DangerDave's Dragon Blood Wine

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

KCCam

Always Thirsty
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
657
Reaction score
665
Location
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Here is a copy of that recipe for Rhubarb wine I found.
I looked at that recipe, and it looks pretty good. One thing that makes me trust it more than some is that is doesn't call for acid blend, which a lot of them do, but I'm thinking is not likely needed for rhubarb. Here’s a few of my thoughts tho, take ‘em or leave ‘em.
  • 15 lbs of rhubarb seems a little light. The few rhubarb recipes I’ve come across are more in the 18-24 lb range.
  • The starting SG seems a little high. 1.110 will give you about 16% ABV. So adjust to your taste.
  • 10 tsp Tannin seems like a lot.
  • Corn sugar (dextrose) is a lot more expensive than normal table sugar (sucrose), and probably unnecessary. (Comments from others welcome.)
  • Pectic enzyme is usually added with the fruit, right in the beginning, to help break it down and improve color and juice extraction. (Add the K-meta, wait 12 hours, add the pectic enzyme, wait 12 hours, then add everything else).
  • If you have a selection of smaller containers that you can air lock, or put in the fridge, it helps to add 10-30% to the initial volume to have something to top up with later. (Fill primary to 26 - 30 L mark.)
  • As mentioned before, instead of adding conditioner to back sweeten, use 1/2 tsp sorbate per gallon, and sweeten with sugar. Take an 80 ml (1/3 cup) sample. Every 1/4 tsp of sugar you add is equivalent to 1/4 cup per gallon. So if you like the sample with 3/4 tsp sugar, add 4.5 cups of sugar to the 6 gallons.
And take a gander at this recipe that my brother-in-law just came across. It’s from his mother’s old hand-written recipe book from “the old country.” She was Dutch.
5 gallon pot 3/4 full rhubarb. Fill full of warm water. Leave sit 5 days. Then strain it. Add 5 lbs of brown sugar and 5 lbs of white sugar. 3 oranges and 2 lemons cut in pieces and 1 piece ginger root. Leave it 5 days and it is ready to drink.
I think I might try that one! No pectic enzyme, no yeast nutrient, no yeast! And ready in 10 days. And no bottles, just ladle it out of the 5 gallon pot. Hahaha.
 

SassyBoots

Junior
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
I looked at that recipe, and it looks pretty good. One thing that makes me trust it more than some is that is doesn't call for acid blend, which a lot of them do, but I'm thinking is not likely needed for rhubarb. Here’s a few of my thoughts tho, take ‘em or leave ‘em.
  • 15 lbs of rhubarb seems a little light. The few rhubarb recipes I’ve come across are more in the 18-24 lb range.
  • The starting SG seems a little high. 1.110 will give you about 16% ABV. So adjust to your taste.
  • 10 tsp Tannin seems like a lot.
  • Corn sugar (dextrose) is a lot more expensive than normal table sugar (sucrose), and probably unnecessary. (Comments from others welcome.)
  • Pectic enzyme is usually added with the fruit, right in the beginning, to help break it down and improve color and juice extraction. (Add the K-meta, wait 12 hours, add the pectic enzyme, wait 12 hours, then add everything else).
  • If you have a selection of smaller containers that you can air lock, or put in the fridge, it helps to add 10-30% to the initial volume to have something to top up with later. (Fill primary to 26 - 30 L mark.)
  • As mentioned before, instead of adding conditioner to back sweeten, use 1/2 tsp sorbate per gallon, and sweeten with sugar. Take an 80 ml (1/3 cup) sample. Every 1/4 tsp of sugar you add is equivalent to 1/4 cup per gallon. So if you like the sample with 3/4 tsp sugar, add 4.5 cups of sugar to the 6 gallons.
And take a gander at this recipe that my brother-in-law just came across. It’s from his mother’s old hand-written recipe book from “the old country.” She was Dutch.

I think I might try that one! No pectic enzyme, no yeast nutrient, no yeast! And ready in 10 days. And no bottles, just ladle it out of the 5 gallon pot. Hahaha.
I've seen similar recipes for good old country wines made much like that one!! I should dig through the book my uncle gave me and see what else I can find. I have another Uncle that makes wine out of chokecherry and it will literally take knock you on your butt but tastes amazing. I bet if I asked him all he uses are the simplest ingredients as well.

