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Pawpaw vinegar

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garymc

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I started a banana/pawpaw/mango wine on the 19th of October. I peeled and simmered 15 pounds of ripe bananas and poured the hot banana sauce over 10 pounds of pawpaw pulp in a 5 gallon paint straining bag. I added 2 quarts of mango nectar, a quart of spring water, 2 tsp pectic enzyme, 4 tsp yeast nutrient, 2 tsp energizer, 1 tsp citric acid, 8 ounces of orange juice, and sprinkled Lalvin 71B yeast. It started working quickly, was creating some foam and I could tell the fruit was being broken down. I found what might have been a gnat on the fermentation bag on the 21st. I went to check the specific gravity on the evening of the 22nd and add some sugar and the foaming had ceased. I added 2 pounds of sugar and some spring water. I thought it smelled a little sour, so I tasted it. The vinegar taste and smell are noticeable. So, it looks like I made 2 mistakes. Letting a fruit fly or gnat get to it, and I didn't do an initial k-meta dose since I was cooking the bananas. This is my first failed wine in 90 batches over the last 8 years. When I found the gnat, could I have sprayed the spot where he was with a sanitizing solution of k-meta and citric acid and stopped this?
 

VinesnBines

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Have you ever made PawPaw wine before? What is your SG? It is nasty stuff during fermentation, so you may not be at vinegar yet. I don't know that one gnat will spoil the whole batch. My PawPaw is bottle aging because it was never great; I'm hoping time will improve everything. I recall a ton of lees fell out.
 

Rice_Guy

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Q: would spraying sanitizer stop an infection? probably not
we set up a fermentation with a set of barriers that favor one organism over another family, example eliminating oxygen will keep acetobacter from growing, it may be in the soup and we can pull it out with an enrichment which favors that family, ,,, but at one per liter in a carboy it doesn’t matter.
 

RichardC

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did you already dump the wine? Don't. As a newbie, I find that the wine ALWAYS tastes sour till it's done fermenting and started clearing a bit. If it really has turned to vinegar, decide if you want to encourage that process and use if for cooking.
 

garymc

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This is my first pawpaw wine attempt. I've been casting about looking for ways to use the pawpaws from my 4 producing trees. Maybe wine isn't one of them. So far, ice cream is the best thing I've found. I haven't dumped it yet. I put an unvented lid on the bucket and put the bucket in a bathtub in a different part of the house from the rest of the wine. I opened it up last night (10-23) and it was creating bubbles and foam. Still tasted very acidic. Is it normal for pawpaw or bananas or mango to be very sour during fermentation? I wasn't able to get a specific gravity in the beginning because it was too thick. Now, after 4 days of vigorous fermentation, I don't see a lot of use in taking a specific gravity and I don't want the stuff in my wine thief. Should I continue to feed it sugar, keep the oxygen away from it, and see what happens?
 

VinesnBines

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My Pawpaw was thick and sour; 3 gallons dropped nearly a gallon of sediment and my notes show that it was two months after it started before it tasted better. I peeled the Pawpaws and froze them. My notes show it started fermenting before I pitched the yeast (even with k meta). The pulp bag swelled and burst open. I tried to get as many seeds out as it fermented. It was a lot of work but I hope it was worth the effort. I’ve read it needs to bottle age for up to 5 years. Keep on and don’t give up yet!!
 

Rice_Guy

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Q? do you like the flavor of fresh paw paw? yes then keep going,,, so so taste, then consider dumping. I wind up making a number if wines because I am curious how it works.

You are five days in, a lot of what you taste is going to be “natural” paw paw without the sugar front note in the mouth. Acetic acid (vinegar) is produced by acetobacter oxidizing ethyl alcohol in the presence of oxygen. When you first tasted the flavor you were on day four or three so you were early in the natural sequence, ,,, and it takes time for one population to cascade into the next. Acetic acid, yes there is some but there hasn’t been a lot of time to finish reactions. To me the biggest test would be smell it and compare it with salad dressing or catsup to enhance the volatile put a half oz in a cup and microwave 30 seconds, then smell. The normal yeast CO2 will be odorless where as the salad dressing will burn the nose.

I have not lab tested paw paw so I can’t give a recipe. If I was checking gravity I would first freeze some a day or two, then thaw and try to drip 100 ml of clean juice through a coffee filter.
If that doesn't work, I would blend one part test fruit with one part water, let it settle a bit and then pull the sample off the top. Specific gravity is linear therefore the calculated sugar would be double the fraction (ie all the numbers after the period). In the lab this would be 500 grams sample plus 500 ml distilled water.

You are using 25 pounds of fruit with one teaspoon citric acid. This isn’t a lot of acid. The banana water I used in one wine was 519 grams of banana in 300 ml of water, ,, gravity was 1.061, pH 5.14, TA 0.19%. To be formulated to a normal TA translates to 3 to 7 grams added acid blend per liter ( 1 to 2 tsp per quart) ,,,,, it would be helpful to have your pH to see if the mix is in the normal range of 3.2 to 3.6 ,, (pH is a selective barrier). ,,,, Google tells me that paw paw has a normal range of 5.5 to 7.0 pH which implies that the total acid is low.

Sounds like a fun project, ,,,, wonder if I can find a store that has some paw paw?
 

VinesnBines

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Unfortunately Pawpaws have no shelf life so commercial production is impossible. You need to know someone or find a wild patch. They go from green to rotten in about 10 minutes. I didn’t get into the woods at the right time this year and my trees are too small to bear.
 

garymc

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I have 4 producing pawpaw trees in my back yard. 75 percent of my pawpaws this year came from the oldest tree. I'm expecting a lot more next year as production ramps up on the other 3. I've eaten a few pounds this season, put a little into pawpaw nut bread, icecream, have another 10 pounds or so in the freezer and I've let a few pounds spoil keeping them for fresh eating. I thought I'd try the wine in order to devise a means of using them up. Maybe farmer's market next year. And my wine next year will definitely have a dose of k-meta to start. I'm still monitoring this batch. I just re-read the post by RichardC. I thought he was talking about pawpaw wine being sour normally, but a close reading indicates he might have meant any wine.
 

RichardC

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Did you remove the pawpaw seeds? These aren't toxic ( from what I know) but, tastes terrible: to me, like a bad clove spice, flavour.
 

VinesnBines

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I didn't at the start but as the flesh broke down, I removed as many as possible.
 

garymc

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If you're talking to me, I peeled and removed the seeds, froze the pulp in ziploc bags, then thawed it, then poured the hot banana sauce on it.
 

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