Proposed Blackberry Wine recipie for review

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Earldw

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Someone recommended that I post a proposed batch recipe for review and it sounded like great advice. I did leave out all the cleaning/sanitation stuff. This is what I’m thinking about. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Blackberry Wine by Earl

Thaw and crush 6#’s of blackberries
Take initial Brix on juice
Calculate sugar add = 21 - Brix x 2.5oz.
Dissolve sugar in 1qt of boiling water
Pour sugar water over berries in 2gallon plastic pail
Cool to room temperature
Add 1tsp Pectic enzyme and one Camden tablet
Measure Brix, TA, pH, SG
Rest for 12 hours
Add 1-1/2 tsp yeast nutrients, pitch 1/4 tsp Montrachet yeast
Stir once a day for 7 days
Filter and transfer to 1 gallon carboy
Measure Brix, TA, pH, SG.
Cook until finished, transfer off the fines as needed
Chemistry check: SG should be <.98
Stabilize the wine by adding 3/4 tsp Potassium Sorbate and 1 Camden tablet
Wait 48 hours.
Back sweeten as desired
Final chemistry check
Bottle.
 

Ohio Bob

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After you measure the SG, additional sugar should be added as needed to get to the target, same for pH.
Not required, but highly recommended, is to make a yeast starter 12-24 hours before pitching, gives the yeast a better chance at hitting the ground running.
Blackberries will have a decent cap so punching down twice a day is needed, good stirring as well.
Don’t filter so soon, just rack off the gross lees, which is mostly pulp. Press all the pulp to get extra juice as well.
Make sure the jug is topped off after each racking.

Sounds like you have a good grasp of the process.
 

Earldw

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After you measure the SG, additional sugar should be added as needed to get to the target, same for pH.
Not required, but highly recommended, is to make a yeast starter 12-24 hours before pitching, gives the yeast a better chance at hitting the ground running.
Blackberries will have a decent cap so punching down twice a day is needed, good stirring as well.
Don’t filter so soon, just rack off the gross lees, which is mostly pulp. Press all the pulp to get extra juice as well.
Make sure the jug is topped off after each racking.

Sounds like you have a good grasp of the process.
Thanks Bob. Most of the recipes I read recommended using a specific amount of dry yeast per the manufacturers recommendation. So if making a starter, would you use that amount of yeast or do you use a different amount?
 

BigDaveK

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Agree, yeast starter not required but a good idea.

Definitely stir more than once a day. Hard caps can hold in a lot of CO2. Expect some foaming.

Use 7 days as a guideline rather than a schedule. It may be ready to transfer earlier...or later. Remember, you're not in charge here. It's all Mother Nature.

I plan my gallon batches to be 9 pints or so. Gives me extra for topping up after 1 and possibly 2 rackings. The extra is in a smaller container with an airlock.

I'm still harvesting blackberries, wild from the yard, thornless from the garden. Can't wait to use them!!

Good luck!
 

Ohio Bob

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So if making a starter, would you use that amount of yeast or do you use a different amount?

The same amount as you would normally use. There are several threads that describe starters. Basically yeast, a little sugar, possibly nutrients like Fermaid, maybe a splash of the blackberry juice. It all contributes to making the yeast feel at home and not shocked when poured into the must.
 

mikewatkins727

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@Earldw : My method for starter is add the entire 5gm packet to a cup of warm (100 degree) water, 1 tsp sugar and a pinch of nutrient. After 3 hr add 1/4 water, 3 hr later add 1/4 cup wine must, etc.

Note on specific gravity measurement. Take the reading out to 3 places. Once you hit 0.999 you may end up somewhere between 0.990 and 0.999. If you can get down to 0.98, we need to talk.
 

Earldw

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Agree, yeast starter not required but a good idea.

Definitely stir more than once a day. Hard caps can hold in a lot of CO2. Expect some foaming.

Use 7 days as a guideline rather than a schedule. It may be ready to transfer earlier...or later. Remember, you're not in charge here. It's all Mother Nature.

I plan my gallon batches to be 9 pints or so. Gives me extra for topping up after 1 and possibly 2 rackings. The extra is in a smaller container with an airlock.

I'm still harvesting blackberries, wild from the yard, thornless from the garden. Can't wait to use them!!

Good luck!
Thanks Dave. I planted 35 Prime-Ark Freedom plants in February which are giving me about #1/day of Primocane berries. Next year they could produce #400’s of florocane berries within a couple of weeks so I need to get some learning in between now and then.
 

Earldw

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@Earldw : My method for starter is add the entire 5gm packet to a cup of warm (100 degree) water, 1 tsp sugar and a pinch of nutrient. After 3 hr add 1/4 water, 3 hr later add 1/4 cup wine must, etc.

