Getting Started in Country Fruit Wine Making ?

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Scooter68

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I'll make this comment with regard to how much fruit to use.

If you happen to make a wine with 100 fruit juice and no water - Oh My what do I dp if my wine is wine is over poweringly strong?
Simple - blend with a white wine (or a red) until you reach an acceptable flavor level.
If you make a wine with 2-3 lbs of fruit and - Oh My what do I do, my wine is so weak flavored?
Well buttercup, you can make another batch with ALL juice and hope to raise the flavor level, but beyond that, there isn't lot you can do. Adding juices at the end may help but the flavors change as result of fermentation so it won't be quite the same as if you had more fruit in there from the get go. Also adding more fruit juice at the end is going to increase the sweetness most likely and that might not be what you are looking for, plus if you add a significant amount of juice you are going to either reduce the ABV or restart a fermentation.

My preference then is just to make sure I have enough fruit or even too much fruit rather than making a weaker wine. Blending down the strength is a lot easier than raising the strength. of a weak flavored wine.

In the end If your happy - roll on.
 

Lucyray

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7's plenty for elderberry, even 5 to 6 work mighty fine, the real trick is aging 7 to 10 years,
Dawg
Would this comment about aging a long time apply to autumn olive wine also, I wonder? (Please excuse my interruption to the op) Thank you (I just bottled batch made in October 2020) ( Only my third batch of wine, using a Kellar recipe.)
 

llb6845

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I have the entire Jack Keller collection, all 326 pages of it. If you would like a copy, message me. I'd be happy to share - the file actually states to "pass it on" in Jack's honor.

Other posters are correct. His recipes are light on flavor and high ABV. I have made a few wines exactly as he calls for. To light in flavor for my taste. But the process in each recipe is explained fairly well. It is generally the same process for everything. Not my cup of tea (or wine, 😆). It is a good reference for inspiration and ideas, however.
Yes
I have the entire Jack Keller collection, all 326 pages of it. If you would like a copy, message me. I'd be happy to share - the file actually states to "pass it on" in Jack's honor.

Other posters are correct. His recipes are light on flavor and high ABV. I have made a few wines exactly as he calls for. To light in flavor for my taste. But the process in each recipe is explained fairly well. It is generally the same process for everything. Not my cup of tea (or wine, 😆). It is a good reference for inspiration and ideas, however.
Yes, I'd like a copy of the collection please. Can you email it to [email protected]. thanks!
 
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I have the entire Jack Keller collection, all 326 pages of it. If you would like a copy, message me. I'd be happy to share - the file actually states to "pass it on" in Jack's honor.
As long as the book is free to distribute, send me a copy and I'll post it on my web site. My email is the same ID as my WMT ID, at gmail.com
 

Scooter68

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Would this comment about aging a long time apply to autumn olive wine also, I wonder? (Please excuse my interruption to the op) Thank you (I just bottled batch made in October 2020) ( Only my third batch of wine, using a Kellar recipe.)

The 'best' aging time varies from fruit to fruit. So there is no pat answer other than perhaps start with 1 year aging then check a bottle at each year point. Once you like that taste - Then drink, distribute to friends etc. Every fruit is a little different just as individual likes and dislikes. And it can vary from batch to batch. As a starting point I would start with as two point check 1) Is the wine perfectly clear? 2) Is it totally degassed. Now if you are allowing those two conditions to be reached naturally (No filtering/fining agents and no specific de-gassing action,) then once you reach those two points, begin your taste testing.
My personal choice is to plan on final clearing/fining if needed, at 9-12 months, then back-sweeten to taste and bottle. Then, depending on how it tasted when back-sweetened either wait a month to clear possible bottle shock and begin consuming, OR if it needs more aging, let it age in the bottle.

I normally don't bulk age over a year unless the wine is just not clearing. (PEACH for example @#(*)(@#*$%)@* is terribly slow to clear for me, but; I use all of the peach except for the stones, and stems. If it isn't moldy, green or hard, it goes into my slow juicer and gets put into the wine.)
 
