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Old 08-28-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
Unferth
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Default handling your fruit

Alright, so I'm about ready to do my first wine from fruit. I've done some kits and some bottled juice wines, but never straight from fruit.

looking through the recipe database and reading through the forum, there seem to be a plethora of 'fruit handling' methods. Before beginning the fermentation process, some freeze and thaw, some soak in vodka, some soak in crushed campden tablets, some crush, some press, others do neither.

when it comes to crushing, some crush in mesh bags, some crush in the primary fermentation vessel, some crush before fermentation, some squeeze only before transferring to secondary. And, of course, some combine some or many of these methods.

I have quite a few pounds of nice cherries in the freezer right now, which I plan to thaw, destem, stuff into sterilized cheesecloth, lightly crush, then soak in crushed campden and water about 12 hours before adding pectic enzyme and 24 before adding yeast, sugar, etc.

sound right? advantages of alternative methods?

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Old 08-28-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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You have mostly summarized the process I take with cherries (and most other fruit), except:
Thaw fruit (remove cherry pits if you haven't already), and hand-squeeze all the juice you can get out of the pulp. I don't know if this is really necessary but my rationale is I think I get more accurate SG and acid measurements.
Top out with water, add the pulp bag to the ferment bucket, and test SG and acid levels.
Add sugar, dissolved in some of the liquid, to reach about 1.085-1.090, then add tannin, acid, yeast nutrient, etc. per recipe.
After 12 hours add pectic enzyme, and after 12 more hours add yeast if must temperature is correct.

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Old 08-28-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photony View Post
You have mostly summarized the process I take with cherries (and most other fruit), except:
Thaw fruit (remove cherry pits if you haven't already), and hand-squeeze all the juice you can get out of the pulp. I don't know if this is really necessary but my rationale is I think I get more accurate SG and acid measurements.
Top out with water, add the pulp bag to the ferment bucket, and test SG and acid levels.
Add sugar, dissolved in some of the liquid, to reach about 1.085-1.090, then add tannin, acid, yeast nutrient, etc. per recipe.
After 12 hours add pectic enzyme, and after 12 more hours add yeast if must temperature is correct.
Thanks! Although I didn't want to hear that I'm going to have to pit these things. Think I could avoid it?
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Everything I've read about cherry wine has said the same thing about removing the pits. Apparently they can affect the taste in a negative way. Perhaps others on this forum have had more experience and can offer other opinions.

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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You do not have to pit them.Seven days is not enough time for them to cause you any trouble. They are put together pretty good. Mike

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Old 08-28-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Thanks to both. Does 20 lbs sound right for a 5 gallon batch? I'm thinking of doing a port style wine with them, but I'm worried ratio will be too 'thin' bodied for this style.

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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I usually use 5-7 pounds/gallon in fruit wines, after processing.

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:14 AM   #8
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soaking in vodka sounds like a bad bad idea, you dont want any alcohol in your must before fermenting.

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