DangerDave's Dragon Blood Wine

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

crushday

Grape juice artisan
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
690
Reaction score
682
Location
Pacific NW
Dragon’s Blood started 8/20/2019 with EC-1118, SG 1.099, 8 pounds of triple berries from Costco, Real Lemon Juice 60oz and 6.5 gallons of water (7.2 gallons of must gross), 30 cups of white granulated sugar constituted in water. Enzymes, nutrients, tannin and pectin according to Danger Dave’s recipe.
 

mhopkins

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
172
Reaction score
193
Location
Colorado
Dragon’s Blood started 8/20/2019 with EC-1118, SG 1.099, 8 pounds of triple berries from Costco, Real Lemon Juice 60oz and 6.5 gallons of water (7.2 gallons of must gross), 30 cups of white granulated sugar constituted in water. Enzymes, nutrients, tannin and pectin according to Danger Dave’s recipe.
Fun!

I saw in a post that Danger Dave now adds oak to his Dragon Blood. So, I tossed in some oak powder left over from a kit I did a while back to a 4-berry blend of DB. Nice nose in the carboy. Am racking it this evening. Will likely rack one more time tomorrow before bottling. Hope it turns out well!
 

crushday

Grape juice artisan
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
690
Reaction score
682
Location
Pacific NW
Dragon’s Blood started 8/20/2019 with EC-1118, SG 1.099, 8 pounds of triple berries from Costco, Real Lemon Juice 60oz and 6.5 gallons of water (7.2 gallons of must gross), 30 cups of white granulated sugar constituted in water. Enzymes, nutrients, tannin and pectin according to Danger Dave’s recipe.
Update: SG down to .997, temp throughout has been in the low 70's - by design. Today I removed the skins, pressed them, put the pressed juice in the fermentor and put the lid back on. There's still quite a bit of activity going on in there. It smells like taffy. I hope that's not a representation of the final taste. I'll check it again in a couple of days.
 

mhopkins

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
172
Reaction score
193
Location
Colorado
Update: SG down to .997, temp throughout has been in the low 70's - by design. Today I removed the skins, pressed them, put the pressed juice in the fermentor and put the lid back on. There's still quite a bit of activity going on in there. It smells like taffy. I hope that's not a representation of the final taste. I'll check it again in a couple of days.
"It smells like taffy." I've made seven of these so far (2, 3-berry blend, 4, 4-berry blend, 1, cranberry lime). Some smelled slightly funky (a technical term) toward the end of fermentation, but all have turned out wonderfully. Hoping your "taffy smell" is a temporary state along the journey.

BTW, I finished the last 4-berry blend that I added the oak powder to. I like the additional flavor profile and will likely be experimenting with oak in my various DBs going forward. An exception will be the cranberry lime - it is exceptional as is!

Best to you as you finish up your current DB batch. Please do post how things turn out.
 

SouthernVino

Junior
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
13
I used 2 3/4 cups of sugar for the six gallons. That is a little less than a 1/2 cup per gallon. I like it semi dry with just a hint of sweetness. As it ages, the sugar binds with the fruit and I get that beautiful blend. The fruit flavor emerges along with the fragrance, but is not highjack by too much sweetness.
 

crushday

Grape juice artisan
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
690
Reaction score
682
Location
Pacific NW
I used 2 3/4 cups of sugar for the six gallons. That is a little less than a 1/2 cup per gallon. I like it semi dry with just a hint of sweetness. As it ages, the sugar binds with the fruit and I get that beautiful blend. The fruit flavor emerges along with the fragrance, but is not highjack by too much sweetness.
I can tolerate a semi sweet white wine but like my reds bone dry. I’ll do some bench trials and will consider 2 3/4 cups my absolute maximum. I don’t want to use sorbate but have no interest in making blood bombs either. How much sorbate do use?
 

SouthernVino

Junior
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
13
I like my reds dry as well. But this is a deep blush fruit wine. I guess you could categorize it as a light red perhaps. But I like this one with just a hint of sweetness. As for the potassium sorbate, I use 3 teaspoons per six gallons.
 

crushday

Grape juice artisan
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
690
Reaction score
682
Location
Pacific NW
I used 2 3/4 cups of sugar for the six gallons. That is a little less than a 1/2 cup per gallon. I like it semi dry with just a hint of sweetness. As it ages, the sugar binds with the fruit and I get that beautiful blend. The fruit flavor emerges along with the fragrance, but is not highjack by too much sweetness.
Any idea what your finished gravity is after you back sweeten?
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
60
Reaction score
37
My third batch of dragon blood, using berries and rhubarb I picked myself. It's just finishing up in primary, but if it's as good as the first two (original and blue/blackberry) then I'll be very happy.

