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View Full Version : Fermenting fruit smoothies - dealing with pulp



Maeloch
01-16-2014, 11:25 AM
Bit of a generic ferment question, but possibly applicable to mead also. To cut to the chase - is there anyway of dealing with very large volume of loose pulp when fermenting fruit smoothies? Can it be filtered with a fine enough mesh, or do you just have to accept the loss?

The backstory is, my local supermarket had a 2 for 1 offer several months back on all the smoothies in the store. So, I decided to make a gallon 'turbo' wine from banana and strawberry smoothies, with some nutrients, 1tsp pectinase, a pound of sugar thrown in and some KV1-1116. After three weeks it was actually damn nice and almost clear already - or should I say seperating - as the top 2/3rds of the DJ was clear, but the bottom third was gloop (may have been more like 1/2 tbh).

It was a just a quick and dirty experiment, so I couldn't be bothered to mess with it and just drank the top. I put the bottom thru some pretty fine nylon mesh and then tried cold crashing but didn't get much clear liquor out of it above what was in the top. This is too much waste!

Now the smoothies are back on offer again, and apart from turbo fruit wines, I see there's a potential to use them for fruit meads. But not if I'm loosing half the must thru pulp wastes.

fatbloke
01-16-2014, 06:08 PM
I'd say you have to be creative when it comes to straining.......

i did a ginger wine a few years back. Messed up with the recipe (and the ginger was on sale) and ended up with about 4 times too much grated ginger.

so what to do with a 13 litre water bottle and nearly half the vessel seems to be ginger pulp ?

Take a towel, old/thread bare, in washing machine on a hot wash. Take out and air dry. Connect funnel to piece of clear pipe. Soak clean towel in sanitiser (one that can be used "no-rinse"). Gently wring out, then fold into 2 or 4 thicknesses, lay into funnel and run the finished ferment through. Then finish as normal.....

Maeloch
01-17-2014, 06:23 AM
I'd say you have to be creative when it comes to straining.......

i did a ginger wine a few years back. Messed up with the recipe (and the ginger was on sale) and ended up with about 4 times too much grated ginger.

so what to do with a 13 litre water bottle and nearly half the vessel seems to be ginger pulp ?

Take a towel, old/thread bare, in washing machine on a hot wash. Take out and air dry. Connect funnel to piece of clear pipe. Soak clean towel in sanitiser (one that can be used "no-rinse"). Gently wring out, then fold into 2 or 4 thicknesses, lay into funnel and run the finished ferment through. Then finish as normal.....

I hear you. I did a JAOM with ginger and banana just before Chrimbo. It was a 1/3rd pulp, and my GF's dad's fruit strainer was zero help. In the end it was a couple of (clean) old socks I'd soaked in boiling water that did the straining. But I've got a nasty suspicion the smoothie pulp might go straight thru them tho. And not that I'm planning on straining more brews thru socks... Thanks tho, as you say maybe I just need to think laterally some more.

Did you use a vacuum pump for the straining, or just let gravity and time do the job?

tbh I bought a couple of gallons of smoothies and after re-reading the ingredients it brings home what a rip off they are even at half price and it's probably not worth the hassle with the pulp - approx 25% banana, 25% strawberry, and the rest is filled out with apple and grape juice. That said, it's not strawberry season and some of them at least contain fruits that aren't easy to get hold off cheaply and I guess are balanced out already to some extent with acidicy and whatnot.

fatbloke
01-17-2014, 09:44 AM
Gravity only. You get a little bit of yeast passing through but once there's a bit of pulp on the cloth it slows the flow but increases the straining ability.

yes, I did wring it all out at the end, but the whole lot was just managed as normal afterward i.e. settling, clearing etc........

sdrilling
01-19-2014, 04:24 PM
Saw something on Jack keller's wine making blog -- he uses ladies nylons either knee high / or legs depending on the volume needed.

