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evenstill
06-14-2007, 10:26 AM
Iíve never racked anything with fruit pulp, skins, and/or cap before and will probably be racking my plum wine to secondary in a week or so with my auto-siphon. Anybody have any suggestions, tips, or tricks for racking fruit wine/mead?

Luck,
evenstill

Leonora
06-14-2007, 11:24 AM
Greetings,

Somewhere on the site we have discussed various ways of racking off fruit. I know I have talked about using tulle rubber banded onto the bottom of my auto siphon. Other folks have used those stainless steel scrubbers stuck on the end of the cane.

I'd suggest a search to see what has already been discussed!

I know that I lost a LOT of my plum mead last year. Plum has a bunch of fibers that are really fluffy. I just kept racking and cold-crashing the dregs and managed to save some of it.

Leonora

evenstill
06-14-2007, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the post Leonora. Iíve searched all over the sight using a number of combinations of various search terms (racking, fruit, cap, and more) and havenít been able to find anything more then an occasional ďrack it off the fruitĒ. Iím looking for techniques, tips, and tricks regarding the process of racking a fruit wine/mead when there is fruit pulp, skins, and/or cap involved.

Thanks,
evenstill

Chimerix
06-14-2007, 03:11 PM
Pantyhose!!!

Pewter_of_Deodar
06-15-2007, 12:05 PM
I am starting to think that the best way to deal with fruit is to use a large steeping bag or bags and place the fruit in those so you can just remove it when the time comes. Of course this means doing primary fermentation in a container with a larger top like one of the 6.5 plastic gallon buckets.

Johnnybladers
06-15-2007, 05:38 PM
Hey Chimerix, I've used panyhose as a steeping bag with good result as far as removal and as an "incoming" filter when racking. It clogs pretty quickly. I wonder if having an entire hose (one leg) on the outgoing line would work better. Should still (maybe) be able to pull the filled hose out through the carboy neck. How have you used it with success?

Leonora
06-16-2007, 01:43 PM
If you want to do your racking in one lift, I suggest using a number of different grades of filter stacked with the biggest hole on the outside and finer holes on the inside.

Use a course filter, like nylon net or one of the ss scrubbies, wrapped around a finer filter like panty hose. That way the fine filter will not be clogged by the larger material. This is easier to do in a bucket, yes.

The other idea is to cold crash and rack multiple times. Again, hard to do with a 5 gallon carboy unless you have a brewing fridge and are very strong.

I have removed my auto siphon and cleaned the tulle I use several times in a single racking. I think for my mels this summer I am going to put the fruit in a paint strainer bag and use a bucket for primary. It's a good idea to have the outside coarse filter have a LOT of scrunched up surface area to load, but it's hard to do with a car boy sized opening!

Oh, that's another strainer that I have used, a Sherwin Williams paint strainer. They are cheap and big and work well either to pour the mead through or to use as a cane cover.

Good luck sorting through all the opinions!

Leonora (who used to do Industrial Hygine and dealt with a LOT of filter issues in her day!)

Oskaar
06-16-2007, 02:17 PM
OK, I'll reveal one of my lazy man's way to rack off of pulverized fruit the easy way.

This works for a brew kettle like I use for my fruit primaries, or you can find them for the smaller brew-buckets as well.

In my brew kettle, I let my primary go until I'm ready to rack, then I use my conical chinois to skim off the chunky fruit still floating freely in the must. Once I've done that, I just drop in the false bottom I use during mashing and it works it's way to the bottom of the kettle. I press it down until I meet with resistance and then press a little more until it feels like the fruit has been leveled off. I don't try to compress everything down, just make sure that it's on there firmly and evenly. Then, I just cover my racking cane with a loose grain bag and badda-bing. DONE!

Same thing with a plastic brew bucket. You can find the plastic false bottoms in different sizes as well. In the plastic bucket I just use a large plastic kitchen strainer to skim off the chunks.

False bottoms, a thousand uses....now a thousand and one!

cheers,

Oskaar

Chimerix
06-16-2007, 05:39 PM
Hey Chimerix, I've used panyhose as a steeping bag with good result as far as removal and as an "incoming" filter when racking. It clogs pretty quickly. I wonder if having an entire hose (one leg) on the outgoing line would work better. Should still (maybe) be able to pull the filled hose out through the carboy neck. How have you used it with success?


I've used it with great success on 1-gallon batches, and not seen any sign of clogging. I use a long enough piece that the top is sticking out of the carboy (makes extraction much easier) and leave it loosely bunched around my auto-siphon. If the flow starts to slow, simply wiggling the siphon moves the sucking tip into a new, clean fold.

I sanitize these in vodka, personally. I mix a "pantyhose cocktail" as I'm setting out and sanitizing the other paraphernalia, then just wring it out and go!

And, of course, the look on my boo's face the first time I asked her for some old pantyhose will live in my cherished memories forever.