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Plum Wine Scheduling Dilema

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ipigus

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Hi All,

I was hoping someone might be able to advise as to what I should do in my situation. I am doing a 5 gallon batch of plum wine from fresh fruits. I had the hardest time getting it to start fermenting for some reason. I waited four days after adding the yeast for it to start with no luck. Everything seemed to check out OK (temperature, acid, sugar, rehydration technique, amount of campden, energizer, nutrient, etc, etc), so I thought maybe it was the yeast. I tried again with newly purchased yeast, no luck after three days of that. My last ditch effort was to try a different type of yeast and within 8 hours the must is heavily fermenting.

Anyway, so far so good, but the problem is this threw me off schedule. The main problem is I will be out of town soon and do not have anyone to watch after the wine or rack it when it should be racked. The last time I can have contact with it is exactly 4 days after it began fermenting, or after 8 days. I know I should rack between 5-7 days.

I'm new to winemaking so I'm not sure how best to adapt. Given my circumstance, would you err toward racking too early or too late? I don't know if racking earlier is OK since the pulp has already been sitting in the juice for more than a week now. If I rack later, I won't be able to push down the cap / stir and don't know if that will cause problems.

Any advice as to how I should proceed?

Thanks!
 

St Allie

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hello ipigus,

If it's been on the pulp for a week with pectic enzyme a lot of the pulp should be broken down. If you have no one to rack it later for you, then just rack it the day you leave .. attach an airlock and leave it to ferment. Sounds like a lot of your fruit flavours will be in the wine already. Might be a good idea to taste it to see, does it smell ok?

You really have nothing to lose by continuing the process. Well done for persisting with the yeast too.. I usually use a champagne yeast for fruit wines..Lalvin EC1118.. which one did you end up using?

Allie
 

BettyJ

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Best yeast for fruit wines

Hi Allie
I have been using Lalvin EC1116 for fruit wines - the chart I had recommended this for fruit, although I can't remember / if they specified why....

Anyone know which one is best for high temp/ humidity? I struggle to keep my must cooler to try and slow down the fermentation to reduce the possibility of off flavors, etc.
 

Luc

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Madriver Wines

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Luc answered your question, I just wanted to say welcome. There is a sticky here for yeasts just do a search.
Steve
 

ipigus

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Thank you all for your advice, I really appreciate it. I'll be racking the plum before I leave then. That sounds like a good plan.

St Allie -- I initially used Lalvin 71B-1122 which was recommended by my local winemaking shop for fruit wines. I have been seeing references to EC-1118 being a good choice too and think I may try that next time. For just this wine, I switched to the ICV K1V-1116 because I heard that it was good for stuck fermentations and "stressed" conditions, as well as being OK for fruit wines. I suppose we'll see how it turns out. The 71B didn't work out for me so I suppose this is better than nothing :)
 
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