Originally Posted by pixie
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.