Wine from Preserves?

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by FunkedOut, Aug 16, 2019.

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  1. Aug 16, 2019 #1

    FunkedOut

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    I have a couple small jars of preserves; one black berry and one blueberry.
    I swear they both have about as much seeds as they do sugar.
    I strained a jar like these one time and ended up just about losing most of it to the strainer.

    New hobby, new ideas.
    The label says 18 servings per jar and 13 grams of sugar per serving.
    My math says right around 1 pound of sugar.
    My math says that in a 1/2 gallon batch, OG will be 1.092.

    I have a crossed hair to dump those jars into a 1/2 gallon mason jar, top up with water, mix thoroughly and pitch some yeast.
    I've got a lid that will take an airlock.

    Any wisdom you could share before I do this would be great.
    I have some oak cubes I can add to the jar.
    I was planning on using those at after clearing, stabilizing and back sweetening.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Aug 16, 2019 #2

    FunkedOut

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    I figure you'd be interested in the ingredient list for each jar:

    Blackberries, sugar, cane sugar, concentrated lemon juice, fruit pectin.
    Wild Blueberries, sugar, cane sugar, concentrated lemon juice, fruit pectin.
     
  3. Aug 16, 2019 #3

    Rice_Guy

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    * Half gallon is awfully small. I would be tempted to do at least a gallon / 4 liter by adding some frozen juice
    * Typical jam has a good slug of pectin, I would double the dose of pectic enzyme.
    * Jam can be liquified in a microwave or low temp stove. Heat will help
     
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  4. Aug 16, 2019 #4

    salcoco

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  5. Aug 16, 2019 #5

    wpt-me

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    I made a jam wine from Smucker's Blackberry, it came out pretty good. Could add some to bulk up yours.

    Bill
     
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  6. Aug 16, 2019 #6

    BernardSmith

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    Half a gallon is indeed a nano wine but it's still about 2 bottles of wine. I've made wine from jam and while I wouldn't send it off for competition it went down well enough. If you made the jam (or the jams were home made) I wouldn't want to add any store bought jam to "bulk up" the volume or the flavors. If these jams were store bought then adding commercial jam to yours is less of an issue.
     
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  7. Aug 16, 2019 #7

    FunkedOut

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    This is the stuff in question:
    https://www.bonnemaman.us/preserves-jellies/?product=614

    It's from France, so it has to make good wine! ;)
    It is really good stuff. The strawberry I could eat a barrel of, but some flavors of them have crazy amounts of seeds.

    @Rice_Guy Good idea on the enzyme. I had not thought of that.
    @salcoco Found Keller process: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request232.asp
    @wpt-me I am new to winemaking, but as far as jellys, jams and preserves go, give this Bonne Maman stuff a shot. It even beats the Smuckers Orchard's Finest, hands down.

    Looks like I'll have to order some pectic enzyme before I kick this off. Maybe some tannin.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2019 #8

    Scooter68

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    Keep in mind that OFTEN Pectin is added to jellys, jams and preserves to hold things together.

    THAT is an issue for wine making because we want fruit to breakdown and particles in the wine to settle out.

    The term pectic haze describes what happens if that pectin is not 'knocked out' or counter-acted with pectic enzyme.

    So before you go making wine from preserves, jelly, or jam or ANY prepared fruit product, check for Pectin in the list of ingredients and be prepared to add a LOT MORE pectic enzyme to that batch.
     
  9. Aug 27, 2019 #9

    FunkedOut

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    Rethinking all of this, I bought 4lbs of frozen blueberries.
    I plan to use the jars of preserves in place of (some) sugar to get the gravity up to 1.090 - 1.100.
    Of course, being a complete newbie, I have some questions.
    I’ve seen several recipes and read quite a few how to’s and there are some steps that seem to conflict and I cannot get a clear understanding.

    1) When a ratio of fruit is called out, like 5 lbs of berries per gallon, what is that referencing? Does that mean 5lbs for every gallon of water added? Or does that mean 5 lbs for every gallon of must (add water to 5 lbs of berries until 1 gallon of must is created)?

    2) Most recipes list citric acid or acid blend. Conflicting with that, most how-to’s say that blueberries are so acidic, you add water to get the pH up to a good level. Should I wait until I have some acid blend on hand to start crushing blueberries?

