Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 Blueberry Wine and Recipe

I was at the store and the blueberries were $1.79/lb, which is a great price for grocery blueberries -- about what I paid for the cherries. So I decided it would be fun to try some blueberry wine -- why not?

I passed the blueberries though a manual "food mill" -- really a slotted funnel that the berries were pressed though with a funnel. I added both the juice and the skins. These berries were pretty clean, so there were very few stems or leaves.

Blueberry Wine Recipe
12 pounds of blueberries, crushed
2.5 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and made into apple sauce
7 pounds of sugar
2.5 gallons of boiling water
3/4 teaspoon metabisulfite
1.5 teaspoons yeast energizer
1.5 teaspoons pectin enzyme
Levlin 71B 1122 yeast

I actually used 3/4 t yeast energizer and 1.5 t yeast nutrient so I could use up my yeast nutrient.

Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 Cherry Wine: in the secondary fermenter

The cherry wine fermentation took off after the first day, and the sugar disappeared. I let it go five days and filtered it through a nylon bag filter that I got at the wine store. I put it in an oversized demijohn, because I don't have one that fits.

I intend to wait a few more days and then put it in my three gallon carboy, and a gallon jug.

The top picture is the bright red cherry juice. The bottom picture is the five day old cherry wine. The change in color is real.

See the wine recipe posting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bentonite Clarifies the White Grenache

I am thrilled to report that 4 grams per gallon of Bentonite clay has clarified my White Granache wine. See the post below for the cloudy wine pictures.

Bentonite is a smectite clay with negative and positive layers. This means that it can grab a wide variety of proteins and drag them to the bottom of the bottle.

I dumped up all of my bottled White Granache, and put them in gallons.

I took the four grams of clay and added water drop-wise with stirring in a small cup-- like making a white sauce, and then I poured the mixture into the bottle. This helped the clay floated slowly through the wine rather than floating on top or sinking immediately. The slow stirring is important.

Now after six days the wine is all clear. This is a much better result than simply sprinkling the bentonite in the straight from the bottle. It also worked better than the Isinglass or the amylase, which did not work at all.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

2009 Cherry Wine

We had a few good bottles of Michigan Cherry wine over the winter from Traverse Bay Winery, I decided to make a batch of my own.

I bought 23 pounds of Michigan Bing Cherries, and spent two hours cleaning them.

Cherry Wine Recipe

23 lbs Michigan Bing Cherries; stemmed, cut, crushed
3.5 gallon boiling water
6 bags of Lipton (regular black) tea
9 lbs of sugar
3/4 teaspoon metabisulfite
2 teaspoons yeast energizer
2 teaspoons pectin enzyme
Levlin 71B 1122 yeast

The tricky part is getting the cherry's crushed without breaking the pits. I tried for 30 minutes to get the pits out manually before giving up. In the end I sliced each cherry, usually twice on either side of the pit. I put the cherries into my "food mill" which is really a manual fruit press for making apple sauce. I mashed the cherries some, and extracted a bit of juice. Unlike grapes, cherries are not that juicy.

I collected a dozen recipes from the internet, and the amount of cherries per gallon varies from 2 lb-6 lb per gallon. I decided on 5.5 lb/gal. The sugar amount varies from 2 lb to 10 lb (on a four gallon batch). I started with 2 pounds, and kept adding sugar until I got to 9.

I boiled the water, and poured it over the cherries. Adjusted the sugar, added the chemicals, and allowed the cherries to cool overnight. In the morning I added the sugar, and put it in the primary fermentor.

Read more about the cherry wine.