Thanks for the suggestions-all i set aside and froze was about 15lbs(we used the rest for other things) but I never thought of that. It will be up again soon enough and I can add to it. Or...just try it and see what it does, I guess-thats the fun part. That does seem like a lot of tannin, but another batch I tried to make(different recipe) called for quite a lot less and the wine seemed flat, even with added glycerin. And yuppers, I was just going to use plain sugar. I dunno....having too much fun making DB right now so that one might have to wait til the fall when I can freeze more Rhubarb. I just did up a combination of 8lb raspberries and 5lb sour cherry and it is going nuts in the carboy-and smells heavenly. Keeping the temp down a bit this time as previously suggested. The Blueberry DB did wind up clearing out pretty nicely just left alone, so I'm thinking rack it off one more time(I must have sucked up lees last weekend because there is a pretty good layer on the bottom again) but I've got the sweetness about where I want it-nice hit of sweetness without being cloying with a nice dryness after-and I know it will only get better. I'm glad I didn't mess with it the other day :)
 

Jovimaple

Kaptin Winemaker
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
52
Reaction score
82
Location
Minnesnowta
First batch of DDB for me started yesterday. Pitched yeast today. Doing a 3 gallon batch (24 oz lemon, 4 lb triple berry from Costco - rasp, blue, black- 11 cups of sugar got it to 1.072 yesterday pre-fruit and same this morning at a little higher temp). I didn't have yeast energizer but I do have lots of yeast so I decided to use the whole packet and actually followed the directions to start it instead of just pitching it dry onto the must like I usually do. I just checked it after 3 hours and can see the yeast working already!
 

SassyBoots

Junior
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
First batch of DDB for me started yesterday. Pitched yeast today. Doing a 3 gallon batch (24 oz lemon, 4 lb triple berry from Costco - rasp, blue, black- 11 cups of sugar got it to 1.072 yesterday pre-fruit and same this morning at a little higher temp). I didn't have yeast energizer but I do have lots of yeast so I decided to use the whole packet and actually followed the directions to start it instead of just pitching it dry onto the must like I usually do. I just checked it after 3 hours and can see the yeast working already!
I think you'll really enjoy this stuff. I know I sure do! I need to decide what combo I'm going to try next(might just pick up a couple of bags of the mixed berry from Costco and try that.) Peach might be fun, just to have a "white" alongside all the red. Cheers :)
 

MarcOlivetti

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2020
Messages
29
Reaction score
42
Location
Granite Falls, NC
I know it's been a couple weeks. How's it going? Yah, gas dissolves in liquid much better at colder temps, so warming it up helps degas. Also, you don't make bombs with wine that isn't completely degassed. That just adds a little tingle to the tongue when you drink it. Bombs come from wine that is still making CO2 (ie, still fermenting) in the bottle.

Also, the headspace eliminator isn't meant for degassing, it's meant for bulk aging. If you are degassing with the AIO, rather than with time, you have to keep applying the vacuum. The first time you pull a vacuum on a batch, you do it very slowly, because you can make a huge mess with all the foam that suddenly appears. I use a vacuum gauge on mine, the HE is not a good indicator of vacuum. The first time, 22" of vacuum will return to 0 in just a few minutes as the CO2 is released. The next time it takes a little longer. Once the vacuum remains constant, or almost so, then there is very little CO2 left in the wine. Think of it this way: with 100 ml headspace, using a HE, you can only remove 100 ml of CO2 at a time. If you pull a vacuum and leave a HE on the carboy, it might still be collapsed at 3" vacuum (or 0, if it sticks), which won't be doing much to release any more. However, even though it's not a vacuum, it IS mostly CO2 - so no oxygen, thus protecting the wine from oxidation. Careful though, because wine left to degas naturally over time isn't actually fully degassed either. It's in equilibrium with the amount of CO2 in the air above it. Removing more CO2 than would naturally be released over time might leave the wine seeming a little flat, or so I've heard. I have a 2 L reservoir on my AIO setup, in addition to the standard 750 ml wine bottle, so when I pull a vacuum and turn the pump off, it takes almost 3 L of CO2 to equalize the pressure instead of only maybe 100 ml.
It’s going well. I left the HE on for only an hour or two, then switched back to a airlock. I added 1/4 tsp of k-meta when I racked last week and I’m planning on letting it sit through the end of April. Thanks for the insights.
 

