Wild Blackberry wine! -- For the First time (in detail)

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jh0330

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I think the alcohol content is muchh to high!! I think I was just excited to make alcohol for the first time...
I want to make it nice enough to give some away for gifts.
I want it to be something they would want, not just taste and be like wtf is this lol :)
 

jh0330

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Getting closer and closer to racking into secondary.
Initially I was following a very simple guide from youtube but the more I learn, more and more detail questions come up.



0) It's been roughly 48 hours since primary fermentation has began. I wanted to try purchasing oak chips and adding it.
0.1) Should I add this now? (I've read it is best to add the oak chips before primary fermentation but maybe I should delay my racking to secondary a few extra days or just rack as scheduled and throw it in the secondary too?
Just add it into primary. Moving to secondary depends on the level of tannin.
oak_chips_1000x800.jpg



1) From what I've read, I can get away with just my primary fermentation tub and a carboy. I don't have to purchase another container. For racking for the first time from my primary fermentation tub,
I can get away using a cloth (boiled then sanitized in bath of solution with campden tablets (maybe 1 tablet/L is suffice? I have the standard 0.44g tablet-I think as it doesn't say) dissolved then rinsed clean) to strain my must into my carboy then back into my primary tub (which is simply rinsed with boiled water but being careful to cool the container).
1.1) At this point, should I do degassing?
degas in the secondary (less chance of oxidation to occur
1.2) (My youtube guide never said anything about degassing but I would think that this would help settle anything floating and maybe shortening the time till bottling? -I know that the yeast will continue to make CO2 and alcohol until completely dry but still wouldn't it help solid pieces settle?)
Yes. It will help but I also have bentonite in the must to help carry the CO2 to the top.
1.3) Also, I was contemplating on taking a plastic coat hanger, heat-bending it, then attaching to my drill or to use my vaccum cleaner to create low-pressure which would you recommend?
should work fine as long as to sanitize
1.4) Or maybe I should do the degassing after I transferred to the secondary in the carboy (being extra careful not to make a fizzing wine fountain)?
yes. degas in secondary (less risk of oxidization)
1.5) Also how long should I degas? (I've seen threads saying 5min+10min, some others saying at least 20~30minutes)

2) 2.1) Should I add an extra 2 campden tablets now too?
No need
2.2) (or no because the CO2 created from the remaining yeast be enough to keep my wine safe? Or maybe add after getting all my must into the glass carboy? Or maybe just 1 tablet? (I added 1campden tablet per gallon pre fermentation as instructed) I noticed some people usually use k-meta even none during racking)

3) Should I add bentonite or clearing agent now? (will this shorten the time to bottling?)

It's okay to add it now. It will help the yeast

4) I'm Planning on purchasing a 11L glass carboy for 25$ for my secondary.
This is the smallest glass carboy size they sell. (Another store around my location has more sizes but everything there is soooooo overprised compared to here!)
carboy_11l_glass_1000x800.jpg

My primary fermentation tub is a 2.5gallon and is almost full. I estimate 8.5~9L of must.
Bought it!
4.1) I think 2L seems a bit much to top up using marbles (or is it not?)
My must had a high sugar reading and so my ABV content will be a bit higher than what I would have initially liked, also my actual fruit amount is a bit light. So, I want to avoid adding water.
Yes. It is definitely too much to add with water. Go buy some more juice to add.
(Reference, www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=349879 )

4.2) Maybe I should add juice to top up? (the yeast would probably continue to eat up all the sugars in the new juice anyways but still the juice should add some extra body and it is less sugary than my pre-fermentation must)
Yes top it up with juice.

5) I also wanted to try to try back-sweeten a portion later on. I am planning on waiting till I am about to bottle and then I will leave a portion in my carboy. I am planning on adding some juice until desired sweetness is reached, add campden tablets (1tablet per gallon) and potassium sorbate (as instructed). I should leave the portion with juice added to sit for a few days making sure fermentation hasn't restarted before bottling.
Stablize (k-meta and sorbate). Make sure fermentation is over and all the yeast is dead.
Do I have a correct understanding of this?

6) 6.1) It's a bit early but I am planning on purchasing some bottles while I'm at the shop. Or should I wait until I am ready to bottle?
Buy bottles later!
6.2) I am planning on buying 4x clear 375mL, 4x frosted 375mL, 4x green 375mL, 2x clear 750mL, and 4x green 750mL. (green bottles I will bottle age for a longer time)
Or maybe 8x clear 375mL, 8x frosted 375mL, and 8x green 375mL.

(All bottles cost $1.20 except the frosted which costs $2.25)
Here are the 375mL bottles:
bottle_375ml_clear_150x113.jpg

bottle_375ml_frosted_150x113.jpg

bottle_375ml_green_150x113.jpg


Here are the 750mL bottles:
bottle_750ml_clear_150x113.jpg

bottle_750ml_green_150x113.jpg


I'm also planning on using synthetic corks for most of the bottles and wooden corks for the dark coloured bottles.
I also plan on using shrink caps.

