Problems with mulberry wine

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cheeselady

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So let me preface this with that this is my very first foray into wine making. I have two big mulberry trees in my yard and I can only make some many jars of jelly!

I'm going to describe exactly what I did and any input on what to do (don't worry about it, how to fix it, just dump it, mocking me for my mistakes, etc.)

I bought the master vintner 1 gal fruit wine kit and sort of followed several recipes I found:

Day 1
Mashed 12 cups of mullberries directly in primary fermenter. Add 4 cups of water dissolved in some bottled spring water (my tap is chloriney). Add 1 tsp of pectin, 1 tsp of yeast nutrient, 1 tsp of acid blend, 1 campden tab dissolved in more spring water, add more water up to 1.25 gallons.

Day 2
Add yeast (I didn't hydrate properly added yeast to warm juice mix let sit for 15 mins then added mix to mulberry mush) I used red star montrachet yeast that came with the kit. I covered the primary fermenter with a cloth.
**I neglected to check SG here because I couldn't find a tall enough vessel**

Day 2 morning (about 12 hours after adding yeast)
thick layer of mullberry mush on top - I stir it is and I hear fizzing

Day 2 midday
same as above

Day 2 evening
same as above - I smell a surfer odor - I get concerned that the pulp layer is causing issues so I move the pulp to mesh bag that can with kit - I also check the temp of the juice and found it to be around 80 (outside temp ~75)
I found a way to measure SG it was 1.07

Day 3 morning
juice is fizzing like soda - stir it and mush jucie out of pulp
find a video about the kit I bought - see that they used the air lock at the very beginning so i seal primary fermenter and add airlock. It releases gas every few seconds.

Day 3 evening
Gas release slower but still a bit fizzy I check SG is equals 1.03 (what!! how is that possible!) I stir it up.

Day 4 evening
sulfur smell stronger - afraid that pulp is the issue so I remove it. I stir vigorously to drive off sulfur smell.

Day 5 midday ( today)
sulfur smell still there I stir vigorously again - smell *might* not be as strong.

Sooooo what to do now - let it rest with out doing anything to it so it can settle then rack to secondary? Just rack it now? just dump it out? Can it be saved? Am I fretting over nothing?

Any input is greatly appreciated!
 
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Julie

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I would let it ferment out, stir it a couple times a day. Another think you could do is splash rack it (pour it from one primary into another a couple of times) to see if this helps.
 

hounddawg

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I'm not no more educated teen you,
but the column the brains around here check the beginner wine forum,
when I post on beginner wine forum I usually get answers real quick,
I only make country wine, but I still ask there,,
good luck
 

fivebk

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That type of yeast can give off a sulphur smell and should disappear after it is done and has been racked a couple of times

Bob
 

cheeselady

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I would let it ferment out, stir it a couple times a day. Another think you could do is splash rack it (pour it from one primary into another a couple of times) to see if this helps.

Thanks Julie - I can definitely stir several times a day. I only have the one primary but I have several large bowls that can hold a gallon, would that work?



And

Thanks hounddawg - I'll do that!
 

cheeselady

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That type of yeast can give off a sulphur smell and should disappear after it is done and has been racked a couple of times

Bob


Thanks Bob,

Right now I only have the 1 1 gal carboy that came with the kit but I can get another, how many rackings would you suggest?
 

Julie

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I deleted your thread in the beginners section. It becomes very confusing have the same thread in two places.
 

fabrictodyefor

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Thanks Julie - I can definitely stir several times a day. I only have the one primary but I have several large bowls that can hold a gallon, would that work?



And

Thanks hounddawg - I'll do that!

After you splash rack, then rack to your one clean/sanitized gallon car boy, fitted with an air lock...let set for a couple of weeks. Because your mulberries were directly in the primary ferment bucket you are going to end up with a lot of lees (the sediment on the bottom). After a couple of weeks if there are a lot of lees, rack it to a clean/sanitized car boy. With a fruit wine like you have made it will take a minimum of 6 months to be ready, and probably better if you can leave it for a year. I know!!! who would have thought it would take so long!! So every couple of months you need to rack to a clean car boy, especially if there is a lot of lees. You did not get an sg reading at the beginning, but I usually start my wine around 1.090 - 1.085....and hope it ferments to dry, 0.098 or so. Having said that when you took your reading of 1.070 it had already fermented some, then the sg always goes down during fermentation, so your reading of 1.030 was in the right direction! Hope I haven't been redundant with anyone elses responses and hope this information is helpful.
 

