fresh batch questions

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:


Senior Member
Dec 15, 2018
Reaction score
Central Maryland
I have started my first batches of wine this week- it's been years since I did more than hard cider. Not one for starting terribly slow, I have three going at once.
My intention was apple wine, but ended up with a hard cider and more apple butter instead, time constraints in December. So when a friend gave me 40+ pounds of blueberry, blueberry wine it is. And because of the excess blueberry, I needed to clear out some freezer space, so mixed berry purees went into another batch with white grape juice. And a gallon+ of Welch's concord, because I never have. It seemed like a basic I should try before attempting real wine grape juices. And mulled grape wine might be fun if nothing else.
So my beginner questions-

The Welch's juice was really sticky, as expected. 1 gallon of bottled juice, two cans of frozen concentrate, brought the SG to 1.102. It's gotten less sticky as fermentation has progressed, and has stopped staining the spoon and tools. Woah, the foaming when I stir! very high head takes a while to settle back down, glad this is 1 gallon in a 3 gallon bucket. One of my containers of juice was with added fiber, maltodextrin. Is the foaming to be expected when fermenting grape, is it specific to concord, or my maltodextrin special? Sticky because of high sugar, or? I did add pectic enzyme.

Mixed berry purees- 3 qt white grape juice, 1qt black cherry juice, 1.5 lb cranberries, 1lb raspberry puree, 3lb blackberry puree, 1 can apple concentrate, sugar to SG 1.090. This has had a happy fizz going since about 10 hours after yeast was stirred in. Much less foam than the concord juice, the berry bag was nearly empty aside from seeds, so I pulled it out today. Both batches have KV-1116, and are about 2/3 the way fermented, at 3 days +6hours in. Is this really fast or as expected for this yeast? My basement is only 67 degrees, which I had thought would make things slow down a bit more than this.

The blueberries are a bit slower, a few hours behind, and have Lalvin 71B yeast. 20lb blueberry in 6 gallons, a gallon of white grape for body and sugar to SG 1.092. Happy fermentation, less foam as I thought, lots of fizzing when stirring but not as crazy as the other two. I didn't have a large enough bag for the berries, so they are loose. They have somewhat disintegrated with the pectic enzyme and fermentation, about 3 inches of skins floating on top each time before stirring. Will the skins break down more over the next few days, or am I going to need to figure out an effective pressing system? If I bag the skins now and sink them with some glass marbles, will they break down more in the must?

Latest posts