My first Strawberry Wine w/a question....

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by M38A1, Aug 4, 2018.

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  1. M38A1

    M38A1 Senior Member

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    :) I blame everyone on the board for my head-first dive into this new adventure of wine making. :dg

    I started my first 3 gallon strawberry after reading many other threads on how folks are doing this here. Yet I've not read anything about my situation thus the question(s). I know enough to get started and get it through PF, but now what?

    10lbs frozen Strawberries
    Just shy of 6lbs light brown sugar
    2.5 gallons spring water
    3 cans Welches white grape concentrate
    6tsp citric acid
    3/4tsp grape tannin
    3tsp yeast nutrient
    Red Star Cotes Des Blancs wine yeast

    Stirred vigorously twice a day to aerate/remove CO2 up through last night at .990

    07/30 Starting SG 1.085 / pH 3.4
    08/04 Ending SG .990 / pH 3.5 in the presence of CO2 (five days post yeast pitch)
    Calculated I believe 12.47ABV

    Question 1:
    This has been by far the fastest "pitch to done" for me. I still have another day to check it to verify the three days/no movement criteria then let it sit two more days before I have to do something. And from what I've read, some ferments will go this fast so I'm not too concerned. It's done when it's done and it appears to be done - sort of like slow smoking meats. So this is not an anomaly, right?

    Question 2:
    It's certainly not red like I would have thought before I read everyone else's comments on the color shift to pink/orange/grapefruit. I think this is to be expected. Speaking of grapefruit, it smells like grapefruit, rolls across the tongue nicely like a wine should, has a grapefruit flavor and a grapefruit aftertaste. Any idea what's going on here? Start with strawberries and get grapefruit? I'm thinking on ways to do an F-Pack of sorts yet haven't done that yet either. Simmer down some frozen strawberries, strain the juice and add it to the 3gal carboy? That might restart fermentation, right?

    Currently it's sitting in PF with a towel over it, strawberries in a mesh brewers bag. I've got a few days to ponder what's next. I had planned originally on racking the gross lees/pulp off then let it sit for a week, then re-racking while adding 3 Campden tabs and let that sit 45 days in an airlock carboy, then re-rack again 60 days, and again in 45 days, bottle and age 6 months.

    What does the hive mind here say I should be doing about the grapefruit flavor, an F-Pack and racking/bottle/age question?

    I can't thank you all enough for getting me to this point. I have a few batches of various flavors going and I owe that progress to everyone here.
     
  2. Johnd

    Johnd Large Member Supporting Member

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    Question 1: Yes, it’s done when it’s done, your hydro won’t lie.

    Question 2: Citrus flavor is probably from using straight citric acid instead of acid blend, it’s also young and unsweetened. Yes, and pack will likely restart fermentation, and adding a cooked one may set pectins in the fruit and make clearing difficult without pectic enzyme. You’ll need to use sorbate prior to adding anything with sugar in it if you’d like to prevent further AF.

    I’m no strawberry wine guru, but have read enough here to know that the flavors are light and adding water makes that more prevalent. Sweetening any fruit I’ve tends to bring out the natural flavors. Can’t tell you how to get rid of the citrus taste.
     
  3. M38A1

    M38A1 Senior Member

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    Thanks, John. The acid blend was a mix from LD Carlson of food grade citric, magic and tartaric acid according to the label. I'm going to generally follow my above plan recording everything and see what happens after sitting a bit then stabilize/back-sweeten. This was fairly simple in ingredients and approach so I think it's good to see where it takes me and then the next batch I'll at least have a baseline from which to judge incremental changes. Again, thanks!
     
  4. meadmaker1

    meadmaker1 Member

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    The color sounds ok too. Sort of a dark reddish orange is what i expect.
     
  5. Johnd

    Johnd Large Member Supporting Member

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    So you used acid blend? Your original post says “6tsp citric acid”.
     
  6. M38A1

    M38A1 Senior Member

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    Terribly sorry for the confusion.... I should have said "acid blend". yeah, it's the details that I struggle with but am learning!
     
