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Jujube something or other

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Jericurl

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So...a couple of months ago I was visiting my great grandparents' graves and I came across an unusual tree.

After a bit of research, I determined that they were jujube trees.

Well, as an urban forager there was no way I was letting this opportunity pass me up, so I spent several days gathering the fruits a couple of weeks ago. They promptly went into my freezer.

Last night, I set them out to thaw and today I spent ALL day steam juicing them.
We started around 1130 am and just finished up about an hour ago.
21 lbs of jujubes yielded just over a gallon of juice.

Now normally when you run fruit through the steam juicer, they turn into colorless flat bits of skin and junk. Not this stuff. It got a bit wrinkled, but that was it. We just tasted one and there is plenty of gushy stuff and sweetness left. So I saved all the steamed bits and I'm freezing them as well. I'm thinking I will either boil in water and strain or chuck it in a strainer bag when I get ready to make...whatever with it.

Now here is the astonishing part....the SG on the juice is just below 1.08.
1.08!!

I had planned on making mead with this stuff, but with an SG that high before I even add a sugar source, I'm not sure how to proceed.
For now, the juice is being frozen, so I've got time.


Any suggestions?
 

Arne

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First thing is taste it. If it is tasting way too strong you can cut it with some water, mix it up good, take another s.g. and then you can bring the gravity back up with the honey. If not that way, use it like fresh grape juice, throw some pectic enzime, whatever else you normally use, bentonite, nutrient, acid if it needs it, energizer and pitch the yeast. Sit back and watch the magic. Arne.
 

jswordy

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This sounds interesting. If it were me, I'd put the fruit in a bag in the must and then press it when transferring to secondary.

Go real easy on adding the water. It's easy to overshoot it, and flavor goes from yum to meh quick. Ideally, I like to use none. But with that much flavor still left in the fruit, you could dilute some.

Looky what I found...

http://littlefallcreek.com/2014/11/13/jujubes-and-country-wine/
 

Jericurl

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I've thawed everything out and will be putting this together once I get home from work. I can't decide if I'm going for a 3 gallon or 5 gallon batch.

So far, my plan is to take the thawed fruit bits and boil/simmer in about 2 gallons of water for a half hour, then strain and pour into primary. Add 3 quarts of jujube juice. Measure SG. The number I get here will determine if I make a 3 gallon batch (if low and shouldn't be diluted further) or a 5 gallon batch (if SG is high and can deal with more dilution). Then will add up to 1 gallon of Orange Blossom honey.

Not sure if I am going to fitz about with nutrients on this one, as the fruit juice and boiled bits will probably be able to keep the fruit happy. Will be using QA23, which has fairly low nutrition requirements compared to some of the other yeasts.

I've got several pounds of dried jujubes as well as a jujube extract to assist if the flavor comes out too light later on down the road.
 

Jericurl

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Ok, 6.25 lbs of jujube bits, boiled in water for about an hour, then cooled.
Jujube juice added, then honey added to SG 1.10.

QA23 yeast pitched. I completely forgot pectic enzyme, but I will add that later, as well as some bentonite on day 3.
 

Jericurl

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I racked this yesterday. SG is down to 1.014.

I had a little over so I put it in a half gallon mason jar, along with the rest of the undiluted juice and a few more dried jujubes. I have a fermentation lid so I put that on it.
I think it will do fine since it has a fairly active fermentation going on.
I'm aiming to rack again in two weeks and combine the two secondary contents.

So far, so good.
 

txlbbguy

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Watching this one closely!

Jericuri, I have three large jujube trees in my yard and they are loaded every summer. I sure hope this works out because I would love to try it next year! I always have wondered what to do with them because there are so many! Now I have a plan. Thanks for sharing this!
 

Dave Sutcliffe

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About 4 years back I planted 28 small jujube trees. They now range in size from 3' to 6' high. Last fall was the first year most of them produced anything. Some trees only had a few berries but several trees had dozens. So as the berries ripened I'd eat a few but most I tossed in the freezer. December I pulled out the bag and it came in at 4 lbs. I know the general rule-of-thumb is 3 lbs of fruit per gal but two years back I had a batch of peach wine that never cleared so now I usually aim for 2 lbs per gal and that's worked well for me. Anyway, I put the 4 lbs of whole frozen fruit into a mesh bag, then added 7 quarts water, 4 lbs sugar, 4 tsp acid blend, 2 tsp pectic enzyme, 1/2 tsp nutrient and energizer along with a campden tablet into the primary. Set the pail on a heating pad to defrost the frozen berries and bring the must up in temperature. The next day I carefully squeezed the bag to rupture the fruit and added the yeast. I kept squeezing the bag and stirring the must for 6 more days before removing the bag and pouring the slurry into a carboy and adding a bubbler. The wine has since cleared and I've racked it twice in the last two months. Last week I poured off half a gallon and sweetened it to taste. Even though the wine's only 2 months old it's still very drinkable. Has a slight apple after-taste but no off flavors. I'll have to see how it ages but at this point I will certainly make more next year.
 
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