Krækiber season is getting closer. Last year I made a batch of Krækiberjavín. At the moment the wine is ok but not great, perhaps it’ll get more character in the bottle. In any case it has been a lot of fun making it and I will definitely make another batch this year but this time using an improved recipe.
I post my first recipe and results. I also comment on the improved recipe I’m going to use in the fall.
The recipe bellow produces between 25 and 30 liters of wine (I don’t remember exactly). When you rack first time to a secondary fermenter, you will fill it to the top and rack the left over to a smaller container. Later you will use the wine in the small container for topping up next rackings. I ended up with 25 liters of finished wine. After mixing all ingredients, the specific gravity (SG) was 1.085, which means potential ABV= 11.6 % if ferment down to SG=1.000. I ended up with SG=0.999 which means ABV=11.7%
6.8 Kg krækiber
5.8 kg white granulated sugar
20 liters of “Icelandic” water
1 packet pectic enzyme
wine yeast (Lalvin EC1118)
Crushed Campden tablets
Bring 8 liters of water to boil (I used 8 liters for not specific reason so you may use a more or less). While you are waiting, wash krækiber and put them in primary fermentation vessel. Crush the berries: I did it with my hands but krækiber is a hard skin berry it is a bit difficult to crush them all manually. Add the boiling water to the primary. Dissolve the sugar in the rest water and add to primary. When cool to room temperature (20-25 oC) add all other ingredients except yeast. Cover the primary and set it aside for 24 hours. Then add yeast, I did a starter: I re-hydrated yeast an added it to 10% of juice for 24 hours (until you see fermentation signs) then pour the starter in the primary. Stir daily for 5-6 days or until specific gravity is 1.040. Strain out berries pulp and press it. Siphon into secondary fermentation vessel and fit airlock. Rack in three weeks and again in three months. When wine is clear and stable, rack again and bottle.
20/09/2010 => SG=1.085 Mix ingredients
27/09/2010 => SG=1.040 Rack1 to secondary fermenter under airlock
17/10/2010 => SG=1.022 Rack2
23/01/2011 => SG=1.001 Rack3
06/03/2011 => SG=1.001 Rack4
23/07/2011 => SG=0.999 Rack5 Degas + Blended
As you can see in the records this wine fermented very slow. I blended with blueberry wine to achieve 12% ABV and more complexity and some berry juice to add some sweetness. After mixing I ended up with 30 liters of wine, one carboy 25 liters capacity and other smaller carboy 5 liters capacity. I stabilized with potassium sorbate + Potassium metabisulfite only the 25 liters carboy and did not stabilize the 5 liters… guess what!! Fermentation started again only in the 5 liters carboy (of course). Pretty amazing the yeast was reactivated after 10 months.
This year I will use:
More Krækiber and substitute the lemon juice (citric acid) by acid blend (tartaric+malic+citric). I will adjust sugar to SG = 1.095 and also have more control over the acidity. I will add some wine tannin. I will definitely use the same yeast (that guy was very strong..) And very important make another wine in the side to blended with, to improve character and flavor. I am not sure yet whether I will use raisins or not, they give body to the wine.
Finally I can recommend you to visit Jack Keller website. It is a brilliant website and you will find a lot of recipes (not for krækiberjavín) and learn a lot there: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/
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If somebody out there have done krækiber wine we can interchange a bottle, or do something similar, to allow us to taste each others wine. What do you say??