DangerDave's Dragon Blood Wine

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sour_grapes

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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?
IMHO, that would be just fine, with no notable differences.
 

Fencepost

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I was also a little concerned about taking out and putting back in...worried about contamination but I got over it by 1) wash then sanitize my hands (keep a squirt bottle handy of starsan), 2) hold the bag up til most of the juice just drains off 3) have a nice big bowl to put it into 4) and some days, just like you suggest, I just push it down, and stirr. The problem with not pulling the bag is that you can't get a good stir or whip on it to get the oxygen into the must when it needs it (early on in ferment). That's just how I do it... all batches have turned out just fine. I am sure many others are happy with their processes as well. (done about 10 batches of DDDB)
 

kevindevo

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I started my first batch of wine, I chose DDDB with only haskap berries Feb.26 pitched in the yeast. My readings was Temp.75F; SG- 1.072; Brix-19; Today 7 days later reading are Temp.75F; SG-1.010; Brix-10. I was wondering if I am were I should be at this point I have nothing to check the PH going to get a PH tester next week. Any reply would be appreciated. Cheers
 

RickD

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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?
I've only done one 1.2gal batch of DDDB, with modifications, but I had the same aversion. So, instead of using the bag on the front end as DD suggests, I covered my thawed berries (blackberries instead of triple berry blend) with hot sugar syrup and gave them a good mashing with a potato masher in a stainless steel stock pot, then transfer to my bucket fermenter. Then just stirring daily during fermentation. Upon completion (<1.000SG) I racked off as much wine as I could into a second bucket, transferred everything else to a mesh bag and squeezed away into the same second bucket. Degas with whip, added bentonite (as opposed to Sparkeloid), and racked to carboys. Turned out great. Picture taken about 4 hours after racking.
IMG_1479.JPG
 

Raptor99

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I was also a little concerned about taking out and putting back in...worried about contamination but I got over it by 1) wash then sanitize my hands (keep a squirt bottle handy of starsan), 2) hold the bag up til most of the juice just drains off 3) have a nice big bowl to put it into 4) and some days, just like you suggest, I just push it down, and stirr. The problem with not pulling the bag is that you can't get a good stir or whip on it to get the oxygen into the must when it needs it (early on in ferment). That's just how I do it... all batches have turned out just fine. I am sure many others are happy with their processes as well. (done about 10 batches of DDDB)
I have had similar concerns about touching the bag. What I do is put on a pair of gloves and sanitize those. I think that is cleaner than trying trying to sanitize my hands. After several days, I squeeze the juice out of the bag into my primary fermentation bucket.
 

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I have used gloves and bare hands after rinsing in K meta solution and usually now just my bare hands. And I squeeze that bag good till the ferment is at it's end. Made 2 batches of Peach that we bought from a local orchard a few miles north of here and they turned out just wonderful. This was the second year we did this and it's a big hit with all who have drank it.

Will
 

Bladedancer

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that's why the one and only 18 gallon finish batch i made i quadrupled the fruits, mine done look like others and mine looks like a true red, hence the apostatize in my label DRAGON'S BLOOD.
Dawg
View attachment 65620
Hi have just started making wine again after a 39 year break, just wanted to ask a question about the recipiefor DB as it said to add 4 gallons of water. I would normally have boiled this but it doesn’t state that. Did you boil yours?
Thank you
 

Bossbaby

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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?
Put your fruit in and let it ferment, push on it as it ferments, when it's all fermented just dont ring the guts out of it b4 racking into secondary and you will be on your way.
 

mikewatkins727

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Hi have just started making wine again after a 39 year break, just wanted to ask a question about the recipiefor DB as it said to add 4 gallons of water. I would normally have boiled this but it doesn’t state that. Did you boil yours?
Thank you
First, welcome back; second : no boil, keep away from bleach (chlorine) though.
 

SassyBoots

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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?
From what I gather(another newbie here)the squeezing is like pressing the fruit to get all the good stuff out of the fruit you're using. It sounds a little daunting(and with me, gets messy lol!!) but I think its a necessary part of the process to get your wine where it should be. I'm sure one of the more experienced members will chime in here, but those are just my thoughts.
 

mikewatkins727

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Squeezing the bag is part of the maceration process; extracting flavoring and coloring from the fruits. There are a number of techniques used in the process: freezing the fruit, mashing with a potato masher, squeezing the bag or pectic enzyme to name a few.
 

KCCam

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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?
You've had lots of varying opinions; here's mine. @dangerdave originally developed his process, I believe, as a way to minimize the effort, and maximize the extraction of color and flavor. I think if you did a side-by-side comparison, with 1 lb of fruit per gallon, between using the "presser" method, and just punching it down, you would find a noticeable difference. I put the fruit in a knee-high nylon stocking (thanks for that tip, Dave), use nitrile gloves (easy to sanitize, and keeps my hands clean), and just wring the stocking out like a dish cloth, into the primary. No mess. It's pretty dry when I set it into a sanitized bowl. Out of curiosity, I weighed it every time, and every time it weighed substantially less and felt noticeably smaller. I'm not sure why @Bossbaby says don't wring the guts out of it, but I wring the guts out of mine. Funny story: the first batches I made using the cheapest dollar-store knee-highs I could find. At $0.25 each, they were awesome. For my last batch, dollar-stores were closed due to COVID, and I had to purchase expensive ones at the grocery store for more than ten times the price. After 2 or 3 presses, those expensive ones ran, and I had to double them up to prevent the berries from hemorrhaging into my must! I'm sticking with the cheap ones from now on.

