The only reason there has been no attempt to make Mandarin wine is that very few Mandarins are required by any of the recipes found. So a pointless exercise if the objective is to use up a mountain of surplus fruit. On its own the fruit had a Brix of 13.4 which is just under half of the sugar level needed to make a good wine. Hence why all the recipes included all sorts of additives to lift the sugar levels. Until today. While listening to a wine making podcast the solution was delivered. A guy in the USA was explain how he made 3 gallons of Chilli wine by freezing the juice to extract the water and concentrate the sugars.
The downside of Mandarin wine is peeling all the fruit. Fortunately this variety (Imperial) has a loose skin which comes off easily. To make a trial 2 litre batch the target was 4 litres of juice - doable. And so now the freezer is performing the first stage of what will be a trial batch of 100% Mandarin juice wine. 50 ppm of Potassium Metabisulphite was added after pressing to slow oxidation and spoilage. The pH came in at 4.2 which is not acid enough as it will be treated like a white wine. Calculated and added some Tartaric Acid to drop the pH to 3.5. Also kept some juice unadulterated in case a later dilution is required.
|Lots of leftovers|
|Pressing Mandarin with the small screw press|
The Project has now reached the point where it can be named even though far from finished. A home made egg incubator. Unless the electrics could be made to work it wouldn't have seen the light of day. The recycled computer fan works perfectly using a charger from a long defunct power tool. Both thermostats retrieved from dumped hot water systems failed to make the grade. One didn't have an adjustable mechanism and the other which did couldn't work below 50 degrees C. Salvation came from the old washing machine which died some years ago. It was dismantled and recycled except some components were kept - in case. One such component was the thermostat and it works perfectly.
The current status is the basic shell is finished and all the electrics have been sourced and tested. Next stage is finishing the lining and installing the electrics. After that its just the internal mountings which include an access draw to top up the humidifier and a manual egg rolling mechanism accessible from the exterior. If the labour content is calculated at $1 per hour it probably would have been cheaper to buy an incubator off the Web but not as much fun.
|Lid with Observation Window|
The frame is timber from a pallet. The cladding is from recycled Masonite. The insulation is recycled foam and roofing film. As mentioned all the electrics are all recycled. The only purchased items will be the dual low watt light globes for heating and the screws for assembly.