Fruit Wine Making

How to Make Fruit Wine at Home

Have you ever wanted to get into home winemaking, but weren't really sure where to start? Have you ever tasted fruit wine and thought, I wish I could make something like that.

Well I'm Tim Vandergrift for Master Vintner, and today I'm going to demonstrate the Fresh Harvest Fruit Wine Making Kit, and show you just how easy it is to make your own fruit wine.

The Master Vintner Fresh Harvest Fruit Wine Making Kit includes:

  • 2 gallon primary fermenter with a grommeted lid
  • An Airlock
  • One gallon clear glass jug with a screw cap
  • A home wine making booklet
  • A 3/8 inch curved racking cane
  • Siphon hose
  • Triple scale hydrometer
  • Nylon straining bag for containing the fruit
  • Oxygen wash
  • Three packages of Red Star Montrachet wine yeast
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Acid blend
  • Pectic enzyme
  • Campden tablets
  • Wine tannin
  • Potassium sorbate

This is everything you need to make an excellent fruit wine. We've assembled all of our equipment and ingredients today and I've chosen to make a blackberry wine. We're gonna use a can of blackberry fruit puree as it makes it pretty easy. However, if you have your own blackberries there are recipes included in this kit that you can follow to make wine using fresh fruit. We're going to use a fruit puree today to show you the basics, but the overall process is the same with fresh fruit.

The first step is to sanitize your equipment. The Master Vintner Fresh Harvest Fruit Wine kit contains oxygen wash for sanitizing. This is an excellent cleaner and sanitizer, and it'll stop spoilage from bacteria or wild organisms from changing the flavor of your wine. It's important to follow the directions, and mix one ounce of oxygen wash per gallon of warm water. Once mixed allow your equipment to soak then rinse thoroughly.

Once we've cleaned and dried everything we can get going. The first step is to get our recipe together. I've assembled one from one of my own wine making recipes. There are a number of resources for fruit wine making recipes, but they all involve some combination of fresh fruit, sugar, nutrients, and other ingredients to produce a balanced finished wine.

Today we're using this can of blackberry fruit puree, and the first step is to dissolve our sugar in water, and mix it into our primary fermenter. The sugar added in the beginning isn't for sweetness, that's going to be fermented out and turned into alcohol by the wine yeast. For this recipe we'll add about 3/4 of a pound of sugar to warm water and dissolve it into our primary fermenter. Once that is dissolved the next step is to add our additives. We're going to use a 1/2 teaspoon of acid blend, one teaspoon of yeast nutrient, and a 1/2 teaspoon of pectin enzyme. The acid blend will help balance the flavor. The yeast nutrient will make sure we get a clean thorough fermentation. Finally the pectic enzyme will break down the pectins and gums in the blackberries, and make sure that the wine clears on time. Stir these in thoroughly.

The next step is to add our blackberry puree. Pour carefully it's a little sticky, and stains like the dickens. If you're using other fruits you'll have to handle them in different ways. Fresh blackberries will need to go into a muslin bag, or nylon straining bags which will keep the seeds out of solution, and let you pull out the pulp at the end of the fermentation. Luckily for us this puree is very well strained, so we don't have to worry about straining those out.

Our next step is to top up this fermenter up to the 1 gallon mark with lukewarm water. Just before we add the wine yeast we're going to take a specific gravity reading to make sure we're in the right sugar range. For this particular recipe we want to be between about 1.090 and 1.100. Take a sample and check to make sure that it's in the right range. If we are off we can always tweak it by adding a little bit more sugar.

Next you'll add your wine yeast. Open the packet and sprinkle the yeast on the top of the juice. Do not mix the yeast into the solution, allow it to work its way into the juice.

Next we're going to put a lid on our primary fermenter. Make sure to close it firmly and attach the airlock by inserting it into the grommet in the lid. Primary fermentation will take five to seven days. During this time we need to open the fermenter and give it a stir every day to make sure all the ingredients stay mixed and that it ferments thoroughly. After seven days (stirring each day) check the gravity and make sure fermentation is complete. Our batch is below 1.030 and that's perfect.

It's now time to transfer our wine from the primary fermenter into our one gallon glass jug. We'll do that with our siphon rod and hose. You can start this a variety of ways, but the way that I really like to do it is simply use the tap to fill the entire hose and siphon rod with water, cover the soft end with your thumb, plunge it into the fermenter, and then drain the water into the drinking glass until the wine is flowing. Transfer the wine into the glass jug. Once we've finished racking, and the gallon jug is full, we'll attach our airlock. Place the gallon jug (secondary fermenter) in our fermenting area for four weeks.

After four weeks, check the gravity and make sure that it's below 1.000. At that point we'll be able to rack it off the sediment that's accumulated and add our finishing compounds. The finishing compounds are potassium metabisulfite, sorbate, and a fining agent to clear it up. Once the wine has been fined to clear it and render it beautiful and brilliant the last step is to add some potassium metabisulfite and sorbate to make sure that it doesn't re-ferment in our bottles. We're going to use Camden tablets for our metabisulfite. Dissolve one campden tablet and 1/2 teaspoon of sorbate in a small amount of warm water. Once it's completely dissolved we can add it to our jug. Once added we're ready to bottle.

Before you begin bottling you need to cleanse all of your bottles and your corks using your oxygen wash. One gallon of wine will typically fill five standard 750 ml wine bottles. When you begin filling your wine bottles them make sure that you leave enough room between the top of the wine and the bottom of the cork for about two fingers of airspace. You don't want to overfill them. If you do it can be very difficult to get the wine corks into the bottle. Once your wine bottles have been filled and sealed with a quality wine cork leave them upright for three days to allow the pressure inside to equalize with the outside air and for the corks to seat fully. After three days you turn them on their side to let them age. Your wine might taste good right away, but let it age for two or three months and you will be amazed at how delicious it becomes.

That's how easy it is to make your own fruit wine with Master Vintner's Fresh Harvest Fruit Wine Making Kit.

Happy Wine Making,

Tim Vandergrift

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