Blackberry wine brewbitz recipe

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
Hi all

Have I worked something out incorrectly or does the Brewbitz recipe for blackberry wine turn out at around 16.5%?
3lb of fruit (1.36kg) plus the same weight of sugar in 1 gallon (4.5 litres).
So at about 5g of sugars per 100g from the fruit plus the table sugar gives a total of 1428g of fermentables in 4.5 litres. Works out to 317g/litre.
The hydrometer table here
tells me that comes out at just shy of 16.5% 😮
Friend of mine has made it but he doesn't do notes or readings just said "it's got a bit of a kick" as he handed me a bottle. It smelt very alcoholic and tasted it too. Once the alcohol had passed there was quite a pleasant fruit flavour to it.
It was bottled 9 months ago by the way.

So ..........

Is it really that strong and would bringing it down to 12% ish make it easier on the taste buds?

Cheers Tom
 

Stevieboy

Regular.
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
473
Reaction score
314
Location
Wimborne, Dorset
Tom - It's not likely to make 16.5% as the yeast wont be able to tolerate it. You'll more likely end up with a sugary syrup. Blackberries do make the best country wine though - up the fruit and lower the sugar - 4 lbs of fruit and 2lbs of sugar makes an excellent wine. You can always add sugar in small batches if it is too dry nearing the end of fermentation.
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
Hi Stevie

He didn't say which yeast he used but the bottle he gave me certainly isn't a sugary syrup.
Aren't there plenty of yeasts that will ferment past 16.5? I'm sure that Lalvin EC118 will go up to 18%.

4lb fruit to 2lb of sugar does seem a better ballance so will see how much fruit my daughter can forage and go from there, thanks

Cheers Tom
 

johncrobinson

Landlord.
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
1,974
Reaction score
944
Location
Highlands
2lb of sugar per gallon will give a nice dry tablewine Soupdragon.

16.5% abv is a Sunday stroll in the park for ec-1118
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
So maybe the 3lb of sugar is the cause of the potent alcohol smell/taste then.
Will be a while before daughter collects enough fruit for a small batch though

Cheers Tom
 

Tavi-brewer

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
47
Reaction score
38
Location
Tavistock
Go with the original recipe and use EC-1118 or other champagne yeast as John suggests. Happy yeast will burn through the sugar no problem.
If you knock the sugar back to about 1kg that’ll reduce the ABV for you.
16%+ is not unachievable so your friend is right (if you like it that strong) and if you invert the sugar it’ll take the stress out of the primary 👍
Love it!
T
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
I can drink the wine but I'd much rather it was around 12% so will adjust the ingredients accordingly. For me it's no more than a sipper at 16.5% but at 12 it's much easier on my palate.
Oh and should I add the obligatory strong cup of Yorkshire tea when I make it myself?

Cheers Tom
 

Stevieboy

Regular.
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
473
Reaction score
314
Location
Wimborne, Dorset
Tom - the tea is for the tannin - that dry grip on the tongue you get with a good red- it's one of the few things blackberries lack. Normally comes from the skins in red wine.
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
I do like a bit of pucker in my wine. I remember doing "Richard's red" a while ago and added a really strong brew to it.
Turned out ok but as it was red grape juice (Asda refrigerated) it worked out as expensive as a £30 ish kit if I scaled it up to 30 bottles. As a trial it was ok but it wasn't quite as nice as, say, a Cellar 7 or the like so didn't make any more.
Back to my mate's blackberry wine....
Is it particularly grape skins that give the tannin or is it just that the level is lower in blackberry skin? Would mashing up the fruit yield more than just leaving them whole? I'm sure the Brewbitz recipe doesn't call for the fruit to be broken up?

Cheers Tom
 

Stevieboy

Regular.
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
473
Reaction score
314
Location
Wimborne, Dorset
In classical wine making, most red wine grape juice is actually white. The colour comes from the skins - the longer they are in contact with the juice in the primary fermentation, the darker the colour of the wine, and the more tannins leach out of them. Relatively speaking, grapes have thick skin. Blackberries have a very thin skin and don't hold so much tannin, so we need to top it up with tannin from tea. (You can buy tannin as an additive from wine shops too)

When I make mine, I blitz them with a handheld blender, and ferment in a bucket for the first week, then transfer through a straining bag to DJ for secondary.
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
I remember my dear old dad mushing up fruit for one batch of wine once and from what knowledge I've garnered over the years I thought it odd that the Brewbitz recipe didn't do it?
Will pick up some Wilko wine yeast (EC-1118 I'm told) along with the other usual suspects so I'm prepared when daughter lands half a ton of fruit in my lap

Cheers Tom
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
I remember my dear old dad mushing up fruit for one batch of wine once and from what knowledge I've garnered over the years I thought it odd that the Brewbitz recipe didn't do it?
Will pick up some Wilko wine yeast (EC-1118 I'm told) along with the other usual suspects so I'm prepared when daughter lands half a ton of fruit in my lap

Cheers Tom
Just re read the instructions and it DOES say to mush the fruit up a bit.
Must read properly and not skim over things

Cheers Tom
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
Right.

I finally got my hands on some berries. 3lb 2oz washed, mashed up covered in 6 pints of boiling water and finally 2lb of sugar added. All mixed in and left to cool.
Today, one crushed campden tablet and a teaspoon of pectolase added and stirred in.
Smells very nice at this point, how much flavour it will end up with remains to be seen.

Will update as I progress

Cheers Tom
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
This morning.

One level TSP of nutrient and a sachet of Wilko general purpose wine yeast (ec-1118 allegedly) stirred in and lid replaced.

Cheers Tom
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
Day one.

Nice pancake of fruity/foamy mushiness. All stirred in and lid replaced.

Cheers Tom
 

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
Day two.

As above.

Ditto for the next few days until I strain off the pulp

Cheers Tom

P.S. Assume ditto through to day seven
 
Last edited:

soupdragon

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
914
Reaction score
217
Location
Wallasey
Day late but not to worry eh?

Poured through an Aldi/Lidl veg bag. Remaining juice squeezed into receptacle then syphoned into demijohn. Little sample tasted quite pleasant, dry and friity with a bit of pucker about it, murky as hell though. Just about enough to reach the neck. Gravity at around 0.995 so air lock fitted and time to forget about it for a month or so

Cheers Tom
 

MalcB

New Member
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
12
Location
Poole Dorset
Just started a brew of blackberry - haven't made it for 30+ years. It smelt gorgeous in the fermenting bucket. Gervin GV2 yeast pitched two hours ago.
 
Top