Using a Food Mill for Fruit Processing

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Rojoguio

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Any one use a food mill to process fruit before fermenting? I'm looking to make another Blueberry/Plum/Lemon batch of wine. The frozen plums last time only were squeezed thru cheese cloth. The skins I want to avoid since the last batch came out so smooth but was thinking the sweet plum pulp could improve on the next batch. Plum skins are tart, some skin will make it thru the sieve, but not a lot. My last batch of plum using EC1118 has a pretty tart finish taste from the skins.
 

BigDaveK

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I understand what you're saying, @Rojoguio . Some plum skins are very bitter. It's not as noticeable when eaten with the sweet flesh but very noticeable eaten separately. Why add something like that to a fruit wine? (Rhetorical question.) Plums are one of my favorite. What kind do you have?
 

vinny

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If you freeze the fruit it will break down fast as well. Pectin enzyme is standard procedure. If your wine is too tart maybe it just needs some back sweetening.
I'm going to do one more carrot wine now that you mention this. I overlooked freezing. From what I can tell after tasting juiced with cooked pulp, juiced and raw pulp vs cooked carrots, the cooked batch is much softer, smoother, and balanced. I'm comparing at first racking and I am sure time will offer interesting changes, but I want to see how freezing will turn out. It is full speculation at this point, but is seems the more mechanically processed the batches are the more aggressive the flavours. It's not that one tastes more like carrot than the other, they seem to be more biting and harsh. Time will tell, but freezing will offer another more 'natural' extraction method as a comparison.
 
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CortneyD

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@vinny you've got me wondering if I can process some apples (core & chunk), freeze them, and then use our food mill to create pulpy juice that I could use for cider/wine... anyone tried that?

I think the dual freeze/mill method might be great for carrots, apples or other harder items that won't just break apart upon thawing. Thoughts?
 

mikewatkins727

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Keep in consideration that using a food mill you run the risk of grinding the apple pits (aka seeds) or other type of seed. These will add a bitter taste to the must/wine.
 

BigDaveK

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@vinny I'm relying on you - The Carrot Wine Guy. My carrots have big beautiful foliage and I can't wait to harvest. Your experiments are greatly appreciated!

@CortneyD last year I froze some of my ripened pears. Thawing gave me a bag of pulpy soup. Perfect for making wine! I poured - yes, poured - into a brew bag. I imagine something similar would happen to apples - but you may need a really big freezer.

@mikewatkins727 foodmills, the ones used for canning, are actually rather gentle. The fruit/vegetable is essentially pressed against a screen. Liquid goes one way, seeds and skin go another.
 

CortneyD

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@CortneyD last year I froze some of my ripened pears. Thawing gave me a bag of pulpy soup. Perfect for making wine! I poured - yes, poured - into a brew bag. I imagine something similar would happen to apples - but you may need a really big freezer.
We do have a couple of freezers- but yes, whole apples would be A LOT of space. That's why I was wondering if coring and chunking them would be more efficient? I suspect they wouldn't fall to mush as readily as the pears did, but I think the food mill would get us to that pulpy semi-liquid state?
 

mikewatkins727

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@vinny I'm relying on you - The Carrot Wine Guy. My carrots have big beautiful foliage and I can't wait to harvest. Your experiments are greatly appreciated!

@CortneyD last year I froze some of my ripened pears. Thawing gave me a bag of pulpy soup. Perfect for making wine! I poured - yes, poured - into a brew bag. I imagine something similar would happen to apples - but you may need a really big freezer.

@mikewatkins727 foodmills, the ones used for canning, are actually rather gentle. The fruit/vegetable is essentially pressed against a screen. Liquid goes one way, seeds and skin go another.
My experience with apples you get a pulpy mess that needs to be put into a bag. Yes, you will need a chest type freezed.
 

Omabob

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When you make apple wine do you leave the skin on? If you were to use a mill would you add some skins back?
 

Raptor99

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My experience with apples you get a pulpy mess that needs to be put into a bag. Yes, you will need a chest type freezed.
A pulpy mess is what I want. Then I could put it into a mesh bag for fermentation without any additional processing, just like I do with frozen/thawed pears and peaches. Once I get a 2nd freezer hooked up I'll have to try that with apples.
 

Rojoguio

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What BigDaveK said, plum skins are bitter. I have numerous, too numerous plum & pluot trees to list here but that fantastic Blueberry/Plum/Lemon wine only had the Santa Rosa Plum juice, no pulp added. Since I have processed, pitted, vacuumed the plums to zero atmosphere, and froze I was thinking our food mill would separate the skins so I had some pulp in the next batch. I add pectic enyzme to every batch of wine I make. The extracted juice from freezing will just run thru the grater, I'm not sure what the skins will do. We use our mill to remove wild grape skins for jelly. I made a batch of just Santa Rosa plum using the EC1118 and that yeast extracted all the bitterness from the skins. Will be using 71B on the plums from now on. The Santa Rosa is my pollinator so it loads up with small plums every year. Making wine gives me a use for them I didn't have before.
 

BigDaveK

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We do have a couple of freezers- but yes, whole apples would be A LOT of space. That's why I was wondering if coring and chunking them would be more efficient? I suspect they wouldn't fall to mush as readily as the pears did, but I think the food mill would get us to that pulpy semi-liquid state?
Crazy idea for you to maybe play with: before I started wine making last year I canned applesauce. I have an experimental batch in bulk (for 2 months) that used applesauce and my apple juice. Apple flavor was very good when racked. We'll see how it goes. Does the cooking change the apple? I don't really know.
 

Rojoguio

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I agree, if I successfully separate the skins I plan on placing in a different bag, adding to the primary, to remove after some color develops but before the bitterness extracts.
 

Rojoguio

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Here is a couple of pictures of how I process fruit for making wine. The Vacuum Chamber in the background will pull a vacuum to zero then seal the bag with a double seal.
I will thaw and use a rolling pin on the peaches before opening the bag.

Peaches and Vacuum Chamber.jpg
Peach Closeup.jpg
 

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