Fermentation bag and fruit preparation

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I have about 18 apples and 8 pears I would like to use. But I don't have any pectic enzyme. Is it ''esential" even though the pectic content of the fruit I'm using is low? I do not have a fermentation bag to hold the apple and pear pieces inside my primary fermentation vessel. I could make one from a cheesecloth, but it was used before to make some butter. I'm assuming that the used cheesecloth is a bad idea, is it possible to use it? I also have five or six drawstring bags that are perfect, but can not hold much fruit because of their small size. Would blending the fruit into mush be ok? Or should I use whole fruit chunks? Or is juicing the fruit the ideal way to go? Is it "necessary" to use a mesh bag with fruit? How much is an appropriate amount of fruit per gallon? Could I produce a 2 gallon run instead of a single gallon with the amount of fruit I have? Could I put a tight fitting lid with a airlock on the primary fermentation bucket after the initial fermentation (7-10 days)?
*Pic is the size of the small drawstring bags I have
 

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cmason1957

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Apples and pears are among the highest pectin fruits there is. Yes, you want to use pectic enzyme. Generally I add double the amount suggested for those two fruits and hope I don't need to add more after the fermentation. If you don't have a mesh bag, some options are cheap panty hose, paint mixing bags. The last time I juiced apples and pears, I regretted it. Much more lees after the fact.
 
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Is there any options or substitutes for pectic enzyme? Do you have a suggested amount of fruit in pounds per gallon? I'm was hoping to get a min/max on the fruit. Thanks for the quick response.
 

cmason1957

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I generally try to go all juice with apples and pears, so my answer is however much juice you get from what you got. To get the most juice, I freeze the fruit quartered, let it thaw with pectic added, squeeze by putting in my small fruit press. So I can't really say how much fruit per gallon. Apples and pears are such light flavors as is.
 

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