Making Banana Wine (And a mess)

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by GrapesAhoy, Mar 13, 2019.

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  1. Mar 13, 2019 #1

    GrapesAhoy

    GrapesAhoy

    GrapesAhoy

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    My second effort at any wine, first was a kit. Approach and progress...

    • Using the 3 gallon fastfermenter conical device. Used a ton of Teflon tape, so no leaks
    • Used about 12 lbs of bananas, peeled, when they were on the edge of brown and goopy
    • Heated them in pot to kill natural yeast and stuff, putting the banana chunks in a cheesecloth bag with about 2 and 1/2 gal water.
    • When time to put the juice/goop in fermenter, after squeezing the banana chunks to get as much goodness out of them, had well over 3 gal of must. Note to self, use less water next time, got more out of the bananas then I expected
    • Was at 5 brix, added enough sugar to get it to 21.
    • Acid was at .1, added malic acid to get it to .4. I was taught to “move” the acid no more than .3 of a step.
    • Added yeast nutrient
    • Added the yeast, 2 things of champagne yeast. Put lid on with bubbler
    • Nothing happening the next morning, go to work concerned
    • Come home to banana goop coming out the bubbler onto the floor. Oh, it be fermenting
    So today was 2nd day, still chugging away, the little fermenter that could. Looking forward to “racking” it in the conical in a few more days. Have pectin enzyme standing by. A 3gal carboy will be its eventual home. More to follow!

    Appreciate any suggestions. I’ve read as many threads on banana wine as I could.
     
  2. Mar 13, 2019 #2

    dralarms

    dralarms

    dralarms

    Overboard as usual Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Welcome to winemakingtalk.

    First, don’t boil or heat your fruit. It won’t kill the yeast anyway. Freeze them, they will break down better (that won’t kill the yeast either).

    Second, next time add apple juice, not water. Apple juice doesn’t water down the banana flavor.

    With bananas you need a container double the size of your initial volume. It can become violent.

    I’ve got almost 140 lbs I’m starting in the next few days, I will only add about 2 to 3 gallons of apple juice and hit it with plenty of pectic enzyme (breaks down the fruit), last batch I did I used 118 lbs and ended up with 12 gallons of wine that will knock your socks off.
     
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  3. Mar 13, 2019 #3

    dralarms

    dralarms

    dralarms

    Overboard as usual Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Oh and with banana, let it start clearing a bit (not all the way but so that you can see it’s starting), you’ll gain more banana flavor and more wine as the fruit will liquify very well with pectic enzyme. Out of my 118 lb batch I had a dry ball after getting as much juice as I could that weighed about 5 lbs.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2019 #4

    Arne

    Arne

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    If you ferment in a container that is borderline big enough, set it in a tray of some kind or even in a big garbage bag just pulled up along the sides a bit. Can prevent a big cleanup, especially if you are over something the wine might hurt. Arne. By the way, I learned this the hard way. LOL, Arne.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2019 #5

    GrapesAhoy

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    I think my dog has been licking up the banana spew that has made it to the kitchen floor (now covered with a trash bag). The fast fermenter is probably not ideal for this sort of effort, as no room for leaving the banana chunks in there during the primary ferment. Lessons learned, and already looking forward to the next go after this batch. Thanks for the comments!

    I didn't put the pectic enzyme in at the beginning. Suggestions for its deployment?

    Fermenting has slowed to a dull roar, so was able to clean out the bubbler of goop. It is right next to my dog's water bowl, and he stands there cocking his head from side to side staring at it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  6. Mar 14, 2019 #6

    GrapesAhoy

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    Still bubbling along gently. Opened the FastFermenter to give it a stir, and after the stir and putting the lid back on it went volcano mode for a bit. I assume that was degassing?

    Still holding back the pectic enzyme...suggestions for when I should put it in?
     
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  7. Mar 14, 2019 #7

    Arne

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    You are just letting the co2 out. I would hold off on the pectic til it is done fermenting. If you dump it in now, if you put anything in it now it can cause the co2 to blend together and try to get out of the fermenter. Great fun when that happens, seems like you might be learning a bit about it already. Arne.
     
  8. Mar 14, 2019 #8

    dralarms

    dralarms

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    Once it gets finished, ie, 1.000 or lower, put the pectic enzyme in. It will still help clear it.
     
  9. Mar 16, 2019 #9

    GrapesAhoy

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    I “racked” the wine today, with quotes around it because with the Fastfermenter you empty the bowl at the bottom. It was full of what had the texture of slush, to the point that I had to do it twice to get it all out. Had to poke down to the bottom of the conical with a sanitized kebab spear to unplug it too. Will check sugar later.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2019 #10

    GrapesAhoy

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    OK, moved from the conical FastFermenter to 2 one gallon jugs and a bottle. The wine had a *lot* of debris in in, bits of banana goop and stuff, so I racked off the bottom 3 times before moving it to the jugs. First, I racked into a 750 mL bottle about half full until it flowed clear, then racked into the jugs. Put bubblers on them, and also the pectic enzyme. The rest I put into the 750 mL bottle, and then poured that into a standard bottle through cheesecloth to remove the bits. That worked fine, should have done that with all of it. I corked that bottle (for now).

    The wine itself is a pleasant yellow, but cloudy. It was 20 Brix when I started, -5 Brix now. Pretty ferocious, but definite flavor of bananas peering over the shoulder of the alcohol and waving its hand.

    My plan is to let it sit for 6 months or so, then retaste and sweeten.

    Appreciate any thoughts or comments!
     
  11. Mar 27, 2019 #11

    dralarms

    dralarms

    dralarms

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    Sounds good. Mine usually clears to a bright yellow. And yes for some reason banana seems stronger than others.
     
  12. Mar 27, 2019 #12

    Dave Lively

    Dave Lively

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    I have a few wines in process...and a finished charonday kit that tastes dry and harsh. Beats looking for a wagon to jump on. Have a White Zin in second ferment. Looks and smells sweet. Lots of small bubbles of CO2. In no hurry to mess with it. More chemicals to add @ day??
    A 3g & 1g in primary of mead are my 'precious' @ the moment. Still perking away under cover @ 68-70.
    This banana wine thing has me excited about the next concoction attempt. After the Chardonay, anything is going uphill. Will watch here...Thnx :)
     
  13. Apr 3, 2019 #13

    GrapesAhoy

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    An update, I added pectin enzyme to the two 1 Gallon jugs, and it cleared right up. Beautiful yellow color. The stuff at the bottom is extremely light and easily dispersed if you move the jugs.

    I racked both jugs into a 3 Gal carboy, leaving the goop in the jugs, and then back into the jugs. This left me with 1.5 Gallons of banana wine, so lots of lees being disposed of. I poured that into a bottle to see if I could further extract some clear wine from it.

    Topped one of the jugs off with a white box wine. I'll leave them sit now, as they are clear. Added a bit of K-meta. The wine is strong. Hoping it will mellow over time.
     

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