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Old 08-19-2013, 12:53 AM   #1
chickabeelane
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Default Fresh squeezed blackberry juice

I am making my own blackberry juice for my mead. If I am doing a gallon batch, do I need to come up with a gallon of juice, or can I thin it somewhat? I only ask because that's a lot of blackberries!

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Old 08-19-2013, 03:16 AM   #2
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Hum ?

S' pose if you were making exactly mimicking a wine then yes a gallon of juice would be needed........

But.......

With any country wine, its generally X amount of fruit to Y amount of water isn't it.

Most recipes I've read suggest 3 or 4lb of fruit in the gallon so I'd have thought it depends on your juice making method........

Crushing and spinning in a centrifugal juicer would keep the juice fresh tasting, as would crush/press.

You'd likely need a bit more weight to counter-act not having skins or pulp to ferment on for concentration of colour/flavour.

Centrifugal extraction also runs the risk of damaging the pips and imparting elements that might cause bitterness. ....

Steam extraction would work but equally will it affect the flavour of the juice through the heating ? It'd certainly bring about the need to use pectic enzyme......

So while I'd guess you should be able to get enough juice from something like the 4 to 6 lb of fruit depending on the above, I still prefer to use the whole fruit and then strain or rack it away........

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Old 08-19-2013, 03:26 AM   #3
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That escalated quickly.

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Old 08-19-2013, 03:30 AM   #4
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That escalated quickly.
?
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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If I hadn't been on my phone I'd have added a at the end.

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Old 08-19-2013, 02:55 PM   #6
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I don't think you would need a gallon of the juice. You'll have to take into consideration that you may not need that much juice depending on the starting gravity you are aiming for. I don't know the recipe you intend to use or how sweet you intend to make it. But as an example, 3 pounds of honey and blackberry juice to 1 gallon might end up being too high of a starting gravity. Before you mix everything together, get a gravity reading of just the juice so that you can plan/ballpark how much honey to add. OR, maybe mix 1/3 gallon or 1/2 gallon of the juice in with your X amount of honey, take a gravity reading and make additions with juice or water as needed to make the full gallon. Just to be on the safe side. Just my .02

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Old 08-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Fatbloke,

That's funny you should mention about the pips, because I ran the berries through the juicer so that I wouldn't have to worry about the seeds, but I didn't think about the fact that they might get ground up in the centrifuge.
So it would be better just to use mashed up fruit and rack it off?

Has anyone tried using just juice?

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Old 08-20-2013, 06:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chickabeelane View Post
Fatbloke,

That's funny you should mention about the pips, because I ran the berries through the juicer so that I wouldn't have to worry about the seeds, but I didn't think about the fact that they might get ground up in the centrifuge.
So it would be better just to use mashed up fruit and rack it off?

Has anyone tried using just juice?
Well, equally if you mashed too much you'd likely still find racking a pain, as the flesh debris can be a bit of a bugger too.

I'd suggest that you just got whatever weight you think best (guidance from wine recipes etc) rinse the fruit in sulphite solution and shake off the excess wnd then freeze them in 1lb lots. Then thaw and add whatever you want according to the method or technique you using (all in primary, some primary some secondary, all in secondary, etc etc).

That way the freeze/thaw should break the fruit cells but still keep the fruit pretty whole and reduce racking issues etc......
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:02 AM   #9
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I'd say if you can get a gallon of blackberry juice you're some kind of genius, or you live close to a big farm . I remember visiting my cousins in OK and there was a place that you paid by the bushel for handpicking your own blackberries. They also had a ton on their land which were AMAZING. You'll want to check brix before you start fermentation and add honey/sugar to bring it up since I'm not sure pure blackberries would have enough sugar for a wine-strength beverage. If you're going to use a lot, definitely freeze/thaw, mash with a potato masher or similar implement, paying attention to cleanliness of course, punching down the cap that forms two or three times a day. Once fermentation had slowed, but not stopped (think 7 days or so) rack off what you can into a clean jug by putting a fine mesh bag over the end of your racking cane. Then, take the berry pomace (goopy pulpy stuff and seeds) and put it into a fine mesh bag and press it into a separate container and ferment it alongside the first runnings. The first runnings should ferment out fine (don't worry about oxidizing, especially with honey added as a fermantable) and the press running will ferment out as well, though there will be more sediment and it may have a slightly different taste. Blend the two after fermentation is complete to taste or not at all, bottle the two separately.

The press run wine is still wine and should not be chalked up to "racking losses" due to pulpy mass. It may have a slightly different taste but it still acceptable for blending or making into table wine/marinade/vinegar whatever. I did this with a big batch of multi-berry melomel and the press-run wine is still very good and came out to about 3/4 gallon of press run goodness out of a 6 gallon batch. Don't worry if you don't have a legit press, a paint strainer or similar fine-mesh bag and a couple of solid surfaces (I used a plate and a bottling bucket with the spigot open) and you can remove the better share of the wine without any problems. With such a small amount I'd just sanitize my hands and a funnel and go to town on it. It's not going in to the free-run wine unless it comes out good anyways so why worry?

Good luck,

p.s. note to self, all blackberry juice mead would be amazing fermented out with a nice Syrah yeast

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