Blueberry wine fermentation trouble? No issues with this batch...

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jgmillr1

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So, I've read a number of posts here where folks report trouble getting blueberry wine to ferment. Given this chatter, I decided it best to run a bench trial before going for a larger batch. I bought 30# of frozen Michigan blueberries and have a small batch going along. I have no idea what species of blueberry they are.

I calibrated the pH meter and measured the juice to be 3.72, with the TA at 4.5. Given these numbers, I added 1g/L of citric acid to increase the TA and lower the pH to a safer level. (The high pH probably explains why I've tasted so many oxidized blueberry wines out there.) I boosted sugar to 21 brix, added pectic enzyme & sulfites and innoculated with properly rehydrated RC212 yeast. I did not add any significant amounts of water. Two days later, the must was down to 14 brix and I added DAP along with some bentonite. Still fermenting like a champ now. Plan to press soon.

Anyway, I've encountered absolutely no problems getting blueberries to ferment which makes me curious as to what problems others have had with blueberry wine. Figured I could share what I did and the numbers I've measured in the must, for reference. I'll give updates as it proceeds.
 

detlion1643

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I've made a blueberry wine once before and had no troubles with a ferment. I used cheapest frozen blueberries (can't remember what store). I did not measure ph nor any other levels except for sugar, and then a little nutrient and energizer. Started somewhere between 1.09 and 1.1 and fermented dry. Back-sweetened to around 1.015ish. It was pretty good if I remember correctly.

I can't remember how many blueberries I used though, but I know I used plenty of water. It still came out good and didn't actually taste very thin as do a lot of my other fruit wines. I am planning on making in the next few weeks again...
 
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jgmillr1

jgmillr1

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Update: Pressed yesterday and yielded about 2 gallons. Poor yield at 15lbs blueberries/gallon but this was hand pressed and a bench trial. Better pressing tools get me to 10-13lbs/gallon usually. Refractometer read 5.5 brix (alcohol is adding to the measurement) which meant it was basically done fermenting. I prefer to track progress with the refractometer rather than the hydrometer.

Noted that a lot of the berries had not been split open by the freeze/thaw/ferment process. Guess when I run a larger batch next time I'll put it through the bladder press and see if I can squeeze out a little more juice. Color is very nice and aroma is fantastic. Figure I'll sulfite it & let it settle, then in a few weeks I'll rack, sweeten, filter and bottle.
 
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