First strawberry

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by Slappy, Sep 28, 2018.

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  1. Sep 28, 2018 #1

    Slappy

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    Long story short some scumbags put needles in strawberries here in Australia and I managed to score a heap of fruit for less than half regular price (fruit is bloody expensive here). So I decided to have a crack at a Strawberry wine as I've always been interested and now was the time.
    Here goes:
    10 pounds strawberries
    1 pound raisins
    6 pounds sugar
    1 tsp tannin
    3 tsp tartaric acid
    2 tablespoons pectinase
    2 tsp yeast nutrient
    2226 Rhone yeast left over from last vintage
    Water to 3 and a bit gallons volume.

    I chopped all the strawberries and raisins and added sugar then 2 kettles of boiling water. Stirred until all well mixed and added pectinase when cool with 1 crushed campden tablet.
    24 hours later added water to 3 and a bit gallons until I got sg of 1.110 and pitched yeast.
    Racked to 3 gallon carboy this evening after 7 days.
    Didn't do gravity reading but ferment slow and still active.
    Smells like a clean ferment with wonderful strawberry aroma.
    So much sediment so I think this will need a bit of patience to clear. I'm excited at the thought of drinking this on the deck at the beach house next summer. 20180928_214317.jpeg
     
  2. Sep 28, 2018 #2

    Scooter68

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    My first thought is that you have about 3 1/3 lbs of fruit per gallon. That's pretty light for a good flavor. With Strawberries I would have tried to go to at least 6 lbs per gallon.
    The sediment is always an issue when you make wines from fresh fruit. When you make wines that way, and I do all the time, you need to allow for that heavy sediment in your volume.
    That's one more reason for fermenting in a bucket or container where you can start high with the volume and then gracefully lose volume when you rack into a carboy. Some wines will lose as much as a 1/3 of the volume to the gross lees/sediment initially.
     
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  3. Sep 28, 2018 #3

    BernardSmith

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    The other thing about store-bought strawberries is that they are often harvested before they are truly ripe so flavor is at the best of times rather thin. That said, when I make strawberry wine and I hand pick my strawberries I aim for about 10 lbs a gallon. But then my goal is to use as little water as possible. Diluting fresh fruit juice is not always a great idea.
    As a side note you want to make sure that this wine is fairly acidic even as you ferment it otherwise the color tends to drain from the wine and you get a strawberry blonde wine rather than a red wine. Tannins also help to fix the color.
     
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  4. Oct 1, 2018 #4

    Slappy

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    Thanks guys.
    I know the fruit is a bit light on but even with the fruit cheap (for here) I couldn't go much higher without breaking the bank. If I went 6 pounds per gallon the batch would have cost me $60 for 3 gallons so I just did the best I could.
    I have a few more fruit wines planned as I get mulberries and blackberries free and have small dark wild plums around the place so will make sure I go big with the fruit on them as it's free. I find it hard to justify paying anywhere from 5-10 dollars a pound for berries when I get 500 pounds of quality grapes for 150-250 dollars at vintage time where I live.
     
  5. Oct 1, 2018 #5

    porkchopmessiah

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    I just filtered my first tonite and will bottle this week...I went with about 15 lbs of fruit and should have gone with 20plus....if your going to back sweeten with strawberry juice...you can still get killer flavor...as I'm typing I'm drinking what I couldn't get out of the carboy...only thing I noticed was my ph seemed to jump around a lot, but I would avoid the tartaric and use citric instead 20180930_210207.jpg
     
  6. Oct 1, 2018 #6

    Scooter68

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    Understand that cost factor. Ruins plans for me all the time. This year - no more peach wine since the local orchards were wiped out by late freezes. And no apple wine since my apple trees also failed to produce much and on top of that "I wuz robbed." Believe some squirrels and other critters raided the trees while we were out of town.

    In the case of the strawberries, just go for it - 20/20 hindsight doesn't do much good for anyone. In most cases going heavy on the fruit is hard to fault. Also, as I learned, moderate the ABV some as well unless you are going heavy on the fruit and sweetening into a dessert wine or fortifying for a port.
    Keep us posted as it goes.
     
