Just started 30lbs blueberry wine. Calculation question to start...

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v8rx7guy

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Tonight I started a batch of blueberry wine that I am very excited about... first time making fruit wine! I am started with 30lbs of bueberries and I have a question about how much water to add. I have heard numbers all over the place from 3 lbs per gallon all the way up to not adding water at all. I think from everything I have read, Id like to go with 4lbs per gallon.

MY question is, does this mean I should add one gallon of water for every 4lbs of blueberries... in other words adding 7.5 gallons of water. Or, does that mean that I should add whatever amount of water that makes my total must volume 7.5 gallons? Does this question make sense?

Thanks in advance... pictures to come!
 

Stressbaby

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If your experience is similar to mine, when you press off these blueberries, you will get around 2.25 gallons of juice. That is to say, 10# of berries for 0.75 gal of juice. So if you add 5.25 gal water, your final volume will be around 7.5 gallons.

I would not add 7.5 gallons of water, the wine will be thin IMHO. I have 30# of blueberries as well (look down about 5 threads in this section, here) and if I do straight blueberry, I won't be adding nearly that much water.
 

montanaWineGuy

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I used 18 pounds of blueberries with 6 gallons of water. Came out great, and I did not press the berries, but crushed and squeezed them during the 6 days of fermentation.
 

bkisel

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If it were me I'd make a 6 gallon batch. I'd add the bagged berries to the bucket and then fill with water to a little past the 6 gallon mark. I'd add water so that when what remains of the berries are removed from the bucket you've got 6 gallons of wine to rack to secondary.
 

FTC Wines

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We use 5-6 lbs of blueberries per gal. Like Montana I don't press, just smash & ferment for 7-10 days. Makes an awesome wine, our fav! Roy
 

v8rx7guy

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Thanks for the input everyone. I am still confused though.... when you say 5-6 lbs of blueberrys per gallon, do you mean for every 5-6 lbs you add one gallon of water, or you add as much water that is needed to make one gallon of must from 5-6 lbs of berries? it is sounding lik the latter, but the advice is all over the place haha
 

Johnd

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Thanks for the input everyone. I am still confused though.... when you say 5-6 lbs of blueberrys per gallon, do you mean for every 5-6 lbs you add one gallon of water, or you add as much water that is needed to make one gallon of must from 5-6 lbs of berries? it is sounding lik the latter, but the advice is all over the place haha
If you want to end up with 6 gallons of wine, add water til you have about 10 gallons of must. Post fermentation and racking, etc., you should end up with 6-6.5 gallons. I did this exact thing with 40# of blueberries, so mine ended up 6.67 lbs/gallon, but I only added 3 gallons of water. I'm very pleased thus far.

Rule of thumb is that 65% of your must volume becomes wine, so if you wanted a 5 gallon batch, you'd add water to make about 7.7 gallons of must (5 / .65). Its hard to say how much water to add, because the size of the berries plays a part. I would think you could do a very nice 5 or 6 gallon batch, were it me, I'd shoot for the 5.

If you do the 5, it'll end up 6lbs/ gallon, the 6 will end up 5lbs/gal, roughly.
 
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montanaWineGuy

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Thanks for the input everyone. I am still confused though.... when you say 5-6 lbs of blueberrys per gallon, do you mean for every 5-6 lbs you add one gallon of water, or you add as much water that is needed to make one gallon of must from 5-6 lbs of berries? it is sounding lik the latter, but the advice is all over the place haha
I have a 7.5 gallon fermentation bucket. Berries go in, and I add boiling water enough to fill to the top. After fermentation, what is left after removing the berries is usually 6 gallons of liquid. If it is a little short then I go pound the berries to extract enough juice to fully fill the 6 gallon carboy, or I add some water.

--------

Put another way. 18lbs of berries to make 6 gallons of wine.
 

v8rx7guy

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If you want to end up with 6 gallons of wine, add water til you have about 10 gallons of must. Post fermentation and racking, etc., you should end up with 6-6.5 gallons. I did this exact thing with 40# of blueberries, so mine ended up 6.67 lbs/gallon, but I only added 3 gallons of water. I'm very pleased thus far.

