Maximum fruit question

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Robb

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Just started getting in to all this and been trying recipes from a variety of places.

Please can someone tell me about the maximum quantity of fruit that will work in a recipe

Specifically, I see a lot of PLUM wine recipes that call for 3 - 4lbs of plums for a gallon of wine but could I use, for example, 8lb of plums and
still only make a gallon by reducing how much water I add?
Does too much fruit over power the yeast?
Would it need larger or smaller quantities of sugar?

In relation to this, where you make cider using only apple juice and no added water, could you ferment 100% plum juice or blackberry juice?
As far as I can see, winemakers using grapes would not add water so in case of other fruits is water only needed because of scarcity of fruit or would 100% fruit be too strong?

Apologies is this is silly question, but have searched internet for a explanation, but searched fruitlessly!

Grateful for any answers
 

Chippy_Tea

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No a silly question but unfortunately i don't have the answer.

If you are not too fussy about making wine from fruit you might find this of interest -

 

johncrobinson

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I don't add extra water to my WOWs I have been making them for nigh on 30yrs, To be honest I thought i invented the concept of fruit juice wines.These were pre-internet days all the wine books of the time were about country wines or grape concentrate wines.The selection of pure fruit juices was nothing like today so most were apple or orange/apple mixtures.

I still make them today and take advantage of the selection of juices now available.
However I do make them a lot stronger than the standard WOW say 15-16%abv so adding water is most certainly not a good idea.(High alcohol wine can easily end up tasting watery.)

I have never made anything which had too much fruit or juice.But I have in the early days made the mistake of too much water.
Usually as a result of adding sugar as a too "weak" syrup.

However standard strength WOWs might be a different matter.?????
Experiment and see. :beer1:

You are correct that grape wines from many country's just use pure juice.The addition of water or extra sugar (chaptilisation.) is frowned upon.In some cases it is outright forbidden.
 

johncrobinson

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Since you are a beginner I feel it my duty to warn you of TWO things.

(1) You need to use PURE juice with no additives or preservatives .(double check.)

(2) Avoid anything labeled fruit DRINK,Many members have been fooled by this labeling ending up with poor\disastrous results.

Finally good luck.🙂
 

Robb

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Since you are a beginner I feel it my duty to warn you of TWO things.

(1) You need to use PURE juice with no additives or preservatives .(double check.)

(2) Avoid anything labeled fruit DRINK,Many members have been fooled by this labeling ending up with poor\disastrous results.

Finally good luck.🙂
Thank you very much those ideas look very interesting, I will need to look at them more closely, using juice would open up a lot of different flavours I don't have any access to.
I do have a lot of plums though! Made too much jam last year.
I have been using recipes off the brewbitz site and the product - still in the DJ - looks ok and tasted promising as I syphoned it - but I think I have seen some people on this forum are cautious about the brewbitz approach
 

johncrobinson

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Plums !!! Make sure your recipe includes pectolase otherwise your wine wont clear.
It should be added before you pitch the yeast.

What is your concern about brewbitz ???
If you tell me I may be able to help.
 

Robb

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Perhaps concern is too strong a term. I have been using Davin's recipes from youtube. I find him to be very clear, but somewhere on this site, can't find it now, I was reading about blackberry wine and the poster seemed to think the proportions of fruit and sugar would make it very strong. I don't have particular preconceptions but I would like to produce something drinkable.
In my latest attempts I have taken a SG reading before sugar and then added sugar to get it up to 1090 rather than just putting in fruit and sugar and seeing what it produced.

Incidentally, do you think the distinction between brewers sugar and ordinary sugar much of an issue? Big price difference if it is not.
 

johncrobinson

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How you are adding your sugar is by far the best way,So no problems there.
Just make sure its well stirred in and fully dissolved when taking your gravity readings.

1090 OG should produce just shy of 13% abv.Which is fine,You could cut it back a bit to say 1080 (11.4% abv) if
you want more of a "table" wine.

Do not use brewers sugar when making wine of this strength.Ordinary table sugar is just fine.
Wine yeast produce enzymes that split and invert the sugar all by themselves.

Brewers sugar is only of use in beers or when trying to ferment to super high alcohol levels of circa 20%abv.
 

Stevieboy

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Just started getting in to all this and been trying recipes from a variety of places.

Please can someone tell me about the maximum quantity of fruit that will work in a recipe

Specifically, I see a lot of PLUM wine recipes that call for 3 - 4lbs of plums for a gallon of wine but could I use, for example, 8lb of plums and
still only make a gallon by reducing how much water I add?
Does too much fruit over power the yeast?
Would it need larger or smaller quantities of sugar?

In relation to this, where you make cider using only apple juice and no added water, could you ferment 100% plum juice or blackberry juice?
As far as I can see, winemakers using grapes would not add water so in case of other fruits is water only needed because of scarcity of fruit or would 100% fruit be too strong?

Apologies is this is silly question, but have searched internet for a explanation, but searched fruitlessly!

Grateful for any answers
Firstly - agree with all Sir Robinson has said.

Different fruits have different flavour strengths - I wouldn't dream of using 4lbs of raspberries in a gallon batch for example - it would be massively overpowering.

Peaches and plums on the other hand are delicately flavoured so you need to up the quants in the batch to get the final flavour in the wine.

Winemakers don't add water or sugar because the wine grape has everything it needs to produce a wine - acids, tannins, sugar and water all in the right proportions.

Fruits are always lacking something, so we need to add sugar, water, and maybe a few other minor tweaks to get a drinkable wine. (As a comparison, the next best fruit after grapes for wine is the humble blackberry)

When I make country wines, I always start with a gallon of water in my bucket, then add the fruit and sugar - that way I know I'll get a gallon out at the end of the process. Very basically around 2 to 4lbs of fruit and 2lbs of sugar will get you pretty near.....
 

