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Old 09-02-2011, 03:31 AM   #1
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Default Foam on top of a batch of Blackberry wine

Oh my third batch of blackberry wine, and this one just went into secondary fermentation two days ago. It looks very different from the first two, though in that about 2 inches of foam have accumulated on the top of the wine.

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I'm used to seeing it bubble, but this is the first time I've seen a batch accumulate that heavy foam like that. Is that anything to worry about?

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:10 AM   #2
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Looks good. Relax.

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:11 AM   #3
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What ^^ said, looks similar to how my blackberry wines often look...

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Old 09-02-2011, 05:42 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.

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Old 09-02-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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Yes and the pulp in mine often stays on top for two mo. then drops...it is fine..

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Old 09-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #6
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It looks active, but once the fermentation slows down make sure you rack it to a smaller carboy so that there is no headspace! Otherwise, it looks fine for now. Whatever is in the left carboy has WAY too much headspace- I assume you'll combine them both to top up?

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Old 09-02-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
It looks active, but once the fermentation slows down make sure you rack it to a smaller carboy so that there is no headspace! Otherwise, it looks fine for now. Whatever is in the left carboy has WAY too much headspace- I assume you'll combine them both to top up?
This is actually one of many lessons learned for my first season of doing this. (Just moved up to the Pacific Northwest from CA this year. The unbelievable bounty of wild blackberries with nobody interested in them is what got me started thinking of making my own wines/brews). I started with just a recipe, and bought the equipment like the carboys off of craig's list as I got close to needing them. So not everything matched.

The two batches are over a week apart in fermentation stage, and the berries are at a little different stage of ripeness when I started.

But what I'm hoping is the saving point of this is that the recipe I found when I started called for adding 1/3 of the sugar when primary fermentation began, 1/3 of the sugar when moved into secondary, and the last 1/3 after racking. If I understand the concern over headroom, it is about the possibility of oxidation (correct me if I'm wrong anywhere - I'm a novice). Adding the sugar in the different stages causes the fermentation to get pretty vigorous just after putting into the carboy, and I hoped pushed the oxygen out at the beginning of each stage. I think I'm pretty much committed to that for the second and third batches (first batch is a 1 gallon batch), so I'm really hoping that's right. But again, correct me if I'm wrong in my assumptions.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #8
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You would be better off picking the blackberries and freezing them until the end of the season and make one big batch that will fill the carboy, instead of all a bunch of smaller batches that risk oxidization.

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:36 PM   #9
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You would be better off picking the blackberries and freezing them until the end of the season and make one big batch that will fill the carboy, instead of all a bunch of smaller batches that risk oxidization.
True, and goes along with the LL (Lessons learned). Availability is not the problem for me, though. We had days where we picked 5 gallons of berries in about 2 - 3 hours (there really are that many around here, and after they're picked, you still can hardly miss them). Once berry season gets into full swing, you can do that pretty much every day and not get more than 4 - 5 miles from home .

My problem was i started with an idea, and at the time didn't even know what I needed to research. From the idea, I got a recipe. I still didn't know what I needed to learn, but carried through as much to learn as to actually get the wine this first time. I still have bags and bags frozen, though .

But it's a good point not just for me, but for anyone else who may be like I was a couple of months ago, but who may have the good fortune to come across this site before they get as far along as I did.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:43 PM   #10
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I know all about how many blackberries there are in the PNW. lived here all my life, and picked my fair share, it really is nice having that resource....

Good luck with the rest of you batches.

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