    I’m thinking of starting out with a real thick must, 4lbs of blueberries and a quart of water.
    Mix in the preserves, that contain concentrated lemon juice and sugar.
    Let that stuff sit in the fridge (37*F) for a few days, stirring here and there.
    Measure gravity and pH, then go from there.

    3) Should I add some Kmeta to this mixture before it sits in the fridge?
    If yes, how much and how long do I wait before warming up and pitching yeast?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. Aug 28, 2019 #10

    Scooter68

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    1) Basically it's "x" lbs per gallon of finished wine -but...You have to plan for volume loss due to pulp/skins that don't break down/dissolve. With a 3 gallon batch of blueberry wine I like to have another 1/3 to maybe 1/2 gallon. With a 3 gallon batch peach wine I need to start at 4 gallons starting volume to end up with 3 gallons finished wine. Sometimes you miss the mark but if you base pounds of fruit on that starting volume as if that's going to be the finished amount - you should still have a solid flavor wine. You may also have some extra beyond the carboy volume and that can be saved and treated just like a carboy (airlock and headspace minimal) in smaller glass container. I have various sizes from 3 liters, 1/2 gallon, 1.5 liter, 20 oz, 16oz, and 12 oz. (Takes a while to find those but it can be done and the are worth having.) Any excess wine can be used to offset volume loss at racking time for the first 2-3 racking. If you've made your wine sufficently strong enough a few ozs of water on the last 2-3 rackings isn't going to dilute the flavor. (Another reason to go heavier on the fruit at first. OR plan on buying or using a similar wine to top off)

    I'm actually starting a batch of blueberry wine this week. Today I crushed and did initial measurements of the 3 gallon batch as follows:

    21 lbs of blueberries = 2+ gallons raw must (Berries mashed in a pot then into 5 gallon fruit/paint straining bag)

    12 drops Liquid Pectic Enzyme
    1/8 tsp K-Meta

    5 lbs White cane sugar Dissolved in hot water before adding

    1 gallon water (Volume before water and sugar 2+ gallons After Water Sugar 3 1/4 to 3 1/3 Gallons)

    SG before adding sugar 1.046

    SG after adding dissolved sugar 1.102 (ABV 14.70% potential)
    (Dissolved in the water I added)
    (Target ABV is 13-14% at bottling time)


    Initial after above additions pH 3.02 (Added 1 tsp Calcium Carbonate - will re-measure pH in the morning)

    The pH is of course too low for starting fermentation. I will try to get it up to about 3.25 - 3.30 before pitching the yeast. I've not had a problem so far starting in this range.
    So tomorrow morning I'll check the pH again and adjust more if needed. Going slowly because I've over adjusted a wine must before and that's no fun to play that game. Fewer chemical adjustments the better.
    Not planning on adding tannin
    Will add yeast nutrient before pitching yeast.

    I personally would NOT add any acid/lemon juice to a blueberry wine must. As you see above blueberries are very acidic to begin with.

    I would not put the must in the fridge
    I would dose with K-meta/1 campden tablet per gallon,
    Cover in your primary fermenter,
    Place in a cool location but not a fridge.
    Since you are using some preserves the pH may be skewed higher than pure blueberries but I would never add acid to a blueberry wine or any wine must until you measure the pH first.


    Morning readings of this batch - provides some indication of how things change:
    SG dropped to 1.096
    pH rose to 3.23

    I then added 1/2tsp more of calcium carbonate. If I can get it into the 3.40-3.60 range - great but even in the range of 3.30 to 3.40 should be fine - that's just the way blueberries are.

