Plum wine

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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Sun Nov 23, 2014 00:08

If you don't need the fermenter for anything else and it's not got lots of crap on the bottom, leave it as long as you can before bottling
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Re: Plum wine

Postby Kermie » Mon Nov 24, 2014 08:05

ok, thanks, there is only a little bit of light sediment so I will leave them for now.
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Re: Plum wine

Postby shroomy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:54

Don't forget to try the good old bullace if you can find them goes well with sloes as well nice taste :-)
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Re: Plum wine

Postby Crastney » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:42

I've just started another batch of plum damson wine, and thought I'd come on here for a sanity check. Here's what I did this morning.
3lb of damsons and juice of an orange got on Sunday, destoned, and in a jar had started to ferment so defrosted the plums and damsons from the freezer, 4lb roughly, added those with 500g bag of raisins blitzed. Poured on boiling water then 2CT, 1/2tsp stabiliser, 1/2tsp pectolase, stirred, and left to cool.

I will have to add nutrient and yeast in a day or so, but wondering how many Gal this will make?
How many of my DJs of other stuff do I have to bottle? 1, 2, or 3?

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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Tue Sep 06, 2016 14:09

7lb of fruit, 8 if you count the raisins...
2 gallons easy, 3 at a stretch. I'd go for two: more flavour and less sucrose to add.
In fact, on reflection, definitely 2.
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Re: Plum wine

Postby Crastney » Tue Sep 06, 2016 20:29

And should I follow CCJ Berry on the amount of sugar to add?

4lb fruit to 4lb sugar?

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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Tue Sep 06, 2016 20:43

No, he tends to be too sweet (or strong, if you get it to fully dry)
Find Moley's list of sugar content of various fruits (pretty sure it's in the wine section somewhere), work out roughly what you have;
Decide your desired ABV and use the rule of thumb that 20g/litre = 1%
Calculate how much sugar to add
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Re: Plum wine

Postby gregles » Tue Sep 06, 2016 21:06

Moley wrote:There are very few cases where you can actually measure an OG for wines with a hydrometer.

For example, with juice wines going straight into a DJ you’ve got to leave headspace at the start or it will overflow. If you measure an OG but then top up with water when fermentation has quietened down, that OG is cocked up and you have to correct for volume changes. That also means that you have to calibrate some fermenters. 5 litre water bottles will hold exactly 5 litres to the base of the neck but it’s useful to mark them off with sticky tapes or permanent pen at 4, 4.25, 4.5 and 4.75L. Gallon DJs are rarely exactly one gallon, they vary, a few of mine have been measured and labeled and seem to average around 4.75 litres.

If you started with 4L in a 5L bottle and later top up with water, multiply your gravity points by 4/5, for example (1.) 100 x 4 / 5 = (1.) 080

With fruit wines it can get very tricky, it might take a few days to extract all of the fruit sugars so your initial gravity reading will be too low, and then if you start fermenting on the pulp it stuffs up the maths completely.


First off, let’s go back to how to read a hydrometer.

Hydrometer readings are always given to three decimal places even if the last digit is a 0, so there’s no such reading as 1.05, that should be 1.050

Ignore the 1. and think of 1.000 as zero, so that’s 50 points

1.110 is 110 points, 1.036 is 36 points and 0.995 is 5 points below zero.

36 points is an important one, because 100g of sugar in 1 litre gives 36 points.

If you buy fruit juices, the sugar content is printed on the carton, so let us consider a Wurzel’s Orange.

One litre of white grape juice might contain 150g of sugar, one litre of orange juice might contain 100g of sugar, you might add 850g of granulated sugar and ultimately end up with a 5 litre brew.

150 + 100 + 850 = 1100g sugar in 5 litres = 220g / litre

100g / litre gives 36 points, so 220g gives 2.2 x 36 = 79 points. Your OG is 1.079

If you started that at 4 litres your hydrometer would say 1.099, which is why I said you have to adjust for volume changes if you add more water later on.

If you want an OG of 1.090, work it backwards:

90 / 36 = 2.5 so you need 2.5 x 100 = 250g sugar per litre x 5 litres = 1250g, and there is 250g in the juices so you need to add 1000g.


If you are using fresh fruits, the same principles apply, but you need to be able to calculate the sugar content of the fruit. There are various tables around on the web but these are a few examples I’ve collected. For dried fruits, read the packet.

Apple (Cooking) 9%
Apple (Eating) 12%
Apricot 8%
Banana 17%
Blackberry 7%
Blackcurrant 8%
Blueberry 8%
Bilberry 6%
Cherry 12%
Cranberry 4%
Damson 9%
Elderberry 11.5%
Gooseberry 8%
Grape 15-20%
Grapefruit 6%
Greengage 11%
Guava 7%
Hawthornberry 8%
Kiwi 14%
Loganberry 5%
Lychee 17%
Mango 11%
Medlar 11%
Orange 11%
Papaya 8%
Passion Fruit 8%
Peach 9%
Pear 10%
Pineapple 13%
Plum 10%
Pomegranate 13%
Raspberry 7%
Redcurrant 6%
Strawberry 6%
Tangerine 7.5%
Whitecurrant 5.5%
Lemon, Lime, Rhubarb - too low to bother about.

