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Replacing Fresh Fruit in Wine with Vintner's Harvest Base

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seminarian

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I am wanting to make a batch of raspberry wine, however Rapsberries were too expensive so I ordered a Vintner's Harvest Fruit Base to use. Can I just replace the fresh fruit with the base and follow the same recipe (which called for 15 lbs of frozen raspberries) or do I need to tweak the recipe?
 

oldwino

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The Vintner's puree has the recipe on the can for making 5 gallons of wine. Below that recipe they have another recipe which they claim makes a fuller body wine and it makes 3 gallons. I have not made the raspberry. I made a cherry wine with vintner's puree a few years ago and used 1 can for the 5 gallon recipe and added 3 twelve ounce packages of frozen cherries. (crushed) It made a good full body wine. I suspect you could do the same with the raspberry.

You really need to measure the acid, and the SG in the primary before you add yeast for a good balanced wine. If you do this a couple of times you will never go back to using someones elses recipe. If you do buy a titration acid measuring kit I would suggest that you throw away that cheap plastic cup they furnish. Purchase an apothecary jar that will hold approx 70 to 80 cm of liquid with a lid. My jar is approx 1 3/4 inches in dia. and approx 3 inches high. I use a vibrating etching pensil and draw a ring around the 15 cm level. I don't have to measure each time I take a must sample. I then fill the jar to the 15 cm level, then add appox 45 cm of distilled water. (doesn't matter how much water you add) The water will dilute the color in the test jar so you will be able to see the color change very easily as you add the sodium hydroxide. Otherwise a red wine makes it difficult to see any color change.
 

Wade E

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I have made a lot of the Vintners Harvest wine bases and IMO the recipe for the 3 gallon is best nd not to use the 5 gallon recipe except for the Cranberry, and the Black Currant which make a good 5 gallon batch with 1 can. The other bases lack the amount of body and flavor to do so. the recipe on the can is a decent recipe with the exception of sugar as if followed, most of the time you will have a very high sg and it will hide the flavor. Have a hydrometr on hand and try to start all fruit wines with a sg of around 1.090 tops. The acid is usually a little off too but not bad enough to deal with if you dont want to go through all the titration of acids but it is a good place to start learning how to adjust it.
 

seminarian

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Wade,

I have heard the phrase acid titration, but am not sure I understand it. The recipe I want to substitute the base for the fruit in uses acid blend, 10 lbs sugar, yeast nutrient, tannin, pectic enzyme and campden plus the yeast. It says it should have a sg at the beginning of 1.100.

If I add say 3 lbs of frozen raspberries to the base would it help or hinder and is that possible?
 

Wade E

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You do not want the sg that high for a fruit wine. Stop adding sugar at an sg of 1.085 and you will be much happier, trust me and im sure others will back me up on this. Acid titration is the act of testing the acid with a test kit to adjust the acidity of the wine up to where it should be. If you are using a wine base nstead of the fruit then just use the recipe on the can as it is designed for the juice inside. If you are a new wine maker please refrain for substituting 1 thing for another as this will get you into trouble IMO. The recipe on the can is good and if you want to use the frozen berries go withnthe 5 gallon recipe on the can and again add sugar using your hydrometer.
 

oldwino

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I agree with Wade E. You do not want rocket fuel. That is not the purpose of making wine. Wine is to enjoy with your meal or snacks etc. If you have not made wine before I would not recommend you jump in with both feet and try to make up your own recipe, or maybe even use fresh or frozen fruit. You can run into a lot of problems. When you use fruit you will have sugar in the juice and sugar in the remaining fruit and it may not all be the same. Yipes! What is this going to taste like? I have made wine since 1973. Lots of good wine and actually quite a few mistakes along the way. I was fortunate enough in So CA to have a commercial wine maker guide me through the mistakes. I have accumulated lots of equipment over the years to make my measurements and unless you have that equipment you may want to stick with the easy stuff and experiment with small batches as you advance. I would not even venture into fruit without using a refractor, measuring acid, PH, and even use a hydrometer from time to time.
 

