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Johnd

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54 quart cooler, nearly full, with blueberries. My in laws picked and froze these for me, and I'm about to get em going. 50# including the cooler, I'll weigh it once it's empty to see what the starting weight is.
 

Scooter68

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Sounds close to 10 gallons once juiced. One recommendation - Personal experience acidity of those blueberries will push your pH/TA. Got a 1 gallon batch with 8 pounds of blueberries from my patch and it's going to have to mellow out a lot - right now it's got a hard bite to it. Flavor is good but you have to get through that bite.
 

Johnd

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@ceeaton @scooter68

Yes, I'll take pics as I go and post them.

Got the berries in my 20 gallon fermenter, they're still frozen and I've added no water at all, but it's full to the 10 gallon mark with berries. Knowing their typical acidity, I'm prepared to handle pH and TA adjustments as needed. The in laws were very accommodating in my request to wait until the berries were very ripe before picking. I heated a couple in the micro just to taste them, they're nice and sweet with good flavor.

Haven't decided just yet how much, if any, water to add. I'm a purist when it comes to fruit wine, the more fruit the merrier, so I may not add any, just need to see what they look like thawed.

Below, berries in the fermenter, looks like red wine grapes!

image.jpg
 

Johnd

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Expect the unexpected. I decided I'd add just enough water to fill in the air gaps between the berries, ended up adding three gallons, which just got up to where I could see it through the berries, decided that was enough. Planned to add some so2, pectic enzyme, adjust the Brix, and let em sit a couple days, working on pH/TA tomorrow evening.

Threw out the empty jugs, sanitized my long spoon and commenced to stirring.....not. The berries had frozen the water, solid block, broke my long spoon trying to break it up a bit. Plans all on hold til tomorrow night, hopefully.
 

Scooter68

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Think you will do well with the water amount. I normally work with smaller amounts of berries so I've used potato mashers and also used a 'ricer' (Conical sieve with wooden pestle.) that works great to break down the fruit - especially peaches.

Keep us posted after the big thaw.
 

vacuumpumpman

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Following - as I recently picked 20 pounds of blueberries and looking to make wine from them all as they are sitting in the freezer.
 

Rodnboro

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I have access to lots of blueberries. My blueberry this year is a 5 gallon batch from 45 lbs of berries. I added 1.5 gallons of water.
 

Stressbaby

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Also following.
I've got 45# and my plan was to split them roughly in half, 22# for a 3 gallon batch backed with some Merlot concentrate, and 23# for a blueberry rosé.
 

montanaWineGuy

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I came upon a lot of blueberries this year also. 3lbs/gallon seems to be about right. Lots of flavor before my first carboy to carboy racking.
 

Johnd

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This morning the frozen mass of blueberries had turned into blueberry slush, with just a little ice floating on top, 37F. Hit it with a light dose of KMS as well as 3 tsp of pectic enzyme. I doubt seriously it will be at a reasonable temp in any less than a day or two, so yeast pitching will wait a bit. Tonight I'm going to use my punchdown tool to do some gentle berry mashing.

Planning to get 6 gallons out of this batch, which will end up being 6.66 pounds per gallon of finished wine.
 

Tnuscan

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At 6.66 pnds per gal. A good name for the wine might be Blue BEAST. :h
 

geek

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I forgot blueberries with the intent to make peach wine, but peaches here in CT seem to have been damaged early on in the season and hardly available.

I may think about pear wine, which I've never done, using Shinseiki Asian Pears, which sound to be very sweet, juicy, and crispy
 

Johnd

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Home from work, time to get down to business, vital statistics:

Mixed the day lights out of the must with the drill driven paddle, and crushed the berries well, a few wholes left, but nicely homogenous.

Temp 62 F
Brix 6
Did some quick calcs, added 10 # sugar, new Brix 21 (SG 1.0873), should yield a tad over 12% ABV. Sugar was added and mixed thoroughly with the drill. Thoughts on the ABV? I'm on the fence about bumping it a tad.

On to the pH, too low at 2.95. Half calculation of K bicarbonate added and mixed, 24g got me to pH 3.31, safe for yeast, good start for now.

Just for yucks, tested the TA, 4g/l, little low, but raising it would drop the pH, it'll do for now.

Post fermentation, clearing and aging, I'll check the numbers again, and taste to see if I adjust any more.

Looks like I'll be pitching yeast in the morning, have EC 1118, BM 4x4, K1-V116, D47, and RC-212 on hand, plenty of FermaidK. Leaning towards the K1-V116, but open to suggestions if you have any good experience with one of the others.
 

Scooter68

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pH - Yup that's blueberries for you. That's what I found out with a 1gallon batch using 8 lbs. Will keep it down to about 5 in the future. Blueberries are high in citric acid and that will mellow out of there over time. That's been my experience.

As to ABV - depends on how you are going to handle topping off after racking. If you plan to use straight water (My preference) then then bump the ABV up to keep you in the safe zone. I can't think of any 'wine' that would be of the same taste as a blueberry.

Yeast - I have used both EC-118 and KV-1116 successfully as well as montrachet. But I like the first two better.
 

Johnd

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pH -
As to ABV - depends on how you are going to handle topping off after racking. If you plan to use straight water (My preference) then then bump the ABV up to keep you in the safe zone. I can't think of any 'wine' that would be of the same taste as a blueberry.

Yeast - I have used both EC-118 and KV-1116 successfully as well as montrachet. But I like the first two better.
I have some blueberry I made last year with a Pinot Noir kit. The blueberry is really all that you can taste, that'll be my top up wine, so I won't be diluting the ABV or flavor with water. I wanted at least 12%, but I think this batch is going to have a lot of body, the must is really dark and thick and smells really nice.

Still leaning to the K1-V116.
 

ceeaton

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I wanted at least 12%, but I think this batch is going to have a lot of body, the must is really dark and thick and smells really nice.
If the ABV gets too high, it will mask the fruit flavor, in almost any fruit wine. I would not go above 12%. I aim for 11-12% on mine. I made a peach that hit 12.5% and it seemed kind of boozy and harsh, has integrated more over time (a year in the bottle).
 

PhilDarby

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I live in the uk, blue berries over here are about one pound to one pound fifty for 300 grams or about 5 to 7.5 dollars per kilo gram, as such I tend to use them to add trace flavours and colours, personally ive found they work very well at adding trace flavours and colour even in small amounts (ie) one handful per gallon. At the moment im drinking a hybrid red based on grape juice with blueberry added and I have to say its very nice ;-) basically it has one handful of blue berry per gallon added for flavour and colouring, you guys in America have a wonderful flavour there for a relatively low price, enjoy it because outside of the USA its very expensive. Even in such small amounts the flavour is unmistakably blue berry, I just let it steep for weeks on a handful of blue berries, by which time it more or less dominates any red wine flavour already there, it is definitely one of the front flavours ;-) winner !
 
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Scooter68

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My second batch of peach, a light flavor comparatively, weighs in at 16%+ but the flavor is still strong. No complaints from at least 4 different folks who have enjoyed it.
 

Runningwolf

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I really don't understand why anyone is adding any water to these berries and diluting the flavor! I've been making a lot of Blueberry wines over the years and I have never added any water. Last week I crushed 4 tons of blueberries and they are currently fermenting away right now. I have tried freezing them in the past but don't even do that anymore. For those wanting high alcohol, you wouldn't have to worry the alcohol masking the flavor if you didn't water it down. I'm actually thinking of fortifying a batch this year to make a port style wine.
 

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