Greengage Wine

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Hopsteep

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So my (soon to be) father in law is really keen to make some wine. He loves trying my beers which is really nice. His garden has 3 huge Greengage trees in it, grape vines, apple trees you name it! I fancy having a go at a wine with some of his grapes and a load of Gages.

He messaged me yesterday to say he’s started picking them and freezing them so I’d better get a move in and come up with a plan!

Very rough recipe:

6 gallon batch-

20/25lbs gages
Some grapes (only small vines so not likely to be many)
12lbs sugar (cane sugar or refined?)
Bottled water to 6 gallons
3 tsp peptic enzyme
6 tsp yeast nutrient
6 Campden tablets
2 Packets Mangrove Jacks premium wine yeast
Oak chips

Very rough method:

-remove the stones from the Gages and freeze
-thaw and mash them up with the grapes then add to the primary FV
-add all ingredients minus the yeast and leave for 12 - 24 hours before adding yeast.
-ferment with the fruit for 1 week, stirring it every day
-transfer to secondary and leave to ferment out
-rack to demijohns and add a handful of oak chips (sterilised) and leave to age for 6 months
-bottle

One question I have, is should I look at adjusting the ph of the must before fermentation? And if so, what ph is acceptable and what acids/salts can I use?

Another thought (this is either genius or stupid I haven’t decided yet) I’d like to use my stainless mash tun as the primary FV, to use the false bottom in it to filter out the fruit. It would save me farting around with straining the must as I could just open the tap.

Please could anyone offer some advice on this one, I’d really like to make something that the family can enjoy over the next few years.

Thank you in advance,

Sam
 

MmmBeer

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The Country Wine recipes I have tried suggest a pH in the range 3.2 to 3.6. To reduce pH, you can add citric acid, lemon juice, or ideally a citric, malic and tartaric acid blend.

The mash tun sounds like an interesting suggestion for the first few days of the fermentation. The only lingering doubt in my mind is the dead space below the false bottom; you may need to add extra water to cover all of the fruit. Also to ensure an even juice concentration throughout, draw off some of the must via the tap daily and pour over the fruit.
 

Hopsteep

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The Country Wine recipes I have tried suggest a pH in the range 3.2 to 3.6. To reduce pH, you can add citric acid, lemon juice, or ideally a citric, malic and tartaric acid blend.

The mash tun sounds like an interesting suggestion for the first few days of the fermentation. The only lingering doubt in my mind is the dead space below the false bottom; you may need to add extra water to cover all of the fruit. Also to ensure an even juice concentration throughout, draw off some of the must via the tap daily and pour over the fruit.
Is it rare then to need to increase the ph? I’ve just ordered some acid blend :thumba:

I think the dead space is only a litre or so, should be fine I’d have thought. I like the idea of making use out of my existing kit. I’m leaning towards giving it a go
 

Hopsteep

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Well, after a long day finishing off a concrete fence, the wine was started. Roughly 8 lbs of grapes, 8lbs of plums and 8lbs of greengage.
OG of 1.102 and PH was good. Will pitch the yeast this morning. Wish me luck!
 

Hopsteep

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Well the mash tun worked a treat. Gravity down to 1.020 already
 

LED_ZEP

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I suspect your up coming wedding is just a marriage of convenience so you can get your hands on your future father in law's orchard. ;)
 

Hopsteep

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I suspect your up coming wedding is just a marriage of convenience so you can get your hands on your future father in law's orchard. ;)
It’s mutually beneficial! He gets beer and wine and I get the fruit from the garden. No wonder he said yes! acheers.
 

Hopsteep

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Been fermenting for a month this Friday. Gravity was down to 1.012 when I checked a few days ago. Very slow going! Tasted lovely though but still a lot of residual sugars.
 

jceg316

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I'm going to make some blackberry wine and damson wine this weekend. Using the mash tun seems like a great idea. I have a brew kettle with a domed filter, I might use that as I can boil water in there, add the fruits etc and after a day or will transfer to a demijohn.
 

Hopsteep

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I'm going to make some blackberry wine and damson wine this weekend. Using the mash tun seems like a great idea. I have a brew kettle with a domed filter, I might use that as I can boil water in there, add the fruits etc and after a day or will transfer to a demijohn.
Did you go for the brew kettle in the end? I might have started something here! acheers.
 

jceg316

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Did you go for the brew kettle in the end? I might have started something here! acheers.
I didn't. My brew kettle isn't operational and has holes in (where taps, thermo probes etc go) and would have taken too long to set up, so I did it the old fashioned way with a bucket. Maybe next time.
 

Hopsteep

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Well a quick update-

She’s still bubbling away! Fermentation really slowed and I was afraid it had stalled, but the yeast has kicked back in over the last couple of weeks. It’s smells and tastes really nice, just a little sweet still. I’d like to rack to demijohns but clearly it’s in no rush and is taking its time.

Nearly seven weeks fermenting and counting.
 

Hopsteep

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Gravity down to 994. Its going onto the oak next week. 14.1% abv, might ferment out a little more we will see
 

Hopsteep

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Fermented down to 14.7% abv in the end. Single malt oak chips added. Will leave in the warm for another week just to allow the yeast to clear it up a little, then off to the garage for 5/6 months before bottling
 

jceg316

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I'll be interested to hear about the oak. I don't think I'll add oak to any of my wine this year as it's the first time I would have made it (successfully). Will add to my cider though.

My wines were left in a shed and are still fermenting due to the cold weather.
 
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