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Old 08-30-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
mgc
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Default NB Maple Blueberry wine

I just moved to New Brunswick, Canada, and to celebrate I am making a wine with two of the biggest products from the province. Now I am typically a mead maker and have never done a maple wine, but I figure the chemistry is similar so why not. I would like some comments before I brew up this batch sometime in the next week or two. Here is the 1Gal test recipe I am working with:
1L of maple syrup
2 lbs of blueberries for primary
2 lbs of blueberries for seconday
1 tsp DAP
pectic enzyme
Yeast, Lat D47 or Lat 1117 (most common two to come across here)

No heat, maybe sterilize the blueberries in vodka first, then save the vodka for later consumption.
everything in primary, but the 2lbs of blueberries for the secondary. With my calculations this should have an OG around 1.110, and a potential for ABV ~14%. Therefore maybe D47 is a better yeast choice for its ability to preserve fruity characters over something like 1117 which could make it rocket fuel if my calculations are off.

Then primary ferment, secondary on fruit, and rack and rack until clear every 2-4 months. I might top up the rackings with some really dry, not overly flavorful, blueberry honey mead I have around. If it works out, I'll do a bigger batch with an extra gallon of pure maple wine going alongside to top up with.

Blueberries are free around here so why not use more, other then dwarfing out the maple. On that note, is this too much blue? I have never used pectic enzyme, so any advice on its use would be great. I plan on freezing the blues first, to break up the cell walls, but isn't that what pectic enzyme does? Any advice on maple grades would be great, my understanding is the darker the more they had to cook it down, and therefore the more caramel/burnt it tastes. The lighter the more woody or sappy it tastes. I want a strong maple flavor to come across, but I don't want it to taste like chewing on a branch of a tree, more like faint memories of snowy Vermont mornings.

Thanks!
-Graham

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
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of course i meant Lalvin K-V1116, not 1117.

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:23 AM   #3
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How does it look so far ? It will probably need a lot of aging ...

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Old 10-27-2010, 04:20 PM   #4
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It looks good. Great deep red/golden hues. I ended up putting 1.5 lbs of blues into the primary and 1 lbs on the secondary. I also added a bit more maple/h2o when I racked because I had a blow out and wanted to top it back off (its only 1Gal so its already in limited supply). I have to say at first racking it wasn't that tasty. I think it will be very tasty in 2 years, but 3 weeks in its not so hot. I also worry about how well I aerated it for the primary. The fermentation (as measured by bubbles per min from the lock) was much slower then I am used too after the initial blow out. After the fruit additions syrup additions there has been little activity, so it might finish really sweat, or is just taking its sweet time to ferment. I figure I will 'forget' about it for at least six months from this point and just let it do its thing. I don't plan on bottling until at least next fall, then maybe a year of aging but I will update when I taste next (mid winter).

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Old 10-29-2010, 12:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgc View Post
I have never used pectic enzyme, so any advice on its use would be great. I plan on freezing the blues first, to break up the cell walls, but isn't that what pectic enzyme does?
Pectic enzyme breaks down pectin, which is a longer chain polysaccharide molecule that can cause some clarity problems. It exists in varying quantity depending on the fruit (and I can't remember off the top of my head whether or not blueberries are high in pectin or not...regardless, all fruit will have some pectin). There's is absolutely NO downside to using pectic enzyme in any fruit-containing brew!

To expand further, pectic enzyme can help break down cell walls to release juice, but a freeze/thaw cycle does a pretty good job. Pectin is one of the major reasons why you shouldn't heat your fruit before adding...heat will 'set' pectin so that as it cools it will form an insoluble matrix (this is how you make jelly/jam...) I'm not sure that even pectic enzyme will break this down.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:19 AM   #6
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I tried a taste today. I have to say it has vastly improved. It's not nearly as sweet as I thought and quite maple/woody combined with a really high alcohol taste. I will do a gravity reading when I go to bottle it in a few months. My guess is at least 14%ABV, but taste this early can be deceiving. I have high hopes for this one with time when the maple and alcohol mellow out.

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Primary: Yoopers not so American Pale Ale
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Kegged: Modified Janet's Brown Ale

Bulk aging: Winter Mead (melo-meth), NB Blue maple wine, and a Traditional mead.
On the shelf/in the fridge: Drank it all :(

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:58 AM   #7
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I'm sorry I didn't catch this when you first started!

The color of your syrup depends not only the boil time, but on inclusions in the sap. As the season goes on, the sap is tainted by bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms. All of these impact (improve) the flavor.

This coming season I am going to trade my cousin in VT 5 bottles of maple mead for the syrup to make 5 gallons.

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Old 05-05-2011, 05:05 PM   #8
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Took another taste of this one. Wow... its coming along nicely. It is still really jet fueled, gotta be super high ABV (although my gravity readings are a mess for this one so I can't be sure). There is still some residual sugar and bubbles coming up between the berries so its not done fermenting. I bet in a year this will be a really nice mead.

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Primary: Yoopers not so American Pale Ale
Secondary: notta :(

Kegged: Modified Janet's Brown Ale

Bulk aging: Winter Mead (melo-meth), NB Blue maple wine, and a Traditional mead.
On the shelf/in the fridge: Drank it all :(

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