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Date Wine Question - CJJ Berry Recipe

Started by bighoppapump, April 09, 2021, 05:15:01 PM

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bighoppapump

I've had First Steps in Winemaking book for a long time but got sidetracked making all that delicious barley stuff so only got around to making my first batch recently. I have a date wine that was fermented on chopped up dates for a week before being strained into a glass carboy where it has been fermenting for just over 2 months.

The book says to do the first racking about 3 months in when the wine has cleared. Currently the top 2/3 of my wine looks pretty clear with a thick layer of gunky looking green/grey stuff underneath. I'm hoping that this will settle in the next month or so but I also feel that any clearing that will take place has already happened and I'll be losing 1/3 of my wine as gunk.has anyone brewed this or something similar before here? will more of this settle or do I accept such a large loss? If it is a large loss should I top up with sugar syrup? Also how can I prevent this from happening again?

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LordEoin

I've had hedgerow wines do that before. i generally just shake it up a bit to let it settle more compact.
Some more stubborn wines needed finings or filtration but i prefer to avoid those whenever possible.
You could also try a cold crash. No harm in trying.

Water_Wolf

I can't really tell from the picture, but is there a layer of compressed sediment underneath the gunky stuff? If so then you could rack the wine and gunk but leave the compressed sediment behind and then leave the wine a bit longer to see if the gunk compresses. Otherwise a gelatin based fining agent would probably help.

In terms of preventing it in future, you can add pectic enzyme to the fruit early on to help break down the plant fibres. You can also use a finer mesh for straining - using a cotton cloth like a pillowcase will remove most solid gunk. You could try straining it again now, but as it is no longer actively fermenting there would be a higher risk of oxidation.


LordEoin

Also, have a smell and taste off it to be sure it's worth worrying about. That gunk looks more like a mother of something than sediment to me.

bighoppapump

Quote from: LordEoin on April 11, 2021, 10:41:38 PMI've had hedgerow wines do that before. i generally just shake it up a bit to let it settle more compact.
Some more stubborn wines needed finings or filtration but i prefer to avoid those whenever possible.
You could also try a cold crash. No harm in trying.

cheers LordEoin - when I started beer kit brewing your posts were always a help! It was very cloudy to begin with and has been in the dj for 2 months. I'm thinking about waiting another month before racking and if its still murky at that point I may add some finings. I don't think its a mother luckily as it doesn't really cover the surface and looks a good bit less globular than my scoby did.

I found a video of someone else making date wine and looks like they had a similar issue and ended up just taking the loss so maybe its just a property of dates.


Quote from: Water_Wolf on April 13, 2021, 01:40:24 PMI can't really tell from the picture, but is there a layer of compressed sediment underneath the gunky stuff? If so then you could rack the wine and gunk but leave the compressed sediment behind and then leave the wine a bit longer to see if the gunk compresses. Otherwise a gelatin based fining agent would probably help.

In terms of preventing it in future, you can add pectic enzyme to the fruit early on to help break down the plant fibres. You can also use a finer mesh for straining - using a cotton cloth like a pillowcase will remove most solid gunk. You could try straining it again now, but as it is no longer actively fermenting there would be a higher risk of oxidation.

I added pectic enzyme to the original recipe but might add gelatin in a month if it hasn't cleared up more. I think I'll also need to invest in a finer mesh than my old muslin bags for next time too!

Once I do rack I imagine that I'll lose a good portion of it. Is it ok to leave it with a large headspace or should I consider topping it with some kind of sugar syrup?

Water_Wolf

Yes, you should avoid having too much head space as that will lead to oxidation. I usually make a bit more than 5l so that I have some extra wine in a separate bottle to top up with after racking (I also have a silly variety of carboys and bottles of various sizes!). If you don't have a suitable container you can top up with whatever you think is roughly equivalent to your wine, (grape juice? prune juice?) just be aware that fermentation might kick off again. Some people also use glass marbles to fill up the space but I've never tried that.

bighoppapump

Quote from: Water_Wolf on April 20, 2021, 10:39:13 PMYes, you should avoid having too much head space as that will lead to oxidation. I usually make a bit more than 5l so that I have some extra wine in a separate bottle to top up with after racking (I also have a silly variety of carboys and bottles of various sizes!). If you don't have a suitable container you can top up with whatever you think is roughly equivalent to your wine, (grape juice? prune juice?) just be aware that fermentation might kick off again. Some people also use glass marbles to fill up the space but I've never tried that.

Hmmmm I like the idea using oddly sized carboys/bottles to fix this problem. Any recommendations as to what I can use for a 3 litre or so sized fermenter? Or where I can buy one? At the moment I have a 1.5 litre flip top that I can use for some of it if really stuck

In future I'll probably make more than 5 as you mentioned but wouldn't mind picking up oddly sized fermenters to fix this

DEMPSEY

There was a time when we went travelling and when I did I would finish my holiday by buying anything that was local produced. Sooo... I recall buying a bottle of some spirit that was made from dates but feck if I now can't find it as you put a goo on me for some. :'(
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