Blackberry Wine Question
I haven't called yet but there's a CL ad for machine picked evergreen blackberries for .25/lb. At that price, as long as quality is good, it's not worth it to pick my own.
The only wine specific equipment I have is an 8 gallon bucket and mesh bag. I do have plenty of carboys and fermentation sankeys. I'd like to minimize cost but also minimize finished product loss. Fermentation buckets and mesh bags are expensive and I view them as short term use products. Ingredients are, in this case, cheap. I do have a fruit press "The ultimate fruit press". Kind of a piece of crap but it should help.
The Proposed Recipes:
I'll probably make a total of 30 gallons of wine - both based on recipes off of Jack Keller's website. For a heavy bodied wine the recommendation is 6 lb blackberries, 2 1/2 lb sugar. For a medium bodied sweet I'll use 4 lb blackberries and 3 lb sugar. I plan on using Lavlin 1116 for both. I'll of course use pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient as appropriate.
Crush berries. Add via large funnel to sankey keg. Allow to steep for 24 hours, then add campden and pectic enzyme. After another 24 hours, add yeast and sugar. Allow to ferment for a week or two on the pulp, then siphon to secondaries. Rack thereafter as necessary.
I know I'll be dealing with some clogs and I'll need to leave more wine behind than I'd like but as I understand it at a week of fermentation, there shouldn't be a huge amount of flavor left in the berry pulp. To buy new buckets would cost far more than ingredients, and they'd probably be kinda crappy by next year when I make wine again.
Does anyone have a better idea of how to ferment this wine with the equipment I either have on hand or will cost a minimal amount of money? Recommended siphoning technique? Would I be risking implosion of glass carboys if I used a vacuum pump (from foodsaver) to assist transfer of must/ wine? I may use a second sankey as a secondary and use glass for tertiary and beyond. If I NEED to I can probably aquire a couple brute trash cans, but they aren't air tight and we have pretty bad ants 'round here and they STINK so even one getting in would probably ruin the wine.
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