even more questions about fruit wines

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by LG11 » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 00:13:48



I've recently started sampling several of the fruit wines that I made with
Jack's recipes last summer.  The wines are all well balanced, with a pleasant
amount of tannin, acidity, etc.  The only concern that I have is that some of
them (blueberry, blackberry, pear) seem to lack body or intense flavor.  Maybe
I'm being too critical, but this is my question:   Next time, should I just add
more fruit and less water?  I've usually used about 4 pounds of berries to make
a gallon of wine, but the blueberry especially tastes like I should have added
another few pounds.  Maybe I should just get more flavorful berries, but the
ones I used were pretty good.  Or, should I add something like raisins or
bananas.

Jack, if you read this, I can't thank you enough.  Your website is great.

Lee

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Greg Coo » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 00:38:19



Quote:

> I've recently started sampling several of the fruit wines that I made with
> Jack's recipes last summer.  The wines are all well balanced, with a pleasant
> amount of tannin, acidity, etc.  The only concern that I have is that some of
> them (blueberry, blackberry, pear) seem to lack body or intense flavor.  Maybe
> I'm being too critical, but this is my question:   Next time, should I just
> add
> more fruit and less water?  I've usually used about 4 pounds of berries to
> make
> a gallon of wine, but the blueberry especially tastes like I should have added
> another few pounds.  Maybe I should just get more flavorful berries, but the
> ones I used were pretty good.  Or, should I add something like raisins or
> bananas.

> Jack, if you read this, I can't thank you enough.  Your website is great.

> Lee

For many fruits I'm definitely in Ben Rotter's camp on using more fruit than
what is typically called for in recipes. IF you think your blueberry is
lacking in body and flavor, by all means, add more fruit and try it out.
That's the fun of winemaking - experimenting to make what you like.

----Greg

http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/instruct/grcook/wine/

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Paul Lehman » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 00:54:10


Quote:

> On 3/26/02 9:13 AM, in article


>> I've recently started sampling several of the fruit wines that I made
>> with
>> Jack's recipes last summer.  The wines are all well balanced, with a
>> pleasant
>> amount of tannin, acidity, etc.  The only concern that I have is that
>> some of
>> them (blueberry, blackberry, pear) seem to lack body or intense flavor.
>> Maybe
>> I'm being too critical, but this is my question:   Next time, should I
>> just add
>> more fruit and less water?  I've usually used about 4 pounds of berries
>> to make
>> a gallon of wine, but the blueberry especially tastes like I should have
>> added
>> another few pounds.  Maybe I should just get more flavorful berries, but
>> the
>> ones I used were pretty good.  Or, should I add something like raisins or
>> bananas.

>> Jack, if you read this, I can't thank you enough.  Your website is great.

>> Lee

> For many fruits I'm definitely in Ben Rotter's camp on using more fruit
> than what is typically called for in recipes. IF you think your blueberry
> is lacking in body and flavor, by all means, add more fruit and try it
> out. That's the fun of winemaking - experimenting to make what you like.

> ----Greg

> http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/instruct/grcook/wine/

I am in favor of adding as much fruit as possible without causing an excess
of acidity.  From my experience, for some fruits like peaches and red
raspberries an amount over 4  pounds per gallon will result in excess acid.
I choose not to mask over acidity by sweetening with excess sugar.
 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Greg Coo » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 01:31:59



Quote:

>> For many fruits I'm definitely in Ben Rotter's camp on using more fruit
>> than what is typically called for in recipes. IF you think your blueberry
>> is lacking in body and flavor, by all means, add more fruit and try it
>> out. That's the fun of winemaking - experimenting to make what you like.

> I am in favor of adding as much fruit as possible without causing an excess
> of acidity.  From my experience, for some fruits like peaches and red
> raspberries an amount over 4  pounds per gallon will result in excess acid.
> I choose not to mask over acidity by sweetening with excess sugar.

Sure, it's all about balance. Nearly all fruit wine recipes that call for
3-4 pounds of fruit per gallon also include the addition of acid. So, it
would seem that nearly all of them could include more fruit.

