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Jul 6, 2014 05:37 PM

Rumtopf / fruit in alcohol spoilage question

So I made a huge mason jar last year of Rumtopf and it came out really good. I still had some leftover when this years strawberry season was starting up, so I transferred the remaining Rumtopf to 1 pint and 1 quart mason jar. When I went to have some a couple of weeks later, the top liquid and fruit looked a bit funky so I tossed everything.

Any guesses on what may have happened to make it turn? The larger mason jar I made it in had a lot of extra room, so I'm guessing the smaller jars didn't have enough air, either that or there was too much fruit and sugar compared to alcohol.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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  1. You always need to add more alcohol when you transfer, or add more fruit. The fruit also has to be fully submerged.

    It wasn't that there was too little air, less air, or none, is good. But maybe when you transferred it, the new jars weren't sterile, or some mold got in somehow.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Thanks, I didn't even think to add more alcohol, I think it would change the taste of it quite a bit, guess next year we just have to drink it faster!

      The big jar always had fruit floating and was fine. I tried to weigh it down in the beginning, but that didn't work so I just left it as is....


      1. re: geminigirl

        Just fill to the top with booze so there is no air. After awhile the air doesn't bother it when you take out fruit, because the fruit is totally pickled, and preserved too. But if you add new fruit, you have to top off with sugar and booze.

    2. Hi Gemini-

      Most likely the addition of air (oxygen), and diminishing alcohol. The top-off suggestion is the best solution.

      I keep ours in a Rösle stainless steel mixing bowl, with a corresponding heavy, but loose lid, in the fridge. In early December, I made a large amount of Christmas Stollen and had a mix of candied fruit, almond slivers, macerated in rum. I left the remainder in the back of our refrigerator.

      July: We returned from the World Cup, and my wife took stock of things in the kitchen. Finding the bowl on the back shelf, she asked " What is this ? "

      I took a look and it was fine, no mold, no off odors, but just in case I stirred in another cup of rum, leaving it there until I could figure what to do with it.

      Sunday morning, a neighbour came by with a equally old Panettone, to hear about the Copa and the trip. Having a new tub of Ricotta from Migros, I made Zucotto di Panettone, and invited her back to enjoy it that night.

      It was great. No seeing colours from space, no paramedics called, in short no ill effects. Quite the contrary. It was fine, rich, and excellent over coffee, Vin Santo, or a good Cabernet Sauvignon. I used a simple Vin Santo from Lugano to moisten and bind the Panettone.

      The simple recipe I use, should anyone want to try:

      7 Replies
      1. re: SWISSAIRE

        That sounds delicious, sometimes I swear the best things involve making use of what's on hand rather than a bunch of planning, shopping and prep.

        1. re: julesrules

          Thanks Jules-

          A real win-win. Wife is happier with the refrigerator being cleaned out too.

          1. re: SWISSAIRE

            LOL! Tell her this wife hears that ;)

            1. re: julesrules

              Shhhh !

              Not too loud or she'll hear you.

              It will only encourage her more.

        2. re: SWISSAIRE

          This does look really good, thanks for the info and the link. I have an extra freezer but I'm also really wanting another fridge to store all of my projects!

            1. re: SWISSAIRE

              It was a birthday present to myself about 5 years ago, that little thing over the fridge doesn't cut it....I love my freezer!