Thanks! Now I want to start another batch, maybe some good red. Thinking about stepping up to 5 or 6 gal batch, and buying grapes online? Not sure of the cost though, may be an issue.A little back sweetening will probably bring back a lot of flavor and it doesn't have to go so far as to make it "Sweet." If you like dry wines you can stop short of 1.00 with back-sweetening and that would probably give you more flavor. BUT as you said - that can wait until after Christmas at least. Let all the CO2 dissipate and the sharp 'edges' round off.
Congrats on a successful ferment!!
I'd post a new message thread with that as a question. Include what part of the country you live in. Many folks on here do grape wine, not me but many others do and they can tell you what places might be near you where you might be able to drive and pick them up or get shipping cheaper. Ask also about how the grapes or grape juice is prepaired. Juice from grapes is often innoculated with a yeast already and as soon as it's thawed out it will begin to ferment. Much more about them but I'm not the best source for that info.Thanks! Now I want to start another batch, maybe some good red. Thinking about stepping up to 5 or 6 gal batch, and buying grapes online? Not sure of the cost though, may be an issue.
How will I know when it's ok to bottle then? That's the confusing part. I thought that after it is stabilized it's ok to cap or cork.I would ALWAYS have some sort of airlock or bung that allows pressure to be released. Plenty of stories of folks being away for a few weeks or not checking for a week or two only to find that at sometime since they last checked - the bung/stopper popped off and their wine has been exposed to the air and possibly fruit flies getting into their wine. There are some who use a silicone bung that has a pressure relief device built in (Gasses Out but not in I think) or just maintain an airlock. The latter takes weekly or bi-weekly checking but that's just part of the process.
Ok, so at 2nd racking wine was at .990 SG and no activity, clear. I plan on back-sweetening to 1.000 (just as a guess). I plan on doing this in a week or two.I'm using vented bungs once fermentation is done and the wine is clear. It saves having to check fluid levels in the airlock. Until fermentation is done and the wine is clear, I want to see if there is activity, hence the airlock.
If the wine is completely stable (SG below 0.998 and no CO2 escaping) it should be safe to cap, but oddly enough, it appears most of us are too paranoid to do that. Yet we'll take that same wine and bottle it. Nope, this does not make sense.
When to bottle? When the wine is stable and clear. I typically wait 2 weeks after the last racking to ensure no sediment is dropping, and given my normal practices, there was at most a fine layer in the bottom of the carboy before the last racking.
Sediment in the bottle ruins the appearance. A small amount doesn't affect the taste, but it muddies the wine when you pour it. A lot of sediment CAN negatively affect the flavor, and it looks really ugly when poured.
Exactly the advice I was looking for, thanks!!! And just ordered more blueberries for another try, this time instead of 4 lbs. blueberries and 1 lb. blackberries, going to try 8 lbs of blueberries with less water. Experimenting is fun!!!0.990? Can't get lower than that.
I used to bench test, e.g., take a small amount of wine and gradually sweeten it until I'm satisfied, then do the math to figure out how much to sweeten the full batch. Sweeten the full batch in stages, tasting in between, to ensure you don't over-sweeten. This works well, unless you mess up the math.
Nowdays I sweeten the full batch. I make sugar syrup (boil 1 cup water, gradually stir in 2 cups sugar, boil (stirring) until clear; cool to room temp). For a 5 gallon batch, I add 1/4 cup syrup, stir really well (I use a drill-mounted stirring rod, but don't make the wine foam), and taste. Repeat until I think it needs just a bit more, then stop.
For a 1 gallon batch? I'd probably add 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time. And you won't need as much sugar syrup -- I'd cut the above recipe in half, maybe in quarter (1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar). Sounds like you want to lightly sweeten, so you won't need much syrup to hit that goal.
Use caution when sweetening ... it's much easier to add more than take some out.
Your more is better for blueberries should give you much better wine. I would caution about going to 8 lbs - I know this sounds crazy but with blueberries the acidity can get really strong at that amount. Blueberry wine is an annual thing for me - (Or more often if I find we have horded too many berries from our bushes. ) Anyway, you can try 8 but I've gone to somewhere between 6-7 lbs per gallon. The water addition is still small at that point and can mostly come from a simple syrup. Just allow for higher lees volume with the greater amount of berries. Blueberries are pretty good about breaking down and leaving less lees than some fruit but with 7-8 lbs per gallon you are going to have a pretty significant amount of lees. I'd start at about 1 1/3 gallons of must per gallon of finished wine you aim for. If you have 'extra' you can always hold that out for topping off as you go.Exactly the advice I was looking for, thanks!!! And just ordered more blueberries for another try, this time instead of 4 lbs. blueberries and 1 lb. blackberries, going to try 8 lbs of blueberries with less water. Experimenting is fun!!!
My first take was that's a tiny amount of sugar ... but I used 1/4 cup in 5 gallons, which is roughly 1.8 tsp/gallon, so your amount makes sense, at least to me. It reduces the bitter and/or astringent flavor without making the wine too sweet.finally back-sweetened today with 2 tsp. simple sugar
The problem with the gallon jug is oxidation, unless you drink a lot faster than I expect. I suggest moving to smaller bottles.Big decision is whether to bottle into 750 ml. or just keep in gallon carboy with screw top.