----Greg

http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/instruct/grcook/wine/

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by CompostKin » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 06:18:03


Lee, Years ago I experienced the same "lack of body" in my fruit wines and I
made quite a few. Then I made a Rhubarb wine and used white raisins in the
recipe. This white wine, aged two years was simply incredible. A classy
full-bodied white wine that guests actually thought was a white grape wine.
Since then I have always use raisins and I must tell you that my wines are
so much better. The individual fruit flavor (I use 4 lbs. to gal. of
berries) remains, but is supported by the full body the raisins give. With
mildly flavored fruits like apple, peach, pear, etc. I use one half pound to
a gal. of raisins..what a difference! I grind my raisins up in a food
processor before addition to the must.  GBA

Ed


Quote:
> I've recently started sampling several of the fruit wines that I made with
> Jack's recipes last summer.  The wines are all well balanced, with a
pleasant
> amount of tannin, acidity, etc.  The only concern that I have is that some
of
> them (blueberry, blackberry, pear) seem to lack body or intense flavor.
Maybe
> I'm being too critical, but this is my question:   Next time, should I
just add
> more fruit and less water?  I've usually used about 4 pounds of berries to
make
> a gallon of wine, but the blueberry especially tastes like I should have
added
> another few pounds.  Maybe I should just get more flavorful berries, but
the
> ones I used were pretty good.  Or, should I add something like raisins or
> bananas.

> Jack, if you read this, I can't thank you enough.  Your website is great.

> Lee

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Jack Kell » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 15:45:25


Quote:
> The only concern that I have is that some of them (blueberry, blackberry,
> pear) seem to lack body or intense flavor.  

Lee, thank you for your kind words.  I am most pleased you have
generally made decent or even good wines.  Your concern, noted above,
is actually two concerns.

The first is the absence of body in some of the wines.  This is
addressed in many places on my site, but the addressing is sometimes
oblique rather than straight on.  It boils down, however, to this.
Many fruit produce thin wines unless supplemented with a body-building
fruit such as grape (dried ones work VERY well, but so does juice from
concentrate), banana, appricot, or date.  For 30 years I used raisina,
dates and bananas almost exclusively for body, but about 8 years ago I
began using one 11?-ounce can of Welch's 100% Grape Juice (White or
Red) Frozen Concentrate per gallon of wine and found it much easier
than forcing raisins through a mincer.  Most of the recipes you'll
find on my site that do NOT use a body enhancer are from other
sources, although I have made quite a few wines myself from fruit
alone.

The second concern you raise has to do with flavor.  You actually have
two avenues you can follow to intensify the lacking flavor.  First, as
others have advised, you can add more fruit.  If you do this, simply
reduce the amount of supplemental sugar, acid and possibly tannin,
while adding, when needed, a bit more pectic enzyme.  The alternative
is to simply get more flavorful fruit.

I don't know where you get your fruit, but let me give you the benefit
of the doubt and assume you either grow your own or pick them fresh
and absolutely at the peak of ripeness at a "U-pick-'em" farm.  I
would then suggest that you begin looking for a more flavorful
variety.

Last year my wife and I picked strawberries at a friend's farm.  After
we had picked more than we could actually use, my friend came out to
the field, looked at our flats of berries, and asked why we hadn't
picked any of his "Cheyenne" berries.  I replied that I hadn't even
heard of that variety and, besides, the ones we picked were fine.  At
that he led us to several rows of ripe but unattractive berries --
unattractive only because of their very large, yellow seeds.  He
picked one and handed it to me.  I bit into it and, well, it was a
transforming moment.  The flavor of the ones we picked was very, very
good, but this was fantastic.  He smiled and handed me an empty flat.
My back was already killing me, but the torture to come was endured
only because I ate every 10th or 12th berry I picked.

