Other FWK Frutta Blackberry and Strawberry

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I started FWK Frutta Blackberry and Strawberry Friday, inoculated Saturday, and sealed the fermenters a short while ago. The Blackberry is ~1.010, and the Strawberry at ~1.020. There's enough foam that an exact reading is impossible, but that's not important to me during fermentation. I'll unseal the fermenters a week from Saturday. I haven't tasted the wines, but the aroma is nice.

I'm seeking feedback from those who have made Frutta kits. Note: the Blackberry came with Frutta instructions, while the Strawberry came with Tavola White, Blushes, & Roses instructions. [This makes sense since the Tavola White instructions include carbon and bentonite, which is in the Strawberry but not the Blackberry.]

First -- when did you bottle? The Frutta instructions state to bottle at the 6 week mark, while the Tavola White instructions say to bottle at the 4 week mark. The difference is the Frutta instructions call for backsweetening 2 weeks after clarifying, while the Tavola White add fining agents and backsweetening at the same time.

My normal kit process is to clarify at the 2 week mark (post-fermentation), and the rare times I backsweeten I do at bottling time, which is mostly 4 to 6 months after starting the wine.

Second -- how much did you backsweeten? The kits each came with 2 sweetening pouches, and given my tastes I'm positive I won't fully use both. I will base the backsweetening amount on the wine itself, balancing sugar/acid by taste.

I'm interested in what other people did, to help me set a mental baseline. The wines and my tastebuds will determine the amount actually used.

Thanks!

If anyone is interested in my notes:

2022 Blackberry & Strawberry in Detail

2022 Blackberry

2022 Strawberry
 

Omabob

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I started the strawberry approximately 2+ months abo and followed the instructions exactly as written. Wine was not clarifying so last week I used a hand pump and pulled out a significant amount of CO2 with vacuum. I won't be home for a week or so to see if it has started clarifying.

I added both clarifying agents at the same time according to instructions and then stirred, but would add them separately with stirring inbetween next time.

Used both sweetening packets.
 
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I added both clarifying agents at the same time according to instructions and then stirred, but would add them separately with stirring inbetween next time.
In theory the K & C can be added at the same time. Kit instructions have said everything from 1 minute apart to 24 hours. I have been adding the K to the destination container after I start the siphon, stir in the K-meta, then add the C, so there is a few minutes in between. This has produced successful clearing in my last few batches.
 
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I have noticed the K&C act a bit differently with FWK than with other kits or non-kit wines. My experience with K&C has been "instant gratification", e.g., the sediment drops FAST! I've had sediment dropping within and hour and pretty much complete within 24 hours. All the FWK I've used K&C on have cleared slower, taking a week.

While typing this response I may have figured it out. All other kits include bentonite in the initial mix, whereas FWK do not. It may be that the K&C use speeds up because of the bentonite.

My Strawberry contains bentonite while the Blackberry does not. When I fine the wines I'll pay attention to the drop rate.
 

bakervinyard

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I started my Strawberry Wine about 3 weeks ago. Starting SG was 1.098- ending SG was .998. I degassed, added clarifier and sorbate Monday June 6th. Also back sweetened to 1.110. i’ve been checking daily to see if was clearing. Seems very slow on clearing. I did use the carbon. Today I added 470ml.of the second sweetener to the wine. SG. Is now 1.114. Taste really good. Hopefully it will get lighter in color. I would like to bottle some for the 4th.
 

Omabob

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I racked the strawberry yesterday, it still seemed dark, however, it appeared very clear in the glass. A light behind the carboy stayed very focused, my expectations for a lighter color of the wine may have been off. Taste is very good.

A small amount of carbon was on the bottom of the carboy after I transferred, I plan to let it sit another month and see if any more falls out.
 
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I plan to let it sit another month and see if any more falls out.
You're thinking of bottling at the 2 month point?

I racked the strawberry yesterday, it still seemed dark, however, it appeared very clear in the glass.
The strawberry I made in the very distant past were very light in color, so I'm actually looking forward to this one having some color.

I mention in another thread that I have a theory that kieselsol and chitosan clear the wine faster in the presence of bentonite. With previous kits, which include bentonite during reconstitution, the K&C seemed to work like magic. The FWK I've made so far (in which I used K&C), all seemed to clear slower.

Since the Strawberry has bentonite and the Blackberry doesn't, I'm going to watch the two when I rack and fine this weekend.
 

Jovimaple

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I started my blackberry and strawberry Dec 16th and bottled them March 12th. These were pre-carbon/bentonite kits. I used both pouches of wine conditioner, and I feel the blackberry, especially, could use more sweetening. But hubby and I both prefer sweeter wines.

I use my AIO for racking, so no specific degassing protocol other than that.

Strawberry and blackberry in clear bottles. They are both yummy but the strawberry is my fav.
 

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Omabob

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Jovimaple, my strawberry looks to be close in color to what you have pictured, did it appear fairly dark in the carboy. Looked at my notes and pitched the yeast on 4/22.

Winemaker81, Not sure when to bottle but was thinking that if nothing has settled by the end of July I will go ahead and bottle. 6/15 was the 2nd polishing rack.

I'm beginning to believe that an AIO would be really nice to have.
 
