My Very First Wine - Mango Style

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bionerd

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Tonight I decided to start my very first mango wine, not sure how this is going to turn out, but figured I'd post the recipe I used and see if there are any suggestions people could make based on their experience with mango wine. Since this is starting with juice, I did calculate the approximate weight of mango pulp (calculation at end).

3L of Taro Mango Juice
1L of Grape Juice
1L of Water
5 tsp Acid Blend
1 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1.05 kg Sugar
1/2 packet RedStar Premier Blanc

Expected alcohol content around 15% (Misread the hydrometer when doing my math... so this is going to be a wine that puts hair on your chest i suppose...)

I wanted to get an approximate weight of mango pulp, so I did some calculations based on weight. 1L of mango juice weighed 1.06kg and the percent composition of mango pulp based on the ingredients was 35%. From this, I deduced the weight of water in this to be 650g, so I am starting with 410 grams of mango per juice bottle, or in total, 2.71 pounds mango pulp.

Another problem that I encountered was the viscosity of the juice, as this could interfere with the specific gravity measurement. To make sure that this would not be a problem, I calculated the total sugar content (listed in grams, so I went metric) and estimated that it should be around 1.035, the actual reading was 1.04. So, if you plan on using pulpy fruit juices, if you do around a 1:1 dilution of pulpy fruit with water, the specific gravity reading is surprisingly accurate, provided you start with juice that has a fairly high sugar content.
 
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BernardSmith

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Hi bionerd - and welcome. Difficult for me to comment on your recipe. I tend to avoid diluting fruit juices with water unless the juice itself is a concentrate. The secret is always to taste the must and see if it provides a rich enough fruit flavor. I would also use the entire pack of yeast. You can under-pitch (and under-pitching can result in off flavors and other problems) and unless your storage is really very sanitary you will be encouraging bacteria to ride along with the remaining yeast. Last point: and it may be too late for this batch - but despite what any recipe might suggest, there is really no advantage of adding acidity to the must. Acidic musts can stress yeast to the point where they cannot uptake any liquid through their cell walls. A must can be too acidic for healthy fermentation. If - and only if the wine is low in acidity then you can add whatever acidity you want just before you bottle. Don't forget that CO2 increases the acidity of the wine as some of it transforms to carbonic acid.
 

bionerd

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Thanks for the advice Bernard. I'm currently face palming with the carbonic acid, totally forgot about that and its something I should think of as a biologist! The acid correction kit that I used had me adding acid before, but I corrected to be at the lower end of the acid range, so hopefully the carbonic acid doesn't affect it too much O.O It definitely does make a lot more sense to do the correction afterwards to have that accounted for. I'll definitely measure the acid content at the end to see how much the carbonic acid - bicarbonate buffer affects acidity.

I suppose if the acid is too high from the carbonic acid I could apply a vacuum to the solution to shift the acid equilibrium to favor breakdown of the acid.

I'm pretty sure my main problem right now is treating this as a scientific process rather than an art. But that is why I'm here - to learn from everyone's experience :)

In your experience, do you find that pulpy juices give faulty specific gravity measurements?
 

Bodenski

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In your experience, do you find that pulpy juices give faulty specific gravity measurements?
I think it would be hard to know for sure. The starting SG gives you an idea of the potential ABV. Not many home brewers can directly measure the final ABV, so it would be difficult to know how far off you were (if at all). I do mostly country wines, and I just take it as it is.

(I don't even compensate for temperature, which I know I'm supposed to do. Even if my ABV is of by a percent or two that doesn't impact much of what I'm looking to do with this hobby. Which is enjoy something home-made that I can share with friends and make something that I can't just easily buy off of the shelf.)
 

bionerd

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True. When I first just weighed the mango juice, I was 1.06kg/L so it would have a SG of 1.06 based on just what the measurement is, but wasnt sure how much was mango weight and how much was just due to the sugar content. After my dilution and addition of grape juice, I measured the SG as 1.04. But, I also went and calculated what the SG should be in the diluted solution based on the concentration of sugar and it should be around 1.035 so the measurement isnt that off if you start with a dilute solution. Just not sure how off it would be when using fully concentrated juice. I suppose to completely avoid the inaccuracy in the measurement you can just calculate what the SG reading would be based on total sugar content and volume, but I have a feeling that would be a bit overkill (but might do that since Im a glutton for precision of measurement!).
I do suppose that one problem with this approach is that there could be other carbohydrates that the yeast could break down to produce glucose, while others may be undigestable, so there is an inherent inaccuracy in the measurement anyway.
This ended up being a lot of math. I'm having the problem that as a scientist, I work with metric units, but everything in wine making is in imperial units AHHHH. So I have like 4 pages of just unit conversions and calculations in my notes for this recipe. I should probably just embrace the normal methods for measurement.

