that makes any sense at all.
     
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  16. Nov 24, 2018 #4476

    RadRob

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    Can someone tell me why DB is ready to drink sooner than other wines? I'm new to wine making and trying to learn what makes it mature faster vs everything I've read about letting it age.
     
  17. Nov 24, 2018 #4477

    dangerdave

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    I love this question! It strikes at the very heart of the DB phenomenon. Lol
    To put it simply, we’re cheating!
    Follow me on this. Young wines are universally tart. This tartness mellows over time as they age into maturity, allowing the background flavors to come forward. You guys know this!
    So, what if we made a wine that was SUPPOSE to be tart! We can drink it right away because—in my opinion—it’s better that way. I got the idea after making my first batch of home made wine, which was Lon DePoppe’s Skeeter Pee. I wanted a blush rather than a lemonade, so I tossed in some fruit. The rest is history!
     
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  18. Nov 24, 2018 #4478

    RadRob

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    Does back sweetening cut down the tart flavor? What's the closest wine it tastes like when finished?

    I started a 4 gallon batch on the 21st using mostly the original recipe. I used 6 lbs of berries and one container of Welsh's white grape juice. It smells good and has excellent color already.

    I want to start another batch using less lemon juice to taste the difference. How much less lemon juice is everyone using? Has anyone tried citric acid instead of the lemon juice?

    FYI, I took recommendations from some of the post in this thread and went to Dollar Tree, they have 12 oz bags of mixed berries, black, straw and raspberries for a whole buck. You can't beat $1.40 a lb for frozen fruit.
     
  19. Nov 25, 2018 #4479

    willie

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    We buy our lemon juice at Wally World. There lemon juice comes in a 32 oz. Great Value bottle that we use for a six gallon batch of DB. And some times we use half lemon juice and half lime juice. We buy the Wyman's Triple Berry and Spring water there also. We find that Rual King has the cheapest cane sugar. We have been making Dave's recipe for 5-6 years now and make a few different variants of it like Raspberry, Strawberry, Tropical, Blue Berry and our latest was a Peach that turned out just great.

    Will
     
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  20. Nov 25, 2018 #4480

    MickeyB

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    Back sweetening does reduce it, Rob. Will cut it completely out if you can stand it that sweet, lol. Be careful though, a little time alone will tame it fairly quickly, so stop a little short of where you like it.

    Have made a few different wine batches using the same technique with acid rather than the lemon. Still tart without a little aging or some sweetness added. Will confess straight up to having no love for dry wines, so experimenting with varying degrees of sweet as I go. Such fun!
     

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