Absurd persimmon project

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conpewter

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Cool project! I think it will turn out nice, though perhaps rather dry because of the wine yeast. How do you plan to secondary (if it was ~125 gallons of pulp...)
 

Randar

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Oh man, I started a thread on persimmon mead and it seems nobody has tried it either. I am currently fermenting a medium show mead with D47 to act as the base and I will probably make 2 different batches when I make fruit additions later.

I scooped the pulp out of one box of ripe Hachiya persimmons (about 8 lbs of pulp) and froze it to break down the cells and control the wild yeast.

BTW, persimmons are very high in tannins which is why I chose to remove the skins as to avoid an overpowering tannin profile. No idea how mine will turn out either, so good luck to us all!
 
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aardvark

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I'm sure the vigorous fermentation is partly as a result of the 1oz of yeast nutrient that we added to each barrel last night.

That picture was taken this morning around 7am. At that point I skimmed everything off the top, which was a lot of pulp and skins. When I went home for lunch, it was pretty much the same situation. I skimmed off some more and then pulled enough out of each barrel to fill a 5 gallon bucket.
 
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aardvark

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I forgot to mention, but the night before last, before fermentation really took off, I followed gratus fermentatio's (thanks gf) suggestion and pushed a strainer down into the push and collected what pooled in it. It was still pretty thick, but I froze it, defrosted it and skimmed off the thickest of it. It was still too thick to take a hydro reading though.

So today, on my lunch break I took it by the LHBS and asked if they might be able to take a reading using a refractometer. The interchange went something like this:

me: "I was wondering if it would be possible for you to take a reading from this with the refractometer."
LHBS Guy: "hmmmm..." as he looks at the very orange liquid in the jar. "Can't get an accurate reading. It's too viscous."
me: "oh, that's too bad."
guy: "yeah, it's too viscous." As he pulls the lid off and smells it. "What is it?"
me: "Persimmons."
guy: "ah, persimmons don't have much sugar." Looking at the jar. "I don't think you could get an accurate hydrometer reading either. Too viscous."
me: "From what little research I could do I thought they were about 15%"
guy: "yeah, not that much sugar. How did you process the persimmons?"
me: "ummmm...we took the persimmons and mashed them up."
guy: "yeah...lot of pulp that way, that's why its so viscous. Probably not going to get an accurate reading."
me: nods head
guy: "how much of this do you have?"
me: "100 gallons"
guy: "Let me go see if I can get a reading."

And he did...15% on the nose.
 

twohands

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I forgot to mention, but the night before last, before fermentation really took off, I followed gratus fermentatio's (thanks gf) suggestion and pushed a strainer down into the push and collected what pooled in it. It was still pretty thick, but I froze it, defrosted it and skimmed off the thickest of it. It was still too thick to take a hydro reading though.

So today, on my lunch break I took it by the LHBS and asked if they might be able to take a reading using a refractometer. The interchange went something like this:

me: "I was wondering if it would be possible for you to take a reading from this with the refractometer."
LHBS Guy: "hmmmm..." as he looks at the very orange liquid in the jar. "Can't get an accurate reading. It's too viscous."
me: "oh, that's too bad."
guy: "yeah, it's too viscous." As he pulls the lid off and smells it. "What is it?"
me: "Persimmons."
guy: "ah, persimmons don't have much sugar." Looking at the jar. "I don't think you could get an accurate hydrometer reading either. Too viscous."
me: "From what little research I could do I thought they were about 15%"
guy: "yeah, not that much sugar. How did you process the persimmons?"
me: "ummmm...we took the persimmons and mashed them up."
guy: "yeah...lot of pulp that way, that's why its so viscous. Probably not going to get an accurate reading."
me: nods head
guy: "how much of this do you have?"
me: "100 gallons"
guy: "Let me go see if I can get a reading."

And he did...15% on the nose.
The last 2 lines have so much win i don't know what to say...:ban:
 
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aardvark

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Looking for the daily photo...
Sorry to disappoint. Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day. We added 1oz of yeast nutrient, but that's about it.

As for racking and bottling, we are totally unprepared. Racking probably involves another barrel and a lot of skimming of pulp. We may rent a press and run the pulp through it to get all the juice that we can.
 

Paddle_Head

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If you have a very viscous material and want to take a refrac reading (especially if there are alot of skins/pulp floating in it). But a dollup in a kimwipe (I'd guess any simple not frangranced tissue could work too), and take a reading on the drops of liquid you can get to squeeze through. It's how you check the solids on tomato paste.
 

jcobbs

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Sorry to disappoint. Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day. We added 1oz of yeast nutrient, but that's about it.

As for racking and bottling, we are totally unprepared. Racking probably involves another barrel and a lot of skimming of pulp. We may rent a press and run the pulp through it to get all the juice that we can.
Be glad it's wine and not beer. You have a few months to prepare for bottling (as opposed to weeks).
 
