had to move it to secondary too early

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Aug 20, 2009
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My primary fermenter doesn't have an airlock - it's just a bucket with a not-tight lid. (Similar tightness to a garbage can.)
I started a white-mulberry and dried-elderberry wine in it, here's recipe and the time line:

Recipe: 3kg of white mulberries, 100gr dried elderberries, water and sugar to make it up to 8 liters with a SG of 1.071. Also acid blend in accordance with my acid testing kit, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrient.

Day 1: fruit and a campdem tablet in the primary with water and sugar. Waited 12 hours and added pectic enzyme.
Day 3: (this is 36 hours after the campdem tablet) - added the D47 yeast. No fermentation happened. Tested the yeast - it was definitely dead.
Day 4: added some different yeast (generic white wine yeast.)
Day 6 1/2: Fermentation was going OK but the mulberries KEPT drying out even after just a few hours. I was afraid that constantly punching them down would lead to some kind of infection. I squeezed them out and transferred them to my secondary, which has an airlock. I plan to rack again after the SG is below 1.000.

With only 3 days, I supposed that I didn't get much flavour from the dried elderberries. (I did get colour, though.) Should I add a handful of berries to the secondary now?
(I assume elderberries are necessary. White mulberries don't have tannin or acid, and are sort of delicate/insipid.)


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Nov 12, 2017
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Secondary would be the last stage of adding any flavor or oak. If you perform a 3rd racking in 2 months this will help drop remaining suspension. Just add So2 to 3rd racking and wait a couple more months. You should have a clear mature wine ready to bottle


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Sep 7, 2021
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You could add more elderberries but taste it first. I made a batch of dried elderberry wine and it is very jammy, i.e., fruity. I think I left them in for 5 - 7 days. They have a lot of flavor to them so if you leave them in longer they will may kill the flavor of the white mulberries if the latter have a delicate flavor. So taste it now and see if it needs more - you may have accidentally hit on a good balance between those and the elderberries.

If you do decide to add elderberries back in, my thought is to add them to a small sauce pan, add enough water to wet them plus like 1/2" in the bottom of the pan, and cook (low boil?) them to a mush (add more water as you cook). Cooking will release their juices plus sterlize them so you don't introduce any wild yeast at this point.

Then let them cool and add to the secondary fermenter. Taste it every day or two and extract them once the flavor is to your liking.