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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Salal Wine
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:37 AM   #1
rniles
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Default Salal Wine

Since I haven't read about anyone else actually making Salal wine and posting their work and outcome, I thought I would do so.

A bit ago I picked 4.52 lbs of Salal berries. They are a very dark, black berry, about 1/2 inch long and the flower side looks like bit like a miniature olive with the X where the pit was removed.



I for the most part, I followed the recipe of the famous Jack Keller ( http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/salal.asp) (recipe 1) with a reduction of sugar and acid blend till I test the must tomorrow.

Day 1:

4.52 lbs of Salal berries
1 lb sugar
6.5 pts water
1/4 tsp acid blend
1 crushed Campden tablet
1 tsp yeast nutrient.

I hand picked the Salal berries and when I went through them, I found a few small worms or caterpillars that were about 1/4 inch long ..then I rinsed the berries, trying to ensure there weren't more.

When I took the berries out of the bag, I wasn't so mindful and put the berries in the bucket instead of a mesh bag. ..so I moved them into the mesh back ...then added water and started mashing the berries.

That's when I noticed a few (three actually) more of those wormy things.

Terroir right?

Well I removed them ...AND I know that happens ..with grapes or other fruits, there's bound to be "flavourful additions" - but it didn't make the tasting appealing (never mind the fact that I had eaten a few of these while picking!). If there are more, they are in the mesh bag ..out of sight ..not so out of mind.

But tasted it, I did.

Hard to describe. Definitely a berry flavour - with something else (besides worms (maybe)), a barely perceptible mint taste and "nutty" flavour.

It was good. I liked it. The berries produced a superb dark rich color. Like blackberries.

Although there are these little seeds that are coming out through the mesh. Hopefully they won't be too bothersome.



Will post more tomorrow.

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Old 09-25-2011, 06:38 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this. I will follow this, so please keep us up to date.

This is my first year to be exposed to salal. I like the raw berries ... different from any other berry I've ever had. Somewhat blueberry like, but with an additional flavor that I haven't had in any other berry. I thought about making a wine with them, but I just don't have enough time or equipment to squeeze everything into one year . I want to try next year, and want to know how this turns out for you.

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Old 09-26-2011, 06:10 AM   #3
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Not a problem! It's nice to have something to go with when trying something new ...I have Jack's recipes but not much information from anyone who has actually made it.

OK.

With only 1lb of sugar and 1/4 tsp of Acid blend yesterday, here are my test results:

PH: ...between 2 and 4 ...maybe. PH strips on litmus paper is a pain with dark juice.
TA: .30
SG: 1.050 @ 70 deg (calibrated for 60 deg)

Added:

1 1/2 tsp Acid blend
14oz sugar ..then waited 1 hour with at least a 20 minute stir and then a got a reading of 1.075 ... so I added another 4 oz sugar, the reading is now: 1.090.

Then I added:

1/2 tsp yeast energizer
Montrachet yeast

I will wait until after fermentation to decide if I want to add tannin.

So the final recipe is:

4.52 lbs of Salal berries
6.5 pts of water
2 lb 2 oz sugar
1 3/4 tsp acid blend
1 Campden tablet
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1 pkg Montrachet wine yeast
1 tsp pectic enzyme

There's a surprising amount of flavour with those berries which lacked sugar and acid. Tasting them as I picked them, they were bland. But with the acid and sugar additions, there's a nice berry flavour to them! My recipe has a lot more sugar and acid than Mr. Keller recommended - so be mindful to test. There is also something wrong with my scale ..I need to get that checked ( chart says 2lb 2oz sugar should be > 1.095 ).

Lots of these tiny seeds! I'm hoping they won't become a problem when clearing.

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Old 09-29-2011, 03:51 AM   #4
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Took the skins out on day 3 to finish the primary solely on the juice. Alcohol coming through now and it has a nice taste - very berry like, don't have anything to compare it to though. ..like blueberry wine with something else in there. ...not sure about the smell but the taste is quite good.

I had a chat with another local who had made Salal wine. He said that he likes it and some others like it but those who don't like it, REALLY don't like it.

I'll take a hydrometer reading tomorrow.

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Old 09-29-2011, 05:00 AM   #5
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Wow. I'm really curious to see how this turns out in the end.

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Old 09-29-2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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"There is also something wrong with my scale ..I need to get that checked ( chart says 2lb 2oz sugar should be > 1.095 )"

Well I found out that there's nothing wrong with my scale. Somehow I carelessly added too much water. Which is why I needed much more sugar and acid than I expected. I'm usually not so careless.

On a positive note: it does taste good and is fermenting well.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:18 AM   #7
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Racked into secondary. After all the sugar (taste) the tannins really come out. Quite tannic. Great color.

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Old 11-04-2013, 06:15 AM   #8
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Can I get an update on this? How did it turn out?

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Old 11-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #9
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I can't say I liked it. It was thick, too many berries maybe. I don't even know how to describe the taste - but it was hard getting it out of your mouth. Nobody I had taste it liked it.

I wouldn't let that stop you if you want to try it - apparently some people like it. I did not.

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Old 11-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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Thanks, a little disheartening.

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