Juice and pulp of 2 lemons
Juice and pulp of 10 limes
3x 850ml storebought organic lemonade (water, lemon juice, grape juice, sugar)
1x 50ml bottle of raspberry cordial concentrate (in Sweden we call this saft, available at Ikea in lingon and elderflower)
1x 50ml bottle of elderflower saft
561g rhubarb
1175g green gooseberries
1199g red currants
600g red gooseberries
200g peeled bananas (2)
150g blue Thompson raisins
2g powdered tannin
25g French medium toast chips
850ml homemade chai simple syrup
9.1l water
2920g sugar
2.7g Campden
25ml pectic enzyme
3.6g Fermaid K
2.3g DAP
7.7g Fermaid O
6.5g Go-Ferm
1 packet 71B
Slurry from a gooseberry wine with QA23
Slurry from a linden honey mead using M05

This was a very slow starter which is why I threw in the slurries about 3-4 days after pitching the 71B. A few days after that fermentation really took off, but I babied it and added nutrients at the 1/3 break. Plan to throw in some oak cubes in secondary.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
60
Reaction score
37
A shot of my version of black and blueblood. The picture doesn't do the color justice really. I like backsweetening with xylitol to save on carbs and calories as well as eliminating the need for sorbate, and there is no weird aftertaste at all, like stevia or other artificial sweeteners can have. I also added a bit of French heavy toast cubes to secondary, the oak is extremely subtle (and I love oak) so next time I do this version I will probably add a bit more, I think the toasty flavors will complement the dark fruit.

My second batch of dragon blood and I just adore it, it is now my house staple! With wine like this who cares about the 2-5 years my kit wines will be aging! I used 212 and extra fruit, I think I used a bit of a heavy hand on the backsweetening but with the luscious fruit flavor it works anyway. Amazing how brightly it comes through. The mouthfeel is silky and lush. I thought the first original batch was really good, but this one is better. Batch # 4 will probably be chocolate raspberry, with lots of cacao nibs.
I wanted to say thank you to dangerdave! You're an inspiration and it's so fun to have read through the thread and see how your own process evolved. :)
 

Attachments

loopline

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
30
Reaction score
4
A shot of my version of black and blueblood. The picture doesn't do the color justice really. I like backsweetening with xylitol to save on carbs and calories as well as eliminating the need for sorbate, and there is no weird aftertaste at all, like stevia or other artificial sweeteners can have. I also added a bit of French heavy toast cubes to secondary, the oak is extremely subtle (and I love oak) so next time I do this version I will probably add a bit more, I think the toasty flavors will complement the dark fruit.

My second batch of dragon blood and I just adore it, it is now my house staple! With wine like this who cares about the 2-5 years my kit wines will be aging! I used 212 and extra fruit, I think I used a bit of a heavy hand on the backsweetening but with the luscious fruit flavor it works anyway. Amazing how brightly it comes through. The mouthfeel is silky and lush. I thought the first original batch was really good, but this one is better. Batch # 4 will probably be chocolate raspberry, with lots of cacao nibs.
I wanted to say thank you to dangerdave! You're an inspiration and it's so fun to have read through the thread and see how your own process evolved. :)
Xylitol tastes minty to me. Does it add a mint undertone over time?

I brew up stevia, just stevia leaves and hot water and it doesn't have the bad aftertaste like processed stevia, at least not to me. That said if you go heavy handed it does taste kind of off, but still not as bad as the processed stuff.

What I acutally really like is a blend of Xylitol, Erythritol and Stevia.

honestly though I pretty much just use Sugar now days. Im not saying its bad to save on carbs, but alcohol has a crap ton of carbs just because its alcohol. So I figure if Im going to screw things up by drinking alcohol in the first place, might as well toss in the sugar and make it taste ideal - as I think sugar tastes ideal over all the non sugar sweetners. That said my offset is that I take Life Extension Anti-Alcohol with HepatoProtection Complex every time I drink. It can be found on amazon and the difference in how I feel the next day is immense when I take it vs not.

