Plum wine recipe - need advice


My plum tree is once again producing prodigious amounts of fruit. Having nothing better to amuse myself, i want to take a crack at a sweet plum wine. Went to Keller's site and got a recipe (
formatting link
). But I have a problem with recipes - I don;t feel in control of the winemaking. What should the initial SG be? What should the aicidty be (TA, pH, etc)? Final SG? Is there risk of continuing fermentation? What yeast will cease fermenting early enough such that I can have significatn RS and still be confident fermentation is complete? Etc... Anyone have any other plum wine (sweet) info that might give me more data? All help appreciated.
--
I'm using an evaluation license of nemo since 44 days.
You should really try it!
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
AxisOfBeagles

Recipies are very helpful to amatures who are not capable of creating their own.
Recipies are also very helpful to experienced winemakers who have never made a particular wine.
There are two aproaches you may use. First you could use the recipe as a starting point. Mix it up more or less as given but adjust acidity and sugar level as you want to give you the end result that you want.
Second: If you want to totally go it on your own, try creating your own recipe. Start with the fruit. Crush and strain some and check the acidity of the pure juice. Add water and determine how much water you need to add to get the acidity to the level you want it. Maybe 3.3 to 3.5. Decide what alcohol level you want and determine how much sugar you need. Mix it up and then check acidity again to see if you got the acidity you want. If not, adjust acidity by adding acid or water or by adding more fruit. If you add more fruit or water, then you will probably need a little more sugar. I would not add any tannin or other stuff untill the wine was made and cleared. Then add it to taste if you want. Keep good records so you will know what you did next year and you can develope your own recipe, specific to the fruit from your tree. Remember however that the fruit is not always the same each year. That is why recipes never come out they way you hope they will -- unless you adjust them yourself, which is what you are trying to do.
Good luck and have fun.
Ray
Reply to
Ray Calvert

Read the articles on Jack Keller's site under 'Advance Winemaking' and 'Using your hydrometer'. He has very good discussions regarding everything you mentioned above. Recipes aren't set in stone. You can modify, as long as you know what the effects of your changes will be.
Looks like I'm about 2 weeks away from starting some plum myself, the way the trees are looking.
Cal
Reply to
me

Appreciate the responses - but maybe I was unclear. I was looking for any metrics for a sweet (dessert) plum wine that others may have; what ideal sugar levels should be; what acidity should be; etc. I can measure these things, but neither the recipe, nor my past grapes winemaking experience give me any insight as to what the target numbers should be a sweet plum wine. Thanks for any suggestions.
--
I'm using an evaluation license of nemo since 45 days.
You should really try it!
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
AxisOfBeagles

I just bought my first house last year, and it included plum trees!
hence the reason i read this forum, i've decided to try plum wine.
anyway, you have any hints as to what a new homeowner should be doing to his plum trees? mine are so heavy with plums now that the branches are breaking, also, the plums were ignored for the past ten years.
tasted finelast fall, only decided to do wine in march, so no testing yet.
oh, by tthe way, search for bunches of plum wine recipies and read thru a bunch of winmaking books. *I* have learned the following (but not sure if accurate)
plums: as much as possible water: to lower acidity sugar: enough to match desired SG acid blend: to raise acidity peptic enzyme: to assist clearing yeast nutrient: to help feed yeast yeast : 1 pkg per 5 gallons campden: kill off "bad" yeasts yeast energizer: super yeast food tannin: to add zest
note, havent made any plum wine yet, so my assumptions can be wrong. I'll find out!
as for most other controls, jacks site says a lot, books same a lot to (target PH, target SG, beginning and end, etc)
Reply to
Tater

Last year, before my grandma's victoria plum tree was cut down, I used its fruit to make a wine. I bitterly regret not using more plums than the recipe (Garey or Keller) gave me. For I ended up topping up excessively (it was my first big homemade wine from scratch) and it is now flabby and weak flavoured. So I would encourage using a good amount of plums. I guess you will have to make sure you check the acidity and balance the wine if you use more plums than suggested.
I am sure many would disagree with me...
Jim
Reply to
jim

Ax
The second recipe on Jack's site is a kind of "old fashioned" recipe for a sweet wine. Trying to design such a recipe "by the numbers" can get very complicated indeed. Most folks can't handle it or just don't want to be bothered. In the old days this was done by trial and error rather than "by the numbers".
The easy way is to use the "modern" method. Make the first recipe there. The dry one. Original pH ~3.6. If no Tartaric acid is used, the pH will drop during the ferment. If Tartaric is used, set original pH at You should really try it!
Reply to
frederick ploegman

