Strawberry Wine Progress/Quantity Discrepancy

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RackEmUp

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I'm making Strawberry wine by following this guy's recipe:
https://youtu.be/tdqRrdihr3c [Embed]

His recipe to make 2 gal of finished product is as follows:

9 lb strawberries
6.61 lb of sugar/dextrose
8L boiling water
4 tsp Pectic enzyme in .5 cup of warm water
Yeast and yeast nutrient
.25 tsp tannin and 2 tsp citric acid dissolved in a glass of warm water

I multiplied the recipe by a factor of 3 to make 6 gal of wine. After crushing ~27 lbs of strawberries and adding 22 lb of dextrose with 24 L of boiling water, I removed the solids from the brew and am left with 8.25 gal of mixture.
As I was trying to make 6 gal, this is almost 50% too much yield. Can I just continue with the quantities multiplied by 3 or do I need to tweak some numbers after winding up with more mixture than I should have?
I haven't added yeast or anything yet, just put the pectic enzyme in a little bit ago and am letting it sit for 24 hours before proceeding.

StrawberryDextroseMix.jpg


Also just took a gravity reading from both buckets and got 1.105 for one and 1.110 for the other.
 
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bernardsmith

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I generally enjoy his videos but a starting gravity of 1.100 or more for a country wine is - in my opinion - a little excessive. Strawberries are not rich in flavor and if you are diluting the flavor by adding water then that watery flavor is competing with the flavors and heat of about 14% ABV. Twelve percent is more like the ABV you want.
Not sure the best way to resolve your concerns but I would work differently when it comes to fruits such as strawberries.
What you could do is remove a few pints of must and freeze this. and if your plan is to bottle 6 gallons then work with say, 6. 25 gallons of must (plus the fruit if you have not yet discarded the berries). You want to have 6 gallons AFTER you rack AFTER active fermentation has ceased. You do not want to begin with 6 gallons and so have 5.5 gallons (or thereabouts) after racking and so have excess headroom and /or insufficient wine to fill 30 bottles.

A couple or three thoughts:

1. Twenty-seven pounds of berries are going to expel a volume of juice but it looks like The English Country Life video kinda sorta dismissed any expelled volume of juice.
2. Twenty-two pounds of dextrose (why not sucrose?) is a very large amount of fermentable sugars. You want - I would argue - to aim for a specific gravity in your must and add sugar (and liquid whether water or fruit juice) to hit that target. Aiming for a specific amount of sugar does not make a great deal of sense (in my opinion). And the SG I would suggest is your target is closer to 1.090.

I would freeze the fruit, then begin to thaw them while adding pectic enzymes and then after about 12 hours I would press them (by hand) and then determine how much juice I have and add enough water to reach the volume I want to bottle ( a few pints more than the final volume). I would replace the fruit and then allow the juice and water to macerate the fruit as I add yeast and nutrients, tannin and so forth.
 

Fruitwhiner

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Ferment what you've got! You won't need to triple the yeast or yeast nutrient; just some for each vessel. When it's finished you might want to kill it with potassium sorbate then campden tablets and if you have fridge space or something chill it down for 48 hours then rack it again into several carboys, leaving enough space to both water it a bit and add strawberry syrup to bump up the strawberry flavor and sweetness before bottling since it will likely be dry and boozy.
 
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RackEmUp

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I generally enjoy his videos but a starting gravity of 1.100 or more for a country wine is - in my opinion - a little excessive. Strawberries are not rich in flavor and if you are diluting the flavor by adding water then that watery flavor is competing with the flavors and heat of about 14% ABV. Twelve percent is more like the ABV you want.
Not sure the best way to resolve your concerns but I would work differently when it comes to fruits such as strawberries.
What you could do is remove a few pints of must and freeze this. and if your plan is to bottle 6 gallons then work with say, 6. 25 gallons of must (plus the fruit if you have not yet discarded the berries). You want to have 6 gallons AFTER you rack AFTER active fermentation has ceased. You do not want to begin with 6 gallons and so have 5.5 gallons (or thereabouts) after racking and so have excess headroom and /or insufficient wine to fill 30 bottles.

