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arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Flavor Extraction arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Preparing the Fruit arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Preparing the Must arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Fermentation arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Racking arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Finning arwnewsred1.gif (61 bytes)Filtering


        winebottle.jpg (3539 bytes) Flavor Extraction:
Extracting the flavor from the fruit for the purpose of making wine, can be accomplished in 3 different ways. which procedure you use will depend largely on the type and amount of fruit, and also the amount of wine you wish to make. For all 3 of these procedures you will want to add 1 - 11/2 tsp. of Pectin enzyme after must cools some to help extract all the juice from the fruit and to kill off the pectin present on the skins of fruit.

1. Cold Soaking - this is the preferred method for berry's which contain seeds, that if broken and fermented upon can leave you with a bitter or tart taste. This method is also great for Dry white wines such as apple and pear. I use this method for Strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry wines as well. Simply place the fruit in the bottom of the primary fermenter using You should  crush, chop finely or use a food processor on the fruit before you place it in the fermenter to extract as much juice as possible, also freezing and then thawing the fruit will help a great deal in extracting juice. be careful not to break any seeds from inside the fruit. Pour some HOT water over it (enough to cover well) and let soak until cool, and then add rest of water, and some pectin enzyme to help extract color and some campden tabs. Put container in refrigerator or cold place for 2-3 days and let it settle out to where the clear juice is on top and the pulp settlement is on the bottom. Rack juice off of settlement into carboy and ferment the juice only.

2. Boiling the Fruit. -  You can place the fruit in a large stainless steel pot and simmer it for 15-20 min to extract all the juices from it. This method is used a lot in various recipe's. Fruits to watch out for are plums, boiling these to long can create a haze in your finished wine. once the fruit has been simmered you can strain off pulp and ferment on the juice, or I guess you could put all of it in the fermenter and continue to ferment with the pulp in for a few days.

3. Ferment on the pulp. - This is the way I do most of my fruit wines. I fill a nylon fruit bag with the fruit and then crush it real good.(pulverize it.) I then pour some hot water over it and let it sit for awhile, then add the rest of the water and ferment as usual. I leave the fruit in the fermenter for around 5-7 day, stirring 1-2 times a day.. I then remove the fruit and let must settle for 3 days before racking to a clean carboy.

Use only good ripe fruit and wash it well to remove any pesticides  Stems and leaves should be removed from the fruit.Seeds can and will impart a bitter taste upon the finished wines so remove them if possible, or at least never crush them.  You can leave the skins on most fruit as it will only help with color and flavor to the finished wine Although most fruit wines are made with some residual sugar, some very pleasant dry red table wines have been made by fermenting a mixture of several different kinds of dark colored berries.  This style of red fruit wine is often fermented, aged and finished just like a red grape table wine. Berries used for winemaking should be very ripe and sorted carefully. Berries can be prepared for fermentation easily by mashing.   Seeds contain a variety of tannin materials.   Too much tannin can give wine a bitter taste and make wine excessively astringent, so seeds should not be ground, mashed or cracked, and should be removed if possible.Once the fruit is prepared and chopped or mashed, follow one of the procedures outlined above for extracting the flavor, and ferment as usual.
                                                   SANITIZE EVERYTHING.
 This is the simple process of preparing everything for fermentation. You should get all of your needed equipment ready prior to starting. Remember about 3-5 Pounds of fruit per gallon. Besides the fruit, good water should be used.

The sugar content of the must can be measured with a hydrometer 1.085 - 1.090 will be right for most fruit wine fermentation's.  Add a small quantity of sugar to the must, stir until all the sugar is dissolved, then take a reading with the hydrometer. Continue this procedure until the hydrometer reads the about 12.5% PA or the specific gravity reading as above. An “acid test kit” should be used to measure the acid content of the must.  A value of 0.50 to 0.60 Tartaric is about right for the starting acid content for fruit wines.  A value of 0.55 to 0.60 percent may be more appropriate when the wine will be finished dry.  “Acid blend” is available at winemaking shops, and most winemakers use this material to increase the acidity of fruit musts.  Acid blend is a mixture of citric, malic and tartaric acids, and this mixture seems particular suitable for fruit wines.   If you are going to ferment on the pulp, then just crush fruit into bottom of fermenter and pour hot water to cover it,(you can use a fruit bag to hold fruit) let sit a while and cool, add pectin enzyme and rest of water, and sugar to make up desired quantity. O.K. once you have the must prepared the sugar and acid at proper levels, and it has been at least 2-3 hours since adding pectin enzyme you need to add one crushed campden tablet per gallon of must or 1/4 tsp. (per 5 gal.) potassium metabisulphate. The sulfur dioxide reduces juice oxidation and should be about 50ppm. one Campden tabs contains 0.44 grams of Sulfur Dioxide. Sulfur dioxide Also kills bacteria, and it also helps stun wild yeast's always present on fruit.  Making a satisfactory fruit wine without using small quantities of sulfur dioxide is difficult. Also add your tannin at this time, about 1/2 to 1 Tsp. Now wait 24 hours, and then add your yeast nutrient and your yeast. you don't have to stir in the yeast you can just sprinkle it on top. I have found that it really doesn't make much difference, its going to explode into fermentation in about 2 days or so. keep primary fermenter covered with a sheet of plastic attach with a rubber band or with a lid fitted with an airlock. I recommend the later, you can get the fermenters from wine supply shops listed on my suppliers page


 winebottle.jpg (3539 bytes) Fermentation:

