Fruit combo suggestions - what would YOU put together?

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by wildhair, Apr 21, 2018.

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  1. Apr 21, 2018 #1

    wildhair

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    I did a quick inventory of what's left in my "fruit freezer" the other day. I have several bags that are not adequate quantities for a "pure" or single fruit wine, so I was hoping for some suggestions on which fruits would make the best flavor combinations. I like to make at least a 2 or 2.5 gal batches. Here's what's left, grouped in the way I thought might make the best flavor combo's.
    Opinions, suggestions ~ how would YOU combine these fruits?? OR - just keep them frozen and add to the quantity this year?

    Red currants - 3.5#
    Sweet Cherries - 11.5#

    Goji Berries - 3.85#
    Melon - 5# - (Charentais-type - kinda like a honeydew or Crenshaw melon)
    Strawberries - 3.25# (white and alpine strawberries mixed)

    Passion Fruit - 14 oz (pulp only)
    Rhubarb - 5#
    2 gal of raw apple juice.
     
  2. Apr 21, 2018 #2

    Scooter68

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    Your red currant and sweet cherry combo looks good for a 2 gallon batch, just a little light on weight for 3 or more gallons but should give a great 2 gallon batch. The others, I have no experience with other than apple - which many companies use as an base additive to 100% fruit drinks (Ocean Spray 100% juice drinks)

    As you probably already do, just extend your starting volume to about 2 1/3 gallons to account for the lees volume loss and you seem to have the makings of some great wines there.
     
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  3. Apr 22, 2018 #3

    wildhair

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    Thanks - yes, I have a penchant for growing different fruit - along with my "normal" fruit like grapes and apples and cherries. I had a lot of apple juice from last years apples - over 15 gallons. So I made a straight apple wine, an apple w/ cinnamon, and mint w/ apple base. Still have 2 gal. left.

    I thought the red currants - which are VERY tart, would go well with the sweet cherries, which are not.

    The goji & melon and strawberries all have more delicate flavors - so none would overpower the other. White strawberries are sweeter & have a different taste than commercial strawberries. And alpine strawberries are small, but extremely flavorful - more like a wild strawberry.

    The passion fruit pulp has a crazy amount of flavor, so I thought it would add some unique notes to the apple base and the rhubarb. I also have about 3/4 of a pound of honey-berries - which are kind of like blueberries. And there will be more rhubarb soon.

    I'm trying to empty out the freezer before the spring fruits start coming. Assuming spring ever actually gets here.
     
  4. Apr 29, 2018 #4

    Stressbaby

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    I make passion fruit wine about every 1-2 years.
    It is VERY good but I use 5# pulp per gallon.
     
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  5. Apr 29, 2018 #5

    wildhair

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    I only have 1 passion fruit plant right now and it just started producing fruit. I'm not sure I'll live long enough to get 5# of pulp per gal. LOL I live in WI, so it has stay in a pot & come in for the winter.

    I scooped out the pulp and froze it - I thought it could make an interesting background flavor note to the rhubarb/apple.
     
  6. May 12, 2018 #6

    Stressbaby

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    I'm in Missouri. I have 2 plants (potted), but I have a greenhouse which helps. I get enough for a batch about every 18 months.
     
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  7. May 14, 2018 #7

    Scooter68

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    Wildhair - if you have never tried it - Vintners Harvest sells a 96 oz can of Black Currant wine base. I use 1 can for a 3 gallon batch and find that an excellent concentration. The tartness of the juice is moderated by the fermentation (And back-sweetening) My first batch was made into a dessert wine with an ABV of 15.5 and just a bit into the sweet range at 1.005. (I was really shooting for a 16-17 ABV but the yeast gave out at 15.5%) Killer wine - In small quantities for those of us who are not large volume drinkers.
    So that red currant has potential. If you later want to go with Canned Concentrate I recommend that Vintners Harvest base.
     
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  8. May 14, 2018 #8

    wildhair

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    Good idea, thanks.
     
  9. May 16, 2018 #9

    wrongway

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    Wildhair,
    I sure am curios about the mint w/ apple base! I have been interested in the use of mint, Anise, ginger, ect in wines.
     
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  10. May 16, 2018 #10

    wildhair

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    Well, you know what they say about curiosity ...............

    freecat3.jpg


    :)
     
  11. May 16, 2018 #11

    wrongway

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  12. May 18, 2018 #12

    Stressbaby

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  13. May 18, 2018 #13

    wildhair

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    Thanks! Beautiful color. Now to save my passion fruit! And, if I read it right - you are trying to slow the ferment to hold onto the aroma by keeping the temp around 60 F ? That's pretty cool for yeast - does the QA 23 ferment well at that temp?

    And since you have a greenhouse - a horticultural Q or 2.

    Are your passion fruits yellow or purple when they ripen? Mine are purple, I have a friend in Chicago 'burbs who has yellow ones and his plant is in the ground, says it comes back every year. I'm wondering if I mulch the hell out of it in the fall, if it could survive the WI winter in the ground, or is the yellow one hardier?

    Does passion fruit bear on old or new growth? Wondering just how much to prune it back each year.

    Have you started passion fruit from seed? I tried propagating from a cutting, but had no luck. I planted a few of the seeds from mine, but the "true" leaves (plants are about 4" high now) look different than the leaves of the parent plant. The parent has a tri-lobed leaf, but the new plants from seed have a single, unlobed leaf. Seemed weird to me.
    Red
     
  14. May 19, 2018 #14

    Stressbaby

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    QA23 ferments fine at 60F and in the future I may take it down further.

    I have one of each type, 'McCain' (yellow, larger fruit) and 'Purple Possum' (smaller fruit). There are different species of passion fruit. Passiflora incarnata is hardy and the fruit are yellow-green. Mine are P. edulis which are NOT hardy. They bloom on new wood. They take pruning very well, you can almost do anything you want as far as pruning.

    I found them very easy to propagate from softwood cuttings. Take 4-6" cutting; cut off the bottom just below a node and dip that part in rooting hormone; leave one pair of leaves at the next node but cut off 1/2 of each leaf; put them in a 1 gal pot with 50/50 mix of peat and perlite well-moistened; you can put a dozen or more in a single pot; don't water after you stick the cuttings in the mix, you will wash off the rooting hormone; cover the whole thing with a 1 gallon ziplock bag (which usually fits perfectly over a 1-gal pot by the way) and put in bright shade; keep them moist by any method and you should get plants that way. Once they have roots, wean them out of the ziplock bag then out into the sun, then transplant into individual containers. I have not propagated from seed.
     
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  15. May 19, 2018 #15

    wildhair

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    Super info - thanks! Have a good weekend.
     

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