Hi! I've always like making "interesting" wines, so I've been following this thread with interest! When I saw the pictures I was convinced to try this recipe, so a little over a week ago I decided to take the leap and start a batch for myself. I have some observations but first, let me describe what I did...
My local grocery store had kesar mango pulp on sale for Ramadan -- $1.49 per 30oz can -- so I grabbed 12 cans so I could make a 6 gal batch with twice the fruit. Here's the recipe I used (forgive the mixed units -- I'm Canadian):
12 30 ounce cans of mango pulp (that's about 10.5 L or 2.75 Gal)
6 kg Table Sugar (that's about 13.2 lbs or 24 cups)
12.5 L water (that's about 3.25 Gal)
9 tsp white wine acid blend
3 tsp pectic enzyme
6 tsp yeast nutrient
2 tsp yeast energizer
1.5 tsp tannin
1 pkg Bentonite
1 pkg Lalvin EC-1118 yeast
The recipe as posted above would have called for 36 cups (9 kg) of sugar, but as I was pouring in my third bag I was struck by just how much sugar I was adding. Was this going to be rocket fuel? I stopped there and completed the make and set it to ferment, then I went and did some math. I looked up the brix value for kesar mango pulp (you've got to love the internet) and found it is typically sold to consumers at 18 degrees. This means an SG of 1.075. 6 kg of sugar in 12.5 L of water has an SG of about 1.220, so blended together the mixture had an OG of 1.150. If I fermented this mixture to full dryness it would have about 20% alcohol (although Lalvin EC-1118 tops out at about 18% in perfect conditions).
I like to ferment to dry and then backsweeten if needed, so this is too high for me. What to do? Hmm...cut with water? What about the flavor I was looking for? I thought about this overnight.
It hit me the next morning: start another batch with no sugar added! This would create a batch with an OG of 1.015, which, once started I could blend with the first batch to create two batches with an average OG of 1.082 -- a nice, 10.5% ABV final result.
So, I went and got another 12 cans and started up -- it was so happy it was approaching dry a day later (!), so I grabbed a third primary pail and put half of each batch into it, then poured the remaining second batch atop the first batch. I also used my degassing wand to blend in the fruit caps thoroughly. By this time the original batch had made it down to 1.060 (wow). Blended together the two batches were each at 1.040.
Yesterday I racked both batches down to a couple of 5 gal carboys, blending the batches half and half again for good measure. I used a gallon jug for the excess -- one of my batches got a solidish fruit cap on it, the other was still in suspension, so I had only about a gallon of extra stuff. After an hour or so I noticed some airlock activity. I'll have to check the current SG when it clears a little.
Oh, and when I looked at my receipts from the grocery store I realized I'll get two batches for $36 worth of pulp and $6 worth of sugar. Not bad! Does anyone know what volume of sediment I can expect this to drop?
So -- after all this I wonder perhaps if the original recipe is a little hot? Any thoughts?
I'll throw in some images here:
After racking yesterday (oh, and the other carboys are: 3 gal dried elderberry to the left, 6 gal dragon blood to the rear and 3 gal of strawberry to the right)