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#1 Climber

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:23 AM

I'm trying to decide if I'm diluting my recipes too much or how I should handle the amount of water I add.

For example, this recipe is a sweet blackberry port-style wine from the book "Making wild wines & meads" on page 46.

I took the 1 gallon recipe and increased it 5 times for my 5 gallon batch, except for the yeast; which resulted in the following:

35 lbs. blackberries
20 lbs. sugar
5 campden
5/8 tsp tannin
5 tsp nutrient
Juice of 5 oranges
zest of 5 oranges
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme

Here's where my question comes in smileyhelp.gif

The recipe says to add to the berries: 3/4 of the water, 1/2 the sugar, campden and wait 24 hours. Then add the rest of the sugar, tannin and add more water to make 5 gallon. Well, after the first step I'm already at 8 gallons! , I didn't expect it to make so much with only 3/4 of the water. I know the amount will drop some when I rack off all the fruit.

Obviously, it looks like I don't need to add more water later, but am I ruining my recipe by watering it down?

I'd love to hear how rest of you deal with this.

Thanks,

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.

#2 Bob Z

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:36 AM

I think what your looking for is add ingredients to your primary then what ever room is left top up with sugar water and is likely 10# sugar not 20. but I'm still new to this see what others say... Bob Z
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#3 Noontime

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:46 AM

I'm not sure where you get the 8 gallons from...the recipe says to add more water to make 5 gallons. So your volume should be 5 gallons. Did you add an additional 5 gallons?
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#4 Bunghole

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:55 AM

QUOTE (Climber @ Feb 15 2008, 03:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm trying to decide if I'm diluting my recipes too much or how I should handle the amount of water I add.

For example, this recipe is a sweet blackberry port-style wine from the book "Making wild wines & meads" on page 46.

I took the 1 gallon recipe and increased it 5 times for my 5 gallon batch, except for the yeast; which resulted in the following:

35 lbs. blackberries
20 lbs. sugar
5 campden
5/8 tsp tannin
5 tsp nutrient
Juice of 5 oranges
zest of 5 oranges
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme

Here's where my question comes in smileyhelp.gif

The recipe says to add to the berries: 3/4 of the water, 1/2 the sugar, campden and wait 24 hours. Then add the rest of the sugar, tannin and add more water to make 5 gallon. Well, after the first step I'm already at 8 gallons! , I didn't expect it to make so much with only 3/4 of the water. I know the amount will drop some when I rack off all the fruit.

Obviously, it looks like I don't need to add more water later, but am I ruining my recipe by watering it down?

I'd love to hear how rest of you deal with this.

Thanks,

Larry


Recipies are not written in stone and should only be used as a guide.

I hope you have a big enough primary for the blackberries smile.gif

This is gonna be a little tough to explain.....

Did you crush or put the blackberries in the primary whole?

If you crushed them you will already start with juice and be able to get a SG from the blackberries.

20 pounds of sugar might make it tough on the yeast. What was your SG when you added the yeast?

My way would have been to crush the blackberries to get the juice, place the juice without the blackberries in a primary and then add enough water to around 4 gallons and take a SG. Then I would add sugar to bring the SG to where I wanted it and would be able to tell where the water mark was. (My primarys have water marks)

I would make another gallon of water with sugar added till the SG was right around where the blackberry must SG was at and then add enough sugar water to make the 5 gallons. Then I would add the crushed blackberries (in a muslin bag) back into the must.

When the wine has fermented and it was ready to transfer to secondary you just remove the blackberries (in the muslin bag) you should have approx 5 gallons of wine.


*Side Note*

After the blackberry wine has finished I would take the blackberries and mix another fruit like cherry, blueberry or elderberry to them and make a 3 or 5 gallon batch of 2nd run wine. Lots of people do this and sometimes the 2nd run tastes better then the original smile.gif

**Sugguestion**

I would add 12 oz of dried elderberries to the blackberries and enough sugar to get the SG to around 1.090 and enough water to 5 gallons.

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#5 Green Zeus

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 08:19 AM

I agree that many of these recipes should be viewed only as guides. Many of them, especially the old recipes, want you to use too much water.

My opinion is that if you have enough fluid, from the juice of the fruit, to dissolve your chemicals in the primary, then there is no need for water. With fruit like blackberries, you might not have any fluid if you haven't run them thru a crusher. I would, at least, crush them with a potato masher to get some juice going so that you can reduce the water. Water is a killer for a good wine, in my opinion.

More fruit, and less water, will yield a wine that is high in bouquet and nose.

#6 Climber

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:58 AM

QUOTE (Noontime @ Feb 15 2008, 04:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not sure where you get the 8 gallons from...the recipe says to add more water to make 5 gallons. So your volume should be 5 gallons. Did you add an additional 5 gallons?



I started off with the 35 lbs blackberries which were previously frozen and smashed them in a 6 gallon primary. This alone filled it 2/3 full. So I split it between two primarys to make room and then I added 3/4 0f the water called for. This resulted in a total of 8 gallons, including all the pulp. I guess it would have been better to put the pulp in a bag, and then pull it out to measure actual available liquid. then I wouldn't have diluted it as much as it said. If I only brought the berries and water to 5 gallons total, my ending amount would probably be quite a bit less.

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.

#7 SandSquid

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:23 AM

Sounds a lot like my current batch of Cranberry...

I'm shooting for a full 6 Gal carboy for extended aging.
After pulpifying all the cranberries, I then measured out 6+ Galons of water and added it to all the pulp.
It originally fully occupied a 7 Gal Primary, a 5 Gal Primary and another 3/4 of a 2 Gal primary.

