I am happy to report that the plum wine has been coming along very well. This is my first foray into wine-making and it is thus far proving to be pretty straight-forward. The plum wine fermented for a week in a primary container and was recently racked into the secondary.
The primary container was a sterilized plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid. I needed to strain the wine to remove the plums and transfer the liquid into a new container to continue fermentation. I used the bathtub as the location to hold all these buckets, since it gave me some nice elbow room and was an easy place to clean up spills.
First, I sterilized all my supplies – another plastic bucket, ladle, funnel, strainer, cheesecloth, airlock and glass carboy. I lined the strainer with cheesecloth and placed it over the clean plastic bucket. Then I began ladling the wine into the strainer. The plums stayed in the cheesecloth, but the liquid trickled down into the bucket.
When the cheesecloth was full, I twisted it to squeeze out any excess juice and just tossed the dried out plums into the compost bin. As the new bucket became full, Jay helped me carefully pour the wine into the glass carboy through a funnel. It helped to have two people – one to carefully pour and the other to hold the funnel in place.
The whole process took about 30-45 minutes. We ended up almost filling the glass carboy to the top with a light red, delicious smelling, in-progress wine. We carefully fitted the airlock on top and moved it into a cool, dry place. We also wrapped a towel around it to keep any sunlight from reaching the wine.
Easy-peasey so far! In another month, we will rack the wine into another new, sterilized container and allow it to continue to ferment. When the wine becomes clear, we will bottle it and let it rest for a few months. By this time next year we should be enjoying a nice, somewhat dry, plum wine.