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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Stuck with a fruit wine!
Page 1 of 1

Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 09:40
by Capheatonway
Hi all,

I am very new new to wine making- this is my first ever attempt so please excuse any stupid questions! I discovered this forum for another brewing one and this seems to be the place where all of the wine making experts reside. It has been so informative (so many thanks already).

I decided to make a plum wine using the huge bounty of plums growing in my garden. I bought a primary fermenter (23L plastic barrel) from wilkos and two 1L DJs. Following a recipe I found on the internet, I added the fruit and other ingredient straight to the barrel (no muslin cloth or anything to hold the fruit). I have stirred it each day. So far, the fermentation has been going 3 days.
- How much longer should I leave it to ferment on the pulp?
The recipe now says to remove the pulp- How do I do this? I thought about sterilising a sieve and squeezing this into the opening at the top of the primary fermenter and having a go at sieving it out? If I had another large barrel I would just try and transfer and sieve into there're... But I don't! How can I do this without introducing oxygen and risking oxidation?

Any help would be much appreciated! :D

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:00
by bobsbeer
Welcome :cheers:

I would rack when the SG is around 1.010, or slightly above. To rack it you will need to siphon off as much of the liquid as possible to another container, leaving the plum pulp behind. Don't worry too much about oxygen at this stage as the yeast will eat it. The main thing you need to worry about is introducing other nasties, if you plan on sieving, but assuming it is still fermenting you will be okay. you don't want to leave it till it is below 1.010 or the yeast may stall, resulting in a stuck fermentation. Any questions just ask away. :thumb:

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:31
by Capheatonway
Thanks bobsbeer! :cheers:
Will check SG. May try and sieve some of the bulk of the fruit out and then siphon what is left. I made 10L in the fermenter (didn't want to make too much I case it was awful :sick: and 5L didn't seem a lot given the size of the barrel!), is it ok to rack that off into two 1 gallon DJs?

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:46
by Crastney
If you've only got 10 litres, this should fit into two DJ's, just, with some spare as a trial glass or two.
I would rack it in about three or four days time into the DJ's - get a funnel, and some muslin or sieve, and a soup ladle - all sterilised.
set up the funnel in the DJ, muslin or sieve, ladle from the FV into the top, let each spoon full go through, if using muslin, you can squeeze the juice out, then discard the dry pulp onto the compost, or use it in other ways (crumble or pie filling?) - you can use clothes pegs to attach the muslin to the funnel.
fill each DJ to just where the shoulder starts (widest part) - this allows for initial fast fermentation not to overflow through the airlock.
if you have extra, you can pour into a plastic bottle, keep in the fridge, this will be used later to top up the DJ's to just below the top of the shoulder once initial ferment has slowed down. Careful as this will also ferment in the bottle if left out of the fridge, or for too long in the fridge.

hope it goes well

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:47
by Capheatonway
The SG before I added yeast on 17th was 1092. It is now 1042. Can I rack it around this SG or is it too high/low (probably another simple question- I right in thinking that below 1010 would be 1000, and that the scale isn't read the other way round?)

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:51
by Capheatonway
Thanks for the help Crastney. Will go buy some muslin and give it a go. I'll give it another couple of days and see if the SG falls from 1042 to around 1010 and then rack. Cheers :D

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:56
by bobsbeer
A few more days will be fine. Yes 1.000 is lower than 1.010. But it doesn't need to be exactly 1.010, 1.020 is fine. A week on the pulp is usually okay. What you don't want to do is overdo it and draw out too much tannin from the skins, but you do need some. A week is usually enough, and also allows the flesh to draw out the sugar to be fermented by the yeast. If you do this too soon, you will be removing too much sugar.

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 18:35
by Capheatonway
So... The SG reached about 1.020 and the fruit had been in the FV for 6 days so I decided to rack it into 2 gallon DJs. Having never done that before, I can't say it was the best racking ever. I siphoned off most of the liquid into the first DJ. The siphon stopped a few times because the sediment trap kept moving above the liquid (I'll use peg next time to hold it in place). I then tried to sieve the remaining liquid through a sterilised coffee filter (perfect fit for the funnel) and a funnel. Managed to spill a fair bit here! The process has brought up a few questions for this novice, which I hope some of you guys with more experience might be able to help with!

1) once the DJs have been sterilised for racking, do you rinse with cold tap water? Or would that introduce bacteria to them? (I rinsed them with cold tap water as I didn't want to risk boiling water in the glass DJ).

2) several bits of fruit pulp have made their way through the siphon and into the new DJ. Is this ok or will I have to try and remove it?

3) due to clumsiness and excess spillage, the second DJ is filed to about 2cm below the shoulder. Should I top it up with cooled boiled water or fruit juice (to add a little sugar). Or should I just leave it with that gap?

4) how long should I leave the two DJs for before I have to rack them one last time? I'm happy with a dry wine so should I just leave it a month and allow fermentation to stop naturally or keep checking the SG and add stabiliser at 0990?

Thanks :D

Re: Stuck with a fruit wine!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 23:11
by oldbloke