Upon intial "rough straining" through a course ChinaCap, (after 2 weeks), it fully occupied a 5 Gal. and a 3 Gal. secondary, still with lots of pulp and chunks and seeds remaining. (and a couple of glasses for Tasting/QC.

Now, after several weeks settling out in the seconday, the 5 Gal. has about 2 Gal. woth of pulp settled on the bottom, and the 3 Gal. is about 50% full of setteld pulp.

My hope is that when I rack and "fine strain" and then gently press the strainings this weekend, I'll end up with a full 6 Gal plus another Gal or two for later topping.
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V/R
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#8 imjfitzy

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:25 AM

You may not be very far off by the time you rack off the pulp and lees. Its always a bit of a guessing game. It does help to have the berries in a bag but your never really sure how much the pulp will be reduced. Write everything down and you can really fine tune quantities the second and third time you make a batch.

#9 DownHill

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:42 AM

I had a similar volume problem with the first 3 gal batch of BB port I tried and ended up about 4 gals of liquid. It is better to add the base ingredients, then add water and sugar in stages to reach the desired SG and volume totals.

From my experience, I would guess that removing your pulp will decrease the volume about 1 gallon, based on weighing fruit before and bag after removal. (37# -> 10#, 31#-> 6#) You may lose more volume if you aren't using a straining bag which can be drained and gently squeezed.

It is better to be a little under volume at the start if you want to avoid excess dilution of the recipe. If you need to top up after removing pulp, and you want to maintain the starting SG , just add a water and sugar solution premixed to that SG. Since the recipe fruit quantity is maintained, this additional dilution should not affect the original objective.

As a note, many advise removing the pulp after about 4 days as longer times can result in bitterness from breakdown of the seeds. Reusing the pulp in a second batch would result in a greater breakdown of the seeds.

Dick
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#10 smokegrub

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 12:01 PM

Heed the warning about the seeds. I have a batch of blackberry that I am going to have to blend (probably with banana) to reduce the bitterness.
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#11 Climber

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:02 PM

Thanks everyone for all your quick responses. smileytoast.gif This site is such a great source of information! On my future batches, I think I'll be a little more conservative when adding the water that the recipe says to.

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.

#12 Green Zeus

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 07:48 AM

Regarding the seeds in the primary. Maybe this is a good time to bag the fruit so that you have NO seeds that escape the primary and inadverantly get siphoned up into the secondary. This can really be a problem when dealing with such small seeds that just want to keep floating around. We bag all fruit before it goes into the primary. We use knee length panty hose for this. Bagging also helps reduce the unnecessary solids that would have to clarify out in the secondary.

#13 Jack Keller

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:56 AM

Larry, I know the frustration of trying to figure out a what the author meant when he publishes a recipe with even minor ambiguity in it. I occasionally get an email accusing me of doing the same thing.

I think some of the responders seem to be overlooking that this is a recipe for a port. Port typically possesses four characteristics that set it apart from mere wine. It is high in alcohol, usually sweet to balance the high alcohol, and heavy-bodied. Your recipe uses enough sugar for an 18-20%-alcohol yeast to reach its tolerance level and still retain enough residual sweetness to balance the alcohol. It also uses enough berries to improve the body. However, having used that recipe (with minor modification), I can assure you the finished port will need the fourth characteristic of port -- several years of aging to really come into its own.

Vargas and Gulling's recipe (in Making Wild Wines & Meads), which you are using, actually says to add 3 quarts of water to the must. Later it tells you to add additiional water to bring the volume up to one gallon. What they don't say is that this is probably unnecessary and is totally dependent on the size and condition of the berries you use. Personally, I don't think you would need to add any additional water unless the berries are very small (dewberries, perhaps, or berries grown in drought conditions) and past their ripeness (starting to dry out). Four pounds of sugar, all by itself, will displace a nearly a quart of water. In my own Blackberry Port recipe (http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request193.asp), I use less sugar, more berries, and tell you that you'll need 5 to 5-1/2 pints of water, depending on the size of the berries. Small blackberries have a smaller juice-to-pulp ratio and pound for pound deliver less juice than large, plump berries.

Anyway, the problem remains for you as to whether to add additional water. I wouldn't. When fermentation is nearly complete and you remove the berries, I think you'll end up with more than 5 gallons of port just using 3 quarts per gallon -- which is okay if you have the secondary space (and it sounds like you do). On the other hand, if for some reason you fall a bit shy of 5 gallons (I'd bet dollars to donuts you don't), then go ahead and top up with a little water -- it won't require much, believe me. When I used their recipe I reduced the sugar to 3 pounds and still had more than a gallon of port after pressing the berries.

John's (Bunghole) methodology for getting a more accurate measure of your juice volume by pressing before starting is okay. I've done it that way myself many times. But the winemaker who writes the recipe should work this all out for you and I think Vargas and Gulling did that -- the 3 quarts of water should more than make up a gallon of volume.

#14 Jack Keller

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE
...the winemaker who writes the recipe should work this all out for you and I think Vargas and Gulling did that -- the 3 quarts of water should more than make up a gallon of volume.

After writing this, I went out and worked a bit in the yard and while doing so kept thinking back about when I used that recipe. It seems to me that it made a lot more than a gallon, so then I came in and looked it up in my wine logs. Yeah, a lot more than a gallon. I also received an email about my reply, so in formulating the answer to it I went ahead and wrote a new WineBlog entry about this subject (and a couple of others).

Please read it at http://winemaking.ja...wineblognew.asp. It corrects a mistake I made in my response above and explains why things turned out as they did....

#15 Climber

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 02:03 AM

Jack,

Thanks for all the wealth of information you provided. I very much enjoy your blog also. I'm always checking to see if there's something new there. smile.gif

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.




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