Nervous - first batch of blueberry wine

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DrPizza

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I'm a little nervous about the starting sg - is it too high?

18 pounds fresh picked blueberries, frozen, thawed, smooshed.
11+ a tiny bit pounds sugar
1 tsp tannin
1+ a bit tbsp yeast nutrient
1+ a bit tbsp pectic enzyme
1+ a bit acid blend
6 campden tablets
Topped with water to 6 gallons + a little bit (maybe 4 cups) to make up for what I predict will be left after squeezing out the bag of blueberry skins
Red Star Pasteur Red yeast

I chose the yeast per a chart at the wine supply place - the person there was new & wasn't able to help with the selection (someone filling in), and the chart recommended it for berry wines.

My concern: the sg is 1.101. Is this too high? Going to cause me trouble? I'm (I mean, my wife) is hoping for a sweeter dessert style of wine. Though, I presume that when it comes time to backsweeten it, I can split the batch in two & leave some a little drier.

I haven't added the yeast yet - waiting 24 hours between mixing everything & the crushed campden tablets.



Trivial question - there are tiny little grubs in there - maybe 2mm long. I know they're in blueberries & know that when I'm eating handfuls of blueberries, one or two of the berries probably contain one of them. Should I put a lot of effort into skimming them off? (They swam/climbed to the top of the bag of fruit & are small enough to have squeezed through the holes in the bag fabric - that's how small they are.)
 

damdaman

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OG is right on, should give you about 14% ABV if it ferments dry. Pasteur red in my experience ferments messily and puts up a lot of foam so make sure you have adequate headspace, but should be a great choice for blueberry wine.

I wouldn't worry too much about the grubs, especially if you used campden tabs. Contamination would be my only concern, I can't imagine they would affect flavor or accidentally end up in your finished wine if you rack it a couple times.
 
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DrPizza

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After a couple days of mixing, I realized there were about a dozen blueberry skins, but more importantly, those worms, floating up to the top. So, I skimmed them right off. :) After about 4-5 days in the primary, I snapped the lid on & put in an airlock. It's down to 1.020 now, and smells pretty darn good. The bubbling, more importantly foaming has reduced significantly; I'll transfer to my secondary tomorrow.

Just to make sure - I don't use campden tablets during the transfer, and can run it through a course filter to remove larger solids (wormies, and a few skins)? I'm amazed that the 18 pounds of blueberries is now down to slightly larger than a baseball. (Much smaller than a softball.) Kung-fu grip when I squeeze that juice out each day. :p




On deck: I've been picking blackberries almost daily - I have acres and acres of blackberry bushes available, though getting scratched up gets pretty old pretty quickly. Originally I was going to do one gallon, but now it looks like 6 gallons of blackberry wine are on deck. Blackberries (about 30 pounds of wild berries at this point) are sitting happily in my freezer. The rest = pies and cobbler. My arms look like I've been in a fight with a cat.
 
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