Plum Wine Recipe

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Discussions' started by bacchus, Aug 23, 2010.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating using the link above.
  1. Aug 23, 2010 #1

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    Hi Peeps,

    I've got a tree laden with plums, minus the obligatory crumble, pie and quantity for the fruit bowl which we ritualistically watch rot over a series of weeks, that leaves about 4 cubic tonnes of the sugary orbs of lovliness which I'd like to ferment.

    I've only recently popped my brewing cherry (I'm about 2 days away from bottleing my first proper brew of Ginger Beer), so I'm not very experienced to do anything too complicated, but if someone can help I'd be greatful.

    Can someone give me a good recipe to use these up?


    :cheers:
     
  2. Aug 23, 2010 #2

    Moley

    Moley

    Moley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hi Bacchus,

    You will need 2 lidded buckets, a kitchen (flour) sieve and a straining bag or some muslin.

    4 lbs plums to the gallon
    2.5 - 3 lbs sugar to the gallon
    Campden tablets
    Pectolase
    Yeast & Nutrient

    Chop the plums in half, remove the stones and throw the plums into the first bucket.
    Add 6 pints of cold water for every 4 lbs of plums.
    Add 1 crushed campden tablet for every 4 lbs of plums.
    Add 1 tsp Pectolase for every 4 lbs of plums.
    Stir well then put the lid on.

    After 24-36 hours add yeast and nutrient or GP yeast compound.

    Wash your hand and forearm well with an anti-bacterial cleanser (also using a nail brush), stick your hand into the bucket and squish the fruit between your fingers.

    Stir twice daily for 4 more days.

    Put your sugar into the second bucket and then strain the must onto it through the flour sieve. Squeeze as much of the juice through as you can. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved. Put the lid on. Leave in a warm place for a week, stirring daily.

    Strain through a nylon bag or a couple of thicknesses of muslin into demijohns or a large, closed fermenter, fit airlocks and leave to ferment out.

    As required, come back and ask for further instructions
     
  3. Aug 24, 2010 #3

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    That sounds excellent, also I've never used Campden tablets before, so i'm interested in getting some more experience with that.

    I'll PM you ro update this if I get stuck (if that's okay :D )
     
  4. Aug 24, 2010 #4

    Moley

    Moley

    Moley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    27
    When working from fruits etc. it is usually desirable to knock out natural yeasties before we introduce our own specialist wine yeasties. This usually involves either boiling water or campden tablets. With plums, boiling water can lead to problems with clearing later, so cold extraction works best and campden tablets are used.

    The only problem with campden tablets is that you have to buy a pot of 100 or so, the ones I use come in 125s, but we're talking £2 - £2.50 and they have all sorts of uses.

    For this sort of recipe, crush them to a powder between two teaspoons.

    Of course it would be ok, although if you posted any further questions on this thread it might be of help to others too.
     
  5. Sep 1, 2010 #5

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    Hello Moley,

    Well, I've done my 2nd batch of Ginger Beer and it was again, not great, too weak (2.8%) I think I didn't add enough sugar, also I couldn't get any secondary fermentation going, I've got 2 DJs of very flat, very weak Ginger Beer which I think is going to have to take one for the team and disappear down the drain - to make way for the plum wine.

    I'd be lying if I said after my 2nd failure I wasn't a bit deflated and approaching this recipe with a bit of pessimism. But I thought if I ABSOLUTLEY check everything that I'm not sure of, this time I may get something a bit better, drinkable atleast.

    (after all, I know now about making sure there's enough sugar)

    RIGHT... questions...


    I'm using Young’s All Purpose/Multipurpose Red Wine Yeast (as opposed to Burgundy etc) is this okay?

    How much nutrient do I need to add with the 5g sachet?

    The weather has taken a cooler snap of late, the back room which was 20C is now 15-18C is this okay?

    I’ve bought a fine mesh straining bag, can I use this to strain the must into the sugar or do I NEED a sieve, is the must looking to be free of any suspension, e.g. pure liquid or does it want bits floating?

    You say 4lbs (1.8 KG) of plums to the gallon, if I added more, say 5lbs (2.2KG) to the gallon, would this make a thicker, richer brew, or is this fruit to water ratio not to be messed around with?


    I'm off to wash my hands, rinse the bin and start chopping, hopefully at this first stage not a lot can go wrong.
     
  6. Sep 1, 2010 #6

    Moley

    Moley

    Moley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    27
    Sorry, I got your PM directing me to these questions, but then our server crashed again at w**k and I never got the interweb connection back.

    I can't advise on the ginger beer as I've never made it, but if you think you know where you went wrong that's a plus point. We all make mistakes but only an idiot repeats it and expects a different outcome.


    Re. the Plum, the yeast you mention sounds fine. I would add 1 teaspoonful of nutrient per gallon.

    Ideal fermentation temperature is 18-20°C but a couple of days in the last week dropped below that. It will be fine, but fermentation does slow noticeably below 18°.

