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39 bottles of Elderberry
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jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:10 pm    Post subject: 39 bottles of Elderberry  Reply with quote    

Well Elderberry topped up with a fair bit of Merlot during the making

Nice to see it call come back out in the wash

That was a two hour bottling session

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thirty nine bottles? Thats, what, just over 29 litres? Err, just shy of six and a half gallons? Or are numbers getting away from me...

Either way, that's a LOT of wine!

You're a fan of big batches. You seem to prefer lots of a few sorts of things rather than lots of different things. Why?

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How long will it last and what's the longest anyone has kept a bottle for. Does it improved with age?

jema
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cab wrote:
Thirty nine bottles? Thats, what, just over 29 litres? Err, just shy of six and a half gallons? Or are numbers getting away from me...

Either way, that's a LOT of wine!

You're a fan of big batches. You seem to prefer lots of a few sorts of things rather than lots of different things. Why?


Fermenter says 25 litres approx 5.5 gallons, yet I got 39 bottles + .5 bottles of dregs.

That is just one of three such batches of Elderberry

Yes I do prefer the big batches. It is down to time and space, big batches take less of both, and involve less keeping track of.

This is a weakness of mine really. I am an obsessive. Not to the degree you see on TV shows, I don;t think I'm quite clinically obsessive, though the OH might disagree, but when I get into something I do it single mindedly. So for example this site involved a few "all nighers" at the start Having lots of different tasks to also have to get to grips with like a dozen 1 gallon demijons is not a good option, they might get lost in the need to do the current obsessive task.

jema

jema
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
How long will it last and what's the longest anyone has kept a bottle for. Does it improved with age?


With its dilution of Merlot, I may even drink an experimental bottle later, but a quick taste makes me think that this batch will want 6 months at least to start to come into its own, and will probably improve for a few years.
I have one batch that will I hope be a big improver

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
How long will it last and what's the longest anyone has kept a bottle for. Does it improved with age?


Elderberry is a good one to keep. It matures well for years. Reds, in general, keep getting better for five years or more, provided they've got a high enough alcohol content.

I've drunk homebrew stawberry wine that was 20 years old, but in truth it was probably as good as it was going to get after two.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:

Fermenter says 25 litres approx 5.5 gallons, yet I got 39 bottles + .5 bottles of dregs.


Something is amiss here. You get 750ml per standard wine bottle, so 39 bottles should be just over 29 litres... Either you're not filling the bottles very full or something else funny is going on with measurements somewhere.

jema
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am filling the bottles, and actually did a quick recount!

Maybe one or two of the bottle are 70cl by the looks of them, but I think explanation is the very approximate measurement of the fermenter.

I do recall thinking "f* me", as I poured in bottle after bottle of Merlot to top the thing up!

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've often noticed that when I rack a gallon of wine, how full the next demijon is bears no relationship to how full the last one was, so I could well go for the idea that the fermenter measurement is all out.

Have you ever tried allowing your reds a little headroom? I've taken to letting my elderberry oxidise just a tiny, tiny bit, it seems to balance the flavour out nicely.

jema
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gave no head room!

Did just check my notes though. I got it a bit wrong. It wasn't merlot.

It was 8 bottles of Cabenet Souvignon on the first racking to top up,
and 4.5 bottls of Shiraz on the next racking.
Bit esoteric
But seems to fit quite well with the orginal 5 gallons of Elderberry i brewed.

Not exactly head room, but one lot of Elderberry I racked today wasn't perfectly sealed When being moved a little came through the screw cap. Does not seem to have done any harm but I have greased the next cap.

jema

jema
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 04 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cab wrote:
I've often noticed that when I rack a gallon of wine, how full the next demijon is bears no relationship to how full the last one was, so I could well go for the idea that the fermenter measurement is all out.

Have you ever tried allowing your reds a little headroom? I've taken to letting my elderberry oxidise just a tiny, tiny bit, it seems to balance the flavour out nicely.


Just another thought on this, wine making is such a long process, subject to so many unpredictable variations, that I wonder how sure you can be of such a statement? It may make sense, but we all know about how that in of itself can influence the perceptions of the results.

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 04 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:

Just another thought on this, wine making is such a long process, subject to so many unpredictable variations, that I wonder how sure you can be of such a statement? It may make sense, but we all know about how that in of itself can influence the perceptions of the results.


You get a taste for it. I started off letting my reds oxidise slightly when I made a batch of blackberry and elderberry that was too big. Either the fruit was extra juicy or I got my sums wrong, either way I had a gallon and a half to put into demijons. Too much for one, way too little to pad out in two. So I fermented it as a gallon batch and a half gallon batch in a gallon bottle.

The difference between the two was slight, but noticeable. In the end I blended them together and made the best red I ever have. Now I look for that ever so slightly oxidised twang before I bottle.

I guess that's one of the reasons why I still make gallon batches (or at most two or three gallons, each in their own gallon bottles). It allows me to play games and experiment. Sometimes that works (Japanese knotweed wine was a revelation), sometimes it doesn't (next time, I'm going to only use meadowsweet flowers and not the herb, because that wine mings).

What I'm doing with my reds now is either going to turn out to be a work of complete genius or I'm an idiot. Time will tell. I've got a gallon of damson, a gallon of blackberry, a gallon of elderberry with a few blackberries in, and a gallon of 'mixed black fruit' with blackberries, elderberries and black currants. Each one, as it was put on, had a wee bit too much juice, and that went into the 'overspill' demijon. That one is about half full. I aim to blend a tiny bit of that into each of the reds except the damson (which is a dessert wine, and doesn't need it) for balancing the flavour out.

jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 04 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How do you log it all?

I have an A4 wine log, with a page for each wine/beer, so I can note when I do things with SG readings and comments on clarity etc. Plus also what I actually topped up with, rather than what I thought I did Merlot must be the other batch.

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 04 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
How do you log it all?

I have an A4 wine log, with a page for each wine/beer, so I can note when I do things with SG readings and comments on clarity etc. Plus also what I actually topped up with, rather than what I thought I did Merlot must be the other batch.



Log?

I sometimes write on the side of the bottle with marker pen. Or I give it a smell. Once in a while I even use a hydrometer to see if it's fermented out to dryness. Usually I just taste it.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 04 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cab wrote:


Log?

I sometimes write on the side of the bottle with marker pen. Or I give it a smell. Usually I just taste it.


For the second time in two days I find myself agreeing with cab....................

I would love to be organised enough to keep a log, especially with the costs of the various things made. I may try it next year, and incorporate it inot a larger household log. Or I may not....

I usually just taste as well.

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