DangerDave's Dragon Blood Wine

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willie

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Has anyone tried any of the Vintners fruit wine bases for DB recipe ? I've used for making wine with excellent results and would think that it would really compliment the lemon in Dragon Blood.

Yes we have used it in making peach, raspberry and blueberry variations. We add to the ferment along with the bag full of fruit we are using. It's been working out really well.

Will
 

RocketBee

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I like pictures, so I put together a graph plotting the temp and the S.G. of my first batch of Dragon's Blood during primary fermentation. My only deviation from DD's instructions was that I stirred 2x each day. Right now, S.G. is less than 1.00 and I'm waiting for it to stop dropping. My original intent was to ferment at a lower temp using the EC-1118 yeast to achieve a wine that was more fruity and smooth (as per instructions). I don't have a heater band because I thought I could manage the temperature with a space heater in my laundry room. As you can see from the red area on the graph, the temp was a bit manic over the last four days and not what I was trying to achieve. I think the heater band will be my next acquisition.

Anyway the plotted points are roughly every twelve hours and I would love to hear any feedback or comments from the experienced folks, especially regarding fermentation temperature. Thanks!

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Wrapped up my first batch of DB today and bottled. The color is gorgeous and the aromas are definately what I was expecting. I have never tried a wine this early but it is really tart and not at all sweet. I used 1/3 cup of sugar for each gallon. Will this sweeten up in the bottle a decent amount?
 

willie

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Wrapped up my first batch of DB today and bottled. The color is gorgeous and the aromas are definately what I was expecting. I have never tried a wine this early but it is really tart and not at all sweet. I used 1/3 cup of sugar for each gallon. Will this sweeten up in the bottle a decent amount?

We all understand everyone's taste is different. So I believe Dave recommended 2-6 cups of sugar to a 6 gallon batch. He also stated he used 3/4 cup per gallon which I believe comes out to 4.5 cups per 6 gallon batch. We add 4.5 - 5 cups to every batch because it is the taste we prefer. Sense you bottled let it age for a month or 2 if you can and then add sugar or your favorite sweetener to your glass before drinking to bring the sweetness up to what you like. Letting the wine age some more will help with that tartness. Fruit wine taste much better to most people after back sweetening then drinking it dry. Enjoy.

Will
 

fsa46

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I for one wish people would refer to the sweetness after back-sweetening by Specific Gravity. It's a lot more precise as everyone's taste is different. What some may refer to as sweet, others may not. JMHO

As I've stated in other posts, most of my wine, Skeeter Pee and Dragon Blood are back sweetened from 1.01 to 1.02 and marked on the bottles. Limoncello and Orangecello are back sweetened between 1.06 and 1.08, yes, that sweet. lol
 
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We all understand everyone's taste is different. So I believe Dave recommended 2-6 cups of sugar to a 6 gallon batch. He also stated he used 3/4 cup per gallon which I believe comes out to 4.5 cups per 6 gallon batch. We add 4.5 - 5 cups to every batch because it is the taste we prefer. Sense you bottled let it age for a month or 2 if you can and then add sugar or your favorite sweetener to your glass before drinking to bring the sweetness up to what you like. Letting the wine age some more will help with that tartness. Fruit wine taste much better to most people after back sweetening then drinking it dry. Enjoy.

Will
I went with the 1/2 cup/per gallon based on what I was hoping was similar tastes based on feedback from this thread. I am a very dry to extra dry drinker but was hoping for something a little more sweet for summer drinking. This is really tart and dry so far. I will just set it aside for a couple of months and see where i am around then. I am not really up to adding sugar in a glass or sweetener (never really cared for that when i have tried others) so if it isn't decent in a few months i will probably just give them away to neighbors and try again.
 

RocketBee

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@GoOutside&Play ... I'm curious about your fermentation temperature. I'm certainly no expert, but I do remember in the instructions that a higher fermentation will make the taste a lot sharper whereas a lower temp will make it a bit more smooth. I tried to keep mine around 70F or lower to keep things on the smooth side.
 
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@GoOutside&Play ... I'm curious about your fermentation temperature. I'm certainly no expert, but I do remember in the instructions that a higher fermentation will make the taste a lot sharper whereas a lower temp will make it a bit more smooth. I tried to keep mine around 70F or lower to keep things on the smooth side.
7 days from start to dry. Temp ranged from 74 to 78 but got to 82.7 for 1 day then back down to 78ish for last two days. House temp was about 68 so the yeast was rocking pretty hard I would say.
 

RocketBee

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I did my first racking out of the primary just yesterday, mine was obviously slower than yours. I took a taste and was quite surprised as it wasn't nearly as tart as I expected. "Tartness" is a subjective term, but still I was expecting a much larger lip-puckering factor than I got. I followed the directions pretty closely...and to the "T" as far as ingredients. I wonder if the fermentation temp can make that large of a difference in tartness.
 
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I did my first racking out of the primary just yesterday, mine was obviously slower than yours. I took a taste and was quite surprised as it wasn't nearly as tart as I expected. "Tartness" is a subjective term, but still I was expecting a much larger lip-puckering factor than I got. I followed the directions pretty closely...and to the "T" as far as ingredients. I wonder if the fermentation temp can make that large of a difference in tartness.
Interested to hear how yours turns out in a couple of months. I followed process and directions to a T as well except for backsweetening ( slightly less than 3/4 cup per gallon) and temp which did what it did. Since i Iove science and experiments I am interested to see how it turns out month after month and I know I will do at least 3 more batches so plenty of time to see what variables i can play with.
 

jking

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I use the KLR filter system, simple gravity fed. https://klrfilter.com/

Very simple, fairly inexpensive, adds maybe 4 or 5 minutes to the gravity racking time. Has been reviewed and evaluated by Daniel Pambianchi (considered by many to be seated at the right hand of god) http://www.techniquesinhomewinemaking.com/home winemaking product reviews.html
After reading this post and doing a little research I decided to buy a KLR filter. The parts arrived about a week after I ordered and I set out to filter a batch of blueberry ready to bottle. Due to manufacturing defect where the jar's lip that seals on the gasket in the lid, it leaked a lot when running sulfilte solution through it to sanitize no matter how tight I had it. I sent pictures in an email to KLR and after a little back and forth they sent me a new filter body that doesn't leak like the first. Good customer service.
 

