Raspberry wine question


I need some insight into what I think is an issue I am having with my first
attempt at a non-kit wine. I am making black raspberry wine from berries
harvested locally in central Ohio. They were harvested last summer and
frozen. I thawed the berries in January 05 and ran them through a
strainer - one of those hand crank jobs from Back-to-Basics. I added
whelches white grape juice to the raspberry juice to increase the volume and
add balance. Fermentation when well and have racked a couple of times. I
have been bulk aging since February. Now for the problem. The
clearity/color is excelent, bouquet is wonderful, and the taste starts well.
The problem is that it finishes with a very sharp bitting biterness. Could
this be flavor imparted from the seeds? Will it go away on its own? My
intent was to take 1/2 of the 5 gallon batch and sweeten it and leave the
other 1/2 dry. I am wanting to bottle soon but don't know if I should if
there is something I should do about this bitterness.
Suggestions?
Reply to
Michael E. Carey
How much fruit did you use per gallon? Jack Keller mentions almost exactly same problem, with same fruit, on his Wineblog here.
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It seems it was a problem with too much fruit used. If you look at his July 14, 2004 entry, it might be of some help to you.
Joel
Reply to
Joel Sprague
Hmmmm. Interesting insight. I will have to check my records but I think I started with 5 - 7 quarts of raspberry juice. I would have to guess at how many pounds of berries that would have been. JK talks about a "too pronounced" raspberry flavor. I would not characterize mine that way. I would call it pleasently fruity but not overpowering. The bouquet is exceptionally fruity so maybe that is a hint that I did in fact use to many berries. Although I have read on this board of folks using 100% raspberry juice and loved the wine.
The lingering affect most definitely applies. The bitterness lingers in the mouth for a long time after sampling.
The part he mentions about sweetness is something I can't comment on because I have not sweetened it yet. I don't want to sweeten if I have to do acidity balancing or something first.
Michael
Reply to
Michael E. Carey
Most likely. Winemakers need to be careful in the juice processing of raspberry in order to avoid picking up excessive (seed) phenols.
It may soften slightly, but it's unlikely to ever really dissappear of itself.
should do about this bitterness.
Sweetening is the simplest solution. Alternatively, fining options might be considered.
As to the suggestion that too much fruit was used: I certainly don't consider using 5-7 US quarts per 5 US gallons (260-370 ml juice/l wine; about 12-15 kgs/26-33 lbs fruit) as using a lot of fruit at all! And, in fear of sounding like a broken record, I continue to disagree with some of Jack Keller's conclusions regarding high-concentration fruit wines (though, in fact, I believe Jack has made some 100% wines himself which he's considered to be of high quality). It's my opinion that the analysis that "The problem is that the flavor is so strong that it clings to the tongue and overloads the taste buds. The next sip adds to the effect and overwhelms the taste buds responsible for detecting sugar" is completely incorrect - physiologically that doesn't make sense (the aromatic (flavour) sensors are completely separate to those responsible for sweetness). 100% wines which are *well balanced* are often far superior to less concentrated wines, the problem is that many 100%ers aren't balanced.
Besides the above, a bitterness issue is more to do with extraction technique than quantitiy of fruit per se.
Ben
Reply to
benrotter
I agree, 5-7 quarts doesn't seem like too much for a 5 gallon batch. So yes, you're either facing a balance issue(either alcohol or acid), or an astringency issue(think that's correct term) due to the seeds, ro rather, the tannin, etc from the seeds. Not really sure how to fix it though, particularly not when not being sure which it is. I'm one who's always had trouble differentiating between tart, sour and bitter. Can tell the tastes are different, but have trouble matching what I taste with way other people describe it, if that makes sense.
Joel
something I should do about this bitterness.
Reply to
Joel Sprague
I've made raspberry wine too, and noticed a slight tartness as well. I did freeze my fruit too, but I wouldn't put the fruit through a strainer because of the seeds. I've heard that seeds can add a bitterness. As another poster said, I doubt it will go away either. Your best bet is to sweeten, but you don't have to make it really sweet, you could just add enough to balance the tartness. Most recipes talk about adding 2 oz to 6 oz of sugar per gallon, depending on your taste buds. If you do that, remember to stabilize your wine. Or you could blend it with another wine...? but that's up to you. Darlene
Reply to
Dar V
Hi, Michael.
There is no problem with this, Bottle your wine, it will improve with age, that is in the bottle.
Leave for 12 to 18 months, by which time all will be well.
