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Old 08-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default Question on blackberry wine volumes

I posted this in Yooper's blackberry wine recipe thread, but it's a lot slower in there, and I'm heading to the LHBS tomorrow and need to know if I need a larger fermenter.

Basically I'm planning on making 5gal of blackberry wine requiring 20lbs of blackberries and 4+gals of water.

My largest fermenter is 8.5gals right to the rim, and obviously I can't completely fill it up. I'm wondering if I need a larger fermenter, or maybe split the batch between two of these 8.5gal buckets?

I have no idea how much volume 20 lbs of blackberries will take up.

Thanks!

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
I posted this in Yooper's blackberry wine recipe thread, but it's a lot slower in there, and I'm heading to the LHBS tomorrow and need to know if I need a larger fermenter.

Basically I'm planning on making 5gal of blackberry wine requiring 20lbs of blackberries and 4+gals of water.

My largest fermenter is 8.5gals right to the rim, and obviously I can't completely fill it up. I'm wondering if I need a larger fermenter, or maybe split the batch between two of these 8.5gal buckets?

I have no idea how much volume 20 lbs of blackberries will take up.

Thanks!
If your fermenter is 8.5 gallons, that's plenty big enough for 5 gallons of wine. Wine doesn't get a big foam on it, although you get a little bit.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:10 PM   #3
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If your fermenter is 8.5 gallons, that's plenty big enough for 5 gallons of wine. Wine doesn't get a big foam on it, although you get a little bit.
Right but the recipe calls for fermenting the berries in the water for 5 days, then straining and racking to secondary. 20lbs of berries in my fermenter could easily take up more than 3gals of space, right?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Right but the recipe calls for fermenting the berries in the water for 5 days, then straining and racking to secondary. 20lbs of berries in my fermenter could easily take up more than 3gals of space, right?
Well, you add the water to the level you need, you don't add the 20 pounds of berries to the water.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:18 PM   #5
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Hmm ok so I'm a bit confused. Here's the relevant parts of the recipe:

Quote:
BLACKBERRY WINE (2) [Medium Bodied Dry] (from Jack Keller's website)
4 lb blackberries
2-1/4 lb granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp acid blend
crushed Campden tablet
7 pts water
wine yeast and nutrient
Pick fully ripe, best quality berries. Wash thoroughly and place in nylon jelly-bag. Mash and squeeze out all juice into primary fermentation vessel. Tie jelly-bag and place in primary fermentation vessel with all ingredients except yeast. Stir well to dissolve sugar, cover well, and set aside for 24 hours. Add yeast, cover, and set aside 5 days, stirring daily. Strain juice from jelly-bag and siphon off sediments into secondary fermentation vessel
This seems to mean to me, I'll take my 20lbs of berries, mash them, add water, sugar, nutrient etc. The amount of water I add is a bit less than 1gal per gal of finished product (7 pints for this 1gal recipe, 8 pints in a gallon). The blackberry juice obviously makes up the extra pint per gallon giving you approx. 5 gals.

BUT then the recipe says to hang the bag full of berries in your fermenter for the first 5 days. This means there's 4+gals of water + sugar + blackberry juice in there (totaling approx 5gals), and then I hang the 20lbs of blackberries in the fermenter as well. This 20lbs of blackberries has a large volume (which is in addition to the 5gals of must) and could easily take up more than the 3.5gals of space I have left in my fermenter.

Am I making sense, or am I totally missing something?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:58 PM   #6
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I just picked about 20 lbs of berries for bb wine, and 20 lbs is a lot of berries, I'm using a ten gallon primary for the job cause I think the berries will displace at least 3 gallons of space or more

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:25 AM   #7
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Thanks, that was what I was wondering... I think I might split the batch between two fermenters. I have a grape wine in one of them but I should be able to rack it to secondary by this weekend.

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:30 AM   #8
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you need to remember the berries are about 70 to 80% juice, first mash the berries up that will reduse the vol. by half, i do 5 gal blackberry batches in a 8 gal fermenter and have no problem, and use 25 lbs of berries. mash the berries up real good ( i put about 3 qts in a gal ziplock bag and squezz all the air out then roll with a rolling pin). then put in bag, place in fermenter and add water to 7 gal, should give you 5 gal and and enough to fill a 2 or 3 liter soda bottle to air lock for top off.
also if you can get some more berries save 7 or 8 lbs in the frezzer for a f-pak when finished, will help the flavor

jim

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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I'm always surprised how little pulp is left after the nylon bag is squeezed out.

4 gallons of water seems like alot for a 5 gallon batch, probably closer to 3-3.5 gal of water.

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Old 08-29-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrum View Post
you need to remember the berries are about 70 to 80% juice, first mash the berries up that will reduse the vol. by half, i do 5 gal blackberry batches in a 8 gal fermenter and have no problem, and use 25 lbs of berries. mash the berries up real good ( i put about 3 qts in a gal ziplock bag and squezz all the air out then roll with a rolling pin). then put in bag, place in fermenter and add water to 7 gal, should give you 5 gal and and enough to fill a 2 or 3 liter soda bottle to air lock for top off.
also if you can get some more berries save 7 or 8 lbs in the frezzer for a f-pak when finished, will help the flavor

jim
Thanks, this is very helpful info.
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