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My first batch of Dragon's Blood........

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wildhair

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..........And I messed it up a bit. I'm hoping my fixes will save it - tell me if I should do something different or additional ASAP.

I was following the recipe just fine, until I added the water. Which is to say I messed up pretty early on. Instead of adding "up to 4 gal" in the fermenter - I just added 4 gallons. Then after adding the tannin, peptic enzyme, nutrient & energizer - I was supposed to fill it "up to 6 gal"............instead, I added 2 more gallons of water. Now, instead of 6+ gallons, I have 7+. So that means the SG is gonna be off, right? Yep, it was. So I added more sugar to bring the SG to 1.075 (as recommended) - but now I have damn near 8 gallons. I figure the other additives (tannin, enzyme, nutrient and energizer) would also be insufficient. I did some math and added some more of each - 1/4 t tannin, 1 t enzyme, rounded 1/4 t nutrient and 1t energizer. I also added 1 15oz bottle of lime juice since I only added a 32 oz initially (instead of 48oz). Now I have almost 8 gallons of this must...........in an 8 gallon fermenter............ gonna make it hard to stir...........

I put in my 6# of Quad-berry blend fruit .................... then I'm thinking - there's 2 extra gallons of water - I probably should add more fruit or it's gonna be too weak. So I dug thru the freezer & rounded up some mango, blueberries, some black raspberries and found 2 pomegranates my wife bought (but never ate) - all together about 2# more fruit....maybe more. I siphoned 4 gallons into another fermenter, then added 1 bag of fruit to each fermenter. I put a packet of EC-1118 into each primary and stirred them up. I plan to mix it all together in the end anyway. SG reading was 1.080 when I covered it up. I plan to add Fermaid-K tomorrow and again when the SG is around 1.050.

Anything else I can or should do or add? Any recommendations ~ besides reading instructions more carefully ~ ?
I hope it's good - 'cuz I'm gonna have a LOT of it either way! LOL
 

willie

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I have added too much water to the fermenter before and I just removed the extra before putting the bag of fruit in. I believe your ferment should go well. I assume that you have it figured out how your going to do your first rack having 2 extra gal. of wine?

Will
 

wildhair

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Well, it should fill up the spare 6 gallon carboy and I have several 2 gallon containers, too - so I should be OK when it's time to rack. Fingers crossed.
 
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willie

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Ok sounds like you should be fine then. Good luck and enjoy the wine.

Will
 

jumby

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Personally I would add more fruit. I use 1.5 pounds of fruit per gallon, per batch.
 

wildhair

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It depends on the fruit, but I usually use at least 1.5# per gallon.

In this case, the 6 gallon recipe called for 6# of Triple Berry Blend frozen fruit. I was trying to follow the recipe.....at least at first. LOL

With the additions of mango, blueberries, black raspberry juice & pulp, pomegranate and pineapple chunks - I'm probably pretty close to 1.5# per gallon now.
 
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Arne

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If you have your fermenter filled to the top you are going to find when the fermentation gets going the liquid in the fermenter grows. Then you are going to find why over the years I have recomended having the primary sitting on a tray or something that will catch any overflow. Having put part of it in another fermenter should be fine, just make sure there is room on both of them for some expansion. Who follows directions anyway? A recipe is only a guide. We make our wines however we want to. Bet you will wind up with some decent tasting wine. Do not forget to keep notes on exactly what you are doing in case you want to make it just like this again. Who knows, might be the best tasting batch you ever do. Arne.
 

wildhair

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The only thing I failed to write down was the weight of the extra fruit I added. Some of it was leftover juice and pulp from jam making, some was partial bags of frozen fruit - difficult to repeat that. The second primary is 6 gal, so there's plenty of room now to stir and for expansion. If it's good - there'll be plenty to share!
 

wildhair

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Well, it fermented out fine - hit .990 Friday and I got it the 6 gal carboy + 1 4L jug. It's all over but the waiting now.
 

wildhair

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I did a ph and TA test on the DB and it's pretty acidic. Ph is 3.12 and the TA was .75% . And it tastes pretty acidic. I know it's only a week in the secondary, but I'm thinking I may need to reduce the acidity next time I rack.
Any idea how much Calcium Carbonate I would need to add to 7 gallons to bring the ph to the mid 3 range (3.4 - 3.6)? What is the TA I should be looking for? Anything beside Calcium Carbonate that can bring up the ph?
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From Eckraus website -
DOSAGE: For each teaspoon of Calcium Carbonate added to 1 gallon of wine, the total acidity (TA) will lower by .10% tartaric. We recommend determining what the juice`s current TA is with an Acid Testing Kit. Then establish a dosage to be added to the entire batch. If you do not have an Acid Testing Kit then use 1/2 teaspoon of Calcium Carbonate for every gallon of wine. More Calcium Carbonate can be added later if the wine is still too tart.

MAXIMUM DOSAGE: Total dosage should not exceed 3-1/2 teaspoon per each gallon of wine.
 

wildhair

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Just to wrap up this thread - the wine is in the bottles and turned out OK. Here's what I did to help with the acidity -

It was rather acidic yesterday (3.11 & TA of .75%). I added a 1/2 t of cal. carbonate to 1 gal of wine and it raised the ph to 3.45 & got rid of a lot of the acid taste. If it's still acidic post sweetening - then I'll add the cal. carbonate and test again in 24hrs. Then I'll let it sit and wait to clarify.

I ended up having to add more calcium carbonate.
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I also noticed it seemed to have much less body than most of my own fruit wines. The recipe called for only 6# of frozen fruit (mixed berry blend) for a 6 gal batch - most of the time I use 2- 4 # of fruit per gal. It tasted a little ...........weak & watery?

So - (Mar 8, 2018)
I added 4 cans of Old Orchard Berry Blend juice concentrate and 2 can of Welches White Grape concentrate. That boosted the flavor.
I added a bit more simple syrup - also helped with flavor and overall taste. Much better body and flavor now.
I tested the TA and ph - came in acidic at .75% and 2.88 ph, so I added 4 t (slightly more than 1/2 t per gallon) of calcium carbonate. (I added it to a cup of wine first, then poured it in & mixed). ph now 3.56 - much smoother & less acidic.
I stabilized with pot. sorbate and metabisuphite - then I racked it back into my 6 gal carboy and a 5 L container - put in the airlock.


Now I wait. In a few weeks, I think I'll get a 5 gal carboy, rack that full, then add some clarifying agent to the remaining few gallons and see how it clears. And tastes.
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End result - it cleared nicely, I racked it into 2 3 gal carboys and added 1/3 cup simple syrup to 1 carboy - for my wife who likes a sweeter wine. Bottled it up about 2 weeks ago - turned out very nice.

However - Next time I make it - twice the fruit and 1/2 the water, and I'll backsweeten with the same berry blend and white grape juice concentrate.


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