What do you think? (I would love to hear your opinions that were crafted through experience!)

I know this is a kind of long question, :)
Thanks in advance! :r
 
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jh0330

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How is it coming along?

Hey! Thanks for your interest.
I updated my pictures and added a picture of a small shot glass full.
The entire carboy is crystal clear (the bentonite really did its job!).

I've always taste tested by sipping from the left overs from my test cylinder after gravity readings but I finally tasted it from a wine glass after seeing how clear my wine has gotten. I was able to get a much more of the flavour and smell. The beginning taste was berry-like but a bit thin. I will add more fruit to my next batch. The ending taste made me a bit worried. The ending taste was strong was a bit licorice like? a bit vanilla like? musky smell? I am hoping this is the tannins from the oak powder that was added but I wasn't able to pick up how strong it was without a wine glass. I could also taste the residual sugar. The jugs are still bubbling but very slowly.

Has my wine gone bad?
Maybe my yeast needs some oxygen or nutrients?

my initial SG was 1.116
my current SG is 1.006, and 1.010SG but dropping very slow (two seperate single gallon jugs)
I also have an extra 750mL bottle at 0.990 from racking from refrigerated gathered lees (this one tasted completely dry but bitter - maybe from the lees but this did not have the licorice taste.)
 

barbiek

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I never take any of my fruit wines initial sg past 1.095 but with that being said chances are with that much alcohol It hasn't gone bad like you said a bit thin probably the oak overpowering the fruit and I always test from a wine glass and appropriate wine glass fi: for my big reds I use a big ribbed glass part of the tasting does come from the smells
 

jh0330

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I never take any of my fruit wines initial sg past 1.095 but with that being said chances are with that much alcohol It hasn't gone bad like you said a bit thin probably the oak overpowering the fruit and I always test from a wine glass and appropriate wine glass fi: for my big reds I use a big ribbed glass part of the tasting does come from the smells

Yes I was hoping you would say that.
I was suspecting the oak flavours was the culprit which was overpowering the fruit taste at he end.
I don't think I will ever add this much oak to my berry wines for the future. I think very little if any should be added for the future. I think I can see how this taste will enhance some wines where the taste needs to be rounded a bit but I don't like it in my berry wine. I never expected how greatly a few days with oak can affect the taste!
I suspected this was the flavour as the wine in my jugs look really dark -almost black.
I read that with time the oak flavour will neutralize a bit and will enfuse itself better with time. I am hoping for this as the oak flavours are much too strong at the moment.

I agree that I should always use a proper wine glass for taste testing in the future. I also agree that my wine is a bit too high in abv content but hopefully after back sweeting it should be fine.

I hope with a bit more time the taste improves much more.
 

barbiek

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Hey jh just went over your initial post never use salt water. rinse, drain, freeze that's enough to kill those buggers! Bowl of water mixed with a little kmeta for the rinse is what I do, shake off extra water, bag then freeze some people even skip the rinse depends if your fruit is solid enough to handle it. I like to add the kmeta to prevent browning when dealing with lighter colored fruit. Your first wine you learn a lot! And I'm so bad bout reading the whole thread but has anyone mentioned an fpack? Just make sure your wine has gone dry and you add sorbate before adding the f pack I think adding a f-pack will make a world of difference or just pick up some blackberry or even blueberry juice at the store and it will add to the flavor profile hope I helped in some way goodluck!
 

jh0330

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Hey jh just went over your initial post never use salt water. rinse, drain, freeze that's enough to kill those buggers! Bowl of water mixed with a little kmeta for the rinse is what I do, shake off extra water, bag then freeze some people even skip the rinse depends if your fruit is solid enough to handle it. I like to add the kmeta to prevent browning when dealing with lighter colored fruit. Your first wine you learn a lot! And I'm so bad bout reading the whole thread but has anyone mentioned an fpack? Just make sure your wine has gone dry and you add sorbate before adding the f pack I think adding a f-pack will make a world of difference or just pick up some blackberry or even blueberry juice at the store and it will add to the flavor profile hope I helped in some way goodluck!

yes I agree that the salt water bath was a bad idea... I got the tip from a vegan website... damn vegans!! lol jk
I learnt that freezing and thawing is the way to go.
I think kmeta rinse is a great idea! How much kmeta do you use for rinsing?

I've read on other posts of this "f-pack" but i dont know where to get it. To my understanding, it seems like a concentrate-like juice of some sort. It sounds better than juice and I am willing to try it to get an understanding of what it does.
Where can I purchase these f-packs?
 

barbiek

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You make it yourself fi a lb or 2 of blackberrys simmer with some sugar to your liking, and maybe some cheap Cabernet from the store or blackberry or blueberry juice simmered down with some sugar look at joeswine here to get some ideas I think he adds his upfront to get a higher abv though but you don't want a higher abv hope this helps
 

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