But Id still be interested to know if the xylitol makes it minty over time.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
60
Reaction score
37
Xylitol tastes minty to me. Does it add a mint undertone over time?

I brew up stevia, just stevia leaves and hot water and it doesn't have the bad aftertaste like processed stevia, at least not to me. That said if you go heavy handed it does taste kind of off, but still not as bad as the processed stuff.

What I acutally really like is a blend of Xylitol, Erythritol and Stevia.

honestly though I pretty much just use Sugar now days. Im not saying its bad to save on carbs, but alcohol has a crap ton of carbs just because its alcohol. So I figure if Im going to screw things up by drinking alcohol in the first place, might as well toss in the sugar and make it taste ideal - as I think sugar tastes ideal over all the non sugar sweetners. That said my offset is that I take Life Extension Anti-Alcohol with HepatoProtection Complex every time I drink. It can be found on amazon and the difference in how I feel the next day is immense when I take it vs not.

But Id still be interested to know if the xylitol makes it minty over time.
I don't taste the mintiness you mention. Maybe it depends on the brand or maybe not everyone can taste it? I don't have any super old bottles with xylitol yet, but so far I've used it in wine and cider and I think it works great. I find erythritol has that sort of cooling flavor you mention. To me, regular sugar has an aftertaste about ten minutes after you eat it which I find really unpleasant, so I guess you just need to find what works for you. As sweeteners in general, not just for wine, I've tried erythritol, natural and processed stevia, as well as fiber syrups, but I've found xylitol to be the best (and it's also good for your teeth which is nice). It's also easy to measure out 1:1 like granulated sugar. The brand I use is called Total Sweet and they source it from Finnish birch trees.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
60
Reaction score
37
I just did a new 20L batch of black-and-blueblood which will land at about 11%. The older batch is something like 15%, which, while delicious, is too strong and therefore a bit dangerous. ;) I used the same recipe more or less, only with less sugar and a few tweaks due to fruit on sale. I used 212 again, rehydrated with Go Ferm. Will add French medium and heavy toast cubes to secondary.
I also made a 20L chocolate raspberry batch, using toasted kakao nibs and 50g of kakao husk tea. I pitched a slurry of QA23 left over from a batch of gooseberry wine. The scent of both chocolate and raspberry are intense, i have high hopes for this! I plan to add tonka beans (they have a lovely vanilla/almond flavor to complement the main flavors), oak, and perhaps more nibs/husks to secondary.
 

RadRob

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
74
Reaction score
96
Location
Lafayette La
I've searched the forum and google but could find an answer. What make's Dragon Blood an early drinker?
 
Last edited:

Lwrightjs

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
126
Reaction score
27
I've searched the forum and google but could find an answer. What make's Dragon Blood an early drinker?
Probably a few things.
It's not very tannic.
Not incredibly alcoholic (like 10-11% for most recipes I've seen).
Slightly sweet to cover any off flavors.
There's nothing overly complex that requires extended aging.

With most wines, higher alcohol, complexity, and tannin are all factors that play into its aging. Sweetness usually covers up some of those factors.

Hence, dragons blood is an easy early drinker.
 

bshef

Highland Meadow Vineyard
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
166
Reaction score
57
Location
Virginia
I like bone dry reds and dry whites as well. Sweet wines are too much any more. Anyway I backsweeted one gallon of the original with a can of white grape juice concentrate. It is just enough for immediate consumption (Thanksgiving). I put the remaining five gallons on two pounds of the Costco triple blend for another month. I like more body. This is great for easy drinking, light wine.
 

willie

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
316
Reaction score
98
I like bone dry reds and dry whites as well. Sweet wines are too much any more. Anyway I backsweeted one gallon of the original with a can of white grape juice concentrate. It is just enough for immediate consumption (Thanksgiving). I put the remaining five gallons on two pounds of the Costco triple blend for another month. I like more body. This is great for easy drinking, light wine.
This has been one of my more enjoyable hobbies. To be able to make a wine with different types of fruits and make it as sweet or dry as we want is really rewarding. Even my wife enjoys helping out. The peach wine we make from peaches from an orchard in Utica, Oh. has turned out fantastic. We just back sweetened our 2nd 6 gal. batch we have made this year.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving wine.
 
2

Latest posts

Top