How much extra to make 1 gallon?

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May 27, 2024
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How much do you calculate for initial fermentation to make sure that after you have removed any fruit and racked off gross lees you have a full 1 gallon demijohn?

I work in litres and am currently calculating about 7.6 litres to get a full 5.2 litre demijohn with a little left to test and taste. Too much?

I am currently looking at a mango recipe:

3 ltr juice
3 kg fruit
a banana or two
Water to top up, probably 1 ltr
about 1 kg of sugar but it will depend on SG but I will take it to an initial SG of 1.090 which should give me about 12%

fruit 1 kg = 1 ltr
sugar 1 kg = 0.625 ltr

Thank you
For a grape or apple I like to go primary to a four liter, then rack that to a 3.78 liter, then rack that to a 3 liter or else a 3.78 liter with the void filled with HDPE or glass marbles.

If I had European metric bottles I might aim for a ten liter racking into an eight liter. What container I have determines starting batch size.
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I have a 5.2 ltr demijohn and a 10 ltr fermenter. I need to leave a little space in the fermenter (for it to ferment) and calculate what I loose racking of the gross lees so that I can top the 5.2 ltr demijohn to the top. I plan to age in the demijohn on the fine lees then directly from that to bottle. If the gross lees are going to be HUGE maybe I should target an 8 ltr must and work out the recipe from that.

I'm currently trying to refine my mango and make it a really nice regular tipple although I plan to make rhubarb, strawberry, apple and gooseberry, and maybe a combination of all three pluss I am thinking about other frozen fruits from my local ALDI.

Thank you
Before starting a batch, post your planned recipe for comment. It's very likely someone has made whatever it is you want to make, especially common fruit, so you'll get practical feedback.
Everything depends on how much mush you create. Mushy fruit is hard to work with.
To get good yield with a fine pulp that floats takes time. ,,, As an example if I run Apple in a blender creating 0.5mm particles a lot will tend to float in a must or blind a filter bag creating no yield. If I use a filter bag plus 5Kg pressure in a refrigerator over night the yield can be 70%. If I use an apple grinder creating 4 to 5 mm particles it doesn’t blind a filter bag as much but requires pressing to over 100Kg to get 80 to 85% yield. If I have frozen whole apple I can get 83% yield with about half as much force. Late season and sweated apple is soft and hard to process. ,,, ie Apple can be easy to juice as well as soft and mushy.
Ripe Mango can create a soft mushy pulp that will tend to float in suspension and make high lees. If I was dealing with a mushy pulp I would try to recover more of the liquid with a process as by fermenting to 1.050 or 1.045 and then slowly 5Kg force filter with a nylon bag or a washable coffee filter over a narrow 120mm container's in a refrigerator.
My gooseberry is a hard fruit so with a press I really don’t improve yield, but it is fairly clean/ less mushy. Fresh rhubarb doesn’t release juice well and follows hard fruit rules. Frozen rhurbarb weeps juice easily and should yield 1.5 liter of volume off of three Kg. My yield with a press is over 80%.

What tools do you have to deal with soft/ mushy character?
My recipe so far:

Mango Juice 3 ltr
Frozen Mango 3 kg
Banana with skins 2
Water 1 ltr
Sugar 1 kg
PH adjustment PH 3.4
Pectinase 1 tsp
Tannin 1 tsp
Nutrient (4 days) 1 tsp
OG 1.090

Total volume (ish) 7.625 ltr

I will calculate final sugar and acid adjustments when I know what the SG, PH and TA is.
I will put the fruit chunks in a nylon bag and weigh it down with glass weights and the tools I use to deal with the fruit is my MK1 big cold hairy sanitised hands.
I don’t know why I’m butting bananas in, it just sems the thing to do.

I plan to deal with the rhubarb a different way cos I heard that fermenting with the fruit in gives a bit of a vegetable taste. I will of course not trust that and make my own experiment. You never know I may prefer it tasting like sprouts.