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BernardSmith

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But some (many?) country wines are very drinkable after a few months and many more after 6 months. A few may need a year to come into their own but I wonder if that amount of time has far more to do with the ABV and the various poor nutritional protocols used by many wine makers. My elderflower, sumac, dandelion, and mulberry are all well-aged by 6 months and my t'ej and skeeter pee are very enjoyable in 3 -4 months
 

Scooter68

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My lighter wines (Peach, Apple and Pineapple/Mango) have been quite drinkable early on. With Peach it's a matter of getting it to clear. When I used a lot less peaches, the wine cleared within 6-8 months, now with the use of 6-8lbs per gallon it has taken 18 months to clear....but it's worth it. The flavor difference between 4-5lb / Gallon and 6-8 is tremendous. As to the others, Pineapple/Mango is consistently the quickest clearing and it is ready to drink within 6-7 months. Since I tend toward higher pounds/gallon and higher ABV's that's why I wait and it's always worth it.

My experience with wines like blueberry, tart cherry, and black currant have taught me to wait and I don't mind. All comes back to the question that was asked 'How long to age a country wine' and my answer remains - There is no one answer to the question. It's always case by case. If you change a variable the results can vary too.
 

Rice_Guy

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A few general comments; (I have not sampled autum olive)
* astringent fruits frequently lose some of that flavor note with age.
* air exposure reduces shelf life, it creates acetaldehyde (burn in the back of the throat when swallowing it, it reduces fruity aroma
* as noted lower pH and alcohol improves shelf life
* if you back sweeten a young wine you risk yeast refermentation, you didn’t say you sweetened? ? Yes ? Wine with sugar in I will either wait a year or add potassium sorbate, ,,, sweet wines can explode.
* fruit wines tend to have low oxidation resistance so to get shelf life we dose with potassium metabisulphite and tannins
* as noted above taste is personal preference, you like then use it, also on your third batch you may have more experience with this fruit. The rules for every fruit are different
* as Dawg noted long age is hard to do, I am tempted to say some is dumb luck as finding a thirty year old black raspberry in moms basement with a good cap. In general the more you let air in the faster it deteriorates.
Would this comment about aging a long time apply to autumn olive wine also, I wonder? (Please excuse my interruption to the op) Thank you (I just bottled batch made in October 2020) ( Only my third batch of wine, using a Kellar recipe.)
by the way, welcome to wine making talk
 
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Scooter68

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To those asking questions about aging specific wine varieties, especially unusual ones - I would recommend that you NOT post here but rather start a new thread with your wine type in the title. Far more chance of getting a response from someone with experience or knowledge of that particular variety.

That also goes for any question regarding specific situations and conditions. Not everyone browses through all the different forums and threads within a forum. When you put it out there as a thread title within an appropriate forum THEN you stand a much better chance of getting the best available help.

Posting here doesn't bother me other than my wondering if you will get the best help. Think about a thread title before posting within that thread unless the comments specifically interest you or you have a question about those comments. Example - I only look at 1-3 forums on this site unless I am looking for help. Even within those threads I ignore a lot of them as I have no interest in that thread topic.

We want new folks and in fact everyone to get the best help that can be provided.
 

winemanden

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The best bet as regards ageing, is to get 1/2 or even 1/4 bottles and fill them at the same time as your main batch. I know wine usually ages better in larger bottles, but doing it that way and tasting at intervals, it will give you a rough idea as to how the big boys are progressing.
 

wetneck

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Yes - I did but I used a can of Vintner's Harvest Red Raspberry wine base - meh, not impressed by it. So mild compared to Black Raspberry and especially Wild Black Raspberries. I did make a "Triple Berry" Wine with Red Raspberries but it only had about 1.5 lbs of them. They were obviously overpowered by the Wild Blackberries and Wild Black Raspberries.
I was checking out Vintners wine bases. They all have high fructose corn syrup and cost as much as buying actual fruit so i had to pass on that plan.
 

BernardSmith

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I was checking out Vintners wine bases. They all have high fructose corn syrup and cost as much as buying actual fruit so i had to pass on that plan.
They used to be so much better. Last year I bought a couple and was sorely disappointed. I had assumed that the key ingredient was the sole ingredient but I was so wrong... Neither the rhubarb or the elderberry were predominantly rhubarb or elderberry. Why they included HFCS and grape juice I have no idea. They have lost me as a customer.
 

Scooter68

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I was checking out Vintners wine bases. They all have high fructose corn syrup and cost as much as buying actual fruit so i had to pass on that plan.
Make sure you are looking at Vintner's HARVEST (VH) and not Vintner's BEST (VB) - They are VERY different and to me VB has two strikes - 1st it's not a 100% juice wine base - It's a mix of different fruits not just the one on the pretty picture and Title. 2nd As you mentioned it's loaded with corn syrup and while that's not necessarily a bad thing - you are paying for that.

Some folks have been trying out Colomnafrozen.com as they have 100% single type fruit wine bases.
 
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