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Upfront correction on Fruit wines

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Cynm

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Hi! I'm looking to start fruit wine, blackberry and Blueberry from frozen. I purchased my fruit from a local grower as well as my own. I am interested in how to correct upfront? Mostly, on the addition of water, pH, TA pre fermentation.

I make wine from grapes now but this is my first fresh-frozen fruit wine I will be starting.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you!
 

Johnd

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Hi! I'm looking to start fruit wine, blackberry and Blueberry from frozen. I purchased my fruit from a local grower as well as my own. I am interested in how to correct upfront? Mostly, on the addition of water, pH, TA pre fermentation.

I make wine from grapes now but this is my first fresh-frozen fruit wine I will be starting.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you!
Pretty much the same as you would for grapes. Decide how much water you want to add, if any, based upon the amount of fruit you are starting with and the desired ratio of fruit / water, then thaw your fruit, and add your water along with some pectic enzyme. Fruit that has been frozen ususally breaks down pretty easily. Mix well, let it sit half a day or a day to break down, and check the BRIX, adding the required amount of sugar to achieve your ABV goal. Check the pH / TA to make sure they're in a reasonable range, blueberries are rather acidic, don't know about blackberries, but make adjustments to the pH and TA as needed, acid blend is probably the tool to use to increase acidity, not just tartaric, K-carb. to raise the pH if needed. Pitch your yeast. Be prepared with some Fermaid K, consider adding half the recommended dosage at start of fermentation, the other half at 1/3 - 1/2 sugar depletion.

Whether or not you add a little sulfite after the initial thawing / mixing is up to you, you're probably not doing MLF on a fruit wine, so that addition won't hurt anything.
 

Scooter68

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Johnd covered most everything but I will add... I'm Surprised someone hasn't chimed in about NOT adding water to fruit. Many folks avoid adding water like the plague.

To me it depends the fruit variety Blueberries, being so acidic seem to work best for me at a rate of about 6lb per gallon. It normally takes about 8-9 lbs blueberries to make a gallon without adding water. If you go the no water route - be prepared for some acid issues - too much, just as Johnd stated. FLAVOR will not suffer if you go to about 6 lbs of blueberries per gallon and the acidity issue should be minimal.
Blackberries... Biggest question is - Are they domesticated or wild berries. Domesticated berries tend to be large plump berries but nowhere near as flavorful as wild berries. So - to me the large plump berries just have more water in them. Again, as with blueberries, wild blackberries can be pretty acidic and in my experience with them you can have great WILD blackberry wine with 5-6 lbs of berries. With domesticated - plump large berries you can probably do fine going a no water added route.

That's just my personal opinion based on my experiences. I raise my own blueberries and our blackberries are always wild.
Again with many fruits the water added or no water added decision is a personal one but you should consider the source of the fruit - wild vs domesticated.

Of course bump your starting volume up to account for volume lost to lees. Good thing is that most blueberries and blackberries will produce a lot less lees and clear rather quickly. I try to start my blueberry wine with about 1 1/4 gallons of juice for a finished 1 gallon of wine gives me a little extra for topping off.
 

Stressbaby

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Agree with both Scooter68 and Johnd. Would add that both blueberry and blackberry are likely to yield pretty acidic wine. My blueberry is in the range of 6#/gallon like Scooter and to give you an example, the last two batches started at pH 2.85 and 2.86. That's a tough environment for the yeast and I generally adjust up with calcium carbonate. Same with blackberry, the best pH I've every started with is 3.02, but sometimes as low as 2.79.
 

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