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The start of my Blackberry

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pwrose

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Started with 10 lbs of frozen blackberries.
Mashed them down to juice (I really need to get a steam juicer)

Took a SG reading of the juice and it was 1.012, there was approxiamatly 1.5 gallons of juice and pulp. Used the wine calculator to figure the amount of sugar needed to get to a SG reading of 1.080. Then added the following to the primary with the berries.

6 qts of water (split in half, half was used for melting the sugar)
5 lbs of sugar
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1.5 tsp yeast energizer

Left this in the primary to sit for 24 hours to let the p.enzyme to work. Plan to use 1116 yeast.
 

Tom

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:?
Wait a minute.. You smashed the berries and took a reading? ..
Smash berries not necessary
you should have added the water to the berries THEN checked th gravity and then adjust
Better ck the gravity as 5# is way to much for 1 1/2 gal
 

pwrose

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I added 1.5 gallons of water with the 1.5 gallons of berries, total must is 3 gallons.
 

Tom

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You will not get 3 gal out of it. Once you remove the pulp and sediment you b lucky to get 2 gal after clearing. You are low then on PE.

What is the gravity now?
 

pwrose

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1.078 plus the 10 characters to make the post
 

pwrose

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Made a mistake last night with the yeast type, it will be EC- 1118 yeast and not the 1116
 
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pwrose

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Checked the SG this afternoon and it was at 1.084
That is a little higher than I was after but still not that high.
pitched the EC-1118 yeast.
This is the first go at using 1118 and it says it is a champain yeast, does that mean that it will work faster or does that mean that it works well for sparkling?
 

Wade E

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That is actually perfect sg, a little low on the amount of fruit but not much and Tom is right that you are really working with about a 2 gallon batch once the fruit is removed.
 

pwrose

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Well with 10# of berries 2 gallons should be about right, right?
Oh and the berries were mashed to basically pulp, there was no whole berries left when I was done.
 

Tom

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U should be OK. see how it ferments, Taste, and then U can decide on backsweeten and/or f-pac
 

Wade E

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Typically its 6-8 lbs pre gallon but blackberres are a little stronger so it will be close.
 

pwrose

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I plan to backsweeten with blueberry syrup. But we will see how it goes.
 

myakkagldwngr

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All I can tell you is that if it turns out like mine did last year, you're going to be sorry...
Sorry you didn't make more...
That's why I went berry picking crazy this year!
 

pwrose

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I hope it does, because I will be making more with the late blackberries.
The farm that these come from have some late season blackberries and I will be able to get all I can handle then.
 

pwrose

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It has been a few days since I moved this to a carboy but I figured I would at least update and ask a question.

Update :
Racked to a 3 gallon carboy and only had about 3 inches of head space. I was amazed to have gotten that much out of what I started with. Checked the SG and it was at 1.000, so when I racked it I splashed racked to help get rid of the co2 and to give it one last shot of oxygen. It picked up the fermentation for about 1-2 days but has since started clearing up.

When I racked it and taste tested it I found it to be extremely bitter. I know that it was done fermenting yet and it also hasn't been backsweetened yet, however should blckberry be real bitter. The last time I made any blackberry wine was in 2000 and if I recall correctly I started with adding 5#'s of sugar and as the fermentation slowed down I would add another 5#'s of sugar. This was all done in a 6 gallon primary bucket. When the ferementation slowed and never picked back up I would stop adding sugar. This is back when I didn't have any of the fancy gadgets to test things with. I never really had any bitter tasting wine and sometimes I would even have a dry wine, just not to often.

So the question is should blackberry taste this bitter even early on in the process?
 

arcticsid

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PW, I dont have an answer to you on this one.

I did want to remind you two things. Freeze your berries or any fruit first, Then also, place your berries or fruit into a mesh bag, a paint straining bag or believe it or not, panty hose, sanitized of course, you never know where the paint starining bag has been!

It will still float during the primary and you will still need to push it down. It makes things a lot easier.

When it is done, squeeze the bag to get the max juice out of it.
 

myakkagldwngr

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I don't recall last years being bitter, but then,,, I know, I know,,,
I didn't keep good records back then and didn't even have a hydrometer.
This years I'm keeping good records and measuring everything.
The first one I racked didn't have a bitter taste but did have the alcohol bite.
After putting my frozen berries into the primary for 24 hours and the next day mashing the bag to get as much juice out of the berries, my starting SG was almost always around 1.02.
I eventually ran the batches up from 1.08 to 1.10 with sugar.
 

Wade E

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Where these fresh berries or frozen? If they were fresh its possible they werent quite ready. Other then that blackberry like almost any wine needs time to age some. C02 can also make it taste bitter to and since this probabl still needs degassing that aint going to help things.
 

pwrose

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Troy and Wade
These were fresh berries that I froze for about a week before I thawed and mashed them into juice. I took the pulp and put it in a grain bag and dropped that in the primary. The berries were pretty ripe looking to me, there might have been a few that wasn't but it was very few. All this info was my other thread about being surprised as well as the first post in this thread along with the starting SG.

I don't know anything that I did differently than I did for my strawberry, other than I added the petic enzyme before I pitched the yeast. I going to check the SG later tonight and see where it is. If it is below 1.000 then I will consider it to be done. That will be my third reading at or below 1.000. I will add the sorbate and start mixing up the f-pak to backsweeten and add the blueberry flavor.

Hopefully it will mellow out with age.

myakkagldwngr
The way I used to make wine before I got all the right equipment was put the berries or any other fruit in a bucket and added 5lb of sugar. Pitched the yeast let it ferment and when the bubbles slow down I would taste it and if it wasn't sweet enough I would add another 5lb of sugar. I would repeat this until the fermentation would not pick back up after adding the sugar. If it didn't start back up I would let it sit about 30 days or so and then rack off the fruit. This was the way that my father did it and the first few years that I did it that way. Then I progressed into kit wines for the last 8 years or so.
 

Wade E

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Just so you know the act of adding sugar back to a fermentation like you were doing is not incorrect, its actually called Chaptallization and many do this method when going for a much higher abv like when making a Port.
 
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