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Old 01-15-2012, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default 1st fruit wine "Hand Pressing"?? And products I can't find from a book

I need to make the transition from beer brewing to small-scale fruit wine making due to health concerns that don't enable me to lug and tug all that hot water around. I was thinking of starting out with Peach Vintner's Harvest Fruit Bases but a site I was reading said it needed to be pressed out like fresh fruit and if you were going to do this by hand muslin bags would help. How and when do you press out the fruit by hand? I cannot afford a press or really want one at this point unless it was free as they are expensive and heavy and I am not putting up a hundred gallons per year so how and when do I do it by hand?

Secondly are there any alternatives to crushers and presses? I have "first steps in wine making" put I haven't been able to locate anything he talks about as apparently the brand names were solely for Great Britain. He does show this picture of a little press which looks like it would be cheap. It is an all plastic/pvc???? tower that is small and just has a little tee handle on top. Has anyone seen one of these for sale? Also how about a Winemaid which is a foil bag which holds your wine and is contained in a cardboard box with a tap attached and is reusable (I think).

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Old 01-15-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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I made the VH peach and you really don't "press it". Put it in a mesh bag and just squeeze the bag in your hands. Not a hard task to do at all because the peaches are very soft.

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyk View Post
I made the VH peach and you really don't "press it". Put it in a mesh bag and just squeeze the bag in your hands. Not a hard task to do at all because the peaches are very soft.
OK, at what point do you do this? When first putting your peaches in, after the day of rest on the Campton tablet, or after primary fermentation has completed and if this is the case how then would you get a starting SG? Sorry to ask so many questions, but like when I started out with beer I am at a loss.

By the way how did your's turn out? Did you make the thicker three gallon recipe or standard five gallon recipe?
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Drinking: Ed Worts Apfelwein, Store bought Bass, Salvator. Can't brew in Winter and I needed bottles.


Primary: Bass Clone Austin Home Brew Supply
Went down in a blaze of glory due to mold infection.

ON DECK: Moosebutt Faux Lager

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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I make lots and lots of wine, but don't have a press!

Just yesterday, I pulled the bag of fruit from 2 gallons of chokecherry wine. Bob sanitized his hands and arms and squeezed the bag of fruit until the juice stopped coming out. That's how we "hand press" ALL of our wines!

Typically, you ferment on the fruit for the first 5-7 days (depending on temperature) and pull the fruit and squeeze. We always freeze the fruit first, to make it more "mooshable" after it thaws and ferments. Using the canned stuff is fine, and using hot water (to dissolve the sugar) means that the fruit puree will be able to mix decently to give you a close OG. Use a big bag, so that the fruit is very loose (not packed in) and the liquid easily permeates it.

A typical schedule would be:

Mix up must:
big mesh bag with fruit
water and sugar (according to recipe)
Acid blend/tannin/etc (according to recipe)
1 crushed campden tablet per gallon (dissolved in some of the water)

Twelve hours later, add 1 teaspoon pectic enzyme per gallon

Twelve hours after that, add your yeast.

Ferment 5 days, until fermentation slows down. SG should be 1.020 or less. Squeeze fruit, and transfer to secondary. Don't transfer all the lees. Top up, if fermentation is slow enough (so you don't have a mess), or top up a couple of days later if fermentation is still vigorous, and airlock. Rack whenever lees are 1/4" thick after 45-60 days. Top off at each racking with similar wine, or water.

That's about it!

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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I only started it 2 months ago and it is in the secondary now. Will check it again in a few more months.

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Old 01-16-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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Now see, this is why wine is more suited to me, aging time-tables. I have been accused of aging my beers too long to be a rational guy. I have an Abby ale I am going to bottle soon that's been in a carboy under inert wine preserving gas from Midwest Supply for two and 1/2 years. I tasted it today and all I can say is the wait was well worth it. I tasted the same kit made young and they're two completely different beers and mine is 200 times better.

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Drinking: Ed Worts Apfelwein, Store bought Bass, Salvator. Can't brew in Winter and I needed bottles.


Primary: Bass Clone Austin Home Brew Supply
Went down in a blaze of glory due to mold infection.

ON DECK: Moosebutt Faux Lager

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