- posted 10 years ago
Hi, I'm new to winemaking. I usually brew beer, but two weeks ago, I went out forraging in the autumn hedgerows and picked a load of sloes, damsons and apples. I was experimenting. Definitely not working from a recipe. Just going by instinct and hoping for the best. I brought these home and mashed them overnight in a slow cooker then pressed them to extract the juice. This juice was very dry tasting. Literally made your gums peel back off your teeth, so I decided to sweeten it a bit by adding a generous measure of honey (well they use it in mead so it must be okay) and half a kilo of sugar, and after that it tasted good enough to drink there and then. I added yeast and left it to ferment, and it's been plumping away happily to itself now for two weeks. In recent days it's started to slow down a bit - down to 1 bubble every 27 seconds today, but still fermenting.
So my questions are...
How long (on average) can I expect it to keep on fermenting? It's still very cloudy, will this start to clear once fermentation stops and the yeast drops out of the liquid? Once fermentation stops, should I transfer it to a clean demijohn while it clears, as I'm afraid the sediment might taint the flavour? Am I likely to need to add finings to make it go clear, or will it do this by itself? When/if I do transfer it to another demijohn, will it help to clear it if I pass it through a coffee filter? Once it's bottled, do I need to leave it in the bottles for a few weeks to condition before drinking it, like I do with beer?
Sorry for so many questions, but this seems like a really helpfull group and I'm still finding my feet with wine.
P.S. Have a second batch underway, only a week old, and made from elderberries and pears - again all locally picked.