Haskap Wine - Finally!

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vinny

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This took WAY too long for me to get to, but better late than never. I said I am back, and I am slowly settling into the saddle again.

I finally got the haskap wine going the other day. I am just waiting to pitch the starter. There is not a lot to be found on Haskap wine, so some additional detail for the first timer is included.

I make a starter from a couple hundred ml of must diluted 50% with water. I add the yeast and pitch the next day. I find the starter catches the must up to where I would be if I had pitched yesterday rather than make the starter. The starter gives me patience to leave the must overnight to get a more accurate reading after the must has settled and all sugar is definitely dissolved and evenly distributed.

I started with 8.7 lbs of haskaps. I am pretty sure these were late season bulk picks, so rather than getting very ripe haskaps, I got whatever was left on the bush. They are tart. Original gravity was 1.045. PH... 2.57!

I basically had 1 gallon of berries. 2 liters of juice and 2 liters of thawed unpressed solids. I topped up to 1.5 gallons with apple juice which after pressing tends to leave me with 1 gallon and 500ml or so to top up. A little sacrificial oak added for tannin, and I am just waiting for one last reading after the last sugar addition to pitch D254 yeast. I made that choice based on the addition of mouth feel and strong enhancement of berry flavors. I had a commercial bottle of haskap, and I coulda been fooled that it was a grape wine. Different, but solid body and grape like depth. I am hoping to really accent fruit and berry flavors as I am expecting to back sweeten to counter acidity and want something bold with strong berry presence.

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8.7 lbs Haskap
1 litre apple juice
1 tsp pectic enzyme
3 cups sugar to 1.100
5 grams oak chips
yeast nutrient
D254 yeast

I am using my expired bakers yeast that I boil to kill, and use that for nutrient. I am tempted to add a few peppercorns for interest, but I think I will leave it raw and play if I get gifted another batch of berries later in the season.
 
I am jealous, have planted haskap but have a few years to wait to have enough to do anything but cooking tests.
I'm in the same boat - planted 7 from Stark Bros last year. This year 3 have fruit. Looking at pictures I thought the fruit was a LOT bigger. 😄 And I didn't expect them to change color so soon.
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@BigDaveK of the varieties I have seen (pollinators with Honey Bee) sizes are just under 1/2 inch to a little over 3/4 inch. They are not uniform ripening ~a week and a half. BUT , , , the garden catalog made it sound productive.
David, I feel so lucky that I happened to see the fruit and take a picture. There were more than 2 dozen purple fruit on that little bush. Yesterday morning most were gone! Not on the ground. Protected area so mice, snakes, or birds. Covered with bird netting. Still some green ones so we'll see what happens.

I managed to eat a couple - tart but very fruity. More complex than other berries. I think there's some great potential there - if I can protect them!
 
Wow! That has color!

Assuming the flavor is ok, I'd be tempted to use it for blending into wines needing color.
I will have to sweeten it to get some balance for sure. I will get it on oak and in six months or so make another assessment. I would have a better chance for a more balanced wine if the berries were harvested at full ripeness, but I think I can make it pretty tasty with some tweaks. This might be a candidate for vanilla experiments.

I have mentioned it before, the commercial bottle I bought had a lot of body. I coulda been fooled into believing it was a grape wine. There is lots of depth and unfortunately only time will tell what it will blend into.
 

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