Ask Wine Wizard

“Fruit Floaties” — Strawberry Wine


Tiffany Blickhan — La Grange, Missouri asks,

Looking at the photo of my strawberry wine (see image) I currently am fermenting, I am wondering what is this brain-looking thing floating at the top of my wine? It’s still bubbling like crazy, is this OK and normal? It’s made from fresh fruit, not a kit. It is clearing well and the smell is good. Please help, I’m new at this and it’s my first fresh fruit wine batch.

I just saw your picture and wow, that does indeed look like a floating brain — or two! Luckily, that is a great shot of what I would call typical “fruit floaties” combined with some of the fruit’s natural pectin, and I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. You see, when you make wine with fresh fruit, even if you use a press and maybe a cheesecloth strainer, little particles of the fruit will still get through into your fermenter and will usually float to the top during active fermentation. I actually made a fresh strawberry puree the other day and passed it through a strainer into my saucepan. As the juice heated up, I saw lots of little air bubbles and tiny white particles from the fruit pulp float up to the surface of my pot. I think you’re seeing the same thing happening in your carboy. Strawberries are also naturally high in pectin, and when doing strawberry wine I always recommend using a pectic enzyme to help break those pectins down (follow instructions on the package since
Response by Alison Crowe.