Wade E

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You can make a very good fruit wine without a refractomter and all that stuff but venturing into making up your own recipes at this point will result in wine that wil either be thrown away or have to age for 4 years before you can even think about drinking them and they wont be that good then either. Acid adjusting can be done by taste for the most part as long as you dont plan on keeping these wines for any extended period of time as an unbalanced PH and TA will not stay good for more then a few years and thats pushing it.
 

seminarian

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wade and oldwino,

Thanks for the advice. The recipe I am wanting to us is as follows:

15 lbs frozen raspberries (i would substitute the base here and some additional frozen raspberries)
10 lbs sugar
4 tsp acid blend
6 qt hot water
2 tsp yeast nutrient
2 tsp liquid tannin
2 cup pectic enzyme
8 crushed campden tablets
8 qt cold water
1 pkt wine yeast

it calls for thawing the frozen berries and straining off the juice adding the hot water, sugar and acid blend then adding the yeast nutrient, tannin, enzyme, campden tablet and cold water. Then it says sG should be 1.100 and temp should be 75 degrees then add the yeast. When sg reaches 1.020 it should be racked into a clean carbout and topped up with cold tap water. When SG is 1.000 it calls for a second racking. at SG .990-.995 it calls for another racking and at each racking calls for topping up with cold water. It then calls for Claro kc finings to be added and resting for 10 days. Then it calls for filtering and adding 1/4 tsp of sulphite crystals (not sure what these are) and top up with more water. Age in carboy 2 months. Add 10 oz of wine conditionery and then bottle.

Now my questions - is the SG so high at the beginning because you are constantly topping up the carboys with water so it reduces the alcohol content? I have a friend who is going to mentor me in this and a wine kit that I purchased. The wine kit should be pretty easy I would think, but this batch is where things could get interesting. This is actually for my mom who likes a sweeter wine.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

oldwino

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Wade, How do you determine the difference between the sugar in the fruit and sugar in the juice that is in the primary before it breaks down without a refractometer? Do we guess at that measurement? Seems to me all fruits off the vine do not have the same Brix. Am I missing something?
 

Wade E

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Oldwino, ypu really cant and I am in no way saying that it isnt great to have 1 but if when you make up your wine by adding the fruit and pouring boiling water over the fruit and sulfiting, leeting it rest for 12 hours and then adding your pectic enyme and then waiting another 12 hours and then squeezing your fruit well then taking an sg reading and adjusting with sugar then you will be very close to your max sg by then unless you are doing huge batches in which you will require a fruit press to extract most of the juices to get a close reading. Being a few points off decimal wont change your sg much with the sugar that is left undetermined. All Im saying is that you can make a good fruit wine without all that stuff as I have tasted quite a few wines from many a wine maker who does not use a refractometer. If you are growing your own fruits I would recommend having 1 to know exactly when to pick them and if you are growing grapes then it is a must or you will be most likely losing out on what could have been a much better wine.
 

seminarian

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vintner's harvest making more than 5 gallons

Wade,

I racked from primary fermenter to secondary last night. I would up with six gallons of wine from the Vintner's harvest did i do something wrong? I followed the recipe on the can to the letter but wound up with extra. Now the last gallon has a great deal of sediment that got transferred (which I am hoping to rack off the sediment today) but will this still be okay?
 

wingnutooa

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i also find this interesting. i took a gallon recipe. multiplied everything by 5 and wound up with 6 gallons. atleast my carboy is 6 gallons. i didnt even know they made a 6 gallon carboy...

where on the carboy to i top it off to when i rack it? assuming it needs topped off. what level do i want liquid to.

(not trying to hijack here)

thanks
 

Wade E

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Wing, you want your carboy topped up to about 1-1 1/2" below the bung if its done fermenting, if its not done that it doesnt matter as there is still C02 being produced to protect your wine.

Semi, I have seen this happen before and not sure that they have made this recipe up right but I always end up with a little more using there instructions to. Did you use their recommended volume of sugar or did you go with a sg of 1.085? Extra is ok with this flavor as its very strong but wtch it with other flavors as they are much weaker and can get thin. Did you use their amount of cans of water or go by your fermenting bucket as those are typically inaccurate?
 

seminarian

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what i did

Actually wade,

I backed their recommended sugar down from 12# to 10# and had a beginning sg of 1.080. When I racked into secondary last night the sg had dropped to 1.040. I used the can to measure the water, added the pectic enzyme, campden tablets, etc. It is happily bubbling away down in the basement now.

One question, when I racked a good deal of sediment went into the last gallon with a little sediment in the major 5 gallon portion, will it hurt my wine to leave it or should I try re-racking or just wait the 3-4 weeks and try to re-rack with no sediment?
 

cpfan

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Actually wade,
One question, when I racked a good deal of sediment went into the last gallon with a little sediment in the major 5 gallon portion, will it hurt my wine to leave it or should I try re-racking or just wait the 3-4 weeks and try to re-rack with no sediment?
I only worry about sediment when filtering or bottling time is close. I like a nice clean rack before filtering or bottling. Maybe I should word it differently. When I get a nice clean rack, I start thinking about filtering or bottling.

Steve
 
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