Mango Juice 3 ltr
Frozen Mango 3 kg
Water 1 ltr
I may have become perverted by working in the food industry. ,,, But mango pulp is hard to clean out of a clear liquid. If I had a good quality juice which is already clear I wouldn’t formulate the product with pulp. Only if I wanted to have the appearance of mango I would use pulp ex a 1cm dice and then keep it in the finished salsa (or wine).
I use water as a variable. The recipe is “add enough water to get fill the neck of the demijohn to 2 to 3cm”. Using a known supplier I will have calculated the sugar to achieve 1.090 gravity (be legal on the product label). As a home winemaker 1.080 or 1.100 is close enough.
I don’t know why I’m butting bananas in, it just sems the thing to do.
I usually boil Bananas and just add the "Gravy", but either way works. One or two in the recipe are not really noticeable, but I find that they add a small amount of body, and they do seem to help the wine to clear.

To me, they are not noticeable but my CEO (Wife) always finds it. Maybe, she's a Super taster? ;)
Bananas help to provide body, but they also influence the flavor. I only add bananas to a wine like peach that will benefit from a little banana flavor. For my other wines, I add some glycerin to add body.

I don't understand how bananas would help wine to clear. To me, it seems the opposite. Bananas can add a lot of haze that takes time to clear.
I don't understand how bananas would help wine to clear. To me, it seems the opposite. Bananas can add a lot of haze that takes time to clear.

I suspect it has to do with the banana molecules being a different charge than the fruit molecules. Hence they bind together and drop out.

I have seen K&C instructions that say add K followed by C, and also add C followed by K. They may be both true depending on the fruit involved.
I apologise for previous speeling mistooks :oops:

I haven’t found it hard to clear mango wine although I have started to see a mango scum when using the juice. I just rack between that and the gross lees. It may be beginners luck or just not enough mango.

“add enough water to get fill the neck of the demijohn to 2 to 3cm” I agree and I am using water to make up the volume to fit the demijohn after racking off gross lees. I will adjust the water down once I know how much extra I have although I will be racking that extra to a smaller container for testing and tasting and maybe future use as a topup.

I remember now why I put bananas in the recipe, thank you.

My wife likes to buy fruit and there are always a few that go beyond “best eating date”. Those are MINE! 😊 I might pop in a few more bananas than I had originally planned. Maybe the clearing effect is why I haven’t had problems clearing my mango wine 🫣

Anyway, whine day is rapidly approaching and as I havent received any "STOP, what ARE you doing!!" messages I’m going to go with what I have plus a few more bananas.

This is my first proper planned attempt, lets see how it turns out.

Thank you
I don't understand how bananas would help wine to clear. To me, it seems the opposite. Bananas can add a lot of haze that takes time to clear.
I haven't the faintest idea why. I was recommended to try it way back last century and have been doing it ever since. It just seems to help my wine clear quicker.
Having said that, too many bananas would definitely add to the taste!
I never add skins!
Must created,

3 ltr juice
3 kg fruit (-1 chunk for me)
1 ltr water
1.15 kg sugar

Added pectolaise and sodium metabisulphite yesterday. Todays readings are

SG 1.1
PH 3.7
TA 3.6

So Kinda strange for me at the moment as I feel that PH should be a tad lower but the TA a tad higher.

Any recomendations?

Thank you
After reading, about mangos I think that I should add a mix of malic and citric acid. 60% malic, 40% citric?

1 g/l of both malic and citric acid lowers the PH by 0.08 PH units so I figure to get this down from a PH of 3.7 to 3.2 I should add about 6 g/l. Seeing as there is really only about 4 litres of a liquid in this, I figure 24g which seems a lot to me so I will mix up a batch of 24g 60/40 and add gram by gram adding a max of 1/2 the amount, leave it until tomorrow and check again.


pH is logarithmic, not linear, so it is not easy to compute how much to add.
I will mix up a batch of 24g 60/40 and add gram by gram adding a max of 1/2 the amount, leave it until tomorrow and check again.
That's the best way: add acid a little at a time and mix it thoroughly. Stop when you are getting close to the target pH. Then let it set overnight, stir and measure pH again. Sometimes it takes a little while to settle and fully integrate with the wine.
I added 11.8 g of a mix of Malic & Citric acid which brough the PH to 3.3 and raised the TA to 6.8.

I mixed the acid in some little plastic bags that I had left over from another project. My daughter asked me what I was doing (as she so often does) so I took a photo and sent it to her. Her reply was DAD! dont send that pic to anyone else, you mixing little bags of white powder doesnt look good.

The kids are now refering to me a "Breaking Dad". This is however probably the only time in my life where I will honestly be able to say:

"it's not what it looks like" :i