Note on specific gravity measurement. Take the reading out to 3 places. Once you hit 0.999 you may end up somewhere between 0.990 and 0.999. If you can get down to 0.98, we need to talk.
Thanks Mike. To be clear, your starter uses a full package of yeast for 1 gallon of wine? Yeast is pretty cheap considering the other ingrediants, but I did want to make sure we are talking 1 gallon batches.
 

mikewatkins727

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Thanks Mike. To be clear, your starter uses a full package of yeast for 1 gallon of wine? Yeast is pretty cheap considering the other ingrediants, but I did want to make sure we are talking 1 gallon batches.
This starter is good for one to six gallons.

What I failed to mention is the starter is good to go after 8 - 12 hrs. Yeah, I have pitched at 6 hr 'cause I wanted to go to bed.
 

BigDaveK

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Thanks Dave. I planted 35 Prime-Ark Freedom plants in February which are giving me about #1/day of Primocane berries. Next year they could produce #400’s of florocane berries within a couple of weeks so I need to get some learning in between now and then.
I think I have Triple Crown, Apache, and maybe Chester. From the looks of the primocanes I should have perhaps double the florocanes for next year. You get about a pound a day? What is that? A dozen berries? 😄

My wild blackberries are growing in a small field I stopped mowing about 4 years ago. I have to walk through the canes to get to other canes. No fun, but...the things we do for wine!
 

Earldw

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I think I have Triple Crown, Apache, and maybe Chester. From the looks of the primocanes I should have perhaps double the florocanes for next year. You get about a pound a day? What is that? A dozen berries? 😄

My wild blackberries are growing in a small field I stopped mowing about 4 years ago. I have to walk through the canes to get to other canes. No fun, but...the things we do for wine!
Heard that. The wild ones probably taste better, but one can get into a whole world of pain collecting them.
 

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TurkeyHollow

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Those are some
Heard that. The wild ones probably taste better, but one can get into a whole world of pain collecting them.
Those are some great looking plants! I concentrated too much on my grapes. You just reminded me that blackberries need love too! Best of luck making wine with them. Remember, you can freeze them and make wine on your timeline. Frozen blackberries make great wine after thawed. Cheers!
 

Earldw

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Those are some

Those are some great looking plants! I concentrated too much on my grapes. You just reminded me that blackberries need love too! Best of luck making wine with them. Remember, you can freeze them and make wine on your timeline. Frozen blackberries make great wine after thawed. Cheers!
Thanks, but any credit goes to the plants, drip irrigation and luck! For the first few weeks I was just eating them but my wife insisted on a more diverse menu so I’m freezing them now. Next week I will start brewing a series of 1 gallon wine batches. I want to determine a good recipie before the main crop comes off next spring. If you have any advice for a dark-sweet blackberry wine I would love to read it!
 

TurkeyHollow

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This one was on my list of "Things to try when I get bored":
 

Ohio Bob

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Did you find the 15 pounds of blackberries/gallon of wine a good thumbrule Bob?
My memory is not as good as it once was. David’s recipe is in my files but I use the Northeast Winemaking port recipe. Blackberry Port Wine

NE recipe calls for 6 pounds/gallon. My records fluctuate between 6-8 pounds/gallon. I’m not sure how David can get 15 pounds and only 1 gallon. My process is to use a quart or so of water to boil the bulk of the sugar.
 

Earldw

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My memory is not as good as it once was. David’s recipe is in my files but I use the Northeast Winemaking port recipe. Blackberry Port Wine

NE recipe calls for 6 pounds/gallon. My records fluctuate between 6-8 pounds/gallon. I’m not sure how David can get 15 pounds and only 1 gallon. My process is to use a quart or so of water to boil the bulk of the sugar.
I really can’t remember if my memory is as good as it once was, but it is as good once as something-or-another.

The berries sink in water so I figured a gallon of water at 8 pounds, therefore 3 quarts of juice would be 6 pounds plus 1 quart of sugar/water equals a gallon of wine. Think I’ll follow your lead on this
 

Ohio Bob

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The berries sink in water so I figured a gallon of water at 8 pounds, therefore 3 quarts of juice would be 6 pounds plus 1 quart of sugar/water equals a gallon of wine.

That math/logic is good for ballparking how much yeast, nutrient, sugar you’ll need on hand. If you try to make 1g, Murphy’s law says you’ll end up too short, or with too much leftover. I use all the fruit and I end up with whatever I get. It’s good to have multiple carboys of various sizes to handle any excess.

Of course if you need to top off your jug or carboy, any red wine will do.
 

Fencepost

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I made a lot of BB wine from Prime Ark Freedoms (they are a good one)... I usually make a 3 gallon batch. I use 24lbs of BBs and bring level in the fermenter up to the 4 gallon mark (BBs and water) to give 3 gallons (plus a little for topping off) finished wine. When I get to the 4 gallon mark I then add sugar to get 1.090 OG and then adjust pH. I am thinking you may need a little more water than the 1 quart you mention. With 35 plants you will need to go "commercial"! They make a lot of berries.
 

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