    You don't NEED a sieve but we're talking about a quid or two from the local market or from Wilko's. My straining set-up is jug through flour sieve into straining bag inside large funnel into DJ, so the sieve catches most of the bulk of the pulp. The must won't be pure liquid and certainly won't run clear, but you want to strain out most of the solids. Incidentally, the straining bag needs to be lifted just slightly clear of the funnel, and I rock the fabric from side to side to keep the flow going, otherwise it clogs up too quickly.

    4 lbs fruit to the gallon is only a guideline, bend that whichever way you choose. 5 lbs would obviously give more body.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2010 #7

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    Thank you, great help as always!

    Incidentally, despite my earlier comment about the weather being a little cooler than normal, this afternoon in sunny north Lincolnshire it went semi-tropical and the backroom got up to about 24C, I noticed some bubbles forming in what I thought was the dead and burried Ginger Beer, so that's given me some positivity.

    The plumbs are cut, this afternoon I fought an increasingly frantic battel with an exponentially increasing number of wasps fighting over access to my bucket, but it's cut, I got 12lbs done, water, campden and pectolase added. I took some photos, I'm thinking of putting together a picture diary together later on - see how it goes.

    Speak soon

    ;)
     
  8. Sep 2, 2010 #8

    Moley

    Moley

    Moley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    27
    So that's 3 gallons underway? Nice work :clap:

    I'm glad to hear you won the battle with the wasps, I have to be very cautious of those little blighters if picking fruit but they aren't allowed entry to my house under penalty of death.

    I don't post as many as I should, but we like photos :thumb:
     
  9. Sep 7, 2010 #9

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    RIGHT THEN!

    Second phase underway... or is it the third?

    Okay, couple more questions regarding this.

    The must has just spent the last 4 days sitting in the conservatory ticking over nicely. As instrcuted I've been stiring it twice a day, 08:00 and 20:00 with a very clean, stainless steel serving spoon. There was some nice reaction from agitating it, lifting off the lid there was often quite a thick doughy wet crust of the darkened fruit sat on top, when I stired it back into the liquid all the CO2 would begin to get agitated and fizz up like dropping ice cubes into lemonade

    The second FV cleaned and disenfected, I used a colander to get the major lumps out, then a seive to get the smaller lumps out.

    To be honest, although I have refered to this topic so many times I practically know it off by heart now, but I couldn't remember if I was told to remove ALL of the solids or if leaving a bit wouldn't matter. It sort of looks like a cheap vegtable soup you'd buy from Netto, it's by no means clear, but all the lumps are about 1cm cubes or smaller.

    I added the sugar (a story in itself, the wifes got the car so I had to take the bike down to the shops - yeah I know, tell me about it, except I read this post incorrectly and thought it was 3lb sugar in total, not each gallon, so I had to go out AGAIN... and they think they've got problems in Afganistan :roll: ).

    Taking my trusted hydrometer, the reading came out at 1.094-1.096 (I did it in the bucket so I couldn't get down level, I was reading at an angle).

    QUESTIONS:

    The lumps are there now in the must, I'm probably not going to risk contamination by fishing them out. But for next time, should I of strained it at this stage? I know you said "get MOST of the lumps out", am I aiming to get all out? I was thinking that the more fruit parts in it, the more flavour, like leaving a tea bag in a pot longer, is this right?

    The Hydrometer reading: The Hyrdometer itself has a little guide on the side (I presume a lot do) which gives guidance about when to start wine, ale, lager etc and conversley when it's stopped. The guide on the side of mine says start wine 1.090. What is the consequence of having it higher than this, stronger? sweeter? are the lumps anything to do with there being more displacement?



    THANK YOU!
     
  10. Sep 7, 2010 #10

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Solihull.
    Potentially stronger and/or sweeter, although the difference of 5 isn't going to make a drastic effect.

    But for the sake of demonstration, using the excel document I just made (see my other thread):

    Starting a wine at 1090, fermenting to 0990 (Dry) will give you an ABV of 13.6%

    Starting a wine at 1095, fermenting to 0990 will give you an ABV of 14.3%

    However, you could keep 13.6% in mind and start at 1095 to allow you to halt the fermentation at 0995 to give you a medium/dry wine.

    Or, you could meet it somewhere in between:

    Start at 1095, halt at 0993 to give you a wine not quite as dry as 0990, but with an ABV of 13.9%.

    Although as I said, the differences we're talking about here are pretty small.
     
  11. Sep 7, 2010 #11

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    Interesting point... my own preference I would say lead me to favour a sweeter easier to quoff drink, rather than a dry saliva zapping brew.

    So lets say I'm aiming for something "medium" if I'm at 1095 and I'm wanting to stop somewhere to get a medium sweetness

    A) Where?
    B) How? (i.e. strong words alone or do I need to add something to stop the fermentation process)
     
  12. Sep 7, 2010 #12

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Solihull.
    You'd probably want to stop it at 1000, which would give you a comfortable drinking ABV of 12.9%. Although I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong on that stopping gravity. (I've not got much experience in FGs and sweetness)

    To stop it you'd need to add a CT and some potassium sorbate/wine stabiliser, which you can get either on an online HBS or your local store.
     