  7. Cxwgfamily

    Cxwgfamily Member

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    You mentioned that the color was light. Your recipe indicated 10 lbs strawberries for a 3 gal batch. I normally use around 4 to 5 lbs per gal. I am currently finishing up my last strawberry batch of the season and only had 12 to 14 pounds for a 5 gallon batch. The color is lighter than my previous batches. I did this lower lbs per gallon batch intentionally for unrelated reasons to this thread. You may want to up the fruit amount in your next batches.
    What is the thoughts of the group on this aspect of his batch???
     
  8. JuiceMan

    JuiceMan Junior

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  9. M38A1

    M38A1 Senior Member

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    It's racked now and after 24hrs seems to be settling out nicely revealing a bit darker shade than originally in the PF. Or maybe it's because there's a gray wall behind it? :)

    The juice concentrate seems like an option for down the road when I get to that point. Thx!
     
    JuiceMan likes this.
  10. porkchopmessiah

    porkchopmessiah Junior

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    Hi, Im new to the site, but I am also making a strawberry at this time, Id love to compare notes as im not really sure how its coming along.

    This is the first wine Im making, though there is a place by me called that does wine making where they supply the facility and equipment, you decide the grapes and its sort of a "wine making for dummies" they do all the hard stuff. Mainly you de stem/ crush rack a few times and bottle. I've done this twice and now im trying this myself. The reason I chose strawberry is I had enough plants in my yard to get close to 100lbs in the spring, froze them as the ripened and figured why not..what else would I do with them (already have jam out the ears)

    So:
    14lbs fruit
    added sugar to about 1.087 sg about 10lbs sugar
    8 tsp acid blend
    1 tsp wine tannin
    yeast nutrient as per bottle instructions
    water added to have total 6 gallon must.

    On 8/ I got it out of primary fermenter into carboy with following measurements
    SG @ 1.09......its still perculating today, I know im not quite there yet
    titration: .67 tartaric
    ph about 2.5-3 ..I want to get a narrow range paper, was using what I use at work which is full spectrum.

    I also tasted it, I couldn't resist....didn't taste much like strawberry.. I see hear that back sweetening may help..

    the questions I have are mainly in the ph/tartaric measurements.. I don't really know where I should be and what the effect on taste will be if I adjust up. Ive been told the acidity gives mouth feel...only problem is I have no idea what that is. Ive been to a lot of wine tastings only to realize that my taste buds are essentially blue collar and don't really get the adjectives they use. Im relying on the scientific measurables save me.

    Also any advice you guys can offer on the back sweetening with potassium sorbate would be appreciated.
    im also doing a peach at the same time....thought of blending a small portion from both, any thoughts, suggestions or ideas are welcome! Glad I found this site, lots of like minded individuals :)
    20180808_170306.jpg
     
    Ignoble Grape likes this.
  11. M38A1

    M38A1 Senior Member

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    Welcome to the site....

    Man, I wish I knew more so I could help you out, but I'm pretty much in the same boat. Trial by fire and the fine folks on the board here have gotten me this far.
     
  12. HarvestWine

    HarvestWine Junior

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    I find that strawberries are one of the hardest fruits to get a true flavour. My best tips:
    1) Use really ripe flavourful berries. The quality of the berry is very important. If it doesn’t take like a sweet ripe berry in your mouth, it won’t taste like that in a wine.
    2) Use more berries than the recipe calls for. I use 1 gallon of berries for 1 gallon of wine. Not sure what that works out to for weight.
    3) Make sure your ABV won’t be too high in your final wine. The taste of the alcohol will overpower the delicate strawberry flavour.
    4) Strawberries are meant to be sweet. If you try to make a dry wine, you might be disappointed. Pull a sample and backsweeten it and compare.

    Cheers!
     
    Ignoble Grape likes this.
  13. drunton

    drunton Junior

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    I suggest reading the threads on this board and you can learn a ton of useful information about when and what to add.

    Particularly, I read all the posts in:
    Danger Dave’s Dragon Blood
    Tweaking cheap wine kits

    These two are full of amazing details and will form the foundation for years of experiments. I keep going back to them.
     
  14. Ignoble Grape

    Ignoble Grape Junior

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    I'm picking up a few flats on Monday - will be trying this out!
     

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