As for the temperature deviation, the hydrometer was calibrated for optimal activity at 60F, but measurement is done around 72F. The percent deviation from the temperature difference is only about 1%, so probably dont need to do much compensation there unless you want to be REALLY accurate haha :)

But I totally get you - hobbies are fun and not meant to be really really tedious. I just really enjoy the science behind it. Been out of the lab for about 2 years now, so this is a fun way to get my hands wet again :D
 

BernardSmith

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If you are using commercially made juice and you are in the USA then the nutritional label will provide you with the amount of sugar in each "serving" . You can calculate the total amount of sugar you have in the juice and from that determine the approximate SG (1lb of sugar dissolved to make 1 US gallon will result in an SG of 1.040). You can a) use the SG by calculation; b) check the calculated SG to see how close it is to your measured SG or c) perhaps use a refractometer to check the Brix or sugar content of the must. If there is no nutritional label the US Dept of Agriculture produces tables that include the typical nutritional contents of hundreds of fruits and vegetables. These tables will provide a reasonably accurate rule of thumb for the sugar content of mangoes
 

bionerd

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Bernard, that is exactly what I did! :) Used the grams per serving from the nutrition label. I had to do some additional unit conversion because the sugar per serving was in grams, but it got me really close! :D

I haven't thought about a refractometer in a long long time! I do wonder if the color of the solution would affect the light attenuation and lead to a lower than expected reading. Definitely something to look into :) Loving that optics could potentially come into the wine making process haha
 

Boatboy24

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I do wonder if the color of the solution would affect the light attenuation and lead to a lower than expected reading.
Not sure, but I can tell you that my refractometer seems to be just as accurate with white grape juice as it is with red.
 

bionerd

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Not sure, but I can tell you that my refractometer seems to be just as accurate with white grape juice as it is with red.
Thanks for the info Jim. Also how do you use a refractometer for wine making? I used one in lab for biology stuff, and am now just getting my toes wet with wine making?
 

Boatboy24

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A drop of juice in there will register the brix. Pretty simple, really. I think there are specific ones used to measure brix, though I'm not certain.
 

bionerd

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So, I'm looking for some advice. When I adjusted the sugar, I *might* have misread the hydrometer and added a bit too much. With a 15% alcohol content, what are the best ways to make the wine more drinkable? The yeast are having an absolute party right now (and it's a hearty yeast) so Im worried about producing a jet fuel-esque wine :/
 

pip

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Sodium sorbate? That'll stop fermentation but you'll end up with a pretty sweet drink depending on when you kill the yeast party. My question would be, whats wrong with a 15% wine?
 

bionerd

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It's a question more of how much alcohol before you get something that is like rubbing alcohol.

Also I'm a light weight drinking wise :\
 

pip

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It's a question more of how much alcohol before you get something that is like rubbing alcohol.

Also I'm a light weight drinking wise :\
Fair enough. If i were you then, and i didnt want an overly sweet wine, i'd let it ferment to dry, add sodium sorbate and then add more mango juice to reduce the ABV, i guess this would also back sweeten it a little. I like the sound of mango wine, i hope it goes well.
 

AkTom

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Sodium sorbate? That'll stop fermentation but you'll end up with a pretty sweet drink depending on when you kill the yeast party. My question would be, whats wrong with a 15% wine?
I don't think it will necessarily stop fermentation if actively fermenting. Once dry, it will keep it from fermenting your sweetening. Maybe I'm wrong, someone with more wine experience will be along soon.
Tom
 

bionerd

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Mango wine is about at 2% alcohol. Almost done. Definitely has a nice color to it, we shall see how yellow it is after clearing
 

Scooter68

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"Mango wine is about at 2% alcohol."

Did you drop a digit there? 2% ????

Did you really mean 12% or 20% ????

If 2% is your actual number then drink quickly cause I don't think it will keep long at all.
 

pip

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I think, but bionerd needs to confirm, that the '2%' refers to how much sugar remains to be fermented, as in the hydrometer reading being at 1.015ish? That's how i interpreted the post, but i could be wrong.
 

bionerd

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Yes sorry. Only 2% left to ferment. Its around 13% alcohol from what has fermented so there is a slight jetfuel aftertaste.
 

pip

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So, will you act to decrease the abv or age it in the hope the after burn will smooth out in time given that you'll probably end up with a 16-17% abv?
 
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