I’m sorry to say that I took on this plum wine with great enthusiasm and then lazily kept it going. Today I finally bottled it into 6 half gallon wide mouth mason jars. I have 3 gallons of plum wine that I’m going to have to find ways to use because it’s sour. I was hoping for more of a sweet wine. It is drinkable. I had a little today. It doesn’t smell like vinegar. We did a smell comparison with the red wine vinegar. It smells of wine. I just don’t see me indulging in it very often. When I undertake wine making again, I’ll be sure to make some changes.
I’ll probably rack it more. I only did this twice. Yeah I know! But I was pregnant with twins and not very concerned with the wine.
I might use a different yeast. I used Red Star Cotes de Blanc.
Maybe I’ll use more sugar or a local honey and make into more of a mead…
Anyways, our plum trees didn’t fruit much this year. They had a hard one last year with all the coddling moth and then the freezing rain. Plus my landlord pruned them a little late which I think didn’t help with the fruiting. Also, one of my trees is starting to get curl leaf. I guess that is pretty difficult to get rid of.
I finally moved the plum wine from the primary bucket to the glass carboy the other day.
It was a little messy. I suggest not doing this task near a carpet and wearing an apron or old clothes and shoes.
I sterilized my tools and the carboy with a mixture of bleach water. I had some bleach and I didn’t want to go buy another item. I’ve already invested more into this than I want. I’m a frugal person.
I then had to scoop the wine out of the primary bucket, strain it, and let it drip through the funnel into the carboy. The top portion of the bucket went quickly but when I got to wear the plums had settled it was way more time consuming.
I started straining it back into the primary buck so I strain bigger batches. Once I got the majority of the plums out, I went back to straining it over the carboy.
I have a lot less wine than I thought I would. I was talked into buying a 6 gallon carboy and it’s only a little more than halfway full. Plus, there is a lot of sediment at the bottom already. I think I’m going to rack it monthly.
Next month, I’ll need to buy a 5 gallon carboy and a racking tube. Next year, this will be more cost effective. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!
Twelve hours after adding the acid blend, pectic enzyme, tannin, nutrient, and energizer to the plums sitting in room temperature water I got to add the yeast. I actually added the yeast a bit more like 24 hours later. If it gets messed up because I added the yeast too late, oh well, this is my adventure and I get to be in charge of screwing it up. lol
I dissolved the packet of yeast in a 1/4 cup of warm water and then stirred it into the primary bucket. I covered it back up and now we get to wait about a week before straining it and moving the plum “wine” to a glass carboy.
Yesterday, I filled a six gallon bucket with plums.
Six Gallons of Plums copyright 3MoonMama
Our poor plums have been ravaged by coddling moth and the tree had too many fruit making the plums small. It was quite an effort to half and stone each one. I had to throw out a ton because they were super icky when they were cut open. It took me hours to get enough plums to make about 20lbs of useable fruit. I actually have a bit less than 20lbs of plums but I don’t really care. I am so done with plums (and there are still more on my dang tree)! haha! I even watched a couple of movies and took a seat after the first hour of work.
Close-Up Six Gallons of Plums copyright 3MoonMama
I added two stock pots of boiling water last night and left some room at the top of the bucket because the recipe is for five gallons and I am using a six gallon primary bucket. I may have to add some more sterilized water at some point because there may not be five gallons in there. I just eyeballed it.
Halved and Stoned Plums and Water copyright 3MoonMama
This morning I mixed in the acid blend, pectic enzyme, tannin, nutrient, and energizer. Whirlwind helped to stir and measure.
Mixing in the ingredients copyright 3MoonMama 2013
Now we wait 12 hours to add the yeast.
Wish us luck!
Recipe: Making Plum Wine by Hip Chick Digs
I have thoroughly scrubbed the bathtub. Two 5-6 gallon buckets of apples dropped from my tree are going into the bath for a good soak.
I am planning on making apple cider. Problem is that I have not found a cider press for rent locally. A friend who has a farm about 45minutes away has one, but it needs a good cleaning. I’m also going to try making some hard apple cider. I just read that 40 pounds of apples yields about 3 gallons of juice. So is the drive worth two buckets of apples? Not really.
I weighed the buckets on my bathroom scale and each was 25.5lbs. That means I have about 50 lbs of apples (minus the buckets which my scale won’t pick up). I probably want to save at least 80 pounds of apples so I can have about 5 gallons for juice and if I am lucky another 80 pounds so I can make 5 gallons of hard cider.
That’s why these apples get a bath. After I sort out the applesauce quality apples from the savers, the juicing apples find a home in the fridge. I need to save up my apples (and space in the fridge)!
I’ll make some applesauce tonight. Hopefully they are sweet enough to not use any sugar in the applesauce. I prefer it that way. I’ll post a link to the recipe I use later.
Also, I was going to start making plum wine this last weekend but my plum tree has yet to fully ripen. I’ve got all the necessities to start it up and then I’ll need to buy a couple of carboys for the wine, juice, and cider.
If only money grew on trees 😉 or a sugar plum daddy was hiding in the plum tree.
Cider Inspiration from Hip Chick Digs
Brew Board- How many lbs of apples for one gallon of juice?
The Cider Workshop- How to Craft Cider