Plum Wine 2020

13.75 kg plums
4 L water
3 kg sugar
Mangrove Jacks MA33 yeast
5 tsp pectinase
22g wine yeast nutriant
2 yeast activator tablets
3 campden tablets
3/4 tsp tannin powder

11.3 kg of fruit from big tree. Most of this had been picked for quite a few days and getting a bit soft. Picked additional 2.45 kg plums from small tree. This freshly picked fruit was firm. Placed fruit in 50L kettle with bazooka screen attached. Added 4 L boiling water and 3 crushed campden tablets. Took lazy approach – did not wash, cut or de-stone the fruit. In hindsight it may have been wise to cut up the firmer fruit. Left overnight.

Added 5 tsp pectinase and wine nutrient.

Added sugar, tannin and 2 crushed yeast activator tablets. Pitched rehydrated yeast (even though it said on packet that no rehydration required). Chose MA33 because it said ‘acid reducing strain’ and have previous plum wine seems to have been overly acidic.

Yeast Notes:
MA33 – Acid reducing strain excellent for fruity country wines – MA33 has the ability to metabolise between 30 and 35% of malic acid, and reduce total titratable acidity, making it the perfect choice for country fruits which are naturally high in acid. It is conferring fresh ‘soft fruit’ character to the wine. Ideal for early consumption with a balanced palate. Alcohol Tolerance 14% ABV. Ferment at 18 – 28°C.

Used chaptalization calculator to figure out how much sugar to add. Had added 850g earlier on. Checked brix at 12.5. Aiming for brix of around 23, so with volume of 18L needed to add another 2.15 kg (for a total of 3kg) to get it up to around 23. Granulated doesn’t dissolve and mix instantly in the must so not easy to measure the brix right after addition of sugar.

Transferred to glass carboy. SG was 1.032. Probably should have checked SG before transferring and waited until it was nearly done. Tasted good. Did not add campden tablet upon transfer – (it may have interrupted the fermentation?). But did accidentally interrupt fermentation by turning fridge on but with temp probe outside the fridge. But after turning off fridge it was back to fermenting within a day.

Removed approx 1.5L from carboy. SG was 1.000. Tasted sharp, dry and and harsh. Back-sweetened with 8 tsp sugar. This took it up to SG of 1.011.

Est OG: 1.094
FG: 1.000
Est ABV: 12.3%

Tips for next time

  1. Cut the fruit, especially if it is firm
  2. Use more sugar so that there is more residual sugar left at end and avoid need to back-sweeten. Maybe aim for a higher Brix than 23. Dissolve sugar to aid mixing with must and measuring of Brix.

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