Fruit wine is wine made with any fruit that doesn’t include grapes. Commonly known as ‘country wines’, they require a little more human attention than grape wines, but are just as delicious.
First get your recipe. All fruit wine recipes involve some combination of fruit, sugar, water, and wine yeast. The process that creates fruit wines is very similar to that of grape wines, but there are some slight differences. Here are the basic steps to making fruit wine.
Harvesting Fruit For Fruit Wine
Harvest or gather your fruit for fruit wine. We recommend growing your own or buying from a local farmer. For every gallon of wine you wish to make you’ll need 2 to 6 lbs of fruit.
Preparing Fruit For Fruit Wine
There are many ways to process fruit for fruit wine, this encompasses the general approach. Make sure you have enough space to cull, cut, de-stone, and slice your fruit. Remove moldy, under ripe, or bruised fruit. Wash the remaining fruit well to remove pesticides.
You’re going to be making a pulp from your fruit. Larger fruits that have big stone seeds (apricots, peaches, plums) should be pitted and sliced. Fruit with tough skin can be peeled. Do you have excess fruit? Don’t be wasteful, freeze it. Frozen fruit is still good and can be used later.
Fermenting Fruit Wine
When your processed fruit is ready to begin fermentation make sure to select a wine yeast that compliments the fruit you are using or the wine profile you wish to make. After you have chosen your yeast, sanitize all your equipment. Pour your processed pulp mixture into a primary fermenter, stir it well, and then add your wine yeast. Do not mix the yeast into the solution, it will work its way through the juice. Seal the fermenter and attach an airlock. During this time open the fermenter and stir the mixture daily. Make certain your stirring rod or spoon is properly sanitized.
Half-way through the fermentation cycle you will need to strain the pulp from the primary fermenter. First, sanitize your siphon and funnel. Line the funnel with a mesh strainer and siphon the remaining liquid from the first fermenter through the funnel into a different fermenter. The mesh filter will catch any leftover pulp or sediment. Seal the fermenter and attach an air lock. Let the primary fermentation continue and after seven days (stirring each day) check the specific gravity. When the primary fermentation is complete rack the wine again and begin secondary fermentation procedures just as you would a grape wine.