It's strawberry season here in Virginia and I'm planning to make a 5 gallon batch of Strawberry Wine. I'm just looking for some suggestions and hints from people who have made strawberry wine before. Here's what i'm planning to do...
-15 to 20 pounds of strawberries
-3 gallons of spring water (or enough to fill my 6.5 gallon fermentation bucket)
-1/8 or 1/4 tsp Sodium Bisulfite
-20-25 drops of liquid pectic enzyme
-1 pkg of Red Star Yeast
-8 pounds of Sugar or enough for sg of 1.075-1.085 11-12%
-1tsp wine tannin
-8 tsp acid blend to about .60% tartaric
-5 tsp yeast nutrient
From what i've read online it suggest that I do the following...Clean and chop the strawberries and add the Sodium Bisulfite, acid blend, wine tannin and enough water to cover the strawberries into my primary fermenter. Let this sit covered with a towel or leave the lid loss for 24 to 48 hours stirring every 8 hours or so. Then add the sugar, water, yeast and yeast nutrient then cover again for 7 to 10 days. After a week or so in the primary siphon into my secondary glass carboy and attach an airlock and let sit and ferment for about a month. Then start the siphon until clear process using another glass carboy.
I have experience with mead making and my question is, should I put strawberries into my secondary. It seems like it'll be a big waste of money to just use the strawberries for 7 days. After the 24-48 hour start should I just add the rest of the ingredients and put an airlock on and wait the month, then siphon into my secondary? I'm looking to get the most out of the strawberries, it seems that it would be best to just add the the yeast, sugar, yeast nutrients and the airlock, and allow it to ferment with the berries the entire 30 days. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!