Rule of thumb is that 65% of your must volume becomes wine, so if you wanted a 5 gallon batch, you'd add water to make about 7.7 gallons of must (5 / .65). Its hard to say how much water to add, because the size of the berries plays a part. I would think you could do a very nice 5 or 6 gallon batch, were it me, I'd shoot for the 5.

If you do the 5, it'll end up 6lbs/ gallon, the 6 will end up 5lbs/gal, roughly.
So you're saying that the lbs/gal ratio is based on the finished wine volume? I was under the impression it was the pre fermentation must volume.

Either way, I got started last night. I am using a 10+ gal fermenter. I put in all 30lbs. I mixed 10lbs of sugar into 2 gallons and added it to the must. One additional gallon brought it right up to the 7.5gal mark. Took a specific gravity reading and it is 1.087 which should be a nice starting point.

So if I use the pre ferment volume, my ratio is 4 lb/gal. I am hoping for 6 gallons pressed, so if I use my final volume I should be right around 5 lb/gal. I am running to the wine store today to pick up my yeast and pectic enzyme. Any yeast recommendations? I have read that EC-1118, red star montrachet, 71B-1122 and pasteur red are all decent options....
 
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montanaWineGuy

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I think you are using to many berries. The flavor is going to be stronger then needed. IMO, better to get more bottles of wine then to over flavor the product.
 

Stressbaby

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The 65% rule obviously varies depending on your starting ratio of fruit to water. What you are getting back really is 65% of the volume of the fruit. The higher the proportion of fruit to added water, the closer to 65% you will get.
 

v8rx7guy

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I think you are using to many berries. The flavor is going to be stronger then needed. IMO, better to get more bottles of wine then to over flavor the product.
So what would be my choice then, add another couple of gallons of water?
 

montanaWineGuy

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So what would be my choice then, add another couple of gallons of water?
Me, with 30lbs of berries, I'd aim for 10 gallons of wine. You'll like the wine either way, but having the extra 20 bottles at the end is preferable, when the wine taste is full.
 

montanaWineGuy

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Here is my Blueberry Wine with 18lbs of berries for 6 gallons of wine. The color depth should give you some idea of the blueberry taste.

BLBWine 001 (768x1024).jpg

BLBWine 002 (768x1024).jpg
 

Stressbaby

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It all depends on what style you are after. My first batch at 3.5#/gallon was too light on blueberry. This year I'm at 5#/gal, and as you can see in the other thread, Johnd is at 6.67#/gal.
 

v8rx7guy

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Added acid blend, pectic enzyme, grape tannin and yeast energizer. I added one more gallon of water for a total of 8.5 gallons of must @ 1.090 s.g.

Decided to go with redstar pasteur red for my yeast. Used goFerm to start it and just inoculated the must!
 

Johnd

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You can check out the thread from my blueberry: http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54269

Note that @runningwolf makes his with berries only, no added water at all. I believe he actually sells his. Mine is still bulk aging, hasn't had any adjustments made to it (pH /TA), and hasn't been backsweetened yet, so I really can't tell you how it is......
 

Stressbaby

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Added acid blend, pectic enzyme, grape tannin and yeast energizer. I added one more gallon of water for a total of 8.5 gallons of must @ 1.090 s.g.

Decided to go with redstar pasteur red for my yeast. Used goFerm to start it and just inoculated the must!
I think you are good. 4 gallons of water, and est ~2.25 gallons of juice from the pressed berries, for final yield is 6.25 gallons of wine, around 5#/gallon. It will be interesting to see where you end up.

Did you get a TA or pH by any chance? Just curious.
 

v8rx7guy

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I think you are good. 4 gallons of water, and est ~2.25 gallons of juice from the pressed berries, for final yield is 6.25 gallons of wine, around 5#/gallon. It will be interesting to see where you end up.

Did you get a TA or pH by any chance? Just curious.
No. I did not check the TA or pH... I could though. I just was going straight off an online recipe for how much acid blend to add
 
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