Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Information about fruit/vegetable type washes.

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electricmonk
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Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by electricmonk » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:49 pm

Hi all,

I'm currently freezing 30kg of plums to do my first fruit mash. I hope to make a no-added-sugar traditional Slivovitz using wild yeast and I fully expect pathetically low yields and/or complete failure due to my mash being colonised by syphilis or COVID-19 or some other undesirable culture. That being said, I hope it works out! I also hope I can finish building my double boiler still before the fermentation completes.

I was wondering - I have a pile of black bananas in the freezer which I will never use for banana bread. I read somewhere that bananas often get added to thin fruit wines to add "body", whatever that means. Could I chuck a few jet black bananas into my wash without ill effect or is that a) irrelevant to mashing for distillation or b) disgusting and immoral?

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NZChris
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by NZChris » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:30 pm

Put a few drops of banana essence in some Slivovitz and taste it.

electricmonk
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by electricmonk » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:54 pm

I assume you're not speaking from experience but as a hypothetical that is pretty unappealing.

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NZChris
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by NZChris » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:09 pm

Not from experience with your particular combination.

The closest I get has plum and banana, but quite a few other fruit as well, plus a chicken breast, so I don't think that qualifies me as an expert on plum & banana ferments :D

electricmonk
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by electricmonk » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:17 pm

Mother of God! Of course I googled it and sure, it's a thing. Not just a thing but a solemn tradition that has existed since time immemorial. As always, truth is stranger than fiction.

What did it taste like? Could you detect the influence of the chicken? I wouldn't be half surprised if that added a bit of body!

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NZChris
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by NZChris » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:28 pm

Beautiful. I can't taste the chicken, but others have said they can. I think it smooths it, taking the 'bite' out at higher abvs than I usually drink as a shot.

electricmonk
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by electricmonk » Wed May 06, 2020 4:45 pm

I'm starting to lose my nerve with this wild fermentation thing. A couple of days ago I mashed it all up with a paint stirrer, then did it again yesterday to break up the remaining plums.

Yesterday it smelt quite interesting and a bit fruity/alcoholy, today it smells like paint stripper (acetone). Hmm. Wondering if I should pitch this Ez-ferm yeast into it that I have in the freezer.

electricmonk
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Re: Fruit wine: Add bananas for body?

Post by electricmonk » Wed May 06, 2020 5:22 pm

Well, I added the Ez-ferm white wine & champagne yeast. Hopefully it doesn't produce a worse result.

Interestingly, when I stirred in the yeast the cap broke up, lots of bubbles were released and most of the bad aroma went away. I then looked up "punching down the cap" in winemaking and it turns out at the beginning of a ferment winemakers punch down the cap up to several times a day in order to minimise exposure of the dry skins etc to the air, as the semi-dry cap sitting on the top can promote bacterial growth (leading to the bad smells I was noticing).

So it looks like it was already fermenting and I just needed to knock down the cap several times a day. Have I ruined it by adding commercial yeast? I don't know. I am a total novice so I am happy to live with my mistakes and I am enjoying the learning process.

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