Fermenting The Pear Wine
Cover and keep in a warm location for three weeks, stirring daily and mashing fruit against the side of the crock. I use a flour sack towel secured with an old elastic head band to cover my wines. Fruit flies love fermented foods, so make sure your container is well sealed.
At the end of the initial three week fermentation period, strain mixture through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing very dry. Return liquid to crock. Set in a warm place to ferment for two weeks longer. No stirring is necessary during this second fermentation.
At the end of the second ferment , strain liquid through several thicknesses of cheesecloth or a flour sack towel. Siphon or ladle into the strainer, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the crock.
Return the clear wine to the crock or a carboy for two days to allow it to settle again. Put the cloudy wine from the bottom of the crock into a two quart jar to settle for two days and then draw off as much clear liquid as possible. Add to the rest of the wine and allow to sit for another day.
How Long Does It Take To Make Wine
Making wine is a long, slow process. It can take a full three years to get from the initial planting of a brand-new grapevine through the first harvest, and the first vintage might not be bottled for another two years after that. But when terroir and winemaking skill combine, the finished product is worth the wait.
A World Of Wine Possibilities
I bet you already realized that I didnt just give you a recipe for Elderberry Wine. I also gave you enough background and a basic method that will work for all sorts of other fruit wines.
Dilatation rates may vary based on the flavor concentration in the juice you use. As a rule of thumb though, if the juice you start with tastes good and has a nice texture, then the wine will probably taste good too!
Once you get your dilution right, then find your starting Brix, choose your yeast, and work the steps.
You may have to practice a few times to create wines that suit your taste. However, that gives you an excuse to go wine-tasting on your own homestead!
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Siphon Into The Bottles
Position the bucket so it is higher than the bottles. Don’t move it unless you have to as this will disturb the sediment. If you do move it, leave it to settle again.
I taped the tube to the inside of the bucket so the end didn’t move around and disturb the sediment, also so the tube didn’t come out of the bucket.
Siphon the wine into the bottles. Pinch or bend the tube to stop the wine flowing between bottles. Make sure you leave an air gap at the top and space for a cork if it needs one.
A Carboy For Secondary Fermentation
This is really just a big glass jug! You can purchase one gallon carboys in a bundle with an airlock and cork, or you can get them in larger sizes if you want bigger batches. Make sure you choose a carboy with a narrow neckit makes it so that there is less surface area of the wine exposed to oxygen, which is a good thing!
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What Kind Of Airlock Should I Buy
Youll see two different kinds of airlocks out therethe 3-piece airlock and the twin S-bubbler. Both work just fine for making wine. The only real advantage here is that its slightly easier to see bubbles moving on the S-bubbler. I have and use both kinds.
You will need a stopper or cap with a hole to affix the airlock to the top of your carboy or fermentation container, so make sure to grab that, too. They are often sold together in sets.
Can You Use Regular Yeast To Make Wine
Wine yeast can be hard to find unless you order it online or are lucky enough to be near a brewing supply store. Its worth the trouble to find it. It makes a much better tasting wine and it works better when making a higher alcohol content wine.
However, you can use regular bread yeast but it wont taste as good. Ive made juice wine with both and while the wine yeast version is far superior, the other is still drinkable. If youre merely experimenting with winemaking and just want to make something to give you a buzz, regular yeast will do it.
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Add Yeast Citric Acid And Bentonite Leave To Ferment
If you have a Hedgerow Wine Kit add sachets 1, 1c and 1d when the temperature has dropped to at least 30 degrees centigrade. If you don’t have one, add 1 sachet/5g yeast , 5 tsps citric acid and 2 tsps bentonite . Reseal lid and make sure airlock is sealed well and half full with water.
Leave to ferment for about two weeks at room temperature or slightly above, or until it almost stops bubbling. Stir with a sterilised stirrer and leave until it stops bubbling again.
Should I Really Try This
Yes, you should absolutely try to make wine at home. It’s so cheap to do and as a university student, cheap alcohol is amazing. The wine costs include the juice, yeast, sugar and the balloons. The wine is effective and it doesn’t take a lot to get you happily drunk. 10/10, would recommend.
While I encourage you to try your hand at making wine, don’t forget to drink responsibly. Just because you can easily make massive quantities of wine for cheap, that doesn’t mean you should drink it all at once. That being said, I hope you can enjoy a glass with dinner or a few glasses before you go out.
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Homemade Wine Ingredient & Supplies
- Grape Juice Call your local fruit market or wine supply stores and ask if they sell 100% pure grape juice in 6-gallon buckets. Yes, this is a thing. Typically its available between September and November, so act fast. Thats the only non-optional ingredient you will need.
- A Wooden Stick Cut a tree branch long and strong enough to stir a 5-gallon bucket, peel off all the bark, or buy a 1-inch dowel. Make sure its untreated raw wood if you go the dowel route.
- 2x 6 Gallon Glass Carboy One will work, but its best to start with two. Buy two. Do not use plastic.
- S-Shaped Airlock and Stopper Get the right size stopper for your carboy. High-tech ones are not needed.
- Auto Siphon Kit Dont go hog-wild on this piece. Simple works just as well.
- 24 to 30 Wine Bottles 750 ml New or used bottles work just as well.
- Natural Wine Corks Natural or some agglomerated corks are made from the bark of a Cork Oak Tree, and synthetic are made from plastics. I prefer natural, but both will work. DO NOT reuse corks.
- Wine Bottle Double Lever Hand Corker or Wine Bottle Floor Corker The hand model works but takes more time and figuring out. Floor corkers are MUCH easier to use but cost more.
What Goes Up Must Come Down: Drinking And Storing Homemade Wine
After a few weeks, the yeast will eventually die off and thus stop producing carbon dioxide, causing the balloon to deflate. At that point, you’re almost done! Just take the bottle to your kitchen and decide whether you would prefer to either:
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Note On Cyanidin Glycoside
Just an FYI, some people boil their elderberry juice before making wine. It is believed to minimize the risk of toxicity from cyanidin glycoside. So, if you do accidentally harvest unripe berries , you may want to think about boiling your juice.
I have never tried this. However, most of the recipes I have seen suggest bringing juice to a boil, simmering for 10 minutes, then cooling. After the liquid is cool, you can dilute with water and proceed as laid out above.
You may kill some natural yeast by boiling, so using purchased yeast is a good idea for this method.
Raisin Wine Recipe A Wine You Can Make Year Round
Dried fruits are great for making wine, especially when the winter comes around and fresh fruit isnt in season. This Raisin wine recipe makes a wine that is nice and warming, similar to sherry and a great wine to make from a store cupboard ingredient.
Raisins are great for making wine. You will have probably seen that many wine recipes make use of them. This is because a small amount imparts a lot of flavour and body which a lot of more subtle fresh fruit wines can lack. You will be pleased to know that raisins can be used as the sole fruit in a fruit wine and there a more varieties of raisins than you might expect so there is some room for experimentation too.
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Preparing Raisins For Making Wine
To get the most out of the raisins you use you will need to chop them to prepare them for winemaking. You tend to find when whole raisins are soaked in a liquid they tend to swell plump up and absorb the liquid. Our objective, being to extