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KCCam

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@BernardSmith and @sour_grapes, thanks so much. I never thought about SG as you've described it, but I get it. I started off at 6 gallons without the fruit. At 6 gallons without the fruit I had a starting 1.103 SG reading.

How much volume did the juice add? I have no idea! I can only say that I added 11lbs of berries and that I was surprised at how much DB I had left in my primary when I racked off 6 gallons of it to my carboy at the end of the ferment. All that extra liquid had to have been because of the added fruit juice from the berries.

I guess not knowing the added volume doesn't get me closer to the answer, does it?

Thanks again!
betty
Well, I may get labelled a nerd, but I wholeheartedly take that as a compliment. I made a triple berry DB last year and had the same questions as you. Adding the fruit should drop the ABV, not raise it. I weighed my berries before putting them in the mesh bag, and took the quoted amount of sugar from the nutritional information on the frozen berry bag. I weighed the mesh bag after fermentation and found that about 90% of the weight made it into the must, and assumed most of that was liquid. Obviously some of it would be pulp that drops out as lees, but I have no way to determine how much that might be.

Sooo... to spare everyone the boring details of my calculations, I can concur with what @sour_grapes and @BernardSmith have "guesstimated". If your triple-berry is the same as the Canada Costco triple-berry, and if the blueberries have the same amount of sugar and water content, your berries would have added 1.15 gallons of juice at 1.035 SG. From my calculations and estimations, that would have dropped your effective initial SG from 1.103 to 1.092, and your final ABV would be 13.4%, exactly what Sour_Grapes estimated.

This brings up a good point about the "presser method" used for Dragon Blood: it makes it very difficult to determine the final ABV. The liquid and the sugar get released into the must gradually, over several days. I squeezed the heck out of my berries on day #1. My SG dropped from 1.110 to 1.108. It should have dropped more than 5 times that much. And on day #2, the SG actually went back up to 1.110 after squeezing the bag.
 

Betty23

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Thanks @KCCam. Also very helpful.

It‘s clear to me that the better way to approach this recipe with about 11 lbs of fruit in a regular sized primary is to fill up at the start only to something just shy of 5 gallons with that knowledge that the additional gallon will come from the fruit. For those who like a higher abv, bump up the sg at the start with the knowledge that it will drop as you’ve all described. I plan on doing both of these things the next time I make it.
 

sour_grapes

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Thanks @KCCam. Also very helpful.

It‘s clear to me that the better way to approach this recipe with about 11 lbs of fruit in a regular sized primary is to fill up at the start only to something just shy of 5 gallons with that knowledge that the additional gallon will come from the fruit. For those who like a higher abv, bump up the sg at the start with the knowledge that it will drop as you’ve all described. I plan on doing both of these things the next time I make it.
Okay, but make sure you use enough so that you will have a full carboy after racking off the lees. Better to have a quart too much than a quart too little!
 

hounddawg

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Thanks @KCCam. Also very helpfllul.

It‘s clear to me that the better way to approach this recipe with about 11 lbs of fruit in a regular sized primary is to fill up at the, start only to something just shy of 5 gallons with that knowledge that the additional gallon will come from the fruit. For those who like a higher abv, bump up the sg at the stt with the knowledge that it will drop as you’ve all described. I plan on doing both of these things the next time I make it.
agreed 100% with sour_grapes, i always make extra , so i keep gallon,, half gallon, quart judges and pint jugs ,, all with 38-400 threads that way drilled 6.5 bungs that will fit all your jugs and airlock all of them, win with your same must that's in your main carboy, that way every time you rack you can top off will the same must/wine. asis the exact same that's in your main carboy,
Dawg
 
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BernardSmith

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Exactly. This is why , if the added volume was say half a gallon the reduction of ABV would be less and not more than if the volume of juice the fruit added would be a gallon.
 

abrewkat

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Hmm, I have to check the forum more often, missed a whole bunch of posts on sour cherries! I have them coming out my ears, but have only ever done a straight wine with them, not a Dragon Blood. I'm wondering if anyone has done both, and if there's a difference in flavour? I have made numerous batches, and just use the purple book recipe, with acid blend. I'm now wondering how the lemon would work with it. I think that may be my next project! Once I bottle the mead, baco noir kit, and 8 gallons each of concord and sour cherry currently aging in carboys...
 

porkchopmessiah

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Got a question, which was a happy surprise...
I made a batch of DB using the BJ wholese antioxidant berry mix, had cherries, blueberry etc...
Starter with in just under 15 gallon after filtering and racking I had a 10gal demijohn (I know it's closer to nine) which I sweetened and bottled...i was meh on the taste, the cherry made it taste like a cough drop.....but.....
I had enough that didnt fit in the demijohn that filled 4 1.5L bottles.(no sugar added, and fermented dry)...I figured I'd make sangria or top up later batches with it.
That was 3 yrs ago, I opened one recently and it was fantastic...it even developed a fruitiness not even present in the sweetened version which I tried side by side....def way diff..and better...
Any body ever experience this, it's really making me rethink backsweetening...
 

hounddawg

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Hmm, I have to check the forum more often, missed a whole bunch of posts on sour cherries! I have them coming out my ears, but have only ever done a straight wine with them, not a Dragon Blood. I'm wondering if anyone has done both, and if there's a difference in flavour? I have made numerous batches, and just use the purple book recipe, with acid blend. I'm now wondering how the lemon would work with it. I think that may be my next project! Once I bottle the mead, baco noir kit, and 8 gallons each of concord and sour cherry currently aging in carboys...
i'd never done a DDDB until a few months ago ,,i used a jug of sour cherry, a jug of blueberry and a jug of black raspberry, when i put it up , it very astringent, i checked my PH adjusted it to 3.6 and bottled one carboy,,, leaving another 6 gallon to bulk and a 3 gallon DDDB mixed with 3 gallon strawberry, the DDDB i bottled is quite nice and i'm hoping in a year it'll be killer good, and i've done several sour cherries, both quire good and both quite different,,,,, i got all 3 concentrates from homewinery.com
Dawg
 

G259

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I saw 'Tart Cerry' mentioned on here a few times, and was looking in a store that was run by Mennonites, and saw a 32 oz. bottle of concentrate (they had 3 more), it says 1:7 mixture ratio, but was thinking 1:5, to boost the body a bit. Also, I was thinking of a fruit addition, does anyone have a favorite? I think Dawg makes sour cherry, but any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

hounddawg

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I saw 'Tart Cerry' mentioned on here a few times, and was looking in a store that was run by Mennonites, and saw a 32 oz. bottle of concentrate (they had 3 more), it says 1:7 mixture ratio, but was thinking 1:5, to boost the body a \bit. Also, I was thinking of a fruit addition, does anyone have a favorite? I think Dawg makes sour cherry, but any suggestions would be appreciated.
tart cherry stands alone, with that being said i made a equal parts tart cherry, blueberry and black raspberry, after a PH adjustment, it is very good, i'm putting a few cases back, but leaving plenty out, as well i'm bulk aging 2/3 blackberry, 1/3 elderberry, sampled 1 bottle of it beings i try thing in 3's, that's 3-6 gallon carboys, i bottle one carboy, sample the leave the other two carboys to bulk age, but both of these i've even set back most of my bottles, i'm scared that if i see myself in the mirror that i'll get stingy and fight my refeltion to try and get it's share, lol
Dawg
 

G259

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If you are saying that you are you're own worst enemy, I can relate to that (lol!) If you think that it will be good on it's own, I will try it that way. It'll be a good reference for my palate, as I have never made tart cherry before.
 

hounddawg

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If you are saying that you are you're own worst enemy, I can relate to that (lol!) If you think that it will be good on it's own, I will try it that way. It'll be a good reference for my palate, as I have never made tart cherry before.
tart cherry and sour cherry make great wine,,,,, sweet eating cherries end up with a cough syrup taste, and bingo i do tend to be my own worst enemy
Dawg
 

KCCam

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If you think that it will be good on it's own, I will try it that way. It'll be a good reference for my palate, as I have never made tart cherry before.
This is a Dragon Blood thread. @hounddawg is talking about country wine when he says “tart cherry stands alone,” I believe. He’ll correct me if I’m wrong. I used Evans cherries in my last batch of DB. Not sure what the difference is between them and tart or sour cherries. They’re fairly sour but easy to eat when ripe. My “feeling“ was that they would be light on flavour and colour, so for about 8 gallons, I used 11 lbs (all I had), along with 4.5 lbs of blueberries (all I had), and 2 lbs of bananas, with skin. I plan to make one this year with only the cherries to see how different it is. Could we see a picture of your cherries? I’m curious how dark they are.
 

G259

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This is a Dragon Blood thread.
That is true, but as regular conversations often take a unforeseen turn, another thread would be an option, but seeing as (I believe) that the thread was pretty much finished, I decided to proceed.
 

G259

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Sally, I'm going to say to have fun with it! It's not the end of the world if it does not turn out perfect. It is a learning experience, that allows us to experiment with different things. Take what you now know, and move on to other wines.
 

KCCam

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That is true, but as regular conversations often take a unforeseen turn, another thread would be an option, but seeing as (I believe) that the thread was pretty much finished, I decided to proceed.
@G259, I wasn't trying to say hounddawg was off-topic at all. Just cautioning that his comment to use tart cherry on its own, did not necessarily mean to use only the cherry in your Dragon Blood as he hasn't tried it himself.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you decide on, and how it turns out. Keep us posted!
 

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