Dilution of juice

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Old Philosopher, Sep 17, 2016.

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  1. Sep 17, 2016 #1

    Old Philosopher

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    I've searched on several occasions, but haven't found a straight answer yet, so here goes:
    I have juiced ~90 lbs of Italian Plums, giving me right at 5 gallons of syrupy juice. What would be a reasonable dilution of this juice to still maintain flavor?
    Based upon my limited experience, I'm guessing 1:1 with water would be okay.
    Any thoughts, advice....shocked looks...?
     
  2. Sep 17, 2016 #2

    Scooter68

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    What is the SG of the juice now? Chances are if you want a really good tasting drink you won't dilute at all.

    Plum wine is one wine I think definitely benefits from NOT being diluted at all. Gekkisan (sp?) makes great plum wine that is almost like a cordial just not thick. Our kids brought back a wine from Myanmar - can't read of word of the label but when we opened it.... another beautiful rich tasting Plum. I'm not one to say never dilute your fruit, some are fine with a 1:1 water fruit mix but Plum I think would be best without dilution. Someone may shoot that idea down but...
     
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  3. Sep 17, 2016 #3

    Julie

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    I'm with Scooter68 on this. I won't dilute either
     
  4. Sep 17, 2016 #4

    ceeaton

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    I would check the SG like the others have suggested. If it is through the roof high, and you want a wine and not a port/cordial etc, I'd add a complimentary fruit juice (red, not overly sweet) to dilute it down to the level of potential alcohol you are looking for. I like most of my fruit wines around a SG of 1.090 or below, otherwise they end up tasting hot and need quite a bit of aging to smooth out, and I'm not the patient type. Just my random thoughts.
     
  5. Sep 17, 2016 #5

    Old Philosopher

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    Thanks for the quick responses, gang!
    I'm real tempted to go with the straight juice. Last year I harvested only enough plums to make 1.5 gal, and that was stretching it. Now I have 5 gal of syrup! (Seriously, if I reduced it by 1/3 it would be pancake syrup!) The way it is, it would make a great cordial. And I still have 50 lbs hanging on my tree!
    I haven't checked the SG, but will when I top off the 5 gal carboy.

    Slightly veering off topic, but it does involve dilution.
    I pressed 4 gal of white grape juice. About 52 lbs of grapes. I checked the SG and it was 1.054. Tasted like grape juice. I added 1/8 tsp K-meta for the wild yeast, but didn't get back to the batch for 2 days. The SG today was down to 1.006! So much for the K-meta!
    So....I topped off the primary to 5 gal, added 12 cu (6 lbs) sugar and now the SG is only 1.054! Huh??? Back to tasting like grape juice, but not my target SG by a long shot. I made a syrup from the juice to add the sugar, so undissolved sugar is not the issue.
    Do I keep adding sugar to get up to my 1.090 target, or let it rest and think about it for 24 hrs?

    Never a dull moment when it comes to grapes..... Grrrr....
     
  6. Sep 18, 2016 #6

    ceeaton

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    Well, wild yeast has already taken your initial SG from 1.054 to 1.006, so at that point you had about 6% alcohol in your 4 gallons of must/wine. Now you've diluted it with water and added 6 lbs of sugar, but that alcohol hasn't gone away. Yes, it's less than the original 6%, but there is still alcohol present. Obviously it would have been easier to add the sugar initially so you could get a SG reading and determine the final alcohol value. At this point you have a more complex problem to figure out. 1 - you have your initial volume and SG readings. 2 - you added about 1 gallon of water, then sugar to exisiting juice to get an SG of 1.054. We need to know that final volume to figure out how much alcohol you will have at the end. I'm showing you should have ended up with 5.444 gallons after adding the sugar, is this correct? If so I think we can use FermCalc to figure out your final alcohol level, depending on what the final SG is.

    Doing quickie math, I think the alcohol level after adding the gallon of water dropped to 4.8%. So if you ferment the 1.054 (5 gllons) to dry at .990, you would add about 8.5% more alcohol, so you'd end up with a wine with 13+ % alcohol, and I imagine a rather thin wine at this point.

    Hope that helps. Someone please chime in if my figures are wrong, it is Saturday and I have had a few drinks.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2016 #7

    Old Philosopher

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    I will differ to your figures, Cree, especially since I flunked Wine Math 101. :sh
    But wait...there's more!
    Between crushing 50# of grapes, 95# of plums, and helping pick 3.5 bushels of apples, I sorta got lost. I failed to go over my notes after a 2 day absence.
    It turns out I had 3 gal of grape juice, which was at the 1.054 SG. I topped that up to 4 gal, but failed to take a second SG reading. So...when I came back today, the 1.006 SG was probably spot on considering I'd already diluted it. THEN I topped it up to 5 gallon. :slp
    So now I have 3 gallons of grape juice in a 5 gallon batch. Ack!! But never fear! 12 lbs of sugar later I pitched my EC-1118 and nutrient in at SG 1.094.
    Now, I've maintained for a couple years that a person could make wine from Kool-Aid, and the only reason you can't make Stone Wine is because rocks don't ferment. I guess we'll find out with this batch. I see about 4 cans of Welch's as back sweetening when the time comes. Store-bought frozen flavor pak. Whee! Glad I'm not a connoisseur.

    But as for the OP, my 5 gallons of plum juice is hot off the press at 1.070 SG. :db
    Cree, if you don't mind, how much sugar will I need to bring this 5 gallons up to SG 1.090?
     
  8. Sep 18, 2016 #8

    ceeaton

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    To take 5 gallons at 1.070 up to 1.090, my FermCalc program is showing an addition of 2.5691 pounds (or 41.106 ounces) of sugar, with a resulting volume of 5.1912 gallons.
     
  9. Sep 18, 2016 #9

    Old Philosopher

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    Thanks, Craig! I NEED that program. ;)

    Paul
     
  10. Sep 18, 2016 #10

    Old Philosopher

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    If you don't have a good scale (which I don't), here's a handy conversion on-line calculator:

    http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_volume_cooking.htm

    Shows I need 5.829 cups of granulated sugar. Thanks again!
     
  11. Sep 18, 2016 #11

    ceeaton

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  12. Sep 18, 2016 #12

    Old Philosopher

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    Yeah, well...FireFox blocks all Java scripts. Windows10 choked on the download and couldn't figure out how to open the program.
    I finally got a working copy running the JavaScript on-line version under Chrome. Whew....
    It will be a great help. Thanks for the heads up!
     

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