Stephen SG
|I need some insight into what I think is an issue I am having with my first | attempt at a non-kit wine. I am making black raspberry wine from berries | harvested locally in central Ohio. They were harvested last summer and | frozen. I thawed the berries in January 05 and ran them through a | strainer - one of those hand crank jobs from Back-to-Basics. I added | whelches white grape juice to the raspberry juice to increase the volume and | add balance. Fermentation when well and have racked a couple of times. I | have been bulk aging since February. Now for the problem. The | clearity/color is excelent, bouquet is wonderful, and the taste starts well. | The problem is that it finishes with a very sharp bitting biterness. Could | this be flavor imparted from the seeds? Will it go away on its own? My | intent was to take 1/2 of the 5 gallon batch and sweeten it and leave the | other 1/2 dry. I am wanting to bottle soon but don't know if I should if | there is something I should do about this bitterness. | | Suggestions? | |
Reply to
Stephen SG
I had a similar problem with a strawberry wine that I couldn't get out of the primary (and the fruit out) until longer than I'd wanted. It was undrinkable and I nearly tossed it all out - but having heard the "age it, age it' mantra for so long, I just kept it in bottles for a year before I tasted it again. It had begun to mellow very nicely, and the bitter flavor eventually faded to just an undertone in what was a very smooth, dry, strawberry wine. Took about 2 years for it to be really good.
Woods
Reply to
Woodswun
I understood that raspberries were high in tannin. Is it possible that this what is causing the tartness. like with some teas. If so it may take some time to go away.
Thomas
Reply to
thomasuno
Really...? The raspberry wine I made still had that tartness even 2+years after I made it. I don't know that I would attribute that tartness to excess tannin, because all of my fruit (non-grape) recipes call for adding tannin. My first cherry wine was made out of Door county sour cherries - it had a tartness that did not go away over time, even after 3 years. The second time I made the cherry wine I used sweet cherries, and the tartness wasn't there at all. Both recipes used the same amount of tannin. Darlene
Reply to
Dar V
I can see now that I did not use a question mark. I was genuinely wondering if the greater level of tannin caused the tartness.
Thomas
Reply to
thomasuno
Okay - actually I had to go to my wine book to see what it had to say - Terry Garey's Home Winemaking book. You raise a good point. Grape tannin gives a wine a dryness. Grapes comes with their own tannin supply in their skin. According to Terry, elderberries, blueberries and blackberries have extra tannins, so you might be right that raspberries have it too, but Terry doesn't say so. On the other hand, a wine which has a "bite" can be due to the amount of acid in the fruit. Terry does say a raspberry wine will have a tart taste, now I'm not sure if that would be due to the acid content, tannins, or something else in the fruit. But as I look as recipes for these fruit wines, the recipe for raspberry wine calls for 1/2 tsp acid blend, while blueberry & blackberry calls for 2 tsp acid blend. Yet when I look for tannin - raspberry & blueberry call for 1/8 tsp tannin, while blackberry calls for no additional tannin. You're guess is as good as mine. It is just from my winemaking experience that it depends on the fruit...not too much tannin. This may be different for others, we all have different taste buds. Darlene
Reply to
Dar V
Darlene, I went to the books and found this myself also. Given that I find the taste of raspberries very strong I may try a batch of raspberry and apple this year. Maybe I can get the benefit of raspberry without the tartness. (Bumper crop of apples on my 2 trees this year).
Thomas
Reply to
thomasuno
Good-luck. Your own apples trees, wow, I wish. Another option might be able to balance the raspberry tartness with adding some sugar and stabilizer before you bottle, but if you like strictly dry wines this might not be a good idea. Darlene
Reply to
Dar V
I have 2 considerations here. One is that I am Diabetic so I aim for as dry as my pallatte can take and, living in Scotland, the mighty grape is not so easy to grow so I normally use Grape juice concentrate. My wife has used the cooking apples that have grown but there was a surpluss last year and it looks like there will be again so will give it a go and post my progress. The edibles never quite seem to grow large enough, probably weather related. Rather than them going to waste I am going to give it a go.
Thomas
Reply to
thomasuno
Sounds good - yep we all have to craft our wines for what we like or need. I do use grape concentrate too, to help my fruit wines have a bit more body. Good-luck. I'm sure everyone would like to hear how things turn out. Darlene Wisconsin, USA
Reply to
Dar V
I did test for acid. I will have to look at my notes (not with me) to give you accurate values as I cannot remember the specifics. Here is my recollection. Using ph strips and an acid titration kit, I was guided to lower the acid level (raise the pH). I did this by adding CaCO3 (I think). I then gave a sample of the wine to a friend that is a chemist and he used a pH meter and I think he got 3.5 +- .02. This was 6 months ago and I have not tested it again. All of this was done post primary fermentation. I was going to run another titration but I don't know how useful this is because most acid in raspberry wine is citric acid. I thought titration kits only worked for tartaric acid. Anyway, the bitternes I am tasting just does not seem to me to be acidity related.
Reply to
Michael E. Carey

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