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Old 09-25-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default question on making the must

Ok, complete newby and getting confused with different recipe methods. Can anyone give me clarity on the following

1. Why do recipies for fruit wines say to colds soak the fruit to infuse the flavours. Is it wrong to boil the fruit to mush it?

2. Most recipies say to strain the fruit off after its sat doing its starting fermentation for a few days. Why not strain to start so you have juice/syrup?

3.some recipes say to start the yeast, with nutreints etc off in a seperate vessel, then leave for days then add to unstrained fruit. Is there a problem with adding the yeast etc direct to the fruit to start?

4. All recipes say to start fermentation off not in a demi John. I presume this is because it can overflow as it gets energetic?

I started my first batch by boiling the fruit with sugar (like for jam) then straining so I had a cool syrup before adding yeast etc and putting direct into a demi john. It frothed up a treat, then settled down. Racked it after about 10days, its not clearing well but I probably didnt put enough enzyme in. However its still on the go, smells amazing and tastes like vimto!

But could I have just stored up trouble for later?

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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Ok, complete newby and getting confused with different recipe methods. Can anyone give me clarity on the following

1. Why do recipies for fruit wines say to colds soak the fruit to infuse the flavours. Is it wrong to boil the fruit to mush it?

2. Most recipies say to strain the fruit off after its sat doing its starting fermentation for a few days. Why not strain to start so you have juice/syrup?

3.some recipes say to start the yeast, with nutreints etc off in a seperate vessel, then leave for days then add to unstrained fruit. Is there a problem with adding the yeast etc direct to the fruit to start?

4. All recipes say to start fermentation off not in a demi John. I presume this is because it can overflow as it gets energetic?

I started my first batch by boiling the fruit with sugar (like for jam) then straining so I had a cool syrup before adding yeast etc and putting direct into a demi john. It frothed up a treat, then settled down. Racked it after about 10days, its not clearing well but I probably didnt put enough enzyme in. However its still on the go, smells amazing and tastes like vimto!

But could I have just stored up trouble for later?
1. Boiling cooks the fruit, and sets the pectin. (Think jelly/jam). The wine will never clear if the pectins set, and the boiling will also cause a "cooked fruit" flavor. Think of the differences in flavor and texture between a fresh apple and an apple from an apple pie.

2. Because there are good things in the fruit- like tannins, and there will be some body and texture from fermenting fruit instead of juice. Juice works fine, though, if you don't have fresh fruit.

3. No, but campden (sulfites) are normally added to cool must to kill microbes like bacteria and wild yeast. Then, about 12 hours later, pectic enzyme is added (this breaks up the pectin to help break up the fruit and then clear any pectin haze), and then the yeast is added 12 hours later to the now-sanitized must. If you're not using sulfites, then there is no reason to wait to add the yeast.

4. It's sure a lot easier to stir if it's in a bucket! Most wines form a "cap" and are stirred a few times a day until fermentation slows down. Once fermentation slows, it can be racked (siphoned) to a demijohn or carboy, and topped up so there is little headspace. Thereafter the wine is racked whenever there are lees 1/4" thick (sediment), or after 60 days if there are any lees that form. Once no new lees form after at least 60 days, and the wine is perfectly clear, then it can be bottled.

If you boiled your fruit, like for jam, you set the pectins and it may never clear even with pectic enzyme.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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Thanks yooper quick reply!

Makes sense about the taste, as I am looking for a sweet wine I will probably be ok with cooked fruit pie taste on this one - about to start a blackberry will do it properly this time !

Yep added campden, only waited about an hour to add yeast tho as I read somwhere that its the first 15mins that does the job ? - might have misread that !

Was making such a small amount that it was easy enough to swish the demijohn in the first few days, can see if doing a bigger batch this would be an issue - I was worried I could had starved the yeast of oxygen or something, no bad smells yet...

I think the lack of clearing might be my downfall but based on the fact you can make wine from jam, was hoping a tablespoon of enzyme would work - will it work if added later in the ferment?

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Thanks yooper quick reply!

Makes sense about the taste, as I am looking for a sweet wine I will probably be ok with cooked fruit pie taste on this one - about to start a blackberry will do it properly this time !

Yep added campden, only waited about an hour to add yeast tho as I read somwhere that its the first 15mins that does the job ? - might have misread that !

Was making such a small amount that it was easy enough to swish the demijohn in the first few days, can see if doing a bigger batch this would be an issue - I was worried I could had starved the yeast of oxygen or something, no bad smells yet...

I think the lack of clearing might be my downfall but based on the fact you can make wine from jam, was hoping a tablespoon of enzyme would work - will it work if added later in the ferment?
Sometimes pectic enzyme works if added later, but it some wines with a pectin haze set by heat, the wine just never clears. Wait and see.

Campden really should have about 24 hours to dissipate before adding the yeast, but wine yeast is amazingly tolerant of sulfites so it's fine if it's fermenting.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
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Thanks yooper, my fears allayed!
I'll sit and watch for a few weeks to see if it clears

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #6
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Good questions and answers!
I'll be using the info myself. I had no idea pectic enzyme helped break down the fruit.

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