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Old 09-14-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
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Default Blackeberry wine, what yeast strain to use?

I have now gathered around thirty pounds of blackberries for my wine, now the only question is, what type of yeast to use. I have access to pretty much most of the Lalvin strains at my lhbs, does anyone have a preference?

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:54 PM   #2
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Not really. I know a guys who swears the ONLY strain for blackberry wine is Red Star's Premier Cuvee but I bet that's because he sells it.

I do like Lalvin's 71B-1122 for blackberry wine, as well as K1-V1116. In my last batch, I used EC-1118, and I would be hard pressed to tell you the final differences due to yeast strain in any of those three types, though.

Here's what I found on Jack Keller's site about the strains, and I use this all the time for reference: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:56 PM   #3
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Blackberry are high in MALIC acid, could consider D47 (or 71B-...). But I have used Premier Cuvee and Cotes de Blanc and EC-1118

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:06 AM   #4
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Yes I was thinking 71B-1122 would be a good choice, or EC-1118 wasn't sure if the champagne yeast would destroy the blackberry flavour, also is added tannin necessary for blackberries, or do the berries have enough natural tannin?

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:15 AM   #5
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Yes I was thinking 71B-1122 would be a good choice, or EC-1118 wasn't sure if the champagne yeast would destroy the blackberry flavour, also is added tannin necessary for blackberries, or do the berries have enough natural tannin?
You probably don't want to add tannin. The blackberries have a "bite" already to them. Not tannin, but it might clash with that powdered tannin. You can always add it later to taste if you feel that it's lacking, so I'd be inclined to leave it out.

One thing I think I've mentioned in my blackberry wine recipe (posted under my avatar, on the left <---) is that when I finish it dry, I like to oak some of it. The oaking provides some tannin, but it also provides some vanilla-like notes and depth to it. It would only work in a dry table wine in my opinion, though.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:25 AM   #6
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I love oak in mead, and I'm a scotch drinker, so yes! Thanks for the tip! I was hoping to not use campden because my wife is sensitive, is this a mistake with a wild berry, I was wondering if pouring boiling water over the berries would help to sanitize them? I have rinsed them well and pulled out any moldy berries and all of them are frozen blocks in my freezer, I was hoping to thaw them in their bags, then throw into my ten gallon primary bucket and dump some boiling water onto them, is this a bad idea?

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:29 AM   #7
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I love oak in mead, and I'm a scotch drinker, so yes! Thanks for the tip! I was hoping to not use campden because my wife is sensitive, is this a mistake with a wild berry, I was wondering if pouring boiling water over the berries would help to sanitize them? I have rinsed them well and pulled out any moldy berries and all of them are frozen blocks in my freezer, I was hoping to thaw them in their bags, then throw into my ten gallon primary bucket and dump some boiling water onto them, is this a bad idea?
I think it's a mistake to not campden berries. If she's super sensitive, you may have to forgo it. How sensitive is she to sulfites? I mean, they are naturally present just from fermentation so if she shouldn't drink any wine at all, that is one thing. But if she's not terribly sensitive, you could use sulfite in the very beginning just to sanitize the must, and then not add any more after that.

Sulfites dissipate relatively quickly, that's why it's recommended that winemakers add it at 50 ppm at every other racking and at bottling. Which means by the second racking the sulfites are just about gone, since you add a full dose at that time. Just something to consider! Commercial organic wines can have something like 20 ppm of sulfite, and approximately 10 ppm occurs naturally. Even foods like eggs have something like 6 ppm. Many commercial wines have 100 ppm + of sulfites, while home winemakers typical keep the level at 50 ppm or less. So, you can see that not much sulfite (even added as campden) is in homemade wine. However, if she has a hard time with foods that are high in sulfites (raisins, sauerkraut, aged cheeses, etc) then you may not want to use them. Dark raisins would have about double the sulfite as homemade wine.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:44 AM   #8
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Ok cool I think I will use it once at the beginning then, and see what happens. She can drink a little commercial wine before she has any trouble, so if it's lower then that she will probably be fine. One tab per gallon, is that right?

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:46 AM   #9
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Ok cool I think I will use it once at the beginning then, and see what happens. She can drink a little commercial wine before she has any trouble, so if it's lower then that she will probably be fine. One tab per gallon, is that right?
Yes, that is right, but check the label in case you have a different kind or strength. Most of them provide 50 ppm (or thereabouts) of free So2 in one crushed tablet, but I've seen a couple that vary.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:28 AM   #10
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Ok thanks a lot

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