He recommends not squeezing or wringing. He spins them and as they they compress the liquid come out.

I also saw on a beekeeping site they use nylons for filtering honey.

So might be a good fit for smoothies.

Maeloch
01-22-2014, 08:12 AM
Saw something on Jack keller's wine making blog -- he uses ladies nylons either knee high / or legs depending on the volume needed.

He recommends not squeezing or wringing. He spins them and as they they compress the liquid come out.

I also saw on a beekeeping site they use nylons for filtering honey.

So might be a good fit for smoothies.

Hrmm thanks. I could give it a go with some of the smoothies pre-fermenation I guess to see if it might work. I bought a bunch and stuck them in the freezer to try.

fatbloke
01-22-2014, 12:48 PM
Hrmm thanks. I could give it a go with some of the smoothies pre-fermenation I guess to see if it might work. I bought a bunch and stuck them in the freezer to try.
Ah, well if you're an old latch like me ;) you'll know (having previously helped a lady or two out of them) that the mesh in tights/hose is likely too coarse/open for the pulp from a smoothie.

I'd say that if you didn't want to try the clean, sanitised cloth trick then maybe a good dose of 2 part findings might drop the pulp (well a lot of it is fine enough to be considered sediment IMO) out so you can rack most of the mead normally and only lose a little bit....

Unless you can get your hands on a centrifuge.......

GntlKnigt1
01-22-2014, 12:59 PM
Hmmmm....in Digby's day, they used hair filters. Sounds gross.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

TheAlchemist
01-22-2014, 03:32 PM
When life gives me lemons…I make my Famous Drunken Pumpkin Bread…just use the pulp/sediment in a quick bread.

Medsen Fey
01-22-2014, 07:36 PM
A centrifuge will do the trick. You can make one out of an old washing machine if you have a bit of technical know-how.

kudapucat
01-22-2014, 10:01 PM
A centrifuge will do the trick. You can make one out of an old washing machine if you have a bit of technical know-how.

hook it up to a modified bullroarer. Communicate with folks from afar, or have an old-school dance party whilst it does it's thing.

I think this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kf_RYVt2XQ) explains why our aboriginals wanted it to be a male only tool.

Maeloch
01-23-2014, 08:05 AM
Cheers all for the ongoing feedback. I haven't got any free time for a few days, but will have a play with some spare smoothie and see what gets the pulp out, and report back.

Regarding centrifuges - I work in bioscience and at one time would have easy access to lab centrifuges with 6 x 500ml rotors, but it's a long time since I've seen anything above 12 x 50ml and most likely they're 1.5ml. People don't seem to work with large volumes like they used to.

Maybe it's time to finish that artifical gravity generator I've been working on...

Maeloch
03-07-2014, 08:38 AM
I can henceforth confirm that fruit smoothies are more bloody trouble than they're worth, and for the record to advice anyone else contemplating the same thing not to bother!

I tried a sanitised pillow case and a long sleeve t-shirt with the sleeve tied off. The gloop doesn't go thru and if you force it by squeezing you get an even finer fluffier pulp which doesn't settle. I lost just under half a DJ on the first racking, got about half that back from the pulp (and had to top up with a pint of a traditional)..But now a quart of of the DJ is pulp again.

Do not bother! Before I tried this I googled smoothies for wine/mead and got nothing much, I guess, for a good reason! Stick to proper fruit, juice or concentrates!

/rant over.

mannye
03-07-2014, 09:41 AM
Sorry to hear that. I can relate to the frustration caused by a combination of experiment failure and the usual resulting mess/waste. But hey. You tried now we all know. :). Silver lining.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

Maeloch
03-07-2014, 10:37 AM
Sorry to hear that. I can relate to the frustration caused by a combination of experiment failure and the usual resulting mess/waste. But hey. You tried now we all know. :). Silver lining.

Thanks, but it wasn't expecting much this time around. Cutting corners up front = more work later!