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  7. Oct 1, 2018 #7

    porkchopmessiah

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    Hey...dont know what kinda of land you have, but I grew all mine....50 plant is enough to yield 40lbs....plants are cheap if you get bare root
     
  8. Oct 2, 2018 #8

    Slappy

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    Wow that color is amazing it looks like a gem. Good work!
    Is that a 5 gallon batch?
     
  9. Oct 2, 2018 #9

    Slappy

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    Thanks for the advice Scooter I have a fair way to go with this caper. For some reason everything I make seems to be 14-15% so will try go a bit lower. I made a blackberry last year that ended up with some residual sweetness and that was nice. Sucks to hear about your apples. Make a stew out of the critters and tan their hides to even the score!
    How does peach wine turn out I can usually score peaches for free too.
    But I reckon this strawberry and upcoming mulberry, plum and loquat will use up all my carboys. Might need to comeup with a plan to sneak more equipment into the house and hope the wife doesn't notice...
     
  10. Oct 2, 2018 #10

    porkchopmessiah

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    Started as 6 but lost a lot in racking...o also found putting a huge strainer bag in the bucket helps when primary is done just pick up bag and wring out a little...makes taking easier
    . All in all for my first wine ever I'm pleased, but would definitely up my fruit to start with, and try to go lighter ABV next year...peach it giving me a hard time tonite....cant seem to dial in flavor..
     
  11. Oct 2, 2018 #11

    Scooter68

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    Peach jumped to the top of my list of favorites after the first batch and that was a weak version. I now use all peaches no water other than what it takes to make my simple syrup to raise the SG. so that means about 7-8 lbs per gallons AFTER de-stoning. Best part is that most fruit stand and markets want to get rid of bruised and over-ripe peaches and THOSE are the best. For me if it's not a moldy part, green or a pit - it goes in the bucket. The hard part is the waiting - First You hit the peaches with a double dose of Pectic Enzyme then you wait until the peaches break down enough so you can get an SG reading. (Peaches mashed/crushed whatever usually start out at pudding consistency. (I don't try to "Juice" them) Then you start the ferment (Usually quick fermenting) Then you rack and wait and wait for months for it to clear. I have a batch from last July still not clear yet. Fortunately I have enough from previous batches to last for a while.
    Favorites:
    Peach
    Black Currant
    Tart Cherry
    Plum
    BlackBerry
    Blueberry
    Black Raspberry
    Loquat
    Apple

    The first four are all really tied for top of my list. Black Raspberry would be up there IF I could find enough make more. Been bad for wild BlackRaspberries now for the last 2 years. Loquat is down the list for the same reason. I've only had enough for one 1gallon batch. Had to bring them back to Arkansas from daughters place in California.
     
  12. Oct 2, 2018 #12

    Slappy

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    Looks like I better add peach to the must try list.
    So far my favorites are cherry and blackberry. I was underwhelmed by my mulberry last year but feel some of the fruit wasn't quite ripe enough so this year will pick them riper and try again. Loquat will be easiest of all for me I have so many trees near my home that buckets of fruit just fall on the ground from. Could get 100 pounds of them if I want!
     
  13. Oct 2, 2018 #13

    Scooter68

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    De-seeding loquats was such a "Fun Job" Stained my hands for several days. BUT the wine, while light on flavor (Only had 4 1/2 lbs for a gallon) was great, color was light but it cleared extremely fast and gave me no problems throughout the process. Good luck on that. Next trip to California I'm going looking for more loquats.

    By the way the aroma of peach wine is so good I can just sit their and sniff away between sips of wine. Hard to decide which I like better, the aroma or the actual taste. :i
     
  14. Oct 5, 2018 #14

    porkchopmessiah

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    Well its all bottled...considering its my first attempt making wine, im pleased...that said I have learned a lot and look forward to next seasons harvest
    20181004_195058.jpg 20181004_195054.jpg
     
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  15. Oct 20, 2018 at 9:23 AM #15

    Slappy

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    The wine has now finished up fermenting in the secondary so will rack in another week or 2. The lees have compacted a fair bit and seems to be clearing fast. Really liking the color I got it's much darker than I thought it would be. 20181020_111617.jpeg
     

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