Proposed Blackberry Wine recipie for review

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Fencepost

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That sounds about right... I have made it at 3.3 up to 3.6 (thought was to smooth it out). Water will be around 7pH depending on where you get it from. I actually preferred the wine when it was closer to 3.3 than 3.6. You may not need to adjust at all once you get everything in the must. But when I do adjust I use potassium bicarbonate. I just looked at my last batch and it was 3.22 to start and I brought it to 3.45 before pitching yeast (via a starter).
 

Earldw

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That sounds about right... I have made it at 3.3 up to 3.6 (thought was to smooth it out). Water will be around 7pH depending on where you get it from. I actually preferred the wine when it was closer to 3.3 than 3.6. You may not need to adjust at all once you get everything in the must. But when I do adjust I use potassium bicarbonate. I just looked at my last batch and it was 3.22 to start and I brought it to 3.45 before pitching yeast (via a starter).
Thanks, I was a little worried that I wasn’t waiting long enough for the berries to ripen so that was very assuring. I like wines to be a bit tart cause I like them a bit sweet, so this should work out well.

I have seldom grown anything like these Prime-Ark Freedom’s. Just astonishing growth and huge berries. I put a YouTube video of the first 5 months.



Im very concerned that my trellis won’t allow next year’s primocanes room for growth and you are the first person I’ve talked to who grows them!
 

Fencepost

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Yep, vigorous vines, 2 crops of berries, very large! You will trim out all the florocanes after they bear in the spring and that will allow room for the next years primocanes. I also find a lot of doubles and triples on the primocanes fruiting. Also, when I pick in the morning, I let the berries ripen all day (or for 24 hours sometimes) then freeze. I think that helps the ripening.
 

Hazelemere

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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.
I've made a recipe like this. It will be very intense with no need for extra acid. I usually do 6 lbs BB/Imperial gallon without extra acid and add dried elderberries e.g. 8 oz for 12-15 lbs blackberries and ~3 lbs pitted wild black cherries from the freezer and finish it off with 15 medium toast American oak cubes for 90-120 days during storage in a cooled carboy. The black wild cherries, elderberries and oak make it more interesting. I press the must through a pneumatic hydraulic press with a stainless steel sieve to get the seeds out after 6 days of ferment to control seed tannin. I start from frozen wild blackberries thawed with 3 lb sugar/6 lb BB/elderberries before adding water and EC 1118 yeast. Sometimes I mix in raspberry wine from frozen raspberries and make fruit port spiked with either French cassis or chambord liqueurs at ~ 19-20% alcohol with dextrose to get the sugar acid balance I like. You could even make a blackberry-elderberry port and add blackberry liqueur, cassis or chambord to make it even more complex. We've had these "Tripleberry Ports" age for 9 years at basement, crawlspace or wine cooler temperature without showing any oxidation. At this age they are silky smooth. We've even mixed dry blackberry wine with Amador County Zinfandel made from fresh grapes or homegrown hybrid grapes like Marechal Foch and/or Regent to drop the acid after malolactic fermentation to make both wines more complex. The dry blackberry version with or without grapes make really tasty cookinng wines for things like beef bourginon, coq au vin, borscht, spaghetti sauce and chili or lasagna sauce. The port versions are really good with things like roast duck with or without fruit like pitted cherries, blueberries or mandarins or even your sieved thawed from frozen blackberries. You can even mix in apple juice to drop the tannin and or the acid to stretch the blackberries. Finally you can use honey instead of sugar in any version to make a Blackberry Melomel, Blackberry Cyser Melomel or Blackberry Pyment.
 
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SLM

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This one was on my list of "Things to try when I get bored":
This is the port recipe I've been using for a couple years Making Blackberry Port - Saanich Sommeliers

Like David's recipe, it does not call for dilution, which is why he's not getting much mileage out of his berries, but intense flavor.

Last year I picked 124 pounds, ended up with 11 finished gallons, so about 11 pounds/gallon. I think each year will vary slightly due to water content of berries.

Interesting that David sweetens before adding brandy. Won't the brandy alter the taste? John's recipe calls for aging with the brandy for 6 months, then sweetening. Last year I split into 2 batches, one with added brandy to increase abv, the other with no brandy but step-fed sugar until reaching desired abv. So far the batch without brandy is actually preferred.
 

Earldw

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I lived in the Puget Sound area for a few years, so I’m guessing your using Himalayan BB’s?
Probably be a year or two on the elderberries, but they are getting there. I do have a wild black cherry tree, but I haven’t figured out a plan to use them; the seed is about 3mm in diameter and the flesh is about 1/2 mm thick. But they taste wonderful!
You presented lots of good information there Hazelemere, thanks! It looks like there is a quorum on 6# fruit/gallon. I have seen a couple of yeasts mentioned so I’ll make a gallon of each for test purposes. EC 1118 worked well for a white muscadine I made last year though it was bone dry and ran 16% Abv.
 

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Earldw

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This is the port recipe I've been using for a couple years Making Blackberry Port - Saanich Sommeliers

Like David's recipe, it does not call for dilution, which is why he's not getting much mileage out of his berries, but intense flavor.

Last year I picked 124 pounds, ended up with 11 finished gallons, so about 11 pounds/gallon. I think each year will vary slightly due to water content of berries.