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@Jovimaple, @Omabob, I'm leaning towards bottling at the 4 month mark, as that's a good minimum. I will probably rack both tonight, stir and add the K&C, rack again in 1 to 2 weeks, then bulk age for 3 months. End of September works as a good point, before west coast grapes arrive.

Folks who have purchased the AiO pump all seem to really like it -- I have not heard any negative feedback.

I'm tossing up how much to sweeten. My own tastes are dry and if I was the only one drinking it, I'd sweeten only as much as the sugar balances the acid, and brings out the fruit. I may bottle half of each batch like that, and the other half sweeter. I've got months to decide ....
 
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Nothing happened last night. I fell asleep at 9 PM (very unusual for me). This afternoon I racked both the Blackberry and Strawberry -- both were at 0.996.

The Blackberry tastes amazing good for a 2 week old wine -- a strong blackberry aroma and taste. While I'd not bottle it dry, it tastes pretty good for what it is.

The Strawberry has a very strong fruit aroma, but the taste contains carbon -- no surprise there! Both are racked with 1/4 tsp K-meta, kieselsol, and chitosan added. I'll rack again in 2 weeks, then bulk age for 3 months.
 

Janinemah

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I have a Oh So Strawberry kit going, started June 9th, at SG 1.100, pitched 24 hours later, 48 hours later added packet C, it's now at SG 1.035 and has been there a few days, so added more yeast today and moved it to a warmer spot in the basement, where it was it was 64 degrees, now it's sitting in a place that's 66-67, hoping that gets it going again, I'm trying to get it the 1.010 or lower and move on the secondery. I've never made wine before and of course this is my first kit, I have a Moscato waiting to be started from FWK in the refrigerator, I'm little overwhelmed and holding back on starting it. Oh my PH is 3.0 not even sure what that means if anything but checked it anyway..
 
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@Janinemah, welcome to WMT. I see the above is your first post!

Winemaking is an exercise in patience. You are going to hear the "P" word on a regular basis. Relax -- wine makes itself -- your job is to provide a bit of gentle guidance from time to time.

FWK has the best instructions I've seen. Read them carefully and follow them. The instructions are designed for beginners to produce a successful wine on the first try, and they work. If you have questions, post them -- the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

Additionally, I suggest you read my "in detail" post (URL in first post) as I go through a lot of things in detail. I have several "in detail" posts regarding different batches, and I try to focus on different aspects in each. You may find them useful.

You may be close enough to seal the fermenter and let it set until day 14. It's very easy to focus on the status of fermentation, to the point of driving yourself insane. Sealing the fermenter is a good way to let the yeast do it's thing.

Note -- in the fall my wines ferment in the low- to mid-60's F in my cellar. This is very rarely a problem.
 

bakervinyard

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About a week and a half ago I posted that my Strawberry was slow to clear. come to find out I didn’t have the bentonite. I saved all the packages that came with the kit and there isn’t one for the bentonite. Is there anything I can add to help clear the wine. here are a couple of pictures of what it looks like.1A1FF9DA-C3AC-4531-B611-E4EB283557C6.jpeg F16D7048-3945-47EF-A4A0-7C54BFA24157.jpeg
 
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About a week and a half ago I posted that my Strawberry was slow to clear. come to find out I didn’t have the bentonite. I saved all the packages that came with the kit and there isn’t one for the bentonite. Is there anything I can add to help clear the wine. here are a couple of pictures of what it looks like.
You added the kieselsol and chitosan? If so, give it time.

I have a theory that K&C work much faster when bentonite was added prior to fermentation. All wines I've made with bentonite cleared MUCH faster after the K&C. But all worked out, given time.

Give it another couple of weeks. [Yeah, that "P" word!]
 
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@bryan, I’m going away for July so I’ll check when I get home.
My Strawberry and Blackberry are way to dark to see how they are clearing, although it just occurred to me to use a flashlight. I'll try that later.

BTW, the "@" for tagging works only on the account name -- tagging my real name doesn't work.
 

Omabob

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My strawberry wine kit does not appear to be clearing so I decided to keep it in longer term bulk storage. I needed to top up the carboy a little so I purchased a bottle of commercial strawberry and added a dose of K-meta and stirred it in, a significant amount of CO2 came out of solution.

This is after degassing with a drill and a hand vacuum pump initially. Degassing again today with the hand vacuum pump continued to pull out CO2. I can pull out bubbles for a few minutes then it stops, but if I leave it sit for a while I can pull bubbles out again.

I assume that we are working with activated carbon and am wondering if the carbon didn't absorb or adsorb CO2 thus adding to its buoyancy. I believe that is the way activated carbon captures organics and odors.

Any thoughts about this?
 
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This is after degassing with a drill and a hand vacuum pump initially. Degassing again today with the hand vacuum pump continued to pull out CO2. I can pull out bubbles for a few minutes then it stops, but if I leave it sit for a while I can pull bubbles out again.
You can pull out more CO2 than is good for the wine, as the CO2 adds to the flavor profile.

My degassing process is now 1 minute with a drill-mounted stirring rod, changing direction after 30 seconds. I've found the wine clear well after that. The ones without bentonite appeared to clear slower, but all cleared within 2 weeks. Give you wine another week to see what it does.
 
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