Peach Wine Makers, a question?

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Rojoguio

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I bought 9 pounds of white peaches from Sam's that were firm. I froze most of them, left 3 out to eat and they never softened up. Tasted ok but just ok. That information needed saying as I also bought 20 pounds of fresh yellow peaches from my local grocery that were soft, sweet, ripe to the point some "soft spots" existed.

My question, your thoughts on stretching the good peaches with a percentage of the firm ones if at all? Thank you for reading in advance..............Regards
 

Raptor99

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Peaches will ripen after picking if they are fully mature when they are picked. ("Mature" does not mean the same thing as "ripe.") If they are picked before they are mature, they will not ripen.

Personally, I would not use unripe fruit to make wine. I'd rather do a smaller batch with good quality, fully ripe fruit. If it does not taste good, I don't make wine out of it.

I recommend using at least 5 lbs. of peaches per gallon. I weigh them after removing the stones, so it would be more like 6+ lbs. of whole peaches. Using my recipe, after removing stones and bad spots your 20 lbs. would be enough for 3 gallons of wine.
 

Rojoguio

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The white peaches tasted good when I cut them up but they never softened up, sweetened up like the peaches off our trees. I have 14 peach trees but too young to let fruit, we will let fruit next year. Thanks for responding. We can make pies out of the white peaches.
 

Rojoguio

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Thank you for your suggestion. I spoke with my wife after responding to your post and she cut up one half of the white peaches in question, covered them in sugar, and let them sit overnight in the fridge. The next day no syrup started and she said the peach's taste didn't improve. We are thinking picked too early as said earlier may be the problem.

On a different note, my local grocer really hooked me up, 20 pounds of fresh Alabama peaches for $25. I have a relationship growing there that the bad white peaches got started. If they get something interesting in I can get good case prices. We have almost 80 varieties of fruit trees here growing so I will have a better home grown selection each year in the future. A first crop is expected next spring.
 

Rice_Guy

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My answer is sugar on the finished wine is magic. By this I mean one year I did peach with enough rhubarb juice to just drop the pH to 3.5. Back sweetening the finished wine to 1.004 made a peach that smelled like green shipping peaches from the grocery store. Back sweetening to 1.012 made the aroma of ripe peach pop out and produced a high solids wine tasting like peach off the tree.

* for your situation the white peach at room temperature would have eventually softened and the sugar percentage increased. Peach is what is called a chlimateric fruit and will continue to ripen after picked. Once frozen the enzyme systems are locked where they were, they will not ripen but will mold when thawed.
* I like lots of fruit aromatics. I avoid adding water to a recipe. I will take any low aroma/ high acid fruit and blend in enough of that juice to drop the pH to target level. The overall effect is that they work together giving the sensation of lots of fruit solids.
An example is that I have a watermelon (pH 7) 75% with gooseberry (pH 2.8) 25% (NO water). Folks recognize the dominant aroma and name it as watermelon, but don’t recognize the gooseberry and say lots of fruit in that wine.
Another example in the vinters club is that one one member will use zucchini juice instead of water for his recipes. This builds the effect of lots of fruit solids.

YES! you can put the white peach in to build better peach notes and if you have high acid northern white grape you could use that. Water just makes a watered down wine.
 

Rojoguio

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Wow! What a education! Two Thumbs up. The high acid white grape suggestion is great. It takes experience to manipulate the fruit as you suggest. My wines so far are good to us, how is it said; "It's ok around the house but don't take it on the road". Thanks for taking the time....................
 

Chuck Rairdan

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A few questions for seasoned peach wine makers: have you ever used kieselsol and chitosan as final fining agents to achieve crystal clear peach wine? I plan to use pectic enzyme and maybe bentonite during fermentation. Are kieselsol and chitosan necessary in your opinion? I will probably rack a few times to help clear, but I made a peach wine a few years ago that turned out really good, but had noticeable sediments after bottle ageing for a while.
 

Raptor99

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I have made peach wine the past 3 years. I don't know if that makes me "seasoned" compared to some of the old timers on this forum. But anyway, this is what I do:

I usually add pectic enzyme to the primary before I pitch the yeast. This past year I tried something new: I added pectic enzyme to the peaches before I freeze them. It can work before they freeze and while they are thawing. That seems to help it to clear sooner. If I know that I will need acid blend, I add half of what I think I will eventually need before freezing as well. The acid helps to preserve the fruit color. Then when I start the batch, I measure the pH and add more acid as needed.

