2012 Loquat Wine

I had been living next to a loquat tree for at least a year before I realized the fruit was not only edible, but delicious. Now that I'm acquainted with them, I recognize loquat trees all over Los Angeles, even when they're not littering the ground with their little orange-yellow plums. We've got a fair amount in our yard but my neighbor's tree is massive and yields far more fruit than anyone needs.  I filled a paper grocery bag nearly full of loquats. Jed used some to make loquat jam, which turned out to be a delicious marmalade. Here's how we made it into wine.

May 5, 2012

  • 19 lbs. loquat flesh (seeds weighed 4 lbs 11 oz)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 5 Campden tablets
  • 5 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 20 tsp acid blend
  • 3 tsp tartaric acid
  • 2.5 tsp pectic enzyme
  • Water to make 5 gallons
  • Red Star Cote des Blancs yeast
After an eternity of laboriously removing the seeds, I combined the chopped loquat flesh, sugar, water, nutrient, sulfite, 5 tsp acid blend, and pectic enzyme and let it sit overnight. The seeds will be used for loquat seed liqueur.

specific gravity: 1.072
residual sugar: 18%
potential alcohol: 9.5%
titratable acidity: 6.5
pH: 4.03

chopped loquats

loquat seeds

loquat fruit and juice

loquat must

May 6, 2012

Since the pH was too high, so I added 3 tsp tartaric acid and 15 tsp acid blend to lower the pH to 3.31 (I would have used tartaric but I ran out).  I also added 3/4 tsp Tanenol Max Nature.

May 7, 2012

Punched down cap

fermenting loquat wine

May 8, 2012

Punched down cap

May 9, 2012

Punched down cap morning and night. I dissolved 5 lbs. sugar in some water and added half of the syrup to the primary and stirred, then refrigerated the rest in a sanitized container.

specific gravity: 1.040

May 10, 2012

Punched down cap morning and night

May 11, 2012

Punched down cap

May 15, 2012

May 19, 2012

pH: 3.36
specific gravity: 1.0

May 26, 2012

I racked the wine into a sanitized carboy. The pH meter is giving wildly inaccurate readings after the meter part got wet in the sink so I wasn't able to get a reliable pH reading this time. There is still room at the top--I need to top it off with a nice white wine.

June 23, 2012

I racked the wine into another carboy, leaving behind plenty of lees. The wine tastes great. It's not completely clarified yet, however. I topped it off with a bottle of 2011 Apothic White, which is sweet.

August 18, 2012

The wine is crystal clear.

April 20, 2013

There is a small amount of lees at the bottom of carboy.

specific gravity: 0.094
titratable acidity: 0.8%
pH: 3.12

The wine had a minute amount of sediment, so I racked it again. It smells great. The taste is mellow and still has unique characteristics of loquats. However, after being exposed to air for a few minutes, an off odor emerges. It still tastes great but smells funky like a wet towel or vinegar. As a safeguard against potential bacterial spoilage, I dissolved 2.5 Campden tablets and 1.75 tsp lysozyme in 4 oz spring water, waited 45 minutes for the lysozyme to soak up the water, and stirred the solution into the wine. I chose 2.5 because Iverson’s book says 45 ppm sulfite in a low pH wine at bottling is over-sulfiting it--25 ppm is more appropriate. It also says the tablets provide 66 ppm at a rate of one tablet per gallon, but potassium metabisulfite rapidly loses its potency and is seldom full strength when new. I’m guessing that by using half the dosage, that’s 33 ppm. Taking the shelf life of meta into consideration (these tablets are about a half year old) the figure is probably closer to 25 ppm.

The lysozyme instantly clouded up the wine, ruling out any chance of racking it in the near future. It was a golden brown color before but now it looks like opaque mud. Forum discussions indicate this is normal. I will need to wait several days for it to take effect, then fine with bentonite before racking.

May 19, 2013

The lysozyme clarified well, after a month. I racked directly off the lees into bottles.