RocketBee

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I back-sweetened my DDDB wine yesterday and peeled a little off to do a tasting. I guess the best way to describe it would be that I am disappointed. Now, please understand that I mean absolutely no disrespect to Danger Dave and all who've contributed to this thread...not at all. Putting things into perspective, the cost of producing this batch was very little, so perhaps I'm expecting too much...or perhaps I did something wrong? I followed the instructions closely, tried to keep the fermentation temp at the lower end of the scale, nailed the ingredients exactly according to the instructions and back-sweetened with 4 cups of sugar (2/3 cup per gallon). Specifically, I was expecting a bit more tartness, fruitiness and also more body. I think it tastes a bit "thin". All of these descriptors are subjective terms so it's hard to convey...I guess after reading all the positive comments on this thread my expectations may have been unrealistically high.

That being said, it seems to me in retrospect that DDDB is a personal journey for all of us. Try it, refine it, and over time dial it in to what it is that one prefers. I now have a baseline of what it's like, next round I can modify to make it more suitable to my personal taste. Regardless, I would love to hear from more experienced folks regarding my comments and/or what I should do on my next round. Thanks!
 

willie

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I back-sweetened my DDDB wine yesterday and peeled a little off to do a tasting. I guess the best way to describe it would be that I am disappointed. Now, please understand that I mean absolutely no disrespect to Danger Dave and all who've contributed to this thread...not at all. Putting things into perspective, the cost of producing this batch was very little, so perhaps I'm expecting too much...or perhaps I did something wrong? I followed the instructions closely, tried to keep the fermentation temp at the lower end of the scale, nailed the ingredients exactly according to the instructions and back-sweetened with 4 cups of sugar (2/3 cup per gallon). Specifically, I was expecting a bit more tartness, fruitiness and also more body. I think it tastes a bit "thin". All of these descriptors are subjective terms so it's hard to convey...I guess after reading all the positive comments on this thread my expectations may have been unrealistically high.

That being said, it seems to me in retrospect that DDDB is a personal journey for all of us. Try it, refine it, and over time dial it in to what it is that one prefers. I now have a baseline of what it's like, next round I can modify to make it more suitable to my personal taste. Regardless, I would love to hear from more experienced folks regarding my comments and/or what I should do on my next round. Thanks!

Your comments are perfectly normal. Just before and after bottling DB is what some call green at this point. Drinkable yes but needs 2-3 months of aging to help bring out a little sweeter and fruitier taste. I have used a few ripe bananas to help with the body. A couple times a year we use 9 lbs. of fruit and others use 12 lbs. to add a more robust taste. I've read one person that likes to use grape jelly or jam to add more flavor. Also you might try upping your ferment temps. We like to keep ours no lower than 75 and will let it get up into the low 80's for a day or two. Good luck.

Will
 

RocketBee

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@willie ripe bananas during primary fermentation or later? Have you ever used a yeast other than EC-1118? I was thinking about trying 71B next time. I realize that means I'll have to carefully consider among other things: fermentation temp, rehydration technique as well as proper nutrient protocol.
 

willie

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@willie ripe bananas during primary fermentation or later? Have you ever used a yeast other than EC-1118? I was thinking about trying 71B next time. I realize that means I'll have to carefully consider among other things: fermentation temp, rehydration technique as well as proper nutrient protocol.

I just peel the bananas and add to the ferment bag. The only other yeast we use because it works so well is Red Star Premier Curvee' but if you want to try 71B by all means try it. This is a great recipe to experiment with. But we always keep in mind that Dave's recipe is pretty much full proof. We have tried all kinds of different fruit and combinations but always go back to Dave's Triple Berry using Wyman's brand. It's our favorite.

Will
 

Johnd

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@willie ripe bananas during primary fermentation or later? Have you ever used a yeast other than EC-1118? I was thinking about trying 71B next time. I realize that means I'll have to carefully consider among other things: fermentation temp, rehydration technique as well as proper nutrient protocol.
You might also consider keeping an eye on the pH, as 71B will also metabolize some of the malic acid in the must. Can't imagine that it would be a big issue, but just something to consider.
 

dangerdave

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DB wine makers are some of the most creative and ambitious I’ve seen. The possibilities are endless. Great work, and good advice, everyone!
 

abrewkat

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I've done a couple batches of Tropical (pineapple juice plus lemon, mango, strawberry, a tropical fruit blend, and some simmered bananas). One batch with 71B-1122 and one with Premier Cuvee. Both turned out really well and were only about 6-7 lbs of fruit and 2 quarts of pineapple juice and a quart of lemon juice. Probably my best received wine when shared with others. Thinking I'm going to have to try the original version next!
 

G259

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I'm with you on doubling the fruit used, and adding more tannins. However, everyone like a different 'balance', I like mine bold and heavy, others may like a lighter version. Nothing is absolute in winemaking (in my view)!
 

G259

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. . . and I think 71B is a good choice, that I plan to use on my next batch.
 
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