Mixed berry wine question

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by Amelione, Jan 19, 2019.

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  1. Jan 19, 2019 #1

    Amelione

    Amelione

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    Have a mixed berry wine that’s done with fermenting. I racked it to a 6.5 carboy after main fermentation was complete a few weeks ago. I want to rack now to a 5 gallon to bulk age and clear. I think I’m going to be about a 1/2 gallon short of proper head space. What are the best options? Should I top it off with something? If so what? Should I transfer to a 3 gallon and 1 gallon instead? Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 20, 2019 #2

    Scooter68

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    If you don't mind potentially changing the flavor by adding in another wine you can top off with an inexpensive wine. Otherwise stepping down to smaller carboys would save you that investment and preserve the original flavors of you berry wine.
     
  3. Jan 20, 2019 #3

    Amelione

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    Ok thanks. What do you think about adding water?
     
  4. Jan 20, 2019 #4

    Scooter68

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    Adding water will dilute the flavor and lower your ABV. IF you planned for that initially that doesn't have to be a problem.

    I know that I will be adding water when I plan for my wine making and therefore I increase my fruit concentration and the ABV to preserve both flavor and an acceptable ABV.
     
  5. Jan 20, 2019 #5

    Stressbaby

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    I generally agree with @Scooter68 here on water additions. However, you will occasionally find a wine that can tolerate or even benefit from a water addition. These are generally going to be straight juice, no water, high viscosity, almost syrupy wines. I've had a couple over the years like that which in retrospect could have been topped with water to no ill effect.

    Anything remotely Keller-like in terms of the recipe probably needs a similar wine or other topping up method.
     
  6. Jan 20, 2019 #6

    NorCal

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    If you are losing a lot more than 1.5 gallons out of 6.5 gallons (25%+) on your second rack, you might want to consider letting it sit for longer, or try chilling it. It’s only been a few week. Give it a few months. I’ve never lost that much wine on a racking.

    This advice changes if you were dealing with bad fruit, dirty ferment, hints of H2S.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2019 #7

    Amelione

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    Sorry for the confusion, my 6.5 gallon was not full by any means, it was provably a little over 5 gallons.

    I ended up only adding 1/3rd gallon of water when I racked it to the 5 gallon. It still tasted great. I think it will benefit from a smidge of back sweeting when I bottle (but I’ll determine that when I feel like it’s ready to bottle in at least a few months)
     
  8. Jan 20, 2019 #8

    NorCal

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    Ok, got it. Once fermentation has completed you want to protect it from oxygen with full containers, as it is no longer producing CO2. If you have smaller containers, I’d lean that way if you wanted to preserve the flavor/authenticity of the wine.
     
  9. Jan 20, 2019 #9

    Scooter68

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    Depending on the types of berries that seems to be a lot of lees - Especially for the second racking. Normally most berry skins, seeds and pulp are removed in the first racking. And blueberries, blackberries and Raspberries produce a lot less lees than most fruits. What types of berries did you use and were the fresh, frozen, hand picked?
     
  10. Jan 22, 2019 #10

    Chris Pittock

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    Thus far I have aged my wines in bottles and usually get 5 3/4 750ml bottles from a demijohn (4.5 to 5 litre size). However, I am planning to up my wine production to 5 gallon (Imperial) batches. That way I can store in 4 full demijohns and 5 or so bottles. That way I can save a bit of space in my wine racks and have more variety on hand at any given time :dg
     

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