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Dewberry wine high sg

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samdizshiz

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Here is the recipe for 3 gal
12 lbs dewberries
6lbs 12 oz sugar
3 tsp yeast nutrients
3 tsp acid blend
3 tap pectic enzymes
3 campden tablets
1 tap tannin powder
1 pack premier cuvee yeast

I crushed the dewberries added my sugar and additives all into a five gallon bucket.
On my bucket I have a mark at where three gallons is at so I filled up to the line with hot water. The problem is when I checked my sg it was at 1.131 now I've used this recipe before but with blackberries instead my guess is that after primary when I strain I will have allot less liquid than 3 gallons so i will add water till it reaches 3 gallons dose this seem correct ? Or should I add water now till the sg gets to a good lvl? The yeast I have will be "good" till 18 percent abv but I don't want to get anywhere near that
 

Johnd

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Here is the recipe for 3 gal
12 lbs dewberries
6lbs 12 oz sugar
3 tsp yeast nutrients
3 tsp acid blend
3 tap pectic enzymes
3 campden tablets
1 tap tannin powder
1 pack premier cuvee yeast

I crushed the dewberries added my sugar and additives all into a five gallon bucket.
On my bucket I have a mark at where three gallons is at so I filled up to the line with hot water. The problem is when I checked my sg it was at 1.131 now I've used this recipe before but with blackberries instead my guess is that after primary when I strain I will have allot less liquid than 3 gallons so i will add water till it reaches 3 gallons dose this seem correct ? Or should I add water now till the sg gets to a good lvl? The yeast I have will be "good" till 18 percent abv but I don't want to get anywhere near that
You should determine what you want your ABV to be, determine the corresponding SG, and work towards that.

Some guidelines for you from FermCalc:
1/2 gallon water added gets you to 1.125 (17.5%)
1 gallon of water added gets you to 1.0986(14%)
1.5 gallons added gets you to 1.0878(12.5%)

Once you've added more sugar than you want, cutting the SG down with water will dilute your dewberry taste / body, so you should consider adding more dewberries in tune with your water addition, it'll help keep the wine balanced.
 

samdizshiz

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I think 14 % would be kind of what I want I would like to be lower but I do not have more fruit to add with the recipe above what would I change the get around 12 % just for next time I make this? Also how much fruit to water would I add if trying to dilute this
 

samdizshiz

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Also should I choose a different yeast I have not pitched it yet so as to not get the abv so high ?
 

samdizshiz

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I think I might understand
If I add an extra gallon of water I can go get 4 lbs of blackberries from the store would I need to add more campden or would it be fine to just add those 4 pounds the gallon of water and pitch the yeast ?
 

Johnd

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I think 14 % would be kind of what I want I would like to be lower but I do not have more fruit to add with the recipe above what would I change the get around 12 % just for next time I make this? Also how much fruit to water would I add if trying to dilute this
Also should I choose a different yeast I have not pitched it yet so as to not get the abv so high ?
Next time around, mix up your ingredients to produce about 3.5 gallons of must (you'll lose a bit to the fruit and sediment / racking) and don't add all of the sugar at the onset, add maybe 2/3, measure, add some more, measure, until you hit the desired levels.

I don't know what yeasts you were considering, but K1-V1116 is considered by many to be a good yeast for fruit wines. I'm afraid that I can't offer you any advice about your fruit to water ratio, I have no experience with dewberries, but maybe someone else here will be able to share their experiences..........
 

Johnd

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I think I might understand
If I add an extra gallon of water I can go get 4 lbs of blackberries from the store would I need to add more campden or would it be fine to just add those 4 pounds the gallon of water and pitch the yeast ?
Yes, you could use blackberry instead of dewberry to help keep the fruit/water ratio where you started. If the added fruit is clean, since you've already had the must sitting around waiting for some yeast, I'd just add it in and get your yeast on board. Blackberries break down really well, leaving mush and little bitty seeds behind.....
 

samdizshiz

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Okay thanks I think I will add a gallon of water then the berries then check sg again next time I won't follow the recipe so closely and worry more about sg than pounds of sugar.
 

samdizshiz

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Do you see anything wrong in that recipe as in fruit to sugar or is that pretty normal ?
 