Thank you Frederick - that's more the kind of feedback I was digging for. Especially appreciate your SG relative to sweetness listings - I usually judge that by residual sugar, but it's more helpful at this stage to estimate it by SG. Thanks. I went ahead and started the wine (recipe #2 - the sweet wine) day before eyesterday. I first pressed out a bunch of plums and ran tests against that juice (SG, TA, pH). I then tinkered with the amount of sugar to achieve what I hoped would be a satisfactory residual sugar (after first selecting a yeast that has an alcohol tolerance opf only 14%). I did adjust acid (tartaric). It's fermenting away now, and I'm testing the SG twice a day. Somewhere around halfway down I'll test taste and acid again and make any final nudges one way or the other. Then cross fingers. Intersting ancedote: the plum juice has considerable titratable acidity - 1.1, but a high pH - 3.97. After adding sugar and water, then adjusting back with tartaric acid, I was able to get the acidity into more 'normal' ranges for a wine --- .85 TA, and 3.49 pH. We'll see how those numbers look at the halfway point and again after primary. R
> Ax > > The second recipe on Jack's site is a kind of "old fashioned" > recipe for a sweet wine. Trying to design such a recipe "by > the numbers" can get very complicated indeed. Most folks > can't handle it or just don't want to be bothered. In the old > days this was done by trial and error rather than "by the > numbers". > > The easy way is to use the "modern" method. Make the first > recipe there. The dry one. Original pH ~3.6. If no Tartaric > acid is used, the pH will drop during the ferment. If Tartaric > is used, set original pH at need this little bit of extra alcohol because adding post > ferment sugar will dilute the wine and you don't want the > end alcohol to drop below 10%ABV. Use a strong yeast > such as P. Cuvee to insure it goes bone dry. Ferment and > clear. Add sorbate and sweeten to taste. Take an end SG > reading so you know what your perference in sweetness is > for future reference. > > There are lots of kinds of plums and not all of them are > created equal. For older recipes you can usually "assume" > they are talking about the prune plum. If you have some > other kind, you will have to guesstimate the quantity needed > for the flavor intensity you want. Start with the recipe as > given and see how it turns out. HTH > > Frederick > > PS - FWIW. An old sweetness scale that I used to use > went something like this: > > 0.990 to 1.000 was the dry to off dry range. > 1.000 to 1.008 was the medium dry to medium sweet range. > 1.008 and over was the sweet range. Late harvest type > wines generally run in the low teens. Port style wines in the > mid 20's. Ice wines in the low 50's. And some kosher wines > well up into the 60's. > > But, bottom line, it's still like asking "...how sweet is sweet..." > HTH > > > > "AxisOfBeagles" wrote in message > news: snipped-for-privacy@news.sf.sbcglobal.net... >> Appreciate the responses - but maybe I was unclear. I was looking >> for any metrics for a sweet (dessert) plum wine that others may >> have; what ideal sugar levels should be; what acidity should be; >> etc. I can measure these things, but neither the recipe, nor my past >> grapes winemaking experience give me any insight as to what the >> target numbers should be a sweet plum wine. >> Thanks for any suggestions. >>
--
I'm using an evaluation license of nemo since 49 days.
You should really try it!
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
AxisOfBeagles

R
Since you seem to have already grasped the basics of how to go about this, I will try to give you a_very_shorthand version of how to calculate for such a recipe.
1. Estimate where the yeast you are using will "end". eg. The maximum alcohol tolerance of that yeast. 2. Figure out how many "gravity points" of sugar it takes to achieve that amount of alcohol. Write it down. Example: It takes ~105 gravity points of sugar to produce ~14%ABV. 3. Decide what your "as indicated" target_end_SG will be. Example: If your target is say 1.020, write down 20. 4. To compensate for the effect of alcohol on post pitch SG readings, write down 12. 5. Add these three numbers. In this case it is 137. This then is where to set your OG. eg. 1.137. 6. If the yeast actually "ends" at 14% (it's seldom exact) you should end up very close to your target end SG. If it is higher than your target, it means the yeast didn't produce the expected amount of alcohol, and if it is lower it means the yeast produced more alcohol than expected. The only way to refine this further is by empiracle data for individual yeast/recipe combinations.
You have to get pretty deep into this stuff to start using "gravity points of sugar" to calculate things. Most folks just use the "as indicated" end SG/Brix reading to determine RS. Which is perfectly all right except it fails to recognize the effect of alcohol on post pitch SG readings.
I think I better stop there. The last time I tried to explain this, the discussion went off on so many tangents that I couldn't keep up with it all, and I actually got flamed so bad I had to give up posting here for a couple of years. I do NOT want to get all that started again !! HTH
Frederick
Reply to
frederick ploegman

Another good suggestion on the 'gravity points' of sugar.
I've been making table wines from vinifera grapes for some years, so I probably do have the basics moderately covered - but sweet wines and fruit wines are pretty new to me (third year). And this is a planning metric I've not used - but makles perfect sense. Thanks again.
> R > > Since you seem to have already grasped the basics of how > to go about this, I will try to give you a_very_shorthand > version of how to calculate for such a recipe. > > 1. Estimate where the yeast you are using will "end". eg. > The maximum alcohol tolerance of that yeast. > 2. Figure out how many "gravity points" of sugar it takes to > achieve that amount of alcohol. Write it down. Example: > It takes ~105 gravity points of sugar to produce ~14%ABV. > 3. Decide what your "as indicated" target_end_SG will be. > Example: If your target is say 1.020, write down 20. > 4. To compensate for the effect of alcohol on post pitch SG > readings, write down 12. > 5. Add these three numbers. In this case it is 137. This then > is where to set your OG. eg. 1.137. > 6. If the yeast actually "ends" at 14% (it's seldom exact) you > should end up very close to your target end SG. If it is > higher than your target, it means the yeast didn't produce > the expected amount of alcohol, and if it is lower it means > the yeast produced more alcohol than expected. The only > way to refine this further is by empiracle data for individual > yeast/recipe combinations. > > You have to get pretty deep into this stuff to start using > "gravitypoints of sugar" to calculate things. Most folks just use > the "as indicated" end SG/Brix reading to determine RS. Which > is perfectly all right except it fails to recognize the effect > ofalcohol on post pitch SG readings. > > I think I better stop there. The last time I tried to explain > this,the discussion went off on so many tangents that I couldn't keep > up with it all, and I actually got flamed so bad I had to > give up posting here for a couple of years. I do NOT want > to get all that started again !! HTH > > Frederick > >
--
I'm using an evaluation license of nemo since 50 days.
You should really try it!
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
AxisOfBeagles

Sorry. What I meant was that you had already figured out that the basis for such calculations was the maximum alcohol tolerance of the yeast being used. Good luck.......
Reply to
frederick ploegman

DrinksForum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.