Interesting that David sweetens before adding brandy. Won't the brandy alter the taste? John's recipe calls for aging with the brandy for 6 months, then sweetening. Last year I split into 2 batches, one with added brandy to increase abv, the other with no brandy but step-fed sugar until reaching desired abv. So far the batch without brandy is actually preferred.
That was the first recipe I’ve seen that calls for pressing before primary fermentation And the author seemed pretty insistent on this point.
 

SLM

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That was the first recipe I’ve seen that calls for pressing before primary fermentation And the author seemed pretty insistent on this point.
Yes he's strongly opinionated against seeds. I know others have different opinions but I don't have a lot of experience and I enjoyed the finished product so I stick with this recipe for now.
One thing I don't agree with is expensive cognac. I've tried several brands but always come back to Christian Bros brandy. Not expensive, mellow flavor. I like Hazelmere's idea of trying flavored liqueurs.
I am working with Himalayan berries.
 
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Fencepost, my berries are coming off pretty acidic at 3.3pH, we’re yours the same, and what did you do ta adjust acidity? Earl
I agree with previous posters, the pH is fine.

Near bottling time, if the wine is sharp tasting, backsweeten more, as the sugar will balance the acid.
 

Hazelemere

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I lived in the Puget Sound area for a few years, so I’m guessing your using Himalayan BB’s?
Probably be a year or two on the elderberries, but they are getting there. I do have a wild black cherry tree, but I haven’t figured out a plan to use them; the seed is about 3mm in diameter and the flesh is about 1/2 mm thick. But they taste wonderful!
You presented lots of good information there Hazelemere, thanks! It looks like there is a quorum on 6# fruit/gallon. I have seen a couple of yeasts mentioned so I’ll make a gallon of each for test purposes. EC 1118 worked well for a white muscadine I made last year though it was bone dry and ran 16% Abv.
our blackberries grow wild with a few dewberries. No idea about the variety. We try to pick them when they lose their gloss and the ends go gray, mauve or purple not white or green. Two of us can pick about 70 lbs over 3 weeks. You can't use a pitter on cherries that small but you can pit them outside between a thumb and a finger. If you try to pit indoors you'll have cherry juice on your floor and walls. I have to soak my t-shirt in cold water to get the juice shrapnel out even if I wear a plastic apron. If yours are anything like ours they make stunning wine even mixed 20% with 80% blackberries. I've made wild blackberry wine every year for 40 years. The only blackberry wine I make other than Black Iris is Tripleberry Cassis or Tripleberry Chambord which uses raspberries, elderberries, medium toast American oak and French liqueurs. My neighbour Iris has an old wild cherry tree on her property. We go up ladders, pick and freeze them to make a wine together with dried Oregon elderberries called Black Iris which we make every year. IMHO it is the best blackberry table wine that I've ever made. I only got 3 lbs pitted wild cherries this year so I'll add ~9 lbs frozen black berries so I don't dilute the cherry flavour too much into a 15 bottle carboy with medium toast American oak cubes (probably 15-20) for 90 to 120 days in a walk in cooler.
 
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Hazelemere

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This looks like a good yeast for white wines needing acid reducing via malolactic fermentation or development of banana like fragrance. I've never used it but will try it out for some home vineyard late picked Madeleine Angevine, Siegerrebe or Ortega in October 2022 vs EC1118 for a battle of the bands. Thanks for this posting. An old dog can learn new tricks!
 

Earldw

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This looks like a good yeast for white wines needing acid reducing via malolactic fermentation or development of banana like fragrance. I've never used it but will try it out for some home vineyard late picked Madeleine Angevine, Siegerrebe or Ortega in October 2022 vs EC1118 for a battle of the bands. Thanks for this posting. An old dog can learn new tricks!
That might find itself quite useful information Hazelemere with such a variety of fruits I’m growing, or at least attempting to grow. Thanks.
 

Fencepost

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Earl, I looked at my last batch and I get about 1.3 cups of juice for every lb of blackberry (online it says between 1 and 1 1/3 cups of juice per lb of berries but the Prime Ark Freedoms are on the higher end. I thought you may need more water or more juice based on your original recipe of 6lbs of berries (9 Cups juice) and 1 quart water (4 cups)... which only makes 13 cups of liquid (would be a little more with the sugar) and you need imho, for a full gallon, 16 cups plus 25% extra (as several people have mentioned) which would include lees, topping off or around 20 cups of liquid in your must. Just don't want you to be short when you start your batch as it is a PITA when you have to start adding pieces and parts... i.e. juice, water, fruit, additives, etc... (experience is a good but sometimes harsh teacher ;)). Good luck, you should have a really nice wine in a few months.
 

Earldw

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experience is a good but sometimes harsh teacher ;)). Good luck, you should have a really nice wine in a few months.
“experience is a good but sometimes harsh teacher ;))”. Funny, I have been known to say the difference between education and experience is pain.
‘Thanks again Fencepost, we must have attended some of the Sam school cause I‘m gonna proceed with plans for a two gallon batch then adjust accordingly. You can see by my picture I don’t take life too seriously anymore so if the wine is great, we’ll that’s just fine. If the wine is not-so-great, make sangria!
 

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