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Old 08-10-2009, 04:41 AM   #1
yeastluvr
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Default Blackberry wine HELP!

I started my first blackberry wine. Picked 25 pounds of blackberrys, mashed and put in fermentor with campden, nutrient, sugar, acid blend. The recipe calls for 4 1/2 gallons water to go with this. I have the mashed fruit in a fruit bag.

The problem is I've only added 3 gallons of the 4 1/2 and its too much for the 7 gallon fermentor to hold. The fruit bag is holding a couple gallons of "stuff" in itself. The recipe says to let it sit 24 hours, add yeast, and after about 5 days rack to a carboy taking the fruit bag out at this time
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Question is can I just let it steep for a day or two without the yeast, then wring out the fruit bag, take it completely out, then add the rest of my water then? Will this affect the taste dramatically? And how much can I expect this to foam up as I've never made this before.....I'm very close to the top.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 08-10-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
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I'm not sure with blackberries but if you ferment the fruit you will get much more out of it than unfermented. The alcohol is a solvent and helps break down the cells so you get more of the cell contents in your brew. I can't see a problem with adding less water now and more after fermenting to fill the headspace in secondary.

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Old 08-10-2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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You have too many ingredients and not enough fermenter. Do you have another fermenter so you can split the batch? Alternately, you could try to squeeze the blackberries but you'll lose a lot of flavor. I don't know that you have many options. Yes, it will foam a lot.

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Old 08-10-2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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I just got finished making 75 gal of Blackberry wine. What I do is I have two 30 gal plastic trash cans..that is used for just wine and blackberries. I run the berries through my crusher and then add water and let sit overnight for light bodied or 4 or 5 days for medium body. Then add the sugar and yeast. Then strain through cheese cloth or jelly strainer as the chesse cloth clogs right away....Then move to 5 gal container. It forms up a lot. My wine has been bubbling away now for 10 days and it drops a ton of lees. Once it stops bubbling I top off with more blackberry wine and let sit for 3 mo. rack let sit for another two mo then back sweeten and bottle...

Hope this helps..

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Old 08-10-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
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I'm leaning towards just pitching my yeast now, stir it everyday, then rack after about 5 days into secondary adding water to make up the difference. I definitely dont like the sounds of losing flavor so I want to ferment it with the fruit bag in. I probably have 2-3 inches of room in my bucket. I assume it will foam over.

If I do this, I will take a hydro reading before I pitch the yeast. I assume there is a way to calculate the difference when I add water later??

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Old 08-11-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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I only made a 1 gallon batch of blackberry, but after 5 days there was almost nothing left in the straining bag, bunch od seeds and a little bit of skins. The flavor is fantastic, i wouldn't want to make it without all of the fruit giving itself up to the wine.

Mine also did not foam more than an inch or so, so you may be OK on that one.

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Old 08-12-2009, 04:30 AM   #7
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Well, I added the yeast last night, left the berry bag in it. I stirred it tonight and was suprised it had not foamed over "yet". It only had about 1 1/2 inches on top and I was able to mix it back into the liquid. My PA is around 14% "due to lack of remaining water" if it ferments to 1.00 but I suspect it will drop below a 1 as I'm using premier cuvee yeast "first try." I'm hoping I dont have to add too much water when I rack it to secondary in hopes I retain around a 13% alcohol in the end. Everything looking good so far!

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Old 08-21-2009, 02:35 AM   #8
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when you add your water later make sure you use distilled water for you want oxidate it ,or you could boil and let cool . not that im an expert but that was what i was told anyway. good luck.

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Old 08-21-2009, 03:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorsmadness View Post
when you add your water later make sure you use distilled water for you want oxidate it ,or you could boil and let cool . not that im an expert but that was what i was told anyway. good luck.
You don't have to worry too much about that. If you're not adding much water, the little bit of oxygen it might have in it isn't a problem. It's more of a problem if you splash when you pour the top up water in, whether the water is boiled or not. Splashing will quickly aerate the wine, and lead to oxidation. So, the key really is very gently adding top up liquid.

If you don't want to add water, you could add wine to it. The usual instructions say to top up with a "similar" wine. For dandelion wine, I might add a sauvignon blanc, for example, so I don't water down my wine. Well, nothing commercial is usually very similar to blackberry wine so I usually make extra must all along, and keep it in a sanitized growler with a stopper and airlock, and use that for topping up. Again, add water you add gently, as to not splash. You can kind of pour down the inside of the mouth of the carboy, so it flows down gently.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:48 AM   #10
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Well, in the end I didn't have to add as much water as I thought I would have to. The berries must have had more juice in them then I thought. I only had to add 1/2 gallon of water "recipe called for 1 1/2 more" to get my 5 gallon carboy and a 1 gallon jug pretty close to the top. Wow, I am impressed already with the taste. It tastes more like red wine then I thought it would and its early yet. I'm looking forward to this one!

Now my plum wine I just started.......eewww......I'm not sure about this one.

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