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BarrelMonkey

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@ChuckD - I used fresh elderberries. Like you, I'm sure a few of the tiny stems made it into the mix though I tried my best to remove them. There was a little green goo tideline on my primary fermenter, but not a huge problem.

@hawkwing - Pre-fermentation I measured TA 6.15g/L, pH 3.38. My post fermentation measurements were 8.8 and 3.31 respectively, though I did not degas my samples so this may be a slight overestimate of TA/underestimate of pH
 

ChuckD

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Today I racked the wild grape after 9 days in the WI deep freeze. I put it in the garage covered by a large box. After two days the wine was at 27.2 degrees. From there it slowly warmed to 36 degrees today. There was a very thin layer of crusty wine diamonds on the bottom of the carboy. The cold treatment definitely took some of the edge off. FG is 1.004 so I may be able to get by with no back sweetening.

It was in a six gallon carboy and I racked to a five with almost three quarts leftover. I added a medium toast French oak spiral and set a reminder on my phone to check it in three months.
 

Jonboy6692.ja

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Below from left to right: wild grape- beet - elderberry
View attachment 86126
the wild grape and elderberry are 4 months old and the beet is 5 months. I gently stirred the top half of each carboy with the end of my big spoon then took a sample with the wine thief.

I really need to get together with some experienced vintners or take a class because I just don’t have the language to describe what I was tasting. I’ll give it a shot:

Wild Grape - when I put it in the cellar it was harsh (acidic) with a VERY strong foxy smell. The foxy smell has decreased considerably. You need to stick your nose in the glass to really experience it where before it filled the room whenever you manipulated the wine. It’s still very acidic. I needed to add almost 1/2 t of sugar in 4 oz to hide the acid and that made it way too sweet, like alcoholic “Welches grape jelly”. I’m going to cold stabilize then oak for another three months.

Elderberry - this one still has that rank smell but less pronounced than before. I don’t know if elderberry has a lot of tannin but this one seems to. I have to say that otherwise it seemed pretty flabby. After initial tasting I added it to the leftover wild grape (2 parts sweetened grape to 1 part unsweetened elderberry) and it was much better than either one alone.

Beet - this one was the big surprise. Five months ago it tasted like vodka soaked beets with a dash of dirt. You can still smell the beets but they do not overpower the taste. Even dry the wine was very pleasant with a well rounded taste and a good finish. Maybe it could use a little tannin. Otherwise I think with another few months of aging this is going to be really good! I will note the recipe did say it would need a year to fully mature.

Overall, a few months in bulk has improved all three wines. This whole patience thing is very foreign to me. Luckily spring is almost here and establishing the new vineyard along with the regular garden work should help divert my attention.
I have mixed wild grapes with Welch's grape juice. It was delicious after 5 years.
 

Jonboy6692.ja

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@ChuckD - I used fresh elderberries. Like you, I'm sure a few of the tiny stems made it into the mix though I tried my best to remove them. There was a little green goo tideline on my primary fermenter, but not a huge problem.

@hawkwing - Pre-fermentation I measured TA 6.15g/L, pH 3.38. My post fermentation measurements were 8.8 and 3.31 respectively, though I did not degas my samples so this may be a slight overestimate of TA/underestimate of pH
Chuck, that green tar is terrible. Your primary fermenter will be stained forever but will do no harm.
 

Jonboy6692.ja

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Excellent test!

All the wines are young, very young. The 1 year mark will produce amazing changes.

Put a gallon of the wild grape in the fridge for 2 weeks. That may drop acid. If that isn't enough, it's a candidate for chemical acid reduction.
Cream of tartar is what settles out in crystal form on the bottom of the refrigerated jar.
 

Khristyjeff

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The universe is obviously telling you to make beet wine. It is still very young but I’m already surprised by how good it is. And the color is like a ruby. I know some people will boil the beets then use them and ferment the juice. I chopped the beets int 1/4” cubes, cooked them soft, then included them in the must.

I know I planted two varieties but only have leftover seeds from Detroit Dark Red. Personally, I would stick with dark red varieties
@ChuckD My beets are ready to go! Did you peel your beets before dicing them and cooking?
 

Khristyjeff

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I scrubbed them and cooked them first, then diced them with the skin on. I used the beet cooking water as well. Not all of them were cooked through as well as you would for eating them.
Thanks for getting back with me @ChuckD.
It appears you followed the Jack Keller recipe that included oranges and lemon. Wondering if the citrus adds any citrus flavors or does it simply add acid and perhaps soften the taste of beets? I found a recipe from Mary's Recipes that is much more basic (no citrus, just additives). Wondered if you had any thoughts?
 

ChuckD

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It appears you followed the Jack Keller recipe that included oranges and lemon.
Yep. From his “Home Winemaking” book. I can’t say if the lemons and oranges add any citrus taste to the wine… it’s the first time
I made it. I did have to add even more citrus acid to get the pH in an acceptable range.
 

ChuckD

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3 MONTHS LATER…..

