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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Blueberry wine question
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:11 AM   #11
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That yeast maxes out at 11% ABV... So if you use more sugars than will ferment, it will remain sweet. Do you recall the FG of that batch? Chances are, it was around 1.030...

I wouldn't go that high on the OG since the FG is far into the 'Desert' range. My current traditional batches were approaching 1.020 when I last checked on them. I'd be very happy if they went just a little lower. Chances are, they won't. They'll be at/above 18% at that point, so the yeast is pretty much done.

I would suggest planning the OG based on what the yeast tolerance is. You can always age it some, or add a bit more honey to back sweeten it. It's far more difficult to get it to ferment beyond the yeast's tolerance level. Yeast CAN go beyond their stated tolerance, but usually not by a large amount. It does depend on things like nutrients added to the must, plus temperature the must ferments at. I'd rather plan on the yeast hitting the listed ABV cap, making the GO to allow for a little sweetness. Of course, it does help to have good calculations on what the OG will be before you make the batch, plus good measurements of the amount of honey going in. I have a feeling I went a hair heavy on my first two traditional batches. That's why they're finishing a bit sweeter than I had planned. I won't let that happen next time.

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Old 03-12-2011, 09:42 PM   #12
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Ok, I'm getting ready to do this.

I have 3 gallons a blueberry juice 1.041 SG
4 pounds of frozen blueberries
2 pounds of dried blueberries
6 pounds of blueberry honey


I want to make a 6 gallon batch with a 1.1 OG

I looked around for calculators but can't find something that will tell me what the above will come out to, does anyone know any good resources?

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Old 03-12-2011, 10:27 PM   #13
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I just used the calculator tool from the Got Mead? site... Using orange juice to get a baseline for the sugar level of the blueberry juice, then adding the frozen berries and honey amount, you're going to come up short of the OG goal by a good amount, at 6 gallons total volume. Without knowing the sugar content of the dried berries that is... If they're anything like the dried cherries I have here, they're 1.5oz per serving, with 26g of sugar per serving. Gives you 1248g of sugar, which comes out to being 44oz of sugar... Adding that to the tool, as sugar #4, would get your OG up to ~1.080... To hit your goal of 1.100, you'll want to increase the honey amount (or a sugar) to 9.25#... If you're planning on fermenting just the juice and honey first, that means you'll want an OG of that solution to be about 1.076. I would add the frozen berries later, as well as the dried. That way you'll get more layers of flavor.

If you have access to a refractometer, test the solution after adding the first 6 pounds to see where it's at. Just be sure to give it enough time to mix completely. If you reduce the total must volume to 5 gallons, you should only need a little more honey (6.25#)... Amazing how much difference that extra gallon of must makes...

What yeast are you planning to use with the batch??

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Old 03-13-2011, 05:37 PM   #14
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Wow. right now I'm sitting at 1.070 and not sure what to do.

I have:
2 gallons water
3 gallons juice
6 pounds honey
1 pound sugar

And it looks like there is about 5.5 gallons in the fermenter currently.

I haven't added the fruit but the dried blueberries have about 120g per pound, so they are not nearly as sweet as your cherries.

I'm going to use Wyeast sweet mead yeast. I had good luck with it on a mead (SG on that was 1.114 and the yeast stopped at 1.023 which made for some very sweet mead).

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Old 03-13-2011, 06:43 PM   #15
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That's dead on what the mead calculator gives for a gravity value for those ingredients.

If you added another pound of honey, your OG would go up to 1.076, putting you at ~10.25% ABV for the finished product... Since that yeast will probably tucker out at 11% ABV, I wouldn't go much higher than that. Unless you want a REALLY sweet wine. You can always add a bit more honey to it once things are complete... Just be careful, since if you add too much when it's young, by the time it's had a chance to age a little, it will be REALLY sweet.

I wouldn't make the OG more than 1.090 on that batch... At least initially. You can always add a bit more sweet at the end, if you want. You can't get it to finish lower than what the yeast's tolerance is (sometimes they can finish higher, but the vast majority of the time, you won't get beyond the stated tolerance). Especially when they don't state "approximately" when listing the ABV tolerance.

If you added 1.5 more pounds of sugar (with no extra honey), combining that with the ~1/2# of sugar you'll get from the dried fruit, that will put you up to 1.087 for an OG.

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Old 03-13-2011, 08:04 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the help, I think this will turn out well. Just waiting on my smack pack to inflate and I'll get this going. Should I wait a week to add the berries or less/more time?

This is what I ended up with:

2 gallons purified water
3 gallons blueberry juice (SG 1.041)
6 pounds blueberry honey
2.5 pounds sugar

1.080 5.5 gallons

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Old 03-13-2011, 08:08 PM   #17
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I would wait at least until fermentation has slowed down, or you're closer to the FG before adding the fruit. If you want to add some of the frozen fruit now, you can. I would just reserve a good amount for adding after about 2-3 weeks. Keep in mind, you'll only want the fruit in the must for 5-7 days before racking off of it. If you want to give it a week or two, then add the dried fruit, give it another week, then rack onto the frozen fruit, that could work well... I've only used fresh fruit in my melomel so far...

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:42 PM   #18
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This is one slow fermenter.

I put the juice, sugar and honey in the fermenter on 3/13 @ 1.080 SG

Today it is at 1.042. I suspect fermentation is stuck but I've tried twice (3/16 and 3/22) to put booster and some extra oxygen in.

I put in the dried berries and some pectic to see if it would start back up. I hope there are some viable yeast in there somewhere.

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:50 PM   #19
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I would only aerate until you hit the 1/3 break... So with an OG of 1.080, that would put it to a SG of 1.053... After that, it's hands off until finished. If you didn't give it any more oxygen from when you started the batch, until it hit ~1.053, then that could be part of it. If you didn't give it any extra food, that could be part too.

I will say that my blackberry melomel hit close to it's FG after 10-11 days... I did tend to it until it hit the 1/3 break though... After that, I left it alone except to add more fruit as needed (after racking off the first batch)...

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Old 03-24-2011, 12:33 AM   #20
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Ok, I oxygenated yesterday at 1.042 so I won't do that any more. Hopefully it'll be fine being that I'm still planning on adding a few pounds of fruit.

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