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Old 08-25-2010, 02:21 AM   #1
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Default Wild Berry Blend Wine

I've been scavenging around the creek by my cabin this summer to gather as many varieties of berries as I could. I drove around the country roads and found chokecherries, and I waded up and down the spring fed creek to find elderberries and wild grapes. I caught the chokecherry harvest too early, so could only get so much. By my next visit, they were done. Also, the birds beat me to most of the elderberries. So, I have a little of this and a little of that...but thought I'd make a wild berry blend.

Here's what I've got in the freezer:

6.75 lbs of chokecherries
2.25 lbs of elderberries
1.75 lbs of wild grapes
-----
10.25 lbs of fermentable fruit!

I've seen various recipes for elderberry wine, notably one from Jack Keller. Yooper recommended me what looks to be a good chokecherry recipe. But since I've never made wine before, and I'm willing to bet nobody's posted a blend recipe of this sort, I could use some advice on how to put this blend together.

Should I add sugar? Grape concentrate or other extract? What's a good yeast, and should I do a yeast starter (since I always do for beer)?

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Old 08-25-2010, 02:37 AM   #2
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I found this recipe on Jack Keller's website, perhaps I'm only in for a 1 gallon batch with my limited fruit??

RIVERSIDE GRAPE WINE
Makes 1 Gallon

* 10 lbs Riverside Grapes
* 1-1/2 to 2 lbs finely granulated sugar
* water to top up (about 1-1/2 qts)
* 1 tsp pectic enzyme
* 1 crushed Campden Tablets
* 1 tsp yeast nutrient
* Montrachet wine yeast

Pick the grapes when fully ripe or just past ripeness. Wash, destem and crush the grapes in primary fermentation vessel. Add 2 qts water, stir and strain enough juice to float your hydrometer. Measure specific gravity and return juice to primary. Add sugar to bring S.G. to 1.088 (dissolve sugar in boiling water at ratio of 2 parts [by volume] sugar to one part [by volume] water, stir until dissolved, allow to cool to room temperature, and then add to primary) and stir with wooden paddle. Add crushed Campden tablet, stir, cover primary, and wait 12 hours. Add pectic enzyme, acid blend and yeast nutrient, stir, recover, and wait additional 12 hours. Add yeast and recover primary. Punch down the cap twice daily for 7-10 days (until S.G. is 1.010). Strain and press grapes and pour juice back into primary. Top up to one gallon with water containing enough dissolved sugar to obtain a specific gravity of 1.088. Cover and ferment 2-3 days (until S.G. drops back to 1.010). Rack into secondary and fit airlock. After 30 days, rack into sterilized secondary, top up and refit airlock. Rack again after two months and again two months after that. Stabilize and wait 10 days for dead yeast to fall, then rack into bottles. This wine can be consumed immediately but will improve with age. [Author's own recipe]

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Old 08-26-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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since i'm not getting any responses, i'll see if i can articulate some specific questions:

1. how do i get more than a gallon of wine, while still using the fruit? can i do this with grape concentrate? a wine grape extract? just adding more sugar?

2. do you have any recommend any particular concentrates or extracts? I know Alexanders makes a few wine grape extracts in a can like their LME (e.g. pinot noir, merlot, etc).

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Old 08-28-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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1. Adding more sugar will just make it drier and higher ABV, but no flavor.

White grape (usually from niagra grapes) and even apple juice can be a very neutral but flavorful base to add berries to for a berry wine. That would enable you to get more volume, just don't go too thin or it won't be a "berry" wine anymore at all. At least 3 pounds of fruit per gallon maybe.

2. An actual wine concentrate might yield better results than my above suggestion. Your LHBS should be able to reccomend a good concentrate to use as a base that your fruit would complement, just be prepared for a 5-6 gallon batch given the size of those canned extracts, and more $$$.

On the yeast, not a ton of experience myself but I do like Lalvin D-47, and its like 88 cents at my LHBS.

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Last edited by goodbyebluesky82; 08-28-2010 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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do you do yeast starters for wine, or just follow the package instructions?

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Old 08-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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If its dry yeast, just rehydrate with warm water like the instructions usually say. Never had a problem with it.

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Old 08-29-2010, 03:29 PM   #7
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thanks!

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Old 09-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #8
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I ended up using a hybrid of Yooper's chokecherry wine recipe to make a 3 gallon recipe:

6.75 lbs of chokecherries
2.25 lbs of elderberries
1.75 lbs of wild grapes
5 pounds sugar
1 can Welch's 100% grape concentrate
1.4 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp acid blend
3 crushed campden tablets
1 packages of Lalvin's EC-1118

I adjusted the gravity to 1.100

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Old 09-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powers View Post
I ended up using a hybrid of Yooper's chokecherry wine recipe to make a 3 gallon recipe:

6.75 lbs of chokecherries
2.25 lbs of elderberries
1.75 lbs of wild grapes
5 pounds sugar
1 can Welch's 100% grape concentrate
1.4 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp acid blend
3 crushed campden tablets
1 packages of Lalvin's EC-1118

I adjusted the gravity to 1.100

This sounds pretty good. It will definitely take some time to age. Should have some big flavors and turn out nicely. What temp are you fermenting at?
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
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given the cool weather we are having this week, my house is resting at about 68 degrees. With some added fermentation heat, hopefully that will keep it around 70-72.

i have not added yeast yet, i've got a starter going with some of the must. will add it tonight!

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