Another hedgerow Barolo

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Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Aug 24, 2016 09:10

No elderberries yet but plenty of blackberries. I picked a bagful which weighed 1.6 kilos. I found a recipe which I have modified to suit available ingredients for 1 gallon:
1.6 kg blackberries
1 litre of red grape juice
400 g strawberries
570 g sugar
Yeast, nutrients, pectolase

Crush blackberries in bucket, add grape juice, sugar, 2 litres of warm water, yeast, pectolase and nutrient. Ferment on pulp for 4 days, add puréed strawberries, ferment for another day, strain (and preferably press), transfer to dj, top up with water to 1 gallon and ferment to dry.
I have a Sainsburys local nearby so I used their grape juice, £1.35, which has better colour depth than most, and their strawberries, £2. The initial pH was 3.8 but overnight it has changed to 3.6.
Since blackberries ripen successively, I plan to spread the harvesting and build up a 5 gallon batch, which can then go into a cask.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Aug 24, 2016 15:46

Well that recipe almost backfired. Due to the hot weather the strawberries were showing signs of rot, so I mashed them and pitched them in.
Meanwhile I checked the same patches of blackberries and harvested another 900 g. I also found that elderberries were fully ripe and harvested 800 g (net). The best recipe for such quantities is a Burgundy, using 455 g of elderberries and 680 g of blackberries. I froze the rest.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:33

The Burgundy recipe calls for 150 g of dates, which is unusual, and expensive at £2.16 for 200 g.
Meanwhile I strained the Barolo batch, leaving just 500 g of solids, so 75% juice extraction. The colour depth looks good.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Fri Aug 26, 2016 13:42

The Burgundy brew should be strained today, but their is still plenty of colour to be extracted from the elderberry skins.
Harvesting the blackberries is very much a case of diminishing returns: Day 1 -1.6 kg, day 2 - 900 g, day 4 - 600 g. There is now enough to make a gallon of basic blackberry wine. 1.4 kg blackberries, 1 litre red grape juice + sugar.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Sat Aug 27, 2016 09:59

My basic blackberry recipe for 1 gallon:
1450 g blackberries
1 litre red grape juice
700 g sugar
yeast, nutrient & pectolose
water to 1 gallon.

The blackberries were frozen. I poured on a kettleful of boiling water, mashed them, added the sugar, grape juice, yeast etc and topped up with water. Sg 1090, pH 4.5.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:52

The next haul was 650 g. I combined it with the remaining 300 g frozen elderberries, 100 g each of frozen black and redcurrants, a litre of red grape juice and 700 g sugar. I'll call this a cabernet sauvignon because the currants are the flavouring in the Winebuddy version of the same type.
The latest haul is 625 g, which I have combined with 125 g of dried sloes, 2 litres of red grape juice and 600 g sugar.
This brings the total to 5 gallons - as planned.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:12

The second batch (burgundy is now clear. I put it into the 5 litre cask, topped up with my 'vin ordinaire'.
I was stuck for a name for the latest batch, but found an almost identical recipe for Beaujolais.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:37

The first batch (Barolo 2) is now in the 7 litre cask, along with 2 litres of vin ordinaire.
The 'beaujolais' has promising flavour but lacks bite, so I added 5 g of grape tannin.
Now the temperature has dropped, the blackberries are not ripening so quickly so I'll have to wait a few more days to harvest what's left.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:45

I gathered another 450 g of blackberries, bringing the total to 5 kilos. There are plenty of red ones, but I doubt if these will fully ripen.
I found a recipe for 'light Rioja' which does not include blackberries but suggests they can be used instead of sloes. I used this mixture:
450 g blackberries
175 g dried sloes
125 g dried elderberries
1 litre of red grape juice
700 g sugar
Water to 5.5 litres

Sg 1090, pH 3.5
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Fri Sep 09, 2016 09:35

The basic blackberry batch had finished fermenting so I racked it and tasted a sample. Although the initial pH was 4.5, the final result was 3.1, which is far too acidic. I added 6 g of precipitated chalk, resulting in pH 3.6, which is far more palatable. The colour was a little pale and the flavour was unimpressive. Clearly you can't rely on wild blackberries as the main ingredient, but use them in moderation, in combination with other ingredients.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:57

