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What to do... Pumpkin wine

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Ambugaton

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Hey everyone,

I started a pumpkin wine the other day and had some interesting turn of events...

Basically, I was impatient and started the must (before I realized I had discarded my strainer bag a few days before) so once again I just put the pumpkin flesh straight into the primary knowing it would be a pain later on. I also used maybe a little too much water in the batch. I only had about 2 inches of clearance on the top of my bucket with the 20lbs of pumpkin added to about 6 gallons of water. The starting SG was 1.120 (a little high I know)

Anyways... I pitched the yeast yesterday and things got pretty active pretty fast and the bucket was overflowing. I quickly picked up a strainer bag, siphoned the wine into a second bucket and placed the fruit into the bag. I then siphoned 1 gallon of the wine and a small portion of the fruit into a separate 1 gal. carboy.

Everything is still pretty active. I just wanted to know if doing so much to the wine so early would shock the yeast or somehow disrupt it. Please let me know if there is anything I should watch out for or do. Thanks in advance!
 

Julie

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You will be ok but you used way to much water. Pumpkin is a mild flavor, I would have gone with as little amount of water that I could.
 

BernardSmith

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I strongly agree with Julie. I would even suggest that before you add any sugar to the must for a country wine (wines from fruit or vegetables other than grapes) I would taste the liquor. If you think the liquor has enough flavor (and the flavor may very well change as it becomes wine) then no problem but the more water you add the more you are diluting the flavor.
 

wineforfun

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Also agree with what Julie and Bernard have said.

In addition, as you mention, your SG was WAY too high. Depending on what yeast you used, you could end up with 15%+ ABV. That, combined with all that water, will probably shut out most of the flavor.
 
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I was thinking of trying this myself, so I'll be following to see how it goes. Best wishes!
 

BernardSmith

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Slightly off topic, perhaps, but in the early days of this country when barley was not necessarily available, beer was made from squashes such as pumpkins - I say this in case anyone has been raising their eyebrows at the thought of making wine from squash. I made a beer last year from pumpkin to see what such a beer might have tasted like and it was quite drinkable.
 

Stressbaby

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A patient gave me 15 pie pumpkins a few years back. The resulting wine was not drinkable even after 2 years.

I have since read about the following tweaks which are supposed to greatly help in making drinkable pumpkin wine:
  • Substitute sweet potatoes for 1/3 of the pumpkin
  • Roast the pumpkin before fermenting it.
  • Raisins
  • Vanilla and other spices
 

Ambugaton

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Thanks for all the replies. The recipe I used was here: http://www.eckraus.com/blog/pumpkin-wine-recipe

I did boil all the water and pour it over the pumpkin flesh. I hope that somehow accomplished the same thing as roasting it.

I will keep anyone interested updated. I am far from experienced and what I deem drinkable might not live up to more experienced winemakers. Thanks again.
 

Ambugaton

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Rookie mistake: starting SG was 1.102 not 1.120...

Sitting at 1.040 today. Lots of action and fizz so far
 

Ambugaton

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Also, when measuring starting SG with very pulpy must... will it change the reading? I use a wine thief and could see a lot of debris floating when I got my initial 1.102 reading.
 

Julie

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take a screened type strainer and push that down into your must, syphen off the liquid that you collect in the strainer to take a reading with
 

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