I'm not exactly a newbie, but this is my first attempt at making wine
according to my own judgment instead of following a routine laid down
by my wife. My first try at preparing must has left me with some
I prepared the must by pressing frozen, rethawed wild plums in a fruit
press. Following the instructions that came with the press, I pressed
the plums in a mesh bag. As a result, I got almost pure juice - no
pulp. In contrast, my wife always depitted the plums by hand, which
gave us a great deal of pulp in the must.
Question: is the pulp a good thing, a bad thing, or "it depends"? If I
might want pulp, is there any way I can get it out of the press?
(Pressing the plums bare does not look like an option. The drain holes
in the press are larger than many of the plum pits.)
The resulting juice has 19 ppt acid! I need advice on how to cut that
down to a reasonable level, say, 4 ppt.
For my first batch I diluted the juice 1:1.7 with water, which cut the
acid to 7 ppt, then added 1/2 oz of calcium carbonate to the gallon,
which was supposed to lower it another 3 ppt. I'm concerned that with
that amount of dilution, the wine may come out tasting weak.
What are my options? The book I'm using recommends crushed wheat to
give plum wine more body. I've also read that bananas make a good
non-acid addition to fruit wines. For the next batch I'd like to try
one or both of those ideas. How do I decide on proportions?
Finally, what about timing for adding sugar? My wife always started
the must with about 1 pound per gallon, then used specific gravity as
a guide to add more from time to time after the must was moved to a
carboy. All the recipes in the book say to add all of the sugar to the
must. Is one of these ways right, the other wrong? If not, what are
the merits of each?
Send email to jsachs177 at earthlink dot net.