The 'Cabernet sauvignon' version has finished fermenting. After racking, it tasted pretty good but the pH was 3.2 (originally 3.0), still rather too acidic for me. So again I added 6 g of precipitated chalk, resulting in 3.7. The chalk should be added before the wine has cleared and no more than 15 g per gallon used.
Although the berries I picked were black and came away easily from the stalk, they were probably not all fully ripe, hence the high acidity. It is worth noting that the only recipes in 'Making Wines Like Those You Buy' which include blackberries are for port, an essentially sweet wine.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:08

The final crop was a mere 260 g. I decided to make another rioja, increasing the dried sloes to 250 g. These produce a deep brown/red colour, so this brew will be the darkest of the lot and the last. The total yield was 6 kilos (including the elderberries), producing 7 distinct gallons of red wine at about 50 p per bottle.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby Rolfster » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:05

It all sounds good Tony!
I've got a stash of picked fruit in the freezer that is going into some wine tonight I think. Mainly blackberrys and sour cherrys. I was thinking of adding a banana, some red grape juice, and any other soft fruit I find!
It's this thread that has inspired me!
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Mon Sep 19, 2016 14:56

Good luck with that. It's nice to get positive feedback.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:41

As I have no spare small casks, the next best option is to leave the wine in the jars with the oak chips, replacing the airlocks with bungs and covered to exclude light, and rack once a month. The chips should be rinsed and returned each time. The racking introduces a small amount of oxygen which would naturally occur through the pores of the wood. To completely exclude light I made a simple jacket from old pond liner and duct tape. Ordinary plastic bags do not fully exclude light. Most recipes recommend 6 months maturation for blackberry wines.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Oct 06, 2016 13:37

The bung popped out of the cabernet sauvignon, suggesting that a malolactic fermentation had taken place. This was confirmed by a significant reduction in acidity (pH 3.8). I replaced the bung with an airlock, which shows that the fermentation is ongoing. I checked the 2 batches in casks and found they had stuff floating on top, suggesting some activity. Any build up of gas is diffused through the wood. The 2 other batches in dj's are stable. The second batch of rioja is still fermenting, and this may well be a malolactic fermentation.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:53

The 'basic' blackberry has turned out ok as a country red but lacks character. It may develop in bottle. The pH is 4.0, suggesting a malolactic fermentation had taken place during the normal fermentation.
The 'burgundy', after 6 weeks in cask, is rather promising and has now been bottled.
I put the 'beaujolais' in the empty cask, topped up with a bottle of the 'basic'.
The 'barolo 2' (in cask) is rather sharp, so I topped it up with some 'basic'. I may blend it with the 'cabernet sauvignon', which has a pH of 4.0.
The 'rioja' (also in cask) is also quite promising.
No shortage of empty bottles, but wine rack space running very low.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Nov 27, 2016 09:26

I opened a bottle of the original hedgerow Barolo. After a period in oak and 10 months in bottle it tasted superb, having the classic properties of a full bodied red yet with a fruity flavour.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:57

I opened a bottle of 'burgundy' and it was awful, as a result of an infection, almost certainly from the blackberries, which I did not pasteurise or treat with sulphite. A second bottle had the same fault. I checked the beaujolais and barolo batches and found the same. Fortunately the 'straight' blackberry, rioja and cabernet sauvignon versions are fine. Clearly in future I should I should take precautions with wild fruit.
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue Feb 14, 2017 13:22

I have read that the old 'cure' for wine in this state is lead or lead oxide, but I don't think their is a cure for lead poisoning!
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby Rolfster » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:50

tonyhibbett wrote:I have read that the old 'cure' for wine in this state is lead or lead oxide, but I don't think their is a cure for lead poisoning!


Fortification? ;)
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Re: Another hedgerow Barolo

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:07

Out of interest I added a strip of lead to a bottle and after 24 hours it does indeed smell less bad.
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