SassyBoots

Junior
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
I looked at that recipe, and it looks pretty good. One thing that makes me trust it more than some is that is doesn't call for acid blend, which a lot of them do, but I'm thinking is not likely needed for rhubarb. Here’s a few of my thoughts tho, take ‘em or leave ‘em.
  • 15 lbs of rhubarb seems a little light. The few rhubarb recipes I’ve come across are more in the 18-24 lb range.
  • The starting SG seems a little high. 1.110 will give you about 16% ABV. So adjust to your taste.
  • 10 tsp Tannin seems like a lot.
  • Corn sugar (dextrose) is a lot more expensive than normal table sugar (sucrose), and probably unnecessary. (Comments from others welcome.)
  • Pectic enzyme is usually added with the fruit, right in the beginning, to help break it down and improve color and juice extraction. (Add the K-meta, wait 12 hours, add the pectic enzyme, wait 12 hours, then add everything else).
  • If you have a selection of smaller containers that you can air lock, or put in the fridge, it helps to add 10-30% to the initial volume to have something to top up with later. (Fill primary to 26 - 30 L mark.)
  • As mentioned before, instead of adding conditioner to back sweeten, use 1/2 tsp sorbate per gallon, and sweeten with sugar. Take an 80 ml (1/3 cup) sample. Every 1/4 tsp of sugar you add is equivalent to 1/4 cup per gallon. So if you like the sample with 3/4 tsp sugar, add 4.5 cups of sugar to the 6 gallons.
And take a gander at this recipe that my brother-in-law just came across. It’s from his mother’s old hand-written recipe book from “the old country.” She was Dutch.

I think I might try that one! No pectic enzyme, no yeast nutrient, no yeast! And ready in 10 days. And no bottles, just ladle it out of the 5 gallon pot. Hahaha.
I can't seem to see anything on here (but maybe I'm just impatient lol) but has anyone tried to do a DB using frozen fruit like peaches? I'd like to add a white wine into the mix. I just did the first racking on the Raspberry/Sour Cherry DB and its clearing nicely and looking good so far. I also seem to remember someone talking about a Tropical DB using pineapples. Also, what is the highest limit anyone has experience with on increasing the amount of sugar into the primary to drive up the alcohol content? I added a few extra cups to the latest batch but I'm being cautious about adding too much. I'm making six gallon batches and going heavier on the fruit. Thanks in advance, and for helping out a Newbie :)
 

KCCam

Always Thirsty
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
657
Reaction score
665
Location
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
but maybe I'm just impatient lol
Impatience is not a good quality for a wine-maker (I speak from experience). I have read this entire thread, but it was a while ago now. It took me several weeks, and was absolutely worth it! Read a few pages a day and you'll be done in no time.

As for the rest of my comments, I have to qualify my input by saying I am likely one of the least experienced wine-makers on the forum, but I am scientifically-minded, and have read a lot.

has anyone tried to do a DB using frozen fruit like peaches?
I don't recall specifically, but I can say almost certainly, several people have. Freezing the fruit or berries is highly recommended because it breaks down the cellular walls and aids extraction. My understanding is that peach is not for beginners. It's low on color and flavor, low acidity, and hard to clear (which takes patience). Do you have a pH meter? It really helps once you dive into experimenting with your own recipes. The correct acidity is important to keep yeast happy and to preserve the wine, not to mention taste. I could be wrong, but I think I've seen advice to use 2 to 3 times the normal dose of Pectic Enzyme up front, more fruit than you would normally use, and a fining agent like Super Kleer (Kieselsol / Chitosan) will help with the clearing. If you can manage, you won't be sorry if you read this thread before trying to venture too far out on your own. At least do some research on peach wine in the Country Wine Making forum.

I just did the first racking on the Raspberry/Sour Cherry DB and its clearing nicely and looking good so far.
There's a saying on the forum, paraphrased: "If there isn't a picture, it didn't happen!" Don't be shy to post a pic. We all love to see that beautiful DB.
 

KCCam

Always Thirsty
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
657
Reaction score
665
Location
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
I also seem to remember someone talking about a Tropical DB using pineapples.
Yup, it's a big hit. I believe it started out with someone seeing the tropical fruit blend in the freezer at Costco. Many, many variations. Try searching here for "Tropical Daze". If you can't find the recipe, or someone else doesn't beat me to it, I'll take a look for you.

Oh, and don't forget to add the amount of DB you make to How many gallons of Lon D's Skeeter Pee have been made?, it evolved from Lon's SP recipe, and for the sake of that thread is considered Skeeter Pee as well.

Also, what is the highest limit anyone has experience with on increasing the amount of sugar into the primary to drive up the alcohol content?
This one is a little more involved. Again, not generally for beginners. And I tend to have less inclination to help someone if I get the feeling they're more concerned about the "buzz" than the "balance." I do not get that impression from you though, and I personally enjoy higher-proof drinks as well. But it's all about balance, and producing something you can be proud to serve your family and friends. When someone tells you your prized DB tastes like cough syrup, it's not generally considered a compliment (you mean some people DON'T like cough syrup?)