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aardvark

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Actually, yes. Today I added 10 lbs of sugar to one of the barrels. We decided to add sugar to one and leave the other as is. Fermentation has slowed noticeably, and I think it would have been better to add it earlier, but we do what we can. I plan on adding more sugar, but I wanted to stagger it some.

Here is a picture of me adding the sugar:
 
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aardvark

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Well, not much to update. I did add a total of 20 lbs of sugar to one of the buckets. Fermentation has slowed down to the point that I can't tell if it is still fermenting or if there is just trapped CO2.

The next step is to strain out the pulp and press as much liquid out as we can. If needed, we will repeat that until there is no more pulp floating on the top. Im sure there will be some fun pictures out of that.

Then we rack. We will have to see how much liquid is left after we remove the pulp before we decide what racking will involve.

Since I have no new pictures, here are 2 movie clips to give you an idea what this is all like.

This one was taken as it was still pretty actively fermenting. No stirring or anything:
http://s977.photobucket.com/albums/ae259/aardvark23/?action=view&current=MVI_0130.flv
 

psychedelic_brew

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We may rent a press and run the pulp through it to get all the juice that we can.
i think that might have been my first thought, rather than fermenting 100 gallons of pulp. this looks so awesome. i wish someone would give me hundreds of pounds of random fruits :)
 
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aardvark

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What you can't see is that it isn't uniformly thick. Between the pectinase and the fermentation, a great deal of separation has occurred. Under the thick pulp at the top is liquid.
 

Randar

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What you can't see is that it isn't uniformly thick. Between the pectinase and the fermentation, a great deal of separation has occurred. Under the thick pulp at the top is liquid.
Colanders and cheese cloth is how you would do it in a kitchen setting. Scoop up a bunch of the top pulp, pack into a cheese-cloth lined colander, press, pick cheese cloth up into a sort of ball and squeeze what you can out of it, then discard remnants. Repeat until you have reduced the pulp to a satisfactory level and then you can probably siphon. Might want to check a restaurant supply place for a large quantity of cheesecloth, but this is probably the cheapest way to do it at this point.

That "should" get you to a satisfactory level of sediment that will settle out. You also might have to do it in a couple of sittings with a week rest between to allow the sediment to "reconvene" as it were.
 

jkpq45

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5 gallon paint strainer bags and a wine press. Fill the bag with pulp, chuck it into the press, squeeze, repeat.

It'd take a few batches with my press, but it's doable.
 

Randar

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5 gallon paint strainer bags and a wine press. Fill the bag with pulp, chuck it into the press, squeeze, repeat.

It'd take a few batches with my press, but it's doable.
Good call, had never even thought about paint strainer bags.
 

Emerald

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Just a helpful suggestion- instead of cheese cloth to strain any pulp out, just go to a fabric store and buy a nice tightly woven unbleached, muslin- I make cheese and use the unbleached muslin to hold and strain whey from my cheeses. It works better and is quite inexpensive to buy by the yard. It just needs to be washed in the washer but with no fabric softener.. I usually pour boiling water over my cloth to make it sterile for cheese draining, or if it is quite big just boil it a bit in a large saucepan before using it to strain. I would guess that you could also soak it in starsan or other sanitizers. Just don't forget to wash it first as it usually has sizing in it to make it very stiff on the bolts.

By the way-- VERY COOL PROJECT! :rockin: That barrel of orange goo looks likes the aftermath of "The Great Pumpkin" meets "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"!:D
I look forward to more updates!
 
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aardvark

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Last week, under the cover of darkness, D and I scraped off the layer of pulp that had floated to the top of the barrels. The plan was that we would press the pulp with one of the methods mentioned above. We were both very curious what we would find. We knew we had liquid in there somewhere, but how much and how well it was separated from the pulp, we didn't know. This is what it looked like initially:


I don't know how evident it is in the picture, but, it was pretty thick. The first bucketful was so obviously dry that there was no point in pressing it.


After filling the bucket twice it was apparent that we were pretty close to the liquid. The third bucked was wet enough that we could have pressed some liquid out, but it was raining and we were feeling pretty good about how much liquid we were going to have. You can get a good sense of how the pulp and liquid had separated from this picture here:


After less than 4 buckets of pulp, we were done, and were left with about 40 gallons of liquid per barrel. This is what the barrel that had no sugar added looked like afterward:


The two barrels were mostly the same, except that toward the end of straining the pulp off the barrel that had sugar added, something strange happened. I can only describe it as "turning over" as though there was some pulp that had somehow been trapped on the bottom. After it "turned" the liquid was quite a bit thicker. We left both barrels and since then the one that didn't have sugar added has settled and looks like we might be nearly ready to rack. The one that did have sugar added started to show signs of fermentation again and some pulp had floated to the top. We'll let that one go for a while before straining again.

Other than a somewhat funky smell, I am very happy with how this is turning out...our yield has been great and the amount of work hasn't been that bad considering how much fruit we have.
 

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