The point is, there is good flavor and there is fantastic flavor.
Seek out the fantastic.  The same goes for blackberries, pears,
blueberries, peaches, plums, etc. -- and even grapes!  (Who would have
thought it so?)  It goes without saying that if you buy your fruit
from your grocer you are buying fruit that was picked at least a week
(and possibly two) before it reached ripeness.

Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Ben Rott » Fri, 29 Mar 2002 00:19:26


Lee,
Everyone's given you great advice so far.

Being an advocate of using large quantities of fruit, I'd encourage
you to focus more on fruit quality and an increase in fruit quantity
(well above 50% fruit weight by volume of final wine) whilst keeping
balance considerations in mind.

As others have mentioned, high acidity is the pre*** problem with
using high-quantities of fruit. Solutions to this are available,
however, through fruit/wine blending, chemical deacification and
malolactic fermentation, or a combination of all three.

Extra body will come with an increased quantity of fruit, but body
building (by the use of bananas, raisins, grape juice and fruit
blending) is an additional option as others have mentioned.

I'd also encourage the use of cold fermentation and fruit maceration
(where appropriate) to increase and retain fruit flavours.

Ben
Improved Winemaking
http://www.FoundCollection.com/~BRotter/

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Jeff Cu » Fri, 29 Mar 2002 16:02:52


Ben,
I don't quite understand what you mean by "50% fruit weight by volume of
final wine".
Would you care to list your recommended amounts of various fruits per
gallon?
I would love to experiment with different amounts of fruit, but some
ain't cheap enough to play with, so your experiences would be valued.
Jeff
 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Ben Rott » Fri, 29 Mar 2002 23:30:17


Jeff,

Quote:
> I don't quite understand what you mean by "50% fruit weight by volume of
> final wine".

50% of the total final wine volume by weight is the fruit weight. It
works best in metric and assumes that the weight of wine is roughly
equal to the weight of water (fairly close). If the weight of wine is
equal to the weight of water then the volume of water is (in metric)
equivalent to the weight of wine.
Perhaps it's a bad representation to use as it doesn't work nicely in
non-metric and is therefore not as useful for Americans.
Anyway, 50% weight/volume would be 500 g/l and 50% of a US gallon
would be 1.9 kg (0.5*3.79 liters) which is 4 lb. Therefore, if you use
50% fruit weight/volume you would use 500 g/l or 4 lb fruit per US
gallon (or 5lb/Imp.gal.).

Of course, it would be better to express the yield of juice a fruit
gives as this is more representative of what makes up the must (i.e.
the must contains 30% juice is more representative than saying you
used a certain weight of fruit) but the (unfortunate) convention in
the non-grape winemaking world is to quote fruit weight with no regard
to the juice yield of the fruit. Quoting both would be the optimum.

Quote:
> Would you care to list your recommended amounts of various fruits per
> gallon?

Using the amount of juice is perhaps a better way to cover what I've
done:
Over the last few years I've been experimenting with between 60-100%
juice (i.e. 60-100% of the must is fruit juice) - you use whatever
weight of fruit you have to to get that volume of juice. I'd go at or
around 50% (i.e. half of the must is juice and the other is
water/sugar/etc) with most fruits and I'd encourage any interested in
flavoursome wines to aim for pure juice fermentations. The problem
with this approach is obtaining good balance. It can be done well,
it's just more difficult than when using lower quantities of
fruit/juice.
For actual examples, I've had great success with 100% peach, 50-60%
strawberry, 50-65% flower wines, and 100% raspberry. I'm still
experimenting though, and with some fruits such as elderberry
(65-100%) I have yet to master the balance.

Quote:
> I would love to experiment with different amounts of fruit, but some
> ain't cheap enough to play with, so your experiences would be valued.

It is more expensive, but if you get it right it's well worth it!

Hope the above answered your question sufficiently (feel free to post
again if not),
Ben

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Li » Sat, 30 Mar 2002 05:51:21


I also agree with Ben that more fruit is better.  My personal
experience tells me 100% fruit is the best.
While arguing this point, the subject of high acid fruits always comes
up.  The arguement is that some fruits contain too high an acid thus
making it necessary to add water.  Raspberries always is identified as
one of these fruits.