So, in a nut shell, too much sugar prevents yeast from multiplying, and too much alcohol kills it. Well, is toxic to it. I haven't discovered yet whether it actually kills it. I use 1.110 for my DB, and haven't had any trouble fermenting it dry with EC-1118, which gives about 16% ABV. Do some research on Port. It was originally developed as a method of preventing wine from re-fermenting during long voyages. You should be able to get to at least 18% with EC-1118, maybe even 20%. There are many ways to approach it, but one way is like how @hounddawg (bless you, Dawg) does one version of his Skeeter Pee, by step-feeding. Start at a normal SG, like 1.100. When it ferments down to about 1.020 or 1.010, add sugar and nutrient to get it back to maybe 1.040. As the ABV goes up, the yeast will have more and more trouble fermenting the sugar, until eventually it basically stalls at 1.040. At that point add some Everclear (or vodka, or brandy) to kick the ABV well above the yeast's limit, or add sorbate to ensure no re-fermentation is possible once bottled. Keep in mind that this stresses the yeast, and stressed yeast produce bad things, one of which can be H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide). Note that Dawg has a sweet tooth ;), so 1.040 might be a little too sweet for you. When I try this, I'm going to try to end at 1.010 or 1.020. It'll be a little more involved, but you can always add sugar if it needs it; you can't take it out. Once you find the sweetness you like, use that SG as your target next time. After you get the hang of it, and if you like the result, you could try going up to say 1.060 the first time, then chaptalizing to 1.040, then 1.020, to make it more efficient. The step-feeding makes it hard to determine what your final ABV is. If you care about that, check out FermCalc. It has a Chaptalization section that helps with that. Be careful about recipes that call for very high sugar up front, and to "kill" the yeast with K-meta when it reaches the sweetness you like. K-meta doesn't kill the yeast, but along with the high sugar and high alcohol might prevent re-fermentation in the bottle. It certainly doesn't guarantee it.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
 

RickD

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
133
Location
Due south of Houston, TX
I just bought some Realemon (R) lemon juice in the green bottle, for Dragon's Blood (as per Dangerdan's recipe). I notice that it contains sodium benzoate. Did I buy the wrong stuff??
 

SassyBoots

Junior
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
Impatience is not a good quality for a wine-maker (I speak from experience). I have read this entire thread, but it was a while ago now. It took me several weeks, and was absolutely worth it! Read a few pages a day and you'll be done in no time.

As for the rest of my comments, I have to qualify my input by saying I am likely one of the least experienced wine-makers on the forum, but I am scientifically-minded, and have read a lot.


I don't recall specifically, but I can say almost certainly, several people have. Freezing the fruit or berries is highly recommended because it breaks down the cellular walls and aids extraction. My understanding is that peach is not for beginners. It's low on color and flavor, low acidity, and hard to clear (which takes patience). Do you have a pH meter? It really helps once you dive into experimenting with your own recipes. The correct acidity is important to keep yeast happy and to preserve the wine, not to mention taste. I could be wrong, but I think I've seen advice to use 2 to 3 times the normal dose of Pectic Enzyme up front, more fruit than you would normally use, and a fining agent like Super Kleer (Kieselsol / Chitosan) will help with the clearing. If you can manage, you won't be sorry if you read this thread before trying to venture too far out on your own. At least do some research on peach wine in the Country Wine Making forum.


There's a saying on the forum, paraphrased: "If there isn't a picture, it didn't happen!" Don't be shy to post a pic. We all love to see that beautiful DB.
 

Attachments

SassyBoots

Junior
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
There's the Blueberry DB :) I'll wait until the room is brighter for a shot of the Raspberry/Sour Cherry-the color on that one is already amazing!! :) :) :)
 

SassyBoots

Junior
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
Yup, it's a big hit. I believe it started out with someone seeing the tropical fruit blend in the freezer at Costco. Many, many variations. Try searching here for "Tropical Daze". If you can't find the recipe, or someone else doesn't beat me to it, I'll take a look for you.

Oh, and don't forget to add the amount of DB you make to How many gallons of Lon D's Skeeter Pee have been made?, it evolved from Lon's SP recipe, and for the sake of that thread is considered Skeeter Pee as well.