    PS - Expect a ton of tiny blueberry seeds - they escape any straining bag and end up everywhere. So don't worry during the first racking from a bucket to carboy. Try to avoid sucking them up but they will get in there to some extent. Give it time. Age a blueberry wine at least 6-9 months before considering bottling.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  11. Aug 30, 2019 #11

    Rice_Guy

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    an example; the blueberry I bought last year was pH 2.83, so grav 1.050, with a TA of 1.32.
    My preference is lots of flavor. To get the TA in range it needed to be cut at least 1:1 to be drinkable. Anything over that is making a commercial wine which is a choice and it seems most recipes go That direction.
    pH acts as a preservative, so I run low. The yeast don’t like less than 3.2 so you have to be above that at least.
    With my preference it results in a strong wine which back sweetens at roughly 1.015, if you like a dryer wine it is an argument for the “normal” 1:4 or 1:5 recipe.
    The dominant acid in blueberry is citric (fairly sharp taste) with roughly 15% quinic . Tartaric gives a smoother flavor, , so acid blend is good. You are starting with no tartaric so you don’t have to worry about potassium complexes acting weird over time.

    You seem to be headed in a good direction.
     
  12. Aug 30, 2019 #12

    Scooter68

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    Checked last night (24 hours after adding yeast) Nice deep purple cap on the bucket. Stirred it well for a couple of minutes making sure to get the bag down into the must and wet everything that was on the surface. Surface was then covered with a nice brite blueberry 'pink' foam. Recovered and tied the cover. Will check today noonish to see what sort of movement we have with the SG.
    At about 1.030 I'm planning on adding more sugar to increase the ABV to make this a Dessert wine. With over 7 lbs of blueberry per finished gallon it will have plenty of flavor and the back-sweetening with certainly bring that out.

    Today I have to crush a batch of peaches once they thaw out(24 lbs). Pectic Enzyme and K-Meta to be added to the bucket as well. Peaches always produce such a pudding consistency.... Thinking about running them through my omega juicer to see what the juice is like then. Will do a test first. This is the first time with peaches that have been frozen for more than a few days (one month plus for these)
     
  13. Sep 14, 2019 #13

    FunkedOut

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    I finally got some time to start this wine tonight.
    I placed the 4lbs of frozen blueberries into a plastic vat that has some volume markings that are a bit generous.
    I added the preserves and enough water to reach the 5 quart mark, which is probably closer to 6 quarts.
    I've measured this before but never wrote down the proper markings; next time.

    I mashed the whole thing with a potato masher along with a campden tablet (K-meta) and stirred it all well.
    Measured an SG of 1.055.
    Added 10oz of table sugar and ended up with 1.087, which lays out and expected 12.8% ABV.
    A little higher than I had calculated (11.5%) but not too far off.
    pH measures 3.33; I'm not going to touch that at all.

    Tastes delicious.
    I'll add pectic enzyme in the morning.
    Tomorrow night, I'll add some yeast nutrient and oak shavings along with the EC1118.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  14. Sep 15, 2019 #14

    FunkedOut

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    The pectic enzyme went in this morning.
    I loaded a triple dose to deal with the pectin in the preserves.
    The package suggested 1/2 tsp per gallon of juice or 1/10 tsp per pound of fruit.
    I used 3/4 tsp as a single dose for the 1.5 gallons of must I have; 2-1/4 tsp altogether.

    This evening, stirred in 1oz of oak shavings and just sprinkled yeast on top.

    I’ll get the nutrients in tomorrow with the first punch down.
     
  15. Sep 20, 2019 at 5:11 AM #15

    FunkedOut

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    I added a second half dose of yeast nutrients at the 1/3 sugar break.
    Tonight, at the 2/3 sugar break, I 'pressed' the berries (fine mesh colander and my hand) and strained everything a couple times (colander and a finer strainer) into a gallon jug with an airlock.
    It fit perfectly and is bubbling away.

    How long can I leave it in this jug after the yeast run it dry?
    What can I use to top it off after racking to another gallon jug? Juice concentrate after stabilizing?
    I've got mason jars and wine bottles but, it'd be nice to just have a single jug.

    After racking, I plan to use some kiel and chito to clear it quicker.
    Would that be better to do after back sweetening?

    Thanks again. You guys have really made this learning curve very quick and smooth.
     
  16. Sep 20, 2019 at 3:31 PM #16

    Scooter68

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    Topping off is a sensitive subject for some. I plan ahead for needing to top off and start with a higher volume. Extra volume goes into smaller glass bottles and get the airlock routine as the full carboy gets. Once I'm out of 'extra' to top off with I use water. Normally a cup or less in a 3 gallon batch of blueberry. Since you are starting with a potential of 12.8% a little water addition isn't going to destroy your ABV. Flavor might take a minor hit if you have to add more than 1/2 cup to a gallon batch. Again that's why I go heavy on lbs/gallon and the ABV - adding some water doesn't hurt my wine flavor at all.

