strawberry wine Problem

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Jul 27, 2010
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Hello everybody,
Any advice would be great, I've made some strawberry wine from real fruit for the first time and it seems to have gone well except from when i got up this morning there was a think red sludge at the top forced out of the air lock and all over the side, the seems to be quite a bit of it in the demi-jon is this normal or a way of sorting it out?

If i give it a good mix up it goes but comes back within half an hour or so.

Many thanks
Sounds like the pulp cap that occurs during fermentation. How high did you fill the demi john? You need to leave room in there for this reason.

Sounds like you may have filled it up to high - and fermentation has pushed the pulp out.
Take the airlock off, you really dont need it in the primary.

When using real fruit, the "cap", as we call it, needs to be pushed under the must at least once a day, twice is better. It keeps it moist, keeps it mied in, and prevents it for spoiling.

Fermenting in a demi-jon or carboy can be hard when using fresh fruit, look into getting a food grade bucket for your prmary ferment.

Actually, get two, once this wine turns out you will be hooked and want to make more.

Use the demi-jon for your secondary to age it(with an airlock) after it is done fermenting.

Good luck, keep us posted.

And, welcome to the forum.
Troy is absolutely right - during primary you want more oxygen as this helps the yeast out - now when the SG gets around 1.020 - rack off and put into secondary - as less CO2 is given off - the less protection the must has from oxidation.
Thanks ill take the air lock off and leave it in the sink because its making a mess every where!

I didn't fill it right up only to the shoulder of the demi jon.

Im a little confussed because don't you need an air lock to prevent the vinigar fly etc etc?
What i do is i have a 3 gallon food grade bucket for small batches and 5 gallon food grade buckets for larger ones - and i cover with a towel - or you can put the lid on loosely.
I get food grade buckets for free at Fred Meyers bakary section. In all sizes. 1 gallon to 5 and all in be between
BEST to ferment in a plastic bucket NOT in a carboy or demijon. This way you can get the pulp out. It will be very hrad to do this in glass.
depending on how far you are I suggest to put in a placket bucket and lay the lid on top.
Wide mouth vessels for primary fermentation to let more C02 out and thin neck vessels after fermentation to keep out 02 and help keep in S02.
so would i be better off buying a bucket and tipping the contents of the demi jon into it?

Its only been going since monday night.

Thank for all the advice
yes, it will be easier to punch down the pulp as well