Fermentation is the process of turning sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. If fermenting on the fruit, leave the fruit for 3-5 days and then remove. while the fruit is in you should stir the must at least once a day and even twice if you want to. once the fruit pulp is removed let the must settle for a few days without stirring. after settling for a few days rack the must into a secondary fermenter and re-attach with an airlock. The must will continue to ferment and will throw more settlement. after fermentation stops or specific gravity is at the desired level, a month or so, rack off the settlement. test acidity and adjust now. Stabilization and finning should begin at this stage also. After you rack, stabilize, and fine, you need to stir you wine real good for the next few days to release the carbon dioxide. In  about 10-15 days rack again (if finning was used) if no finning was used, you can let your wine sit for about 2 months Before racking. Let your wine age an additional 2-3 months, then rack to bottling bucket. Add a few more campden tabs just before bottling. If wine hasn't cleared to brilliant see finning and filtering below. All wine should have a sulfur Dioxide content of about 25-30 PPM at bottling time to help it keep and age, thus the reason for adding Campden tabs. one tablet will bring 5 gallons of must to about 10-PPM S02. Any sweetening can be done to taste just before bottling. since you stabilized after fermentation, sorbate will not need to be added, just be sure to keep SO2 levels up for bottling.

 winebottle.jpg (3539 bytes)Racking:

 Racking is the process of transferring your wine from one container to another to get it off of the settlement  and to help it clear. you will need a racking cane and a 5' section of hose to rack your wine. you siphon the wine just as you would gasoline. once you get the flow started keep the end that's in the must up off of the settlement so that none of it gets transferred with your wine. also keep the end of the tube that's in   the new                   container below the level of wine if you can to prevent to much oxidization.   

                  winebottle.jpg (3539 bytes) Finning:     

Finning a wine helps to clear it when the conventional method of aging does not do the job. Clearing a wine through finning is achieved by adding a finning substance to the wine that's heavier and thus settles out and takes suspended matter with it. It also acts on charged particles in the wine, thus attracting the opposite charged matter and clumping them together to help them settle to the bottom of the fermenter. Finning is gentler on a wine than filtering, but should still only be done if your wine will not clear on its own accord. Dissolve your finning agent as per manufacturers specifications and stir into your wine real good. generally let it sit for 7-10 days and rack off of the finning lees. BUT, I have seen finning work overnight and the wine be crystal clear in 12 hours. none the less, give the additional time before racking to make sure all the finning has settled out, otherwise you will be racking again.

                                                 Types of finings

          Gelatin      (Regular gelatin can be bought at store, same thing)

Sparkolloid ( good for hazes and other finning purposes add 2-3 tsp. to 1 1/2 cups of water heat on stove while stirring, make it a little thick, then stir in while still warm. Not Hot!!)

Bentonite    (An earthen clay product for hazes, dissolve 2 tsp. in 2 cups hot water,              wait 12-24 hours and stir into wine.)

          Polyclar      (Used mostly for cold hazes, and for beer finning)

          Isinglass      (Not sure about this one)

          Clairo KC  ( Best all purpose finning agent, Works Great!! This is gelatin and keilisol)

Note*  for some hazes I have mixed sparkolloid and bentonite together, and MAN!! it clears the wine when nothing else can!!

        winebottle.jpg (3539 bytes) Filtering:

Ah to filter or not to filter your wine. Filters are not cheap, But can lend a brilliance to a wine unachievable any other way. I would say a rule of thumb is to filter your white wines if you want to, but don't filter reds unless necessary. filtering a red wine can steal the wonderful color of the wine, and also rob some of the flavor. There are gravity feed filters that are not to expensive, but allow air and oxygen to get to your wine, so I don't recommend these. you can buy hand pump filters that use pressure and are good for the intermediate home wine maker. one such filter is called the Vinamat. it costs around $70.00 depending on where you buy it. Filters come with different Micron filters ranging from course to microfine. the later will remove all dead yeast and some bacteria. If you are entering your wine into competition then you will probably want to filter it, to get that crystal clear shine. If you do filter always run sulfated water through your filter pads first to sterilize them, and then some clear water prior to running your wine through them. The filter you choose will be based on your needs, and always follow the instructions that come with the filter. You can go to my Cellar page to see a picture of my filtering setup, I bought the pump from Home Depot, for around $60.00 and purchased the filter unit itself separate. You can do this if you want.  Remember Use discretion when filtering only filter when needed or for an occasional competition win

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