Johnd

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next time I won't follow the recipe so closely and worry more about sg than pounds of sugar.
That's the correct way to do it, determine how many gallons you want based upon the berries, add the sugar to get you to the ABV that you ultimately want to achieve, then focus on your additives, yeasts, etc...

Do you see anything wrong in that recipe as in fruit to sugar or is that pretty normal ?
Without more knowledge of your particular berry, I just can't say. Not to mention that my taste tends to the more fruit and less water side of things, no water at all if possible. Some fruits lend themselves to that style, others do not. I wonder if @Scooter68 might have some dewberry experiences to share with you..............
 

Scooter68

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Hmmm Never heard of Dewberries - Have to check that out :a1 AHHHH ! Just read about them. Cousin/Relative of Blackberries having more acid and larger tougher seeds.
Well I'd check the pH carefully and ferment as with a blackberry - be sure to use a mesh bag for the berries unless you've juiced them. And I would get the bag out as soon as you rack from fermentation bucket carboy. Seeds in general don't tend to Add 'good' flavors for most wines.
Only comment on the recipe is that unless the flavor is very strong I'd be looking at makeing 2 gallons out of 12 lbs. SOoooo Perhaps be very picky in your racking and leave all lees behind even on the first racking. OR add another 3 lbs of dewberries to increase to 5lb/gallon.

1) As JohnD suggested - get your SG correct NOW don't count on "watering" it down later.
2) Don't try to limit the ending ABV with your yeast - Unless you want a sweet wine. A high alcohol tolerance yeast can still quit fermenting before reaching it's stated ABV limit. This happens because those limits are established in a lab with a very specific set of conditions which you probably will never match at home.

My personal preference is to aim high in starting volume - for a 3 gallon batch with real fruit in the must (Like peaches) I would try to hit a volume of 3 1/2 gallons at least. That way your ending volume after fermentation is at or slightly above 3 gallons. Any excess or must from the bottom with fine lees - put in a separate small glass container and put in the fridge to help settle the lees out. Then you can use that for topping off for the first 2-3 rackings after fermentation.
(Also good source for the "Required" sampling of the wine...)
:dg
 

samdizshiz

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Wow that's allot of info haha thanks yes dewberry's are somewhat like a blackberry but the flavor is 10x stronger more acidic and tart but sometimes you get a good one and it can be quite sweet I will increase this batch so I can get my sg correct I want it somewhat sweet but I'd rather not have it 17% and sweet. next time I will definitely not add all the sugar at once is there a calculator for these sorts of things like sugar to fruit to water ratios?
 

samdizshiz

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Well guys something doesn't make sense here. Yesterday I added everything to the primary except the yeast. The sg reading was 1.131. Today before I pitched the yeast the sg was 1.090 I stirred it and the sg reading was 1.120 I checked with two hydrometer Wich one do I trust ?
 

Scooter68

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How thick is the must? With some fruit I've had a must become thick as pudding making accurate readings virtually impossible.* If that's the case here, you may need to strain some juice to get an accurate reading. Even if it doesn't seem that thick I would still try to strain off some juice into a testing tube and check the reading. I normally give the hydrometer a spin as I let it drop into the testing tube.

* In one case with a peach wine must I could make the reading whatever I wanted by just pulling up or pushing down the hydrometer - It would stay where I placed it.
 

samdizshiz

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All of these readings were taken with strained liquid I'm thinking if the whole idea is to test the change in density of the dissolved sugars in your liquid the best reading would be when the must has settled?
 

G259

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I have had issues with SG readings after letting the must sit for a while. I believe that it is undissolved or settled sugar that is the culprit here. EVERY time that I stir the must, I get a higher reading.
 

Scooter68

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Have you checked your hydrometers with distilled water (Even tap water would do)?

With water you should get the same reading with both hydrometers of 1.000
 
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