Cwrw666

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Different fruits have different flavour strengths - I wouldn't dream of using 4lbs of raspberries in a gallon batch for example - it would be massively overpowering.
4Lbs of rasps is spot on for an excellent full bodied wine. Plus a kilo of sugar.
Plums are much milder in flavour so I'd use a mini mum of 4Lb, maybe as much as 6.
 

johncrobinson

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Just to avoid confusion when I said I did not add water I meant to a WOW.

A country wine will of course need water added (Generally)

My personal favorite is cherry,But its a race to get to the cherries before the birds,Once they ripen the blighters can strip a tree in about 2 days.
 

Tavi-brewer

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Firstly - agree with all Sir Robinson has said.

Different fruits have different flavour strengths - I wouldn't dream of using 4lbs of raspberries in a gallon batch for example - it would be massively overpowering.

Peaches and plums on the other hand are delicately flavoured so you need to up the quants in the batch to get the final flavour in the wine.

Winemakers don't add water or sugar because the wine grape has everything it needs to produce a wine - acids, tannins, sugar and water all in the right proportions.

Fruits are always lacking something, so we need to add sugar, water, and maybe a few other minor tweaks to get a drinkable wine. (As a comparison, the next best fruit after grapes for wine is the humble blackberry)

When I make country wines, I always start with a gallon of water in my bucket, then add the fruit and sugar - that way I know I'll get a gallon out at the end of the process. Very basically around 2 to 4lbs of fruit and 2lbs of sugar will get you pretty near.....
Nice summary Stevieboy.
 

Robb

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Good news about the blackberry, given its ready availability.
From the replies here, and recipes on the net I have been examining, there is clearly a good deal of variation in what people prefer/advise. I assume that as with most cooking there is a reasonable amount of leeway in the quantities of ingredients where the end product will still be fine.
I've been trying to make use of fruits from home as they are all ripening furiously at the moment and given I am just starting off the time lag for conditioning means it will be, what, Xmas before things start to be drinkable? At least, so hoping to get a few batches laid down.
The colours in the demijohns are fabulous at the moment and so hoping the taste will eventually be as rewarding.
 

Stevieboy

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Just to avoid confusion when I said I did not add water I meant to a WOW.

A country wine will of course need water added (Generally)

My personal favorite is cherry,But its a race to get to the cherries before the birds,Once they ripen the blighters can strip a tree in about 2 days.
OK - I give up - what does WOW stand for....remember there's no such thing as a stupid question.....
 

johncrobinson

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If you like the colours keep the wines in the dark when maturing.

A WOW (Wurzels Orange Wine.) Is basically any wine made from supermarket cartons of fruit juice.They are also noted for the quick turnaround time as they can be drinkable in a few weeks.(like kits)
I have been making them for over 30yrs but only came across the term WOW when i joined this forum, 😁
 

Stevieboy

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If you like the colours keep the wines in the dark when maturing.

A WOW (Wurzels Orange Wine.) Is basically any wine made from supermarket cartons of fruit juice.They are also noted for the quick turnaround time as they can be drinkable in a few weeks.(like kits)
I have been making them for over 30yrs but only came across the term WOW when i joined this forum, 😁
AHA! My Father was a great WOW advocate, but I've never really been into them - post your favourite recipe and I'll get one on the go and do a write up.
 

Bold_Ron

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Perhaps concern is too strong a term. I have been using Davin's recipes from youtube. I find him to be very clear, but somewhere on this site, can't find it now, I was reading about blackberry wine and the poster seemed to think the proportions of fruit and sugar would make it very strong. I don't have particular preconceptions but I would like to produce something drinkable.
In my latest attempts I have taken a SG reading before sugar and then added sugar to get it up to 1090 rather than just putting in fruit and sugar and seeing what it produced.

Incidentally, do you think the distinction between brewers sugar and ordinary sugar much of an issue? Big price difference if it is not.
From memory most of his recipes call for 1.5kg of sugar per gallon which would give you about 18%. Other than that though I've never had any issues with the rest of his methods/ingredients.
 

Robb

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That's excellent news, as I have several batches on the go based on his video recipes. I was very taken by his style, I think he is aiming for a Keith Floyd approach, not a bad ambition. I know it doesn't guarantee I will get things right, but good to know I am starting from advice which is sound. However, I think I will stick to my new way of adding sugar in future as 18% sounds a bit strong my tastes. I enjoy port:D but drink wine in a different style - and quantity
 

johncrobinson

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I don't have a "special" recipe as such Stevie.
The main differences between my methods and the classic WOWs on this site are:-
(1) I use grape tannin powder rather than cold tea.
(2) I sugar feed the yeast ( EC-1118) from a starting gravity of 1070 until the final abv is 15-16% alcohol.
(3) The wine is bone dry which is how i like it.
(4) The only added water is whats in the syrup.(Classic 300 gravity syrup).

I am tempted however to try one with tea to see if it adds any complexity of flavour.

My next wine however will be a Blackberry,There is a "Bumper" crop ripening up here in the Scottish Highlands just now.
 

johncrobinson

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Robb.
Getting a wine to 18% abv is a bit more involved than just sticking a ton of sugar in
High levels of sugar at the start can badly stress the yeast,Which can lead to a wine "sticking" that is fermentation stopping before all the sugar is used.

The result is a sickly sweet low alcohol mess.

I know you don't actually want 18% this is just for your information.
If you do want to know how to make super strength wine look up "Sugar feeding".
 
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