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Loadclear

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Hey there, I have quite a bit of experience brewing beer, but fell out of it years ago. Decided to pick up wine (had to re-buy a lot of equipment since I gave all the beer equipment away).
Right now I have a Vineco Original Pinot Noir in clearing, and a Island Mist in secondary.
It kinda stinks that my kit options are extremely limited (Amazon Prime only) given where I live. I looked up having a FWK delivered and it was $200 for shipping alone… so Winexpert and the like are it for me.
 

Loadclear

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Certainly an option, sadly, fruity wines aren’t my favorite (the island mist is for the Boss-wife).
 

Ohio Bob

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Fruity wines and fruit wine are possibly two different things. I add chocolate powder to my blackberry, this takes away some of the tartness. I try not to add enough that you can taste the chocolate. In the end it tastes somewhat like a grape wine. And the price is right since I pick the berries along my wood line.
 
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Country wines do not have to be sweet. Non-grape wines almost universally need some backsweetening, but a small amount of sugar will bring out the fruit flavors, cut a sharp or astringent flavor, and still have an off-dry wine.
 

Rice_Guy

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Welcome to wine making talk.

You don’t like country wines, ,,, humm, there may be more options. As a food person I look at tannic red grape as a target. If I/we understand the beverage we should be able to build a red wine which is tannic, has hints of plum and blackberry, and other grape descriptors using what is local. As a result one project last year was “big red wine” which started with mulberry juice and then built in grape derived tannins 12% alcohol etc.
 

wineview

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Fruity wines and fruit wine are possibly two different things. I add chocolate powder to my blackberry, this takes away some of the tartness. I try not to add enough that you can taste the chocolate. In the end it tastes somewhat like a grape wine. And the price is right since I pick the berries along my wood line.
Have you added chocolate powder to any other wines? I would have never thought to do that.
 

BigDaveK

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Fruity wines and fruit wine are possibly two different things. I add chocolate powder to my blackberry, this takes away some of the tartness. I try not to add enough that you can taste the chocolate. In the end it tastes somewhat like a grape wine. And the price is right since I pick the berries along my wood line.
I've got some Dutch process cocoa powder begging to go into wine. Do you add your chocolate powder to primary? Secondary? At bottling?

And how much do you add? I hope to do a subtle and not so subtle addition.
 

Loadclear

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Thanks again all… saying that “I don’t like” country wines may be an overstatement, just not my favorite as a daily drinker… I’m certainly interested in trying new recipes to see if I can get something I really like outside the box.
As far as local Alaska berries (I live in the Mar-Su), there are definitely plenty of wild berries to be had. But at this point I have a lot on my plate and hunting berries unfortunately isn’t in the top ten things I have time for… maybe in the future.
 

Ohio Bob

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Have you added chocolate powder to any other wines? I would have never thought to do that.

I have not tried it on any grape wines, only blackberry port.

I've got some Dutch process cocoa powder begging to go into wine. Do you add your chocolate powder to primary? Secondary? At bottling?

And how much do you add? I hope to do a subtle and not so subtle addition.

My process is still in need of refinement. First I was using Torani dark chocolate sauce (for ice cream), but it’s so thick it didn’t dissolve well in the wine. So a lot dropped out with the fine lees at rackings. I’ve switched over to Hershey’s dark chocolate powder.

My intent is to add after primary. Because a lot drops out as sediment, and the wild blackberry has it’s own variation in tartness, I add in secondary. Wait a month, rack and taste again, adding more if needed. Some vintages have gone 10 rackings before bottling. And your next question is what do I top off with? Any reds I have on hand that seem like they would match, or maybe a straight blackberry wine that had no back sweetening. For any wine that’s added for topping off I do a quick estimate of the volume needed, use the Pearson Square to add Everclear, that way I’m always keeping my target of 20% ABV on point.
 

Fencepost

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@Ohio Bob, I am interested in your process... so when you do your rackings, do you add cocoa powder each time? How much? Is the chocolate pretty noticable in the final product?
 

Ohio Bob

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@Ohio Bob, I am interested in your process... so when you do your rackings, do you add cocoa powder each time? How much? Is the chocolate pretty noticable in the final product?

I’m hesitant to reveal quantities because my process used thick chocolate sauce, which I am not using again. Along with chocolate powder which I am going to try to use exclusively in this years vintage.

Generally speaking, i add chocolate and Everclear approximately 2 months after pitching yeast. Rackings at this point are monthly, or as I see sediment in the carboy (it might be mostly chocolate dropping out, I don’t know for sure). I don’t always add more chocolate, but sometimes (especially since different carboys have more or less volume and thus require some topping off.

My intent is not to make the chocolate noticeable. Another reason not to reveal the recipe, since some may prefer that flavor. The final product really doesn’t have that tart blackberry flavor, more of a dark fruit. That’s why I offered it as an option to @Loadclear.
 

Fencepost

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Thanks for the response, @Ohio Bob. I can understand not wanting to share if you are still in the trial phase and don't want to send someone in the wrong direction... or mess up a batch of blackberry! I have done lots of BB wines and was looking for something a little different, I thought this may be it. I may "kick" this out on a separate thread and see if anyone else has tried it... and gotten something they are pleased with. I know the powder is very hard to get "wet" from baking with it. Thanks again.
 
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I’m hesitant to reveal quantities because my process used thick chocolate sauce, which I am not using again.
An explanation of what you perceive as a failure can be as valuable as a success. In-progress reports of an experiment are equally valuable to read.

Each of us should consider our own situation before trying something, and if someone plows ahead? Oh, well!

I have an elderberry from concentrate that is good, but needs something to perk it. Your idea is interesting, as I don't want it to taste like chocolate, and will keep it relatively off-dry. I'm following your experiment as it may provide the oomph my wine needs. [Elderberry and chocolate sounds good anyway, so I'm seeing a good outcome, even if I over do the chocolate.]
 

Ohio Bob

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Update...
Bottled the 2021 blackberry port today. Whoever said wine is forgiving, and probably many have said it, is spot on.

For a 3g batch of port I used 28 lbs of frozen, wild picked blackberries.
1.5 cups light malt
~4lbs sugar (21 Brix) did not measure SG
Bentonite, pectin enzyme, yeast nutrient, Go-Ferm
Tanning powder, tartaric acid
EC-1118 yeast

In secondary I added ~20 ounces Torani dark chocolate sauce, but most of it dropped out as sludge/sediment (not doing that again).

7 rackings to get it to bottling, along the way topped off with Pinot Noir/Zin blend, Carmenere, Nebbiolo, and another 1/2 TBS Hershey’s dark chocolate powder.

At bottling, still had a distinctive chocolate flavor, so added 2.5 bottles of Grenache, 2 bottles of Malbec. The Grenache was nice and fruity so I thought it might counterbalance the chocolate, but I want to age my Grenache so I made a snap decision to add Malbec, which this vintage also ended up being more fruity than earthy. Plus 3 x 4oz bottles of glycerin, and Everclear 190 to keep the finished product at 19.5%.

I think it’s going to be good, but taste testing port is way harder than tasting wine. Even with spitting out tastes, I’m feeling it.

Initial feeling is it’s got a dark fruit nose, slightly chocolate middle, and a slight tannic/tart finish. I’m sure with a little aging it’s only going to get better.
 
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