I don't use any fining agents. Instead I let it bulk age for about 6 months. That usually gets it very clear. There is sometimes a tiny bit of sediment in the bottles, but it is very little and that doesn't bother me. It is crystal clear in the glass, except maybe for the last bit from the bottle.

Others use fining agents, so they can share their experience.
 

B-dubya

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Last year I made a peach wine from Georgia peaches and a batch from California white peaches. Both ripened very well after letting sit in paper bags after purchasing/ The bag seems to help the ripening process go quicker. However, this year I purchased some on sale peaches at the grocery store and I'm glad I purchased just a few pounds to test ripening because I had the same experience that you had and none of them ripened and stayed hard. I believe that they were picked prematurely and frozen too quickly. I would not have made wine out of any part of these even if half were to ripe. Unripened fruit can make a very flabby wine I've read.

BTW: My peach wine last summer that I purposely over-sweetened to potential 13.5% ABV with the intent to stop fermentation at 11% ABV was accidentally allowed to ferment to finish. As is typical for me, I travel and forgot to stop fermentation before leaving town and when I came back a few days later I realized what I had done. The wine was very hot with very little peach taste - even after sweetening and I had to blend it in order to like it enough to drink.

Regarding fining agents, I have used them but find that they tend to rob flavor so if you don't add flavor packs in secondary before adding fining agents expect the flavor to be minimized.
 

Rice_Guy

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A few questions for seasoned peach wine makers: have you ever used kieselsol and chitosan as final fining agents to achieve crystal clear peach wine? I plan to use pectic enzyme and maybe bentonite during fermentation. Are kieselsol and chitosan necessary in your opinion?
I have used pectin enzyme and time, sometimes a third dose of pectic enzyme when I’m not patient. The earlier pectase goes in, the better the quality, it is less effective in alcohol.
A side note for those growing peaches, Contender variety will grow in zone four and does excellent flavor/ juice.
 
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Chuck Rairdan

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I have made peach wine the past 3 years. I don't know if that makes me "seasoned" compared to some of the old timers on this forum. But anyway, this is what I do:

I usually add pectic enzyme to the primary before I pitch the yeast. This past year I tried something new: I added pectic enzyme to the peaches before I freeze them. It can work before they freeze and while they are thawing. That seems to help it to clear sooner. If I know that I will need acid blend, I add half of what I think I will eventually need before freezing as well. The acid helps to preserve the fruit color. Then when I start the batch, I measure the pH and add more acid as needed.

I don't use any fining agents. Instead I let it bulk age for about 6 months. That usually gets it very clear. There is sometimes a tiny bit of sediment in the bottles, but it is very little and that doesn't bother me. It is crystal clear in the glass, except maybe for the last bit from the bottle.

Others use fining agents, so they can share their experience.
Thanks, Raptor99. I think I'll stick to the pectic enzyme and plenty of time to settle out with however many rackings may be needed.
 

Chuck Rairdan

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Last year I made a peach wine from Georgia peaches and a batch from California white peaches. Both ripened very well after letting sit in paper bags after purchasing/ The bag seems to help the ripening process go quicker. However, this year I purchased some on sale peaches at the grocery store and I'm glad I purchased just a few pounds to test ripening because I had the same experience that you had and none of them ripened and stayed hard. I believe that they were picked prematurely and frozen too quickly. I would not have made wine out of any part of these even if half were to ripe. Unripened fruit can make a very flabby wine I've read.

BTW: My peach wine last summer that I purposely over-sweetened to potential 13.5% ABV with the intent to stop fermentation at 11% ABV was accidentally allowed to ferment to finish. As is typical for me, I travel and forgot to stop fermentation before leaving town and when I came back a few days later I realized what I had done. The wine was very hot with very little peach taste - even after sweetening and I had to blend it in order to like it enough to drink.

Regarding fining agents, I have used them but find that they tend to rob flavor so if you don't add flavor packs in secondary before adding fining agents expect the flavor to be minimized.
Depleting flavor was also a concern I had, especially with peach wine. Think I'll stick with pectic and time... thanks!
 

