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Mixed fruit wine very lively

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I have been making country wines from all kinds of fruit for many years, usually from fruit i can pick in the wild or purchase at local supermarkets but i have never seen this before.
I have 3 gallons of mixed fruit wine in 3 separate demijohns which is in its 3rd week of fermentation. Quite a large sediment has dropped and the top is starting to clear however a very lively reaction to something is taking place. A handful of sediment rises to the top and then almost explodes when it hits the surface before then falling back to the bottom only to repeat this every 30 seconds or so. Can anyone help on this and state what might be causing it ?
I took the usual pre fermentation recommendations and added pectic enzyme, citric acid, bentonite, campden tablet, tannin and yeast nutrient 24 hours before adding the yeast starter.
Any advice welcome
Paul
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Paul, and welcome.
Just guessing here but it sounds like the sediment is being propelled upwards by the CO2 being produced by the yeast and when the sediment reaches the top the CO2 has enough pressure to burst through the "cap" and gravity then has enough force on the mass of particles to drag them down to the bottom before the CO2 is sufficiently nucleated to allow the gas to gather and so force the sediment back towards the surface.
 
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Hi Bernard
Do you think its just a matter of time for it to settle down as the sugar content reduces ?
Hope the wine is just as lively in 6 months time when i drink it ?
Cheers
Paul
 

BernardSmith

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I make mead (honey wine) and mead makers routinely degas our mead. That means we stir the mead two or three times a day to allow the CO2 to escape. One of the problems that CO2 causes is that if it is saturating the wine then it will inhibit your wine from clearing. What a wine without CO2 does is allow all the particles to drop out of suspension and onto the bottom of your fermenter. When you rack you rack the wine off the sediment and each subsequent racking results in a brighter and more clear wine. Certainly you can aim for a more effervescent sparkling wine, but CO2 creates carbonic acid and that acidity along with the gas popping on your tongue makes for a very "lively" wine but you can create a very similar feeling of liveliness by ensuring that your wine has sufficient acidity (TA) - usually about 6g/L. Note, TA is not the same as pH. pH refers to the strength of the acids in the wine.. You can have a lot of a weak acid or a little of a strong acid. TA refers to the amount of acid and that is why it is measured in grams per liter (6g/l means that the wine is about .6% acid (and wine is usually thought of as containing tartaric acid (the main acid in grapes).
 

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