This one is a little more involved. Again, not generally for beginners. And I tend to have less inclination to help someone if I get the feeling they're more concerned about the "buzz" than the "balance." I do not get that impression from you though, and I personally enjoy higher-proof drinks as well. But it's all about balance, and producing something you can be proud to serve your family and friends. When someone tells you your prized DB tastes like cough syrup, it's not generally considered a compliment (you mean some people DON'T like cough syrup?)

So, in a nut shell, too much sugar prevents yeast from multiplying, and too much alcohol kills it. Well, is toxic to it. I haven't discovered yet whether it actually kills it. I use 1.110 for my DB, and haven't had any trouble fermenting it dry with EC-1118, which gives about 16% ABV. Do some research on Port. It was originally developed as a method of preventing wine from re-fermenting during long voyages. You should be able to get to at least 18% with EC-1118, maybe even 20%. There are many ways to approach it, but one way is like how @hounddawg (bless you, Dawg) does one version of his Skeeter Pee, by step-feeding. Start at a normal SG, like 1.100. When it ferments down to about 1.020 or 1.010, add sugar and nutrient to get it back to maybe 1.040. As the ABV goes up, the yeast will have more and more trouble fermenting the sugar, until eventually it basically stalls at 1.040. At that point add some Everclear (or vodka, or brandy) to kick the ABV well above the yeast's limit, or add sorbate to ensure no re-fermentation is possible once bottled. Keep in mind that this stresses the yeast, and stressed yeast produce bad things, one of which can be H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide). Note that Dawg has a sweet tooth ;), so 1.040 might be a little too sweet for you. When I try this, I'm going to try to end at 1.010 or 1.020. It'll be a little more involved, but you can always add sugar if it needs it; you can't take it out. Once you find the sweetness you like, use that SG as your target next time. After you get the hang of it, and if you like the result, you could try going up to say 1.060 the first time, then chaptalizing to 1.040, then 1.020, to make it more efficient. The step-feeding makes it hard to determine what your final ABV is. If you care about that, check out FermCalc. It has a Chaptalization section that helps with that. Be careful about recipes that call for very high sugar up front, and to "kill" the yeast with K-meta when it reaches the sweetness you like. K-meta doesn't kill the yeast, but along with the high sugar and high alcohol might prevent re-fermentation in the bottle. It certainly doesn't guarantee it.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
Appreciate the feedback. No, the wine doesn't need to have a serious kick, I'm just curious about the process and what the "safe" parameters are before something gets ruined. Definitely something I'd work up to and see the results cautiously. Does that make sense? I would rather take baby steps and experiment slowly. I've mostly done kit wines, so this is a fun foray into learning from scratch.

I'll dig for the Tropical Daze recipe, and yes, you're right-I should get off my can and just READ, lol. The peach sounds like it would be amazing to try, but probably better off waiting until I learn more and gain a bit more experience.

I'll likely hit costco and get more berries and do another batch so I can start stockpiling for summer. I'd like to try heavier on the fruit, but less or no lemon juice for the next one....its a thing with me, my system doesn't like acid from citrus anything-I immediately start getting heartburn. I'll put up with it for a nice wine though :p ! Just curious how the wine tastes forgoing the lemon juice. Thanks again for all the help and feedback, its so appreciated!
 

KCCam

Always Thirsty
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
657
Reaction score
665
Location
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
my system doesn't like acid from citrus anything ... Just curious how the wine tastes forgoing the lemon juice.
"Dragonette" was initially an experiment, I believe, for that very reason. I'm not sure now though. Maybe check it out. The idea is to use acid blend, or a different acid than citric, instead of lemon juice.
 

Jovimaple

Kaptin Winemaker
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
52
Reaction score
82
Location
Minnesnowta
I just bought some Realemon (R) lemon juice in the green bottle, for Dragon's Blood (as per Dangerdan's recipe). I notice that it contains sodium benzoate. Did I buy the wrong stuff??
I bought the generic kind and it also has sodium benzoate. It worked fine for me as far as fermenting.
 

KCCam

Always Thirsty
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
657
Reaction score
665
Location
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
I just bought some Realemon (R) lemon juice in the green bottle, for Dragon's Blood (as per Dangerdan's recipe). I notice that it contains sodium benzoate. Did I buy the wrong stuff??
Yup, it's fine. Uhh, and BTW, it's "DangerDave". Although I'm sure it wouldn't mind. LOL.
 

Robert R

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
66
Reaction score
108
I'm wanting to start my first batch, but the daily squeezing of the fruit bag is holding me back. If i squeeze the thawed fruit up front and just punch it down daily, how would that affect the outcome?
 

Latest posts

Top