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How Long To Age Fruit Wines?


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#1 Eric Heavner

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:19 PM

I'd like to make some fruit wines for the Christmas season. A marionberry, raspberry and maybe a cranberry. I'll be using the Vintner's Harvest stuff. How long should these age? Are they drinkable within a month, 6, 9?

How can I improve these over 'standard' recipes? What's the preferred yeast to use for each? I like a clean, fruity taste, crisp with moderate alc content.

Thanks!

Eric

#2 Climber

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:35 PM

Eric,

I make most all fruit wines and from what I've read and learned on this forum, most fruit wines really need to age about a year to reach it's potential. I think this Christmas would be pushing it. It probably would be fine, but next Christmas would be even better! tongue.gif

As far as improving a standard recipe, I like to add 25-50% extra fruit, and sweeten it back when it's done fermenting with either fresh or frozen juice of the same type. Using fresh fruit, I always freeze extra for later on and thaw it and extract all the juice I can. By stirring some sugar into the thawed fruit and letting it sit awhile, will aid in getting more juice. Just be careful you don't over sweeten your wine.

As far as yeast choices, I've used Montrachet on blackberry (close to Marionberry); Raspberry - ICV D47; and on cranberry...I don't know...haven't made that one yet, but from a recipe I see I would use Montrachet.

Hope this helps,

Larry
<i><b>Wines I've made</b>:</i> Blackberry; Citrus; Sparkling apple cider; Thompson grape; Raspberry; Strawberry; Blueberry; Salal berry; Welch's Concord; Dandelion. Coffee; Chocolate covered cherry; Caramel apple pie; Lemon Liqueur; Oregon grape; Wild rose hip; Blueberry liqueur; Strawberry melomel; Plum; Strawberry-Rhubarb; Raspberry Liqueur; Mint liqueur; Concord grape; Blackberry port; Banana; Chocolate Strawberry; Key lime-a-rita; Black Cherry-Concord; Forest Berry Blend; Cranberry.

#3 jca

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 11:05 PM

QUOTE (Climber @ Mar 22 2007, 01:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As far as improving a standard recipe, I like to add 25-50% extra fruit, and sweeten it back when it's done fermenting with either fresh or frozen juice of the same type. Using fresh fruit, I always freeze extra for later on and thaw it and extract all the juice I can.


Absolutely. More fruit is the way to go.
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#4 Texvino

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:45 AM

The guy at the local brew shop warned me that fruit wines will not stay as long as grape reds or whites. I want to say that he quoted them staying good for 6-8 months after bottling(I may be underestimating this) but most of the people I've seen on this forum have recommended aging the wine for much longer than that. Any truth or experience to this? I'd like to be able to age some of my wine for a year if possible. Thanks

#5 fernvally

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:19 AM

Aging depends on so many variables. Sweet wines might not age as long as dry wines. Higher TA will need to age longer,. Tannins and of course the amount of Free SO2 will help with aging a wine. I have an Apple Cranberry which I think is just now peaking and I bottled it late 05.

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#6 joeae

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 12:24 PM

Hi,

What is the genral rule (longest time) to keep fruit wines in carboys and in bottle.

Joe

#7 lockwood1956

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 02:31 PM

Hey Joe

I drank some 10 year old elderberry a little while ago and it was just wonderful, if you follow a srtict regime when it comes to santitation and make sure the wine is prepared for aging (in regard to sulphite) then i dont see why you cant age your fruit wines for several years

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#8 Wade

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:19 PM

Corks, consistant tetemp around 55 and no vibration will make a big difference also. Standard corks are 2-5 years so either use better corks or recork them after a few years. Ascorbic acid will also help to keep the wine from oxidising and keeping their color from browning. I tried the Vintners Marionberry and I didnt think it was very good. Their best is the Black Currant in my opinion. This one is awesome.
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