cheeselady

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After you splash rack, then rack to your one clean/sanitized gallon car boy, fitted with an air lock...let set for a couple of weeks. Because your mulberries were directly in the primary ferment bucket you are going to end up with a lot of lees (the sediment on the bottom). After a couple of weeks if there are a lot of lees, rack it to a clean/sanitized car boy. With a fruit wine like you have made it will take a minimum of 6 months to be ready, and probably better if you can leave it for a year. I know!!! who would have thought it would take so long!! So every couple of months you need to rack to a clean car boy, especially if there is a lot of lees. You did not get an sg reading at the beginning, but I usually start my wine around 1.090 - 1.085....and hope it ferments to dry, 0.098 or so. Having said that when you took your reading of 1.070 it had already fermented some, then the sg always goes down during fermentation, so your reading of 1.030 was in the right direction! Hope I haven't been redundant with anyone elses responses and hope this information is helpful.


Thanks fabrictodyefor, with respect to the 1.07 to 1.03 drop I was just surprised at how fast it dropped - I figured it would take a week, not two days! I suppose that is mostly due to the elevated temp.

A year? ugh.. well I guess I can wait - any suggestions of beginer recipes that are ready sooner?
 

Arne

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Think you should of added your yeast in steps. Montrechet has a habit of giving off a sulfer smell if it gets stressed. Bet by fermenting so fast it stressed it some and used all the nutrient early. Don't know, just guessing. Arne.
 

cheeselady

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Think you should of added your yeast in steps. Montrechet has a habit of giving off a sulfer smell if it gets stressed. Bet by fermenting so fast it stressed it some and used all the nutrient early. Don't know, just guessing. Arne.

Thanks Arne, do you think adding more nutrient is a good idea?
 

sour_grapes

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Thanks Arne, do you think adding more nutrient is a good idea?

Probably not at this point. What is your SG now?

If there the SG is fairly low, say <1.020, there is not much more for the yeast to consume. Your choices now to rid yourself of the H2S smell are to (1) splash rack and/or aerate (as you have been doing), or (2) add Reduless (http://morewinemaking.com/products/reduless.html) which binds the H2S.
 

Arne

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Probably a little late for the extra nutrient. Soon as it gets done fermenting I would get it off the lees and like Paul says, splash rack it, and if that doesn't get rid of it try the reduless or give it a stir with some clean copper. Arne.
 

fabrictodyefor

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If you go to Danger Daves Dragon's Blood thread it will give you all kinds of ideas of "faster" wines. I've done several and they are ready in about 6 weeks, but could be ready sooner!
 

winegary

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I have made Mulberry two times and both times had this same problem. I made juice from the berries both times and used lavlin yeast. On the second one I step fed the yeast with the same problem. I transferred off the lees a little early 1.020 or so. Then stirred with a piece of new copper water pipe 1 or 2 times a day. after stirring 5 or 6 times it was fine and finished normally.

Ok now for my question. Would yeast nutrient have a benefit if it would have been added up front? If so, when would it be added?

Hope this doesn't seem like I'm high jacking but since we had different recipe and whole berry vs juice, maybe we could both benefit for the next batch.

I meant to say energizer not nutrient.
 
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cheeselady

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Yay! The smell is pretty much gone! After aerating for the last day and a half I opened this evening and only got a whiff of sulfur. I went ahead and splash racked and moved it to the carboy. Sg was 0.990 so lol yeah nutrient wouldn't have done anything. I added a campden tab (dissolved in water) just in case I added any extra buggies when I was messing with it. I couldn't help my self a reserved a tiny bit to taste.........
It reminded me of a red with an aroma of mulberry but quite thin and very "raw" tasting ( gee what a surprise lol) . I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Next time ill ferment in the basement where it is cooler and use more berries or maybe just juice - I think I added too much water.
 

Julie

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Next time, see if it will go lower than .990 before adding any campden and add some tannins, this will help with mouthfeel. Also, take a ph test to see where that is, you might need to add some acid blend.
 

cheeselady

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Next time, see if it will go lower than .990 before adding any campden and add some tannins, this will help with mouthfeel. Also, take a ph test to see where that is, you might need to add some acid blend.

Ah ok, I had thought that 0.990 was pretty close to the lowest you could get with fermentation. What's the lowest SG can, in theory, go? I added acid blend at the start (1 tsp) , I'll find my pH meter and check and report back. Can tannins be added at this point or is it more something I should do next time?
 

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