    Once your SG bottoms out and holds for 3 days THEN rack out of that carboy into a fresh carboy. Watch for those tiny seeds so keep that siphon off the bottom until you have to get it down for that last of the 'clear' liquid. Of course once that ferment (steady bottomed out SG) completes and you do that rack, add your K-meta and start the 3 month clock until the next racking time. Blueberry wine for me has always been one of the fastest clearing wines. Normally buy that next racking time I expect to see a very clear wine and the next two-3 rackings are just refining that wine and letting it properly age. Wait no less than 9 months before back-sweetening and bottling and you will be happy with your results. Any sooner and it will still be good but not as good as it can be. If this is your first blueberry and you do as I did - bottle at 4 months - you will find a tremendous difference from that 5 month old wine and that same wine at 12 months or longer. (Remember to wait a month after bottling before drinking.)
     
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  17. Sep 21, 2019 at 3:17 AM #17

    FunkedOut

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    Appreciate that insight. I will be sure to wait that long before back sweetening.
    I'm guessing the longer you give the yeast that's still hanging around to do whatever it is still doing matures the wine for the better.
    Stabilizing early will kill them all.

    For the next racking, I can try water. If it gets too thin, I can add some juice concentrate to build up the flavor some and get some more ABV. Sure, it will start the clock over again on the fermentation, but just a few days to a week.
    Maybe I can add enough to this batch to have left over for future top-offs?

    I was aiming to have a quart left over for topping off, but little experience led to little success.
    So, help me understand this concept for good...

    I used 4lbs of fruit (lets ignore the preserves for this lesson), added some sugar and some water.
    After pressing and racking off the gross lees, I ended up with 1 gallon in the secondary.
    I will lose some of this gallon between now and bottling time.

    Is this recipe considered 4lbs per gallon?
    Or is this recipe considered 4lbs per 'volume at bottling time?'
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019 at 5:09 AM
  18. Sep 21, 2019 at 5:04 AM #18

    Scooter68

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    Yes, ignoring the preserves I'd call that 4 lbs /gallon in speaking of the finished wine. A bit too light on fruit to use water for topping off. You might look into a bottle of a white wine like Riesling to top off. Depending on how much more volume you lose you might not need a great deal more. Blueberries are pretty good that way most of the volume loss is on that first rackintg at the end of fermentation. Possibly consider racking one more time in the next month, then go to racking every 3 months until bottling time.

    You might work on getting more out of your blueberry pulp next time around. My last 3 gallon batch with 21 lbs of blueberries ended up with 3 lbs 2 oz of pressed blueberry 'residue' I have a press that I really cranked down on those blueberries to get that last bit of juice. In fact I used that chunk of blueberries along with 3 cans of White grape juice concentrate to make a one gallon batch of White Grape/Blueberry blend wine. (First time to try that.)
     
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  19. Sep 21, 2019 at 12:39 PM #19

    Rice_Guy

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    Beware of bottle bombs
    At the 6 month time I have had live yeast which can carbonate bottled wine. Usually by 9 months yeast have starved off and are dead. Adding juice concentrate/ letting the ferment start a second time, starts the clock over again. Stabilizing immobilizes the metabolic cycle but doesn’t actually kill the yeast.
    Some folks add sanitized marbles at top off, last small ferment I floated sanitized plastic corks till the volume was filled, there is also a plastic tube bag which can be filled with water to take up any head volume.
     
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  20. Sep 21, 2019 at 4:24 PM #20

    Scooter68

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    Anything other than wine that you add should be:
    1) Well sanititzed
    2) Not given to emitting smells/chemicals that could ruin the wine or even make you sick.

    That plastic tube bag - about the only bad thing that could happen would be if it leaked and then watered down the wine. Not a serious issue.

    It might be to late for this batch but I would seriously look into finding a variety of different size glass containers with a small neck/opening that can be airlocked. Also avoid any metal lids, they don't do well with the acids and alcohol vapors in wine.
     

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