seasons and questions for the old timers

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ol' boy

carrying on
May 4, 2009
Reaction score
South Central PA
Well I was wondering, if anyone knew how to find the information that I need...
I had found out last year all the different times that which fruits came in season in PA to be able to go pick them for wine making.
What I wanted to know was, does this happen at the same time every year?
would this be in the farmers almanac?

What I had was
May 20 - strawberries
June 5 - peaches and nectarines
june 10 - cherries
june 20 - blueberries
July 1 - apricots and raspberries
july 10 - blackberries
july 15-16 - plums and apples
august 1 - pears
august 25 - Grapes

My master plan was to begin somewhere around a four or five gallon batch for each time new things came into season, but not to do every fruit, like do peaches this year and nectarines next year type of deal. that would mean 9 -10 batches or so a year so anywhere from about 36-50 gallons.

how many primary fermentors do you think I will need to be able to do this, I was thinking
I would start in 5 gallon buckets, move to five gallon carboys to age a bit, then rack down to gallon bottles and then to actual wine bottles.
the only things I have to buy are the primaries and I need to recycle some bottles for the final parts.

any thoughts or opinions and any advice?
Timing is relative where you live. It is also averages. Some may be early or later. Where I live NJ the begining of June is when strawberries start. I usually wait for a couple of weeks as the early ones I feel dont have alot of sweetness.
4th of July is the earliest in NJ for blueberries. See what I mean?
As far as fermentors.If you are making 4-5 gallons of lets say Strawberry you will need a much larger fermentor or 2 5gallon buckets.
Look in the recipe section for more info.
Remember you will need the right size carboy for each wine. Don't expect to be drinking any time soon. Fruit wines take much longer than kits.
Check and make sure you have everything before you start. IE. chemicials,fermentors, airlocks, carboys ..etc...
Perhaps I was misleading, I plan on fermenting one 5 gallon primary for each fruit.

weird side question... when I move from primaries to carboys and I have say three gallons of liquid I cannot use my five gallon carboys?

should I stick with using the one gallon carlo rossi jugs for secondaries then?
and can I re-rack to new one gallon containers again before bottling?

I knwo the batch of peach wine that I made before with my grandfather we drank a month after bottling and it was not that great, and for two years after wards i wasn't to keen on it but after a long time in the bottles I love it. I have two bottles left and they will be three years old this summer. so I know they take a while, but I am willing to wait for the right results...
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Once fermentation is done you should have very little head space in your vessel. Most of make more then what we are planning on having so that we can top off with it later. When making a 6 gallon batch I usually make 6 1/2 -6 3/4 gallons and just keep the rest in a 1 gallon vessl and then to wine bottles with smaller bungs and airlocks as they diminish from use. If you like sweeter wines then adding some fruit juice back to your wine after stabilizing it with k-meta and sorbate will dramatically lesson the time needed to age before it tastes very good. Do a search on F-Pacs to see what some of us do by adding concentrated fruit juice to the finished wine.
not to be picky, i don't want to add anything liquid after the fermentation, and I don't want to sweeten it either after that. I guess the real question is if it is under airlock, do i need to have the carboys full? if so perhaps after fermentation instead of moving to carboys I should go directly to one gallon secondaries? also is there any problem with racking from one gallon to another clean one gallon secondary while the wine clears?
Personally I would be looking to buy high quality fresh fruit in season, and store it carefully in my freezer. When I had available fermenters & carboys, I would make the wine. With most fruit freezing helps to break it down.

Racking to a clean carboy off of older lees(sediment) is the right thing to do. Once fermentation is finished you need to reduce the amount of air between the bung and wine so that it doesnt oxidize. You should also add k-meta and sorbate after fermentation is done.
Personally I would be looking to buy high quality fresh fruit in season, and store it carefully in my freezer. When I had available fermenters & carboys, I would make the wine. With most fruit freezing helps to break it down.


the plan is to make the wine as the fruit comes in season and I plan to go pick most of it myself. that was the way grandpop did it and thats the way I am going to do it.

using the right vessels is part of the planning method and not always does that workout correctly ,so at times the use of a inert gas like dry nitrogen is a valuable tool in the wine making arsenal for a home wine maker ,some may not agree with me but it has its placed ,i use it all the time.....................when things can't quite go up in size or down.......................part of that learning curve.
I am also a beer maker and have bottld C02 on hand at all times and this can also be used to evacuate 02 out of headspace.
What I wanted to know was, does this happen at the same time every year?

Don't be surprised as fruit does NOT come availiable each year at the same time.

Two years ago plums were a month earlier as the year before that.

Apples were ripe september last year.

For each fruit climate changes do count. As seasons can be hotter or cooler as in previous years fruit adjusts and becomes ripe earlier or later. Rain plays a role also.
So the dates you have are guidelines but not firm rules.

Somewhere there is a philosophy by what you say LUC, I think there always is. But sometimes "Love the one your with". If the peaches are perfect, than peach wine is what your making, same for the others. I was cleaning up around the property today and the raspberry bushes that gave me a gallon of berries in 30 minutes last year are non existent, no bushes left. OBoy, Be happy to have an availibility of fruit. Make what you can and be happy with what you you have. I have a feeling thats what Gramps would have told you.
ol' boy
thanks for the list of when fruit comes in... Saving this to my PC!!

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