Should I puree my berries?

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by Allie Geiger, Jan 14, 2019.

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  1. Jan 14, 2019 #1

    Allie Geiger

    Allie Geiger

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    I am making a saskatoon (service berry), blueberry mix. I'm a bit short on berries so I am going to supplement with a little concord grape juice. Should I puree my berries before-hand, or just thaw and squeeze?
    Thanks
     
  2. Jan 15, 2019 #2

    Scooter68

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    WHOA !

    I would not use concord grape juice with any berries !!! It will wipe out the berry flavors.

    IF you love concord grape wine that's fine but if you want to taste blueberries especially, concord grape juice will cover up that subtle blueberry flavor.
     
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  3. Jan 15, 2019 #3

    Julie

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    I agree with Scooter68. I would make a smaller batch or use Niagara juice.
     
  4. Jan 15, 2019 #4

    Stressbaby

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  5. Jan 16, 2019 #5

    Scooter68

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    To address the original question - Thaw and squeeze. Using anything with blades risks chopping up seeds - if that happens your wine will take on a bitter taste.

    When I make blueberry wine from frozen or fresh berries they break down quite well on their own. If I put in 6 lbs blueberries I might pull out 1-2 lbs of skins and seeds.Except for the seeds everything about a blueberry breaks down well on it's own during a ferment. No need to 'process' them before hand.
     
  6. Jan 22, 2019 #6

    warren57

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    How many gallons are you getting from 6 lbs of blueberries? I’m getting ready to start a batch (first time for blueberries). Was thinking around 3 pounds per gallon...
     
  7. Jan 23, 2019 #7

    Scooter68

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    6 lbs for a gallon. You can get a good wine with 5 lbs but below that it might get a little thin on flavor.
    I've done one 8 lbs for one gallon but that was overkill and was very acidic and required adjusting.

    Blueberry is my stock and trade wine - I have 30 bushes ranging from 10 years old to 3 years old.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2019 #8

    warren57

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    Thanks, I’m going to start a batch this week. I usually do one gallon until I see if I like it.
    I’ll probably be asking many more things about it as I get started. I used 2.5 cups sugar on my grape wine and it’s about perfect. Is blueberry similar? I’m thinking it may need a little more for blueberries? What’s your thoughts?

    And, hard to grow blueberries here in Colorado, soil is so alkaline. I’ve tried a dozen times with no luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  9. Jan 24, 2019 #9

    Scooter68

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    Sugar amount should be determined by you SG with a hydrometer. Sugar content of berries depends on how ripe they were when picked, so you need to check with a hydrometer. Normally I just make up a batch of simple syrup (2 cups sugar to 1 cup water) and start by adding that for 1 gallon of wine. That will get you in the ballpark. Also check the acidity before you get ready to pitch your yeast.

    As to growing blueberries - It's all about soil prep. Pine needles, sulfur chips and fertilizer for acid loving plants are my main tools. Soil here in NW Arkansas is also akaline but those tools help overcome the problem. Also mulch with pine needles - Makes for a nice smelling berry patch too. Do soil prep well before you plant and treat a large area dig your planting hole 2-3 times the normal size and treat the daylights of it. A full cup of sulfur chips and several large handfulls of pine needles mixed into the soil. After planting I treat my beds with sulfur chips about once a year and fertilze fall and spring (Before they bud out) I've lost some plants too but found that if I go BIG in buying plants, they do better. Get the largest plants you can find - If it comes a container less than a gallon - don't waste your money. They also will be producing much sooner that way - generally buy the 3rd year you can be getting several pounds of berries off a plant.
     
  10. Jan 24, 2019 #10

    warren57

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    Great info, I may try a few plants this spring. Using store bought frozen berries right now. Hopefully they won’t be to bad.
     
  11. Jan 24, 2019 #11

    Scooter68

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    I would suggest thawing them out completely put them in a fermentation bag and mash well. Add in your basics Pectic Enzyme, etc then measure both the SG and Acidity. Once you add the amount of sugar to get close to the target treat with K-meta and leave overnight. Re-check the SG and acidity the next day. Adjust as needed. That way you can be more certain that the all the sugar is completely dissolved and the sugars in the blueberries are released as well. Using a simple syrup helps make sure that all the added sugar is dissolved but sometimes it take a little bit for sugars from the fruit to be released. That's just the approach I use now with all my batches even with canned/prepared wine bases.
     

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