Brewing from very opaque nectar

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Offthedome

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Hi all! Here's my second question. I am a big fan of the tropical fruits, being of Dominican Republic ancestry although I was born in the States. Since the more tropical fruits are hard to come by in the northern states, I've essentially been forced to decide to brew from juices and nectars without preservatives. The thing is, those juices frequently leave a very wide, visible layer on bottom that seems to be fruit particles
I am currently brewing in a 1 gallon glass jug, and the bottom 40% has a visibly thicker layer, but a layer that clearly is more water/pre-wine than actual fruit particles. My question is, when I re-rack to the secondary, should I be taking that big layer with me?
 
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bernardsmith

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Hiya Offthedome - and welcome. I wouldn't rack the lees into the secondary BUT I would look for a tall and narrow container - a wine bottle for example - sanitize it and pour the lees into it. Then refrigerate the bottle. Very soon the particles will fall to the bottom and force more of the liquid towards the top. In other words, solids and liquids will separate. I would then add that liquid to your secondary. If you return those lees to the fridge in a still narrower container you might find that the solids and liquids will continue to separate...
 
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Offthedome

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Hiya Offthedome - and welcome. I wouldn't rack the lees into the secondary BUT I would look for a tall and narrow container - a wine bottle for example - sanitize it and pour the lees into it. Then refrigerate the bottle. Very soon the particles will fall to the bottom and force more of the liquid towards the top. In other words, solids and liquids will separate. I would then add that liquid to your secondary. If you return those lees to the fridge in a still narrower container you might find that the solids and liquids will continue to separate...
Thanks! I'll save up a wine bottle I'm using now for that.
 

jgmillr1

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the bottom 40% has a visibly thicker layer
You don't mention what fruit you are using or whether it is particularly acidic. Here are some observations I've made when I've seen this along with some planned changes.

I've noticed this before on a bench trial of cranberry wine. In my case, I added pectic enzyme to 30lbs of sliced cranberries + sugar, nutrients, etc... let it ferment, and de-acidified near the end of the fermentation. The fermentation using D47 took like two months due to the low pH of ~2.5. The carboy never settled that 40% sludge (I don't recall if I tried to refrigerate it) and I ended up racking off of it and dumping the sludge. The wine was great but I certainly don't want to lose all the wine caught up in the sludge on large batches. Of course learning experiences like this are why I do bench trials!

I plan a second bench trial and will make some changes such as de-acidifying at the beginning of the fermentation to bring the pH up where the yeast will be happy. Cranberries have a large amount of pectin and I wonder whether the pectic enzyme was not effective because of the low pH. So hopefully the sludge will be minimized with the better environment for the yeast and enzyme this next time.

Anyway, maybe some of these observations are relevant to what you are making and can help.

Cheers
 
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Offthedome

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I am using a peach nectar, no preservatives, not from concentrate. I have pH strips but never thought to test the pH.
 
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