I have been making raspberry wine for several years.  The TA on ripe
North East Red Raspberries is about .5
This is not a highly acidic fruit.  The wine does have bitter or tart
characterictics but a residual sugar of 5-7% balances this out nicely.
Once again, I cant see a reason to add water to a raspberry wine
recipe unless you are trying to save money.  Any water added to my
100% raspberry wine would only take away from the big, in your face,
raspberry aroma that hits you when you stick your nose in the glass.

Lib

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Ben Rott » Sat, 30 Mar 2002 10:56:25


Lib,

Quote:
> This is not a highly acidic fruit.  The wine does have bitter or tart
> characterictics but a residual sugar of 5-7% balances this out nicely.
> Once again, I cant see a reason to add water to a raspberry wine
> recipe unless you are trying to save money.  Any water added to my
> 100% raspberry wine would only take away from the big, in your face,
> raspberry aroma that hits you when you stick your nose in the glass.

I can't agree more!! I have a similar well balanced raspberry that's
just finished fermenting. Thanks for posting this, it's nice to know
there are other people out there doing the same thing and feeling the
same way about it

Ben

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Rick Vanderwa » Sat, 30 Mar 2002 23:42:41


so, does that mean that you just use 100% fruit, and the liquid alone that
comes from the fruit serves as your must.....?
you add NO Water?
that's a TON of fruit for a 3, 5, or 6 gallon batch!!!!!!
Unless you have access to an abundance of fruit, free, etc., then that gets
kind of pricey!
But sounds like a good plan...
a friend of mine told me I could pick his blackberries this summer.
can't wait!
I still have elderberries in my freezer from last season, haven't known yet
what to do with them because of the elderberry goo problem that I fear that
will happen.  I'd like to get a foodprocesser/juice extractor, take the
juice, boil it to break down the acid, and then use that blended with the
blackberries to try a wine...

Rick


Quote:
> I also agree with Ben that more fruit is better.  My personal
> experience tells me 100% fruit is the best.
> While arguing this point, the subject of high acid fruits always comes
> up.  The arguement is that some fruits contain too high an acid thus
> making it necessary to add water.  Raspberries always is identified as
> one of these fruits.

> I have been making raspberry wine for several years.  The TA on ripe
> North East Red Raspberries is about .5
> This is not a highly acidic fruit.  The wine does have bitter or tart
> characterictics but a residual sugar of 5-7% balances this out nicely.
> Once again, I cant see a reason to add water to a raspberry wine
> recipe unless you are trying to save money.  Any water added to my
> 100% raspberry wine would only take away from the big, in your face,
> raspberry aroma that hits you when you stick your nose in the glass.

> Lib

 
 
 

even more questions about fruit wines

Post by Dewey & Lucy Thompso » Sun, 31 Mar 2002 01:26:42


Quote:
> I also agree with Ben that more fruit is better.  My personal experience
tells me 100% fruit
> is the best. While arguing this point, the subject of high acid fruits
always comes up.
> The arguement is that some fruits contain too high an acid thus making it
necessary to
> add water.  Raspberries always is identified as one of these fruits.

Raspberries don't have high acid.  There are fruits that do have quite high
acid.  I toy with an interesting little fruit called "Autum Olive".  That IS
high acid, and I have to dilute to get the total acid down where it needs to
be.

The reason that I would never make wine from 100% raspberry juice is the
overpowering taste.   I have made raspberry wine from 3, 4, and 5 pounds per
gallon, 5 pounds per gallon is overwhelming.  Using 8-9 pounds to get all
juice would be indescribable (and not in a good way).

Quote:
> Once again, I cant see a reason to add water to a raspberry wine
> recipe unless you are trying to save money.  Any water added to my
> 100% raspberry wine would only take away from the big, in your face,
> raspberry aroma that hits you when you stick your nose in the glass.

That it would......That it would.

Dewey