Having said all that, another way of getting more color and flavor from the fruit into your wine is to simply add more fruit. I'm starting to use my own fruit. I live in the city. The amount of fruit I get from my (and my neighbor's) trees is very limited. I would rather have twice as much wine from the same amount of fruit, so I squeeze every last drop of goodness that I possibly can from it.
 

KCCam

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I started my first batch of wine, I chose DDDB with only haskap berries Feb.26 pitched in the yeast. My readings was Temp.75F; SG- 1.072; Brix-19; Today 7 days later reading are Temp.75F; SG-1.010; Brix-10. I was wondering if I am were I should be at this point I have nothing to check the PH going to get a PH tester next week. Any reply would be appreciated. Cheers
I'm looking forward to hearing how your haskap turns out. Everything about your ferment sounds good to me. The time for pH adjustment, if necessary, is before adding the yeast. If it has fermented well, with no off-odors, I would say it must have been fine. Now that CO2 is dissolved, pH readings are not very indicative. If you do take a reading, warm a sample up in the microwave and stir to drive off the CO2, I think you can even boil it. (Cool to room temp before taking a reading.) Otherwise, wait until it's cleared and degassed. pH at this point is mostly about shelf-life and aging. But this is DB. If it tastes good, it won't last long enough to worry about that!
 

KCCam

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hounddawg said:
that's why the one and only 18 gallon finish batch i made .... View attachment 65620
Hi have just started making wine again after a 39 year break, just wanted to ask a question about the recipiefor DB as it said to add 4 gallons of water. I would normally have boiled this but it doesn’t state that. Did you boil yours?
Thank you
I'm not @hounddawg, but he's taking a bit of a break, so I'll chime in. Sorry Dawg, if I get anything wrong.

I don't see a connection between his post and boiling your water. Is there a specific reason you would normally boil it? Generally speaking, if you can drink it, you can make wine with it.

The post of Dawg's that you quoted is a reply to someone who was bad-mouthing our beloved DB, saying that the one batch he made tasted like Kool-Aid with vodka added. I don't know what he did wrong (maybe he didn't use the "presser" method, hahaha, see recent discussion above), but I've read this entire thread, and there are very few negative posts. Most people that try it rave about it. Dawg also prefers stronger-flavored and sweeter beverages than most, for medical reasons, so he's only ever made one batch (an 18 gallon one), and he quadrupled the fruit in the recipe. It turned out much darker than pictures he's seen, and thus he called it "Dragon's Blood" (note apostrophe). @dangerdave named his nectar "Dragon Blood" (no apostrophe). The two names are generally used interchangeably, but I remember reading that there actually was a reason for choosing to omit the apostrophe; I just can't recall exactly what it was. I know Dave still pops up here now and then, so maybe he'll refresh my memory, hint, hint.
 

Robert R

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@KCCam Lots of good ideas, I'll start it soon. Just picked up a 20-gal. Brute food safe to ferment it in. Now to figure out just where in the house to do it...
 

kevindevo

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I'm looking forward to hearing how your haskap turns out. Everything about your ferment sounds good to me. The time for pH adjustment, if necessary, is before adding the yeast. If it has fermented well, with no off-odors, I would say it must have been fine. Now that CO2 is dissolved, pH readings are not very indicative. If you do take a reading, warm a sample up in the microwave and stir to drive off the CO2, I think you can even boil it. (Cool to room temp before taking a reading.) Otherwise, wait until it's cleared and degassed. pH at this point is mostly about shelf-life and aging. But this is DB. If it tastes good, it won't last long enough to worry about that!
G thanks for info KCCam i didn"t know about PH before yeast. what do you aim for and is it the same for reds and whites?
 

batman72

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I am confused, I read in this forum to not use concentrate that have preservatives in them, but this ReaLemon has preservatives in it, is this what everyone is using in this recipe? maybe it doesn't matter since it is only there for the acid profile?
 

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BernardSmith

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The amount of benzoate used in the lemon juice is good for the volume of juice (100 fl oz) but you are greatly diluting this to make 5 or 6 gallons (about 760 fl oz) . And then you are not adding all the lemon juice to the must. You might be adding say, 60 or 70 fl oz and once the wine has really taken off with the yeast going like gang busters then you add the last 1/3 of the juice and at that point the colony of yeast will be so large as to completely overwhelm the amount of preservative that is in the wine.
The problem with the preservative is that normally it is found in fruit juices that you would be pitching your yeast into without adding another drop of water and in such circumstances the amount of preservative is precisely what is needed to prevent fermentation of THAT volume of liquid. Does that help remove your confusion? I hope so, batman72.
 

batman72

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The amount of benzoate used in the lemon juice is good for the volume of juice (100 fl oz) but you are greatly diluting this to make 5 or 6 gallons (about 760 fl oz) . And then you are not adding all the lemon juice to the must. You might be adding say, 60 or 70 fl oz and once the wine has really taken off with the yeast going like gang busters then you add the last 1/3 of the juice and at that point the colony of yeast will be so large as to completely overwhelm the amount of preservative that is in the wine.
The problem with the preservative is that normally it is found in fruit juices that you would be pitching your yeast into without adding another drop of water and in such circumstances the amount of preservative is precisely what is needed to prevent fermentation of THAT volume of liquid. Does that help remove your confusion? I hope so, batman72.
YES, Yes it does, thanks for clearing that up.. It make total sense ..😁
 
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