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manicmethod 03-06-2011 06:33 PM

Blueberry wine question
My girlfriend got the idea of blueberry wine in my head and now I must do it.

I'm normally a beer brewer but have made a wine kit and a sweet and dry mead.

Looking for recipes it seems like there is always a significant amount of sugar. I'd like to avoid just dumping pounds of sugar in. Is that the normal way to get the gravity up?

I was thinking about buying some blueberry juice that doesn't have preservatives (I'm told Trader Joes has some), probably 5 gallons. Then I was going to take a couple pounds of blueberries and freeze them to add those in, along with some pectic enzyme.

Do you guys think the gravity would still be too low? If so I was thinking about adding blueberry honey to get it up.

I also would like some residual sweetness. It looks like a lot of people back sweeten. I used the sweet mead yeast when I made mead to leave residual sugar and it tasted great, is there a particular yeast that works at these gravity levels or will back sweetening be the only choice?

Golddiggie 03-06-2011 06:42 PM

What ABV level are you looking to ferment to? I would take a SG of the juice, then adjust it as needed with the honey to get your target OG... I would also use a yeast that will ferment fully, but leave a touch of sweetness in the must. If you're looking for more medium, get the FG to hit 1.006-1.015...

The yeast strain you pick will determine how high you need to make the OG... If you use something like Lalvin D47 (14% tolerance), then plan the brew around that. Figure it will either tucker out at ~14% leaving some sweetness left, or plan for it to go dry (.998-.995) at ~14% so that you can back sweeten a little to get it where you want.

Just be careful with back sweetening, to not do too much too soon. Very often if you back sweeten to exactly where you want it now, in 6-12 months it will be too sweet as it ages.

manicmethod 03-06-2011 07:14 PM

Is there any way to tell what the gravity contribution from the frozen blueberries will be?

Golddiggie 03-06-2011 07:17 PM

You can use the calculation tool from the got mead website... You'll need to enter the weight of the berries you intend to use...

captianoats 03-06-2011 08:27 PM

This recipe came from jack kellers website. I made it last summer with fresh blueberries. Bottled it this weekend, and it turned out fantastic!!! I see no reason why you couldn't use frozen berries, just thaw and procede with the recipe once they're room temperature. This is a 1 gallon recipe, but you could easily adapt it up to any size you want.

* 2 lb. blueberries
* 1 lb. raisins
* 2 lb. granulated sugar
* 1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme
* 1-1/2 tsp. acid blend
* 1/2 tsp. yeast energizer
* 1 gallon water
* crushed Campden tablet
* wine yeast

Bring water to boil, then set aside. Wash and crush blueberries and put in primary fermentation vessel with all ingredients except yeast. Add hot water and stir to dissolve sugar. Cover well and allow to cool to 70-75 degrees F., then add yeast. Stir daily for 5-6 days or until specific gravity is 1.040. Strain out fruit pulp and press. Siphon into secondary fermentation vessel and fit fermentation trap. Rack in three weeks and again in three months. When wine is clear and stable, rack again and bottle. Allow a year to mature. Improves with age. [Adapted from Stanley F. Anderson and Raymond Hull's The Art of Making Wine]

mmadmikes1 03-06-2011 08:28 PM

The sugars in the berries vary always. Adding sugar to get sg up is not a bad thing, it ferments easier than honey and blueberries ferment hard also. The sugar is not there when done any way, its alcohol now. I make must with frozen berries by pouring boiling water over them after they thaw. add pectic enzymes and allow to set for 24 hours. Some people add K-meta at this point I believe the boiling water does the trick. It is your choice. I then set SG at 1.085 using sugar. It is in reality a little higher because of sugars still in fruit. If you want a little honey taste backsweetin with honey. Blueberries need a little sweetness of they loose their flavor. I usually make an F-Pac with honey. If you are going to backsweetin you need to stabilize with Sorbate and K-Meta. I add F-Pac the day after adding them. and add fining a week later

manicmethod 03-06-2011 08:28 PM

Well.. http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg616/sca...=640&ysize=640

I'll try this :) The dried blueberries have sunflower oil in them, will that mess something up? I saw several people saying they use raisins in wine, do they have oil in them too?

oldmate 03-06-2011 08:43 PM

Raisins usually have vegetable oil in them, to get rid of it I usually let them sit in some hot water and then pour it out before I do whatever I need to do with them. In any case, the oil will float to the top and you will be able to rack from under it.

mmadmikes1 03-06-2011 10:37 PM

you can skim most oil off as you go BTW I find Keller never uses enough fruit

manicmethod 03-07-2011 01:31 AM

So I'm planning on using wyeast sweet mead yeast. I had good luck with it making a nice sweet mead with enough residual sweetness that I don't think I'll need to back sweeten. The sweet mead OG was 1.114 though so I don't know how it will do with a lower OG

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