Chuck Rairdan

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Last year I made a peach wine from Georgia peaches and a batch from California white peaches. Both ripened very well after letting sit in paper bags after purchasing/ The bag seems to help the ripening process go quicker. However, this year I purchased some on sale peaches at the grocery store and I'm glad I purchased just a few pounds to test ripening because I had the same experience that you had and none of them ripened and stayed hard. I believe that they were picked prematurely and frozen too quickly. I would not have made wine out of any part of these even if half were to ripe. Unripened fruit can make a very flabby wine I've read.

BTW: My peach wine last summer that I purposely over-sweetened to potential 13.5% ABV with the intent to stop fermentation at 11% ABV was accidentally allowed to ferment to finish. As is typical for me, I travel and forgot to stop fermentation before leaving town and when I came back a few days later I realized what I had done. The wine was very hot with very little peach taste - even after sweetening and I had to blend it in order to like it enough to drink.

Regarding fining agents, I have used them but find that they tend to rob flavor so if you don't add flavor packs in secondary before adding fining agents expect the flavor to be minimized.
Shooting for about 11.5% on this batch based on initial gravity. Last batch I back sweetened with glycerine and had good results. Also, added organic white grape juice to the primary. The glycerine also adds some much needed body but you can only go so far before the dosages will turn on you, so recommend staying within the label amounts. Also aged the peach wine with American Oak and after bottle ageing for about a year, was like a really nice peach flavored Chardonnay. I'm not really a Chardonnay guy, but chilled and with the peach notes was a real pleaser.
 

Chuck Rairdan

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I have used pectin enzyme and time, sometimes a third dose of peptic enzyme when I’m not patient. The earlier pectase goes in the better the quality, it is less effective in alcohol.
A side note for those buying peaches, Contender variety will grow in zone four and does excellent flavor/ juice.
Good point. Planning to shock the must overnight with campden and also get the pectic going before pitching the yeast.
 

Chuck Rairdan

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Last year I made a peach wine from Georgia peaches and a batch from California white peaches. Both ripened very well after letting sit in paper bags after purchasing/ The bag seems to help the ripening process go quicker. However, this year I purchased some on sale peaches at the grocery store and I'm glad I purchased just a few pounds to test ripening because I had the same experience that you had and none of them ripened and stayed hard. I believe that they were picked prematurely and frozen too quickly. I would not have made wine out of any part of these even if half were to ripe. Unripened fruit can make a very flabby wine I've read.

BTW: My peach wine last summer that I purposely over-sweetened to potential 13.5% ABV with the intent to stop fermentation at 11% ABV was accidentally allowed to ferment to finish. As is typical for me, I travel and forgot to stop fermentation before leaving town and when I came back a few days later I realized what I had done. The wine was very hot with very little peach taste - even after sweetening and I had to blend it in order to like it enough to drink.

Regarding fining agents, I have used them but find that they tend to rob flavor so if you don't add flavor packs in secondary before adding fining agents expect the flavor to be minimized.
Btw, my previous batch at around 12% ran hot out of bulk ageing and I was afraid it was kind of a lost cause. After a year in the bottle, however, it really smoothed out and has only gotten better.
 

B-dubya

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Btw, my previous batch at around 12% ran hot out of bulk ageing and I was afraid it was kind of a lost cause. After a year in the bottle, however, it really smoothed out and has only gotten better.
I'm glad you shared this because my batches that I let ABV climb too high I was afraid to try the bottling and wait method. I tend to let fear decisions lead me when I'm rushed for time. I travel a lot and my wine making hobby cuts into my catching up on other much needed home maintenance tasks so I always feel like I'm robbing Peter to pay Paul in all that I do. I will definitely note your suggestions in my journal to reference "when" I run into this again. I don't state "if" because I know it will happen again.

BTW: I've used chitosan & Kieselsol about 4 times; 2x with kits and 2x with using concentrates. What I found using them is that if you add enough flavor pack juice (have to have a plan between target ABV before addition of fpack & after) before adding clearing agent you can end up with a great tasting finished wine. My time constraints keep me from planning this out and executing like I want to. The kit wines have all of this planned and balanced for you. Some better than others. Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

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