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Old 10-28-2009, 01:52 AM   #1
Baehoo
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Default First timer - Racking with loose fruit in primary

Hey everyone,

Doing my first batch of non-kit wine (cranberry), and I am wondering if you can all help me with a question I have.

First off - I realized that crushing cranberries is not as easy as it first sounds. I ended up buying a food processor and sending the whole 15 pounds through that to get them ready. I had ordered a straining bag to store the cranberries in the primary fermenter, but it ended up being too small so I just put the cranberries straight in the bucket.

Therein lies the problem -- my primary fermenter is like a thick cranberry slush. While I just pitched the yeast this evening, I am worried about how I am going to get this to secondary in the coming weeks. I am not sure how much to expect the cranberry pulp to settle in the bottom.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this is straining it into another bucket, then siphon that into the carboy. My biggest concern here is how much air contact it will end up having during that whole process -- I assume I need to worry about this being a major oxidation risk?

Does anyone have any advice on how to do this elegantly, and minimize the risk of oxidation? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 10-28-2009, 02:08 AM   #2
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We will start with next time go to Home Depot and get a straining bag in painting section. Next hope to added pectic enzymes to help break down the fruit , if not it isnt to late. After it ferments the fruit will break down and settle to bottom. After you do first racking save bottom of Primary into 1 gallon jug. Not all of it just the soupy part leave to yeast lees on bottom. It will settle out some more and you can rack it off reducing loss. Last Patients. If your SG is good and your acid is ok, let it ride

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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You will also find that fermentation does take care of this some. As fermentation progresses, it will get far less syrupy. You will end up with a pretty healthy cap that floats up to the top -- mostly fruit hulls and pulp. Most of the seeds and stems end up at the bottom

Now, you could buy some sort of a press to smoosh all that wine out at your transfer to the secondary....

The idea of a paint strainer mesh bag is also a good one -- just pour it thru the mesh bag, then squeeze it out good. Some folks even use Nylons for their filter media...

If you are feeling particularly cheap, and the volumes aren't too totally out of control -- strain it thru a mesh kitchen strainer and then squeeze out the pulp by hand.... kinda like squeezing water out of a mud ball before you throw it at someone... Any residual pulp or seeds will be removed at the 1st real racking in the secondary.

Last batch of grape wine I made -- I ended up with about 2-gallons of pulp/peeling/lees/seeds mud balls to pitch out in the bushes out back... The ants were happy that night.

Good luck

John

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Old 10-28-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Straining out pulp, and other solids, is a real pain. I just bought several yards of Muslin fabric. I spent 2 hours marking, cutting and sewing custom bags that perfectly fit my fermenters. I was going to buy a few straining bags, but I saved a ton of cash getting the Muslin fabric, and making my own bags. I woudl have spent over $25 for 4 bags. I bought $15 worth of Muslin, already made 4 bags for my bucket frementers, and 2 bags for larger (10 - 20 gallon tubs) fermenters. I still have over half of the Muslin left too. Definitely money well spent. I have just ventured into wine making so having alot of solids is something new for me.
I am also working on a press. There is just too many things going on to get it all done.

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Old 10-30-2009, 01:01 PM   #5
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as long as it is still fermenting when you strain your wine and rack into secondary you dont need to worry about oxidation for it is still putting off co2.

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Old 11-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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Had this problem with Blackberry wine this summer. Was wondering if I cut a square of nylon screen and sanitized it and then put it in a funnel. I have a press so put the berries in there and as I press it the screen would filter out the pulp prior to it going into the bucket. Think it would be easy to rinse off as it clogged up.

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Old 11-01-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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I did this yesterday with a cabernet that I added elderberries too. I used a small piece of mesh in my autosiphon. that worked for the first 3.5 gallons. Then pluggo. I resorted to using a handheld sifter/strainer by holding that in the fruit, and siphoning out of the middle. It took some patience, but worked like a charm.

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Old 11-01-2009, 09:36 PM   #8
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went to Lowes today to get new strainer bags. 5 gallon strainer bags are 2 for $3. I only buy a 2 bag once a year. When make must I have a 5 gallon food grade bucket. The bag stretches over bucket I put fruit in frozen fruit and tie off bag. It works sweet and If $1.50 per bag is to high of cost????????

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Old 11-01-2009, 10:30 PM   #9
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Default Same boat

I am going the route of getting the nylon bags at loews or nylon stocking from walmart. If I go the stocking route do I just put them in my sanitation bucket for 5 -10 minutes to sanitize them? Then after i filter it that way do I just squeeze lighty to get all of the access juice from the pumpkin pulp?

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Old 11-01-2009, 11:04 PM   #10
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They dont need to be there that long, BTW Walmart may have paint strainer bags too. I just was at Lowes buying wood for hand rail and got new bags while I was there

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