Digressing for a moment, when calculating alcohol by volume you divide the gravity points dropped by a factor. I learned that to be 7.36, others use 7.46 so to avoid argument I’m going to split the difference and call it 7.4

So for example, you are making 5 litres and using 1kg blackberries + 500g elderberries

You want a wine of 14% abv so you’re looking for a gravity drop of 14 x 7.4 = 104 points

Most wines will finish around 0.990 (10 points below zero) so we want an OG around 1.095

95 / 36 x 100 = 264g sugar required to the litre, x 5 = 1320g total.

1000g blackberries x 7% = 70g sugar
500g elderberries x 11.5% = 58g sugar

70 + 58 = 128g and I usually guestimate on 90% extraction = 115g sugars from fruit.

1320 - 115 = 1.2kg to add.

Simple :thumb:
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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:00

Well, that's the fruit/sugar list.

I find the rule of thumb 20g/l=1% is good enough (90g/gallon=1%, 1350g/gallon=15%)
I generally go for a total sugar of about 1250g

You have 4lbs plums at 10% sugar, about 1820g, 182g sugar. Making 2 gallons, that's a bit over 90g each. So you want to add about 1.16kg each, 2.32kg total, to get to around 13-14%. The raisins will add a bit, but then you'll lose some when you rack and top up with water. It's all a bit handwavy anyhow.
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Re: Plum wine

Postby gregles » Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:11

oldbloke wrote:Well, that's the fruit/sugar list.

I find the rule of thumb 20g/l=1% is good enough (90g/gallon=1%, 1350g/gallon=15%)
I generally go for a total sugar of about 1250g

You have 4lbs plums at 10% sugar, about 1820g. Making 2 gallons, that's a bit over 900g each. So you want to add about 350g each, 700g total, to get to around 13-14%. The raisins will add a bit, but then you'll lose some when you rack and top up with water. It's all a bit handwavy anyhow.


Just trying to follow this and I am getting confused. I am getting old though...

1 pound = 454 grams. 10% sugar would be 45.4grams so 4 pounds would give 181.6grams sugar. Split between 2 demijohns would give around 90 grams each?
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Re: Plum wine

Postby gregles » Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:21

7 pounds would give 7x45.4 = 317.8g
Split between 2 djs would give roughly 160g so would need to add around 1100g sugar to each demi john to get to around 1250g per gallon.
I would wait for confirmation from someone else before I believed me though :P

Last edited by gregles on Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:46

gregles wrote:
oldbloke wrote:Well, that's the fruit/sugar list.

I find the rule of thumb 20g/l=1% is good enough (90g/gallon=1%, 1350g/gallon=15%)
I generally go for a total sugar of about 1250g

You have 4lbs plums at 10% sugar, about 1820g. Making 2 gallons, that's a bit over 900g each. So you want to add about 350g each, 700g total, to get to around 13-14%. The raisins will add a bit, but then you'll lose some when you rack and top up with water. It's all a bit handwavy anyhow.


Just trying to follow this and I am getting confused. I am getting old though...

1 pound = 454 grams. 10% sugar would be 45.4grams so 4 pounds would give 181.6grams sugar. Split between 2 demijohns would give around 90 grams each?


bugger yes I neglected to do the 10% bit!!! Long day... Will edit original
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Re: Plum wine

Postby gregles » Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:49

Feel free to delete my posts too
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Re: Plum wine

Postby gregles » Tue Sep 06, 2016 23:50

You have kept me right so far and it is much appreciated
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Re: Plum wine

Postby Crastney » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:16

So 3lb damsons 4lb plums 500g raisins 250g dextrose already added, going like a train today.

4lb at 10% =~ 180g sugar, 3lb at 9% =~ 120g, 500g raisins (grapes at high end) 20% = 100g sugar, plus 250g dextrose gives total sugar so far =~ 650g

I want 12% ish wine which is 1080 ish g/gal 2160 for 2gal so need to add ~1.5kg more sugar.

Yes?

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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Sat Sep 10, 2016 17:27

Looks right
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Re: Plum wine

Postby Crastney » Fri Nov 04, 2016 17:13

I may have ruined my plum/damson wine this year - I'd left it on the pulp in the FV till yesterday! I siphoned the juice off, and filtered/sieved the pulp to get all the juice out, the SG was 0.996 and the pH was 3.2 - it tasted like my recent cider did, a bit 'hot alcohol'/pear drops kind of flavour, very dry.
anyway, I took 1 gallon into a brown DJ, and 2/3 gallon onto 1/3 gallon of the other cider that wasn't great, and we'll see how they all go. leave to mature I think.

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Re: Plum wine

Postby oldbloke » Fri Nov 04, 2016 21:40

The last plum I did seemed to magically lose all its colour and almost all its flavour after a year. Very odd.
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