150 lbs of Table Grapes and 150lbs of cherries, tips?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by loopline, Jun 16, 2019.

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #1

    loopline

    loopline

    loopline

    Junior

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    Im involved with a couple food rescue programs here in AZ, and I routinely get my hands on a lot of fruit that is still fine, but won't be able to be sold before it goes bad. Ive been doing this for the past 9 months and have tried my hand at making wine from it, from everything from Peaches, mangos, blueberries, guava and more. I even have a bunch of kiwi pulp frozen that I need to get done. I have half a deep freeze shelf of frozen fruit Ive gotten, Im getting behind!

    Today I got 150lbs of red globe table grapes with seeds and

    150lbs of cherries (Id guess they are like bing cherries)

    I like fruit wine over grape wine and my favorite wine ever is a Cherry wine from French Lick Winery in French Lick Indiana.

    I found plenty of recipes for cherry wine from cherries but if anyone has any they like Im open. I tried cherry wine from juice when I first started wine making maybe 1.5 years ago and it kept getting infected. But I have enough cherries I can try a couple of different recipes.

    On the Table grapes Ive read a decent bit about them here on the forum, but most stuff is about wine grapes, so Im just curious about a couple of things.

    Ive read some people press the juice and leave the skins on it briefly for some color and then take off the skins, others leave them on for some time.

    I don't really know how long "some time is" for example? Like will the color change during fermentation or whatever color it is going into fermentation it will pretty much stay that color, assuming I press, let sit and take the skins off the grapes before I ferment?

    Also some people add water, but I feel like with 150lbs I should be able to get enough juice to accomplish something without having to add water, thoughts on that?

    I do only have two 7 gallon buckets and then some various smaller ones in the 2 and 4 gallon range. I also have a 6 gallon PET carboy, might have 2 have to check, I could us those if need be. Last I was at the home brew store they were out of buckets and I live a good clip away so I don't go that often. So I don't want to get into massive amounts of it anyway.

    I paid a grand total of about $5 total for all this fruit, so while Id like to make something decent, its not a huge gamble either. I also got an absurd amount of leeks, quite a lot of grape tomatoes and lots of carrots, but I don't fancy that any of that (especially leeks) would really make all that great of wine, hehe


    Anyway back to topic, I also dont' have a proper press (thought about it, but the fruit I get is random and varies all over the map, including some exotic fruit, so haven't researched enough to pull the trigger). So Ill use some home brew method.

    Also for what its worth I have zero freezer space left at this point. Like open it and stuff falls out on your feet, so anything involving freezing isn't really an option.

    So any tips on this Im open for. I don't need to make 90 point wine and I dont' have to have high alcohol content, just something that tastes drinkable and that friends might enjoy drinking given that it was home made. Although if the cherry wine turns out great I won't be sharing much of it, ;)

    If its a help, here are some photos:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/X7PNXnAsTg27iydR8
     
  2. Jun 16, 2019 #2

    loopline

    loopline

    loopline

    Junior

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    So after doing a bit of research I could get some home brew setup to grind up the fruit and then press it. But I already have a breville juicer and I am wondering why most people don't use something like that instead trying to slurry/chop/grind and press the fruit?

    I was thinking I could just juice all the fruit and then put the skins in a bag and leave them in for as long as till it looks a good color and pull the skins off at that point and let the wine do the rest.

    Does this sound viable or am I missing something?
     
  3. Jun 16, 2019 #3

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

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    The majority of juicers use high-speed spinning blades to juice the fruit - that introduces a lot of oxygen when oxidizes the fruit and chops up the seeds/stones BOTH are bad ideas when preparing fruit for wine making.

    Also you still have pit the cherries regardless of which type of juicer you use. A general rule is NEVER leave hard stones/pits in the fruit when processing or fermenting the wine.

    Globe grapes have seeds if I remember correctly and those too are not good to put through a spin juicer or any method where they will be cut or crushed.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2019 #4

    loopline

    loopline

    loopline

    Junior

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    Yes the globe grapes have seeds, but the juicer is pulling them out intact.

    I thought thru all my methods available to me and I don't have a steam juicer, nor the time to run thru 300 lbs of fruit with it. I am leaving town in 1 week from today and Ill be gone for 3.5 weeks. The grapes are starting to mold, a few of them. So I need to get this stuff in primary fermentation asap.

    So the wife and kids are sorting thru the grapes and cherries and about 1/3 of the grapes are juiced.

    Its a very light colored red grape anyway, and the skins are thin. So Im probably going to let the grape skins set for a couple days, maybe all week and then pull them when I rack to secondary.