Wow. What a difference! Three months ago the wild grape was harsh and still very foxy so I cold stabilized it and added a medium toast French oak spiral. Sampled again today and It was much improved. The oak added some complexity and it is much fuller bodied now. There is still some residual harsh taste but I think that’s just the high alcohol content (I think my high alcohol wine phase is over already). A little foxy aftertaste but not overpowering. I think by this fall it may be ready. It has enough residual sugar that no back sweetening will be needed.

The elderberry smells and tastes like elderberry but it’s still thin. I’m wondering if oak may help here as well.

The beet is wow. Full bodied with a cherry scent and a little beet scent following. It still has a faint beet taste but no harsh aftertaste at all. Still the most beautiful ruby red color too.

All three wines were dosed with k-meta and air locked. I’ll revisit them in the fall.

Question… I screwed up and double dosed the elderberry with k-meta. Should I skip the scheduled dose on that one this fall when I sample again and maybe bottle?
 

VinesnBines

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Try blending some of the wild grape with the elderberry, that might add some body. Oak will help by you may need some Liqu-gum or glycerin. I have not tried the glycerin but I do use Liqu-gum from MoreWine. It adds body. Finishing tannins may be needed too. I understand elderberry needs an acid blender like Concord to perk it up.

I'm not the expert on k-meta so someone else can help there. I'm not good on keeping it on a schedule and I often forget to add it at bottling.
 

Hazelemere

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Am tasting 2020 Raspberry wine right now at specific gravity 1.012 sweetened with corn sugar dextrose, sorbated and sulphited. This is made from my own 3 types of organic raspberries which include Meeker about 5 miles north of Blaine Washington on a south facing hill. This is stored in a walk-in computerized air conditioned wine cooler. The recipe uses 6 lbs frozen raspberries with 3 lbs of cane sugar and Bayanus yeast. I don't add anything else. I let the berries thaw with sugar on top and never heat them. After 2 days I earlier1 Imperial gallon of water (160 fluid ounces) and ferment with Lalvin Bayanus 1118 yeast. This recipe came first out of 200 wines 2 years in a row at the Salmon Arm fall fair as judged by professional wine makers. My wife and I make juice out of the early season raspberries and save the late season raspberries for wine because they are sweeter and less tangy than the later ones. I like to minimize sweetening as much as possible. This year I'll make at least 15 bottles ~12 lbs berries. PS I press the must through a stainless steel meshed pneumatic grape wine bladder press to take out the seeds at about 1.040 to .1050 SG having started at ~ 1.090. I hate too much seed tanning in fruit wines.

Here is Meeker


PSS The wine now 2 years old and aged in a cooler is fragrant and well balanced. I have 3 1/2 bottles left having giving a lot of it away to my relatives and friends. It tastes like it could easily age another 5 years in my cooler without losing its fragrance and flavour.

PSSS

These raspberries also make delicious fruit port when mixed with wild blackberries, dried Oregon elderberries, medium toast American oak cubes and Chambord, Bols Cherry or French Cassis liqueur.

PSSSS

Finally they are good mixed with apple wine or apple mead (cyser - apple juice sweetened with unpasteurized honey) to make Raspberry Apple wine.
 
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Hazelemere

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Raspberry Cyser Melomel 2020

Same raspberries as above. Wine made without sweetening with dextrose. Cyser is made from ground and pressed organic Russet, Cox and King apples (using an electric motor Italian grinder from Bosa Grapes, Burnaby, BC) from my property ( 2 1/2 trees) spiked with unpasteurized blueberry blossom honey to SG ~ 1.085. then blended 50/50 to make a dark rose at SG. I.004. I racked the cyser 6 days into ferment from Lalvin Bayanus 1118 yeast into a pail with a plastic tri-pod stirrer on the end of an electric drill with bentonite slurry to remove protein from the wine. This is sweetened to SG 1.004 with unpasteurized blueberry blossom honey.

Here is what it is like now out of a computerized 57-59 degree fahrenheit cooler after 2 years.:

dropped a line of sediment on the side of the bottle (ellagic acid from the raspberries? or protein from the apples? or both)
very fragrant - honey, russet, apple - the smell is excellent
rich balanced - honey and russet flavour is dominant but the flavour is good.
This has a long aftertaste.

I have a fair bit of this and will probably make it again but leave it in carboys for up to 2 years to eliminate the sediment since I grow all of the ingredients except for the unpasteurized honey to make it.

As a rose this is pretty good so I think I'll make it again when I run out of my current stock which could take the next 5 years.

PS If I shake the bottles vertically, the sediment drops quickly.

There is no sediment in the wine I'm tasting. I think that it could be very good over the next 5 years in spite of the bottle deposit which is easily decanted.

Next time I'll probably increase the raspberry content to make it even more complex.
 

ChuckD

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Try blending some of the wild grape with the elderberry, that might add some body. Oak will help by you may need some Liqu-gum or glycerin.
I did blend the grape and elderberry sample and It was a big improvement for the elderberry but not as much for the grape. I may yet blend them in the end. My other thought is to make some rhubarb wine ( I have 35 lbs in the freezer) and blend it with the grape. Might make. Nice rose wine.
 

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