Mould on plum wine must

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maff

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Last week I started a batch of plum wine with 6-7lbs of fresh plums. Yesterday, I opened my fermenting bin to find that there was a thin coating of whitish mould all over the surface.

I spooned the worst of it from the surface, and strained the remainder into a clean and sterilised fermenting bin. I have added 1 crushed Camden tablet (sodium metabisuphite) to the juice, in the hope that it will kill any remaining mould.

Is it worth my while continuing with this batch, or should I just cut my losses and discard it?

Just as a bit of background my method so far was:

  1. Washed plums in cold water, cut them in half and crushed each half into a clean, sterilised fermenting bin.
  2. Poured 4 pints of boiling water onto fruit, covered with lid and left to cool, before adding a further 4 pints of cooled boiled water.
  3. Added 1 heaped tspn of Pectic Enzyme to fruit and left for 48hrs
  4. Added 1 heaped tspn wine yeast, stirred twice daily

I'd appreciate any help or suggestions.
 

St Allie

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Welcome to the forum Maff,

sorry to hear you are having problems.

a couple of questions..

Did you add a campden tablet to the original must on day one?

Does your recipe say to leave the wine on the fruit for 7 days?

Have you tasted the must since you strained it and added the campden tablet? Does it taste 'weird'.

If you are using a recipe, can you please post it, as it will help us help you, much more effectively...

Allie
 

Madriver Wines

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I have a bad mojo for your moldy wine. If you counted on the boiling water to sterilize it you would of had to boil the fruit to achieve this. Always use campden tabs or their equiv. at the start of your must.
 

maff

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Welcome to the forum Maff,
a couple of questions..

Did you add a campden tablet to the original must on day one?

Does your recipe say to leave the wine on the fruit for 7 days?

Have you tasted the must since you strained it and added the campden tablet? Does it taste 'weird'.

If you are using a recipe, can you please post it, as it will help us help you, much more effectively...

Allie
Thanks St Allie. In answer to your questions:

No I didn't add a Campden tablet at the start.

I haven't tasted it, but just looked at it again and it has powdery white film/crust on top.

Recipe is based on one from First Steps in Winemaking by C J J Berry:

6lb Plums
3.5lb Sugar
1 gallon water
Yeast, nutrient, pectic enzyme

  1. Cut plums in half, and crush them in your hands.
  2. Take half the water, bring to boil and pour on fruit.
  3. Leave four to five hours and add other half of water (I boiled this too, left to cool) and the pectic enzyme.
  4. Leave 48 hours, strain, bring to boil and pour over sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  5. Allow to cool to 70°F add yeast, pour into fermenting vessel and fit air lock.
  6. When wine begins to clear, siphon for first time.
  7. When all fermentation finished, rack again into clean bottles and cork.

I did things a little differently at point 4, and added yeast to fruit pulp. I did this successfully with blackberries last year.
 

maff

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Thanks Madriver Wines, I just looked at it again and it doesn't look too good.
 

St Allie

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Sorry Maff,

Am leaning towards you having to throw out this batch and start again..

Some of the older winemaking books don't mention campden tablets.. neither does jack kellers website online.. they just assume ( sadly for new winemakers) that you already know to use the campden tablets.


I never leave the fruit in the must for longer than 4 days myself and I do add the yeast to the must, just like you did. The addition of a campden tablet plus straining it within 4 days would help this particular recipe work for you. In the recipe I think the second boiling after straining is supposed to sterilise the must, before adding the yeast, to circumvent the need for campden tabs.

Unfortunately I believe persevering with this batch, providing you could get the mold under control, may still leave you with something undrinkable.

Allie
 
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smurfe

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Did you punch down the cap every day? If not, that is where your mold came from. When you make a wine with solids in it you need to stir them under the liquid every day. If not they can and will develop mold. You should of used sulfites to.
 

Wade E

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Thats exactly what I thought after reading a few words into Smurfe. The fruit has to be punched down at least once a day or the fruit exposed to air will do this. Im not sure what will come of this. I guess you could continue but since its small i probably wouldnt. Are you sure its mold and not just dried up yeast though as they can look alike??????????????????
 

mmadmikes1

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I wouldnt though it out just yet but I would move it away from any other active batches. Nothing to loss but time at this point. you can still pour it out later
 

St Allie

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Maff mentioned he stirred the must twice daily, so I would think the cap was submerged. My citrus wines have a horrible looking, fluffy, browny green, cap at the top of the primary, ( under airlock) and is fermenting beautifully. smells fine and tastes great.

I did ask for him to taste the must.. that is the test usually, if it tastes great.. ferment it out.

I agree madmikes, there is nothing to lose now in fermenting it out, however maff is new and may not want to ferment out if this is his only equipment so far and he's not sure that his first 1 gallon batch will work out as planned.

early winemaking is an impatient time of life!

Allie
 

Luc

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There are a few things bothering me in this recipe.

First you should have washed the plums in a bath of soda ash.
There is a small layer of wax on plums and that makes the wine
difficult to clear.
The soda ash removes that layer.
It also makes sure to remove insects and dirt and insecticides.

Next wash them in a bath with sulphite.
That is also important.
Plums are full oof fruit flies and they will impart vinegar bacteria.

I was this year thinking I could make a wine the natural way.
So i did it even more primitive as you did.
I just crushed the grapes and let nature do it's thing.

Well it did so I had to toss out 30 liter previous weekend !!!
Molds and vinegar was what I had.........

In Your case I would stop immediately and toss the batch.
And please sanitise your primary thoroughly even using chlorine
when available as the mold will be difficult to get out of the primary and can spoil your next batch also.

Campden is really your friend !!

Luc
 
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Stumpman

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When I made my peach I had a layer of mold growing on the pulp that had rose to the top. I took a strainer and skimmed it off, add k-meta, and Its cruising along fine, tastes good and all. I'd leave it go, It might be the best wine you ever made.
 

maff

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Thank you everyone for your replies.

I decided to throw this batch away, after looking at it again, there was a disgusting looking white film of mould on top - so I didn't feel much like tasting it! It also smelt a little weird too.

Due to a lack of space and equipment, I felt it would be better to try a new batch instead. Just need to get some more free fruit!
 

Wade E

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Are you sure it was mold and not just dried up yeast sitting on top? I posted this last night but for some reason it didnt go through!
 
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