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Old 01-19-2012, 04:07 AM   #1
boomtown25
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Default Please critique my Blueberry Wine recipe!!!!

Experienced in beer making, pretty green when it comes to wine, although I have about 30 gallons under my belt, but I am always wanting to improve myself and my knowledge. I have come across equipment that will allow me to do one gallon batches instead of 5 so I want to experiment a little to make aGREAT blueberry wine, so I have vlutured a little here and there AND have some pretty basic questions as well:

1 gallon batch. I would like a finish of around 13-15% abv. This is what I think would work, but tear it up if need be please:

3 lbs blueberries (I am going to buy frozen and blend in blender)
1 lb golden raisins (chopped)
1 lb sugar
1 campden tablet
enough spring water to top of to a little more than one gallon

My plan is to melt sugar in the water and throw the campden tablet in. I am then going to add the water, and the blended blueberries and chopped grapes into a paint strainer bag and close with a zip tie and add it and the juice from the berries to the primary with the sugar water.

I like my wines to be balanced, maybe a little dry. I like them to have more body on them, so here are my questions:

1. Do I really need pectic enzyme?
2. Should I use acid edition? If so, what ph should I be looking for?
3. With the raisins, do I need yeast nutrient?
4. Finally- I thought about adding a pound of sweet cherries (done the same way as the blueberries). What is the consensus on this- add or leave strictly with the blueberries? Thanks ahead of time peeps!

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:14 AM   #2
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pectic enzyme is mainly to clear the wine so it's not really needed, especially if no pectin is in your recipe. You can use egg shells or even egg whites as an alternative to clear the haze, here is a link with more info on that..

Winemaking: Wine Problems Look under "Colors and Haze"

I would add some acid blend to help with flavor, prob about 1 1/2 TSP per gal. Unless adding the cherries, I believe they contain malic acid already, cranberry may be a better choice since it contains both malic and citric acid. I would just leave out the acid blend if you add cherry or cranberry.

Winemaking: Acidity in Wines

I was about to mention adding grape or apple to help but noticed the raisins... Nice. You can prob get away with using less raisins and blueberries too (2lbs blueberries, 1 cup raisins per Gal)

I would increase sugar to about 1 3/4 LB (total)

Yeast nutrient will help, most wines and mead do not have enough nutrients on there own for a good final product, I've used PDB (Potato dextrose broth) as a homemade replacement, whenever I use PDB fermentation is extremely vigorous, here is a link with info on PDA and PDB, PDB is what you would use, I'd use PDB as 1/4 of your water (1/4 of 7 pints PDB, 3/4 of 7 pints water), this will ensure a healthier cultivation of yeast..

Potato dextrose agar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Here's the recipe I use for blueberry and you can use it to help you with yours...

1 Gallon Batch -

2LB blueberries
1/2 pt red grape conc.
7 pts water
1 3/4 Lbs Sugar (Corn Syrup - personal preference)
1 1/2 tsp Acid Blend
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp energizer
1 campden, crushed
1 tsp (red) wine yeast


Hopefully this will help you out, let us know how it goes

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Old 01-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Thank you so much. That is the exact type of info I was in search of (and thanks for the explanations as well instead of just stating something). I will definitely include your pointers!

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Old 01-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Don't use a blender!!!!!! Trust me. Simply put them in a mesh bag and crush.
+1 especially since the berries have been frozen. Blending them will make a mess and make it hard to get all the pulp out. If you are wanting the ABV to be between 13% and 15% you are going to need more sugar probably closer to 2# especially if you reduce the blueberries and raisons like muph suggested. 2# of sugar in 1 gallon is good for about 10% and the sugars in the fruit should get you the rest of the way there.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:29 AM   #6
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Thanks all, I took everyone's advice and this is what I mixed up this afternoon:

2 lbs blueberries (crushed in paint strainer bag)
12 oz Dark sweet cherries (cruched in paint strainer bag)
6 oz raisins (blended in blender slightly to break up and put in paint strainer bag)
2 lbs of liquid corn syrup (heated this up in some water till boil and dissolved campden tablet in with it.
While warm/hot, poured over the paint strainer bag in 2 gallon primary and juice and mixed up well. Looks great, looks pretty thick and dark (Like I wanted). I plan on taking a SG reading before I add yeast tomorrow and add more spring water if needed to dilute if too high a gravity.

I am letting it sit over night and I will add the yeast tomorrow. (Montrachet)

Next questions:
1. Anyone ever "Oaked" their blueberry wine?
2. Should I cover with bucket lid or clean t shirt for next 7 days while fermenting?
3. I plan on leaving alone once fermentation starts. Should I stir or "press" the paint strainer bag at all while doing my first 7 day fermentation?

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BOTTLED: Bavarian Hefweizen 6/15/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Warrior IPA 6/23/11 (Gone)
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomtown25 View Post
Thanks all, I took everyone's advice and this is what I mixed up this afternoon:

2 lbs blueberries (crushed in paint strainer bag)
12 oz Dark sweet cherries (cruched in paint strainer bag)
6 oz raisins (blended in blender slightly to break up and put in paint strainer bag)
2 lbs of liquid corn syrup (heated this up in some water till boil and dissolved campden tablet in with it.
While warm/hot, poured over the paint strainer bag in 2 gallon primary and juice and mixed up well. Looks great, looks pretty thick and dark (Like I wanted). I plan on taking a SG reading before I add yeast tomorrow and add more spring water if needed to dilute if too high a gravity.

I am letting it sit over night and I will add the yeast tomorrow. (Montrachet)

Next questions:
1. Anyone ever "Oaked" their blueberry wine?
2. Should I cover with bucket lid or clean t shirt for next 7 days while fermenting?
3. I plan on leaving alone once fermentation starts. Should I stir or "press" the paint strainer bag at all while doing my first 7 day fermentation?
1. Yes, but it's not that good. It's really too light to hold up well to oaking, unless you did a very light oaking with light American oak.
2. Yes, cover it to keep out fruitflies and such.
3. Yes, stir twice a day to re-submerge the fruit bag and the cap, if one forms.

Remove the fruit bag and rack to secondary when the wine gets to 1.020-1.010, in about 5-7 days. Then you won't stir anymore, and will top up to avoid any accident oxidation.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:38 AM   #8
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Yooper: Any suggestions on what to top it off with? I know it won't take much, but I want to keep it as "pure" to the original as possible. I anticipate having a little left over after filling my 1 gallon carboy that I could still ferment out and top with but do not know what type of vessel I could use to continue fermenting the extra without oxygen spoilation....

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:40 AM   #9
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Yooper: Any suggestions on what to top it off with? I know it won't take much, but I want to keep it as "pure" to the original as possible. I anticipate having a little left over after filling my 1 gallon carboy that I could still ferment out and top with but do not know what type of vessel I could use to continue fermenting the extra without oxygen spoilation....
I just stick "extra" in a sanitized wine bottle or a growler with the correct sized stopper and airlock. A growler/jug uses a #6 stopper, while beer bottles and wine bottles use a small one, I think #3 or #4.

Otherwise, top up with a commercial white wine.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:43 AM   #10
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Great. The stopper size for a beer/wine bottle was pretty much the question/answer I was looking for. I plan on racking into secondary in 5-7 days and my initial plan was to rack 2 more times after that (1 time for each month). Do you think this is unnecessary? I plan to bottle for aging after 3 months unless you suggest differently.

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BOTTLED: Warrior IPA 6/23/11 (Gone)
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