  13. Sep 7, 2010 #13

    tubby_shaw

    tubby_shaw

    tubby_shaw

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    6
    Unfortunately adding a campden tablet and some sorbate alone will not stop an active fermentation :(
    To effectively stop it you will need to chill the wine to around 5C to halt the yeast activity, then let as much yeast as possible drop out of suspension,before racking into another vessel and adding the campden and sorbate :thumb:
     
  14. Sep 7, 2010 #14

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Solihull.
    I wasn't going into details cos bacchus isn't at that stage yet, but to date I've just racked the brew into a clean DJ, taking care not to catch any of the sediment and added the CT and sorbate to that. Works fine with me so far.
     
  15. Sep 7, 2010 #15

    tubby_shaw

    tubby_shaw

    tubby_shaw

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    6
    The system you use is correct for a wine that is nearing or at the end of it's fermentation :thumb:
    The point I was trying to get across was, if a fermentation is still vigorous (as a wine could be if it still had to drop from SG 1.000 to 0.990) then the large yeast colony will not be stopped by the simple technique of adding a CT and then Sorbate :(
    To be honest the best and simplest method to get a "medium" wine would be to allow to ferment to dryness and then use the Campden tablet and Sorbate treatment and then back sweeten :thumb:
     
  16. Sep 7, 2010 #16

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Solihull.
    Well, if it was good enough for Dom Perignon...
     
  17. Sep 7, 2010 #17

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    as pointed out (ahem) I'm not VERY experienced in this (how very dare you... ;) )

    SO... it does sound like a less complicated system to allow it to go its course and then sweeten as required.

    Just to clarify, dryness is the polar opposite of sweetness then? So if something is dry, adding sweetness will make it more juicy?

    Should I add Splenda to avoid the risk of setting it off again?
     
  18. Sep 7, 2010 #18

    bacchus

    bacchus

    bacchus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Lincolnshire
    ALSO... why I'm filling in my knowledge deficit.

    Potassium Sorbate

    :?:

    What is it, what does it do and how?

    If you don't mind of cause...
     
  19. Sep 7, 2010 #19

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    hypnoticmonkey

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Solihull.
    When I said 'not at this stage yet' I meant your brew, not your experience!

    Sorbate is a chemical which stops yeast from working, basically. But if used in the doses we use it in wine, as tubby_shaw pointed out, it wont kill off large amounts of yeasties which are in full-flow.
     
  20. Sep 7, 2010 #20

    Welshwitch

    Welshwitch

    Welshwitch

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Gosh you have made it all sound so complicated Mr Witch and I were also novices a year ago until introduced to homebrew wine at the local allotment open day. Here is what we did with our Victoria Plum wine last year.

    To make up 5 gallon we used the following

    25lb plums
    15lb sugar

    6/9/09 Destone and chop up plums add pectolase and camden tablets (5 tablets crushed)
    Cover with water and leave to stand for 3-4 days

    9/9/09 Strained must through fine net curtain or straining bag onto the 15lbs of sugar and make up to 5 gallons with water,
    the first s.g 1.106 fit airlock and sealed lid. leave to bubble away.
    1/10/09 check gravity 1.002
    12/10/09 check gravity 0.990 (15.4%) have a taste Mmmmmm very nice but very strong alcohol taste
    13/10/09 rack into clean fermenting bucket using syphon add five campden tablets.
    Rack again after 3 months
    Then rack again after 3 months then bottle 4 days later.

    Then either leave to mature or if you are like us have a try, it was delicious it is a lovely clear amber colour, we never used potasium sorbate and believe me you can tell you have had a drink after the first half glass if not before. We have served it to friends who have come over for a meal and also on request taken some with us to parties it goes down a treat it has a lovely fruit flavour not a pucker up dry flavour but it does not need sweetening all in all we were really pleased with our first batch.

    Sorry if anyone thinks we may have made mistakes but I can only say we haven't been poisoned and have produced a good full bodied wine. We have since gone onto make rhubarb, damson (superb) bramble (my favourite) beetroot (everyone liked this but me and I love beetroot normally) A really potent ginger beer not to mention the home brew beer kits (sorry haven't got round to real beer brewing yet.) We have also really enjoyed the Wurzle Experiment with fantastic results.

    It is now nearly time for our third cider pressing the first batch of apples have been gathered from one of the trees and are sitting in the garage, we like to pick them at least a week before pressing. We made 40 gallon last year maybe 5 gallon left (whoops) We also made a really good perry which really improved with age.

    what a great hobby especially when you think of the cost in buying wine and beer from the supermarket.



    I must add I have had lots and lots of fantastic advice from many on the forum and am extremely grateful for the help and guidance you know who you are !!!!!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
     

Share This Page