    As for the cherries, the juice comes out deep red anyway, so I think Im going to put the flesh and stones on the wine for maybe 2 days and then pull them, maybe less, depends.

    We shall see what happens.

    Steam juicing isn't an option and pulling the stones from the cherries isn't an option. So I could go buy a press and try to press them, but problem is Im going to run out of time at the end of the week. Im trying to setup my business to be able to run for 3.5 weeks, and pack and prep for the 5K mile trip. So I likely won't have time to press even if I buy one.

    So Its a juicer and pectic enzyme and we shall see what happens! Ill try and post back here sometime down the track for an update.

    Thanks for the feedback @Scooter68, Ill consider all this for the long game as I will potentially keep getting big batches of fruit and Im going to need some methods to process it.

    Also, would it not be a good thing to have oxygen introduced, since you want a lot of Oxygen at the first stage of fermentation
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  5. Jun 19, 2019 #5

    loopline

    loopline

    loopline

    Junior

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    Update:
    The grapes:
    went thru the juicer fine and came out at

    3.8 PH
    .076 or 10%ABV

    So I just added
    Yeast Nutrient
    Yeast Energizer
    Lavlin K1-V1116

    I was happy with how the juice came out so I did nothing except of course sulfites for a day and then lots of pectic (more then is called for)


    The cherries:
    The juicer was destroying the stones and so we wound up hand pitting them. 45Lbs of them after the pits removed. We kept a decent bit to eat as its a big family and we like cherries and some were bad. (its the nature of getting rescued fruit, some of its typically bad and the rest is fine).

    5.6 PH

    Following this recipe for all the cherries, although Im using 4Lbs of cherries per gallon instead of 3.6 like it says because its simpler for me.
    https://blog.eckraus.com/sweet-cherry-wine-recipe

    After adding acid blend in the quantity of all the acid listed in the recipe it brought the ph to
    3.6 PH

    ABV to
    1.000 (like 13.X % ABV)

    which is a bit high, but the cherries get replaced with water, which will offset it.

    The recipe also did not call for Yeast Nutrient, but I added it anyway. I also pretty much triple the pectic enzyme always.
    Lavlin K1-V1116

    The recipe called for Lavlin RC 212 but I had ordered it, but it won't be here till its too late, so I used the above, which I think is the next best thing. Plus in my case Im time limited and the above is more hearty and faster (according to charts) So we shall see

    I am also working on a 1 Gallon batch of cherries with the pits in.



    Everyone says to take stones/pits out but like with plums, it gives it a nice almond/amaretto flavor, which I actually really enjoy. Its one of my favorite flavors. So should I find that wine with cherries with the pits in is also good, then that will save a ton of work next time I get cherries. Time will tell.

    Also we tossed round 1 of the cherries in just like they were and round 2 we ran thru the juicer first after we manually removed the pits, so we shall see how that works out.

    The grape and Round 1 cherry is cranking nicely and Round 2 of the cherries (took 2 days) is finishing its sulfite bath and will get yeast soon.
     
    stickman likes this.
  6. Jun 20, 2019 #6

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

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    What recipe are you using that calls for 3.6 lbs / gallon? That will result in a very light bodied (Weak to be just plain blunt)

    VERY few fruit wine makers use those low quantities. Most are using somewhere upwards of 5-7 lbs of most fruits. (The less water added the better the wine.)
    Jack Keller recipes are the about the only popular ones the go so low a fruit and if you read most folks comments on them - the consistent recommendation is MORE FRUIT.

    As to cherries - yeah - if you are going to keep doing cherry wines, get a good pitter. I've got two although our cherry crops for the past 2 years have been so poor I haven't used the 'new' one which is actually an antique pitter. (Essentially if you have to push a lever to pit cherries one by one - don't go that way, unless you have some cheap child labor available.)
    Also on the overall recipe for cherry wine, consider using some amount of pie cherries (tart) they add a lot to the flavor. You can use bottled tart cherry juice (Concentrates are the best value) to balance the sweetness of the common sweet cherries you are probably dealing with. I make a tart cherry wine with concentrates. (1 bottle is supposed to make on gallon of cherry juice) For a tart cherry wine I use 3 bottles of tart concentrate and 1 bottle of Black Cherry concentrate for a 3 gallon batch of wine. The flavor is rock solid although some folks don't expect the TART flavor. So if you are making say a 3 gallon batch, perhaps one bottle of tart cherry concentrate to a batch with say 15-21 lbs of cherries would give a nice balance sweet cherry wine.
     

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