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What is this drink?

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OlegCS

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Guys, thank you all for your support. I'm a new member here but already received some great tips and learned a few things about winemaking.
I also realized that the recipe that I am using (came from my grandma) is not wine. If someone could help me identify it, it would be a huge help.

The recipe:
5.5lb of blueberries or cherries.
2.5 lb of sugar
3Tbl spoons of dark raisins.
1 cup of water

Everything is mixed and airlock is used. Shake a couple of times per day. Drink in 6-8 weeks.
 

Johnd

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Guys, thank you all for your support. I'm a new member here but already received some great tips and learned a few things about winemaking.
I also realized that the recipe that I am using (came from my grandma) is not wine. If someone could help me identify it, it would be a huge help.

The recipe:
5.5lb of blueberries or cherries.
2.5 lb of sugar
3Tbl spoons of dark raisins.
1 cup of water

Everything is mixed and airlock is used. Shake a couple of times per day. Drink in 6-8 weeks.
It is a fermented fruit drink, as we discussed earlier, it just ends up with a boatload of residual sugar in it. If I had to guess, it's part of a recipe that's similar to something my mother used to make, called by her "Cherry Bounce". Difference is that at the end of the 6-8 week period you describe, clear alcohol was added to it, making a quite potent but sweet, cherry flavored liqueur of sorts. It'll warm your soul........... That's my best guess, FWIW.
 

OlegCS

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Thank you Sour_grapes and JohnD,
The problem calling it wine is that forum members suggest SG readings that are not applicable for this drink. Also the difference between wine and this drink, as far as I understand, is that wine fermentation stops when yeast run out of sugar. With this drink sugar is still present in huge quantities but yeast die from alcohol level. Any suggestions on stabilizing it, fermentation temperature, filtering, or any other tips to control the process better?
 

Johnd

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Thank you Sour_grapes and JohnD,
The problem calling it wine is that forum members suggest SG readings that are not applicable for this drink. Also the difference between wine and this drink, as far as I understand, is that wine fermentation stops when yeast run out of sugar. With this drink sugar is still present in huge quantities but yeast die from alcohol level. Any suggestions on stabilizing it, fermentation temperature, filtering, or any other tips to control the process better?
I was the one who intimated that it wasn't wine, though I suppose that technically any fermented fruit juice that produces alcohol is technically a fruit wine. At any rate, it the future, if you used a cultured yeast like EC-1118, you could get the ABV up to 18% (leaving less sugar than natural yeast probably would), which would be better, it's just so unbalanced with so much sugar. If you followed your recipe, but instead of just adding 2.5 lbs sugar, only added enough to get the must up to around 1.090, you could produce a nice blueberry wine and sweeten it up after fermentation.

As far as stabilizing, we use potassium metabisulfite to preserve the wine against oxidation and microbial activity, and potassium sorbate to prevent renewed fermentation in the bottle. I can't really tell you if you need sorbate without knowing what the ABV and residual sugar looks like, and you would have needed hydrometer readings to determine that. Were it me, i'd experiment with adding clear alcohol to it and making something like what I described above, the resulting high alcohol content will protect it from most dangers.
 

Boatboy24

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Not too far off from Vishnick, but it has elements of wine as well.
 

BernardSmith

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Your recipe seems to make use of indigenous yeast - that is to say, you are not adding any yeast but using the yeast that was riding along with the fruit. What you might do to up the ABV is add the sugar in stages. In other words, let the yeast get at the fruit for a few days until you see a lot of activity in the fermenter then add - oh - I dunno, a quarter lb of the sugar and then when you see that the yeast colony is now able to deal with that level of alcohol (and sugar) you could add a half pound of the sugar - so it is almost (almost but not exactly) as if you are making starters and each time you see that you have a good viable colony of yeast you simply add another half pound or more until all the sugar is used up.

To put this into a bigger picture what this method is doing is enabling the stronger wild yeast cells to dominate in a less extreme environment rather than begin by creating a very hostile environment (a starting gravity of more than 1.100 ) where none of the indigenous yeast can thrive. I wouldn't bet the farm that this will finish dry but I would think it ought to finish less sweet.
 
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