A couple or three thoughts:

1. Twenty-seven pounds of berries are going to expel a volume of juice but it looks like The English Country Life video kinda sorta dismissed any expelled volume of juice.
2. Twenty-two pounds of dextrose (why not sucrose?) is a very large amount of fermentable sugars. You want - I would argue - to aim for a specific gravity in your must and add sugar (and liquid whether water or fruit juice) to hit that target. Aiming for a specific amount of sugar does not make a great deal of sense (in my opinion). And the SG I would suggest is your target is closer to 1.090.

I would freeze the fruit, then begin to thaw them while adding pectic enzymes and then after about 12 hours I would press them (by hand) and then determine how much juice I have and add enough water to reach the volume I want to bottle ( a few pints more than the final volume). I would replace the fruit and then allow the juice and water to macerate the fruit as I add yeast and nutrients, tannin and so forth.
Very insightful advice. On the note of sucrose over dextrose- what exactly is the difference between the two with regards to brewing? I used dextrose because I previously made an Apfelwein (from this recipe) and had some leftover. I am relatively new to brewing so I wasn't aware of any major differences between the two.
Unfortunately I threw the fruit out already. Hindsight is 20/20, unfortunately.

Ferment what you've got! You won't need to triple the yeast or yeast nutrient; just some for each vessel. When it's finished you might want to kill it with potassium sorbate then campden tablets and if you have fridge space or something chill it down for 48 hours then rack it again into several carboys, leaving enough space to both water it a bit and add strawberry syrup to bump up the strawberry flavor and sweetness before bottling since it will likely be dry and boozy.
I think this is the best route for me to take at this point. Why do you suggest killing it with sorbate and then campden? Would it turn out bad if I just let the fermentation process end on its own?

Thanks for the advice guys. As a newbie this is the kind of stuff that you hang on to for life.
 

Fruitwhiner

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Very insightful advice. On the note of sucrose over dextrose- what exactly is the difference between the two with regards to brewing? I used dextrose because I previously made an Apfelwein (from this recipe) and had some leftover. I am relatively new to brewing so I wasn't aware of any major differences between the two.
Unfortunately I threw the fruit out already. Hindsight is 20/20, unfortunately.


I think this is the best route for me to take at this point. Why do you suggest killing it with sorbate and then campden? Would it turn out bad if I just let the fermentation process end on its own?

Thanks for the advice guys. As a newbie this is the kind of stuff that you hang on to for life.
You can let the fermentation go until it's dry but if you are to back sweeten I would suggest using the potassium sorbate and campden tabs so the fermentation doesn't start up again once you add more sugar. I've added extra homemade strawberry syrup to my strawberry lemon verbena wine since it wasn't as strawberry-ey as I'd like when it was done. Most of my fruit wines are for afternoon drinking so I like a bit of sweetness rather than dry, plus the sweetness brings out the fruit. If you end up with a super boozy wine you can also serve it (someone here's gonna kill me for suggesting it but hey- it's my backyard I do what I want) with some ice and seltzer so folks can have more than one glass and not get trashed. I did that with a boozy/sweet bilbomel (blueberry mead) at last weekend's BBQ and it was a hit. Re: corn vs cane sugar- they should ferment the same. I am partial to cane sugar for environmental reasons since cane is far mor easily renewed, grows faster, uses less nutrients and more sugar comes out of the cane than corn. Corn also heavily depletes soils.
 

bernardsmith

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Dextrose is a simpler sugar than fructose or sucrose. Dextrose is a mono-saccharide and sucrose (table sugar) is a di-saccharide. Yeast use less energy fermenting mono's than di's but they ferment both without any difficulty. That said, sucrose is significantly less expensive than dextrose and according to some with far more acute taste buds than I have, if you use sucrose your wine (or is it beer?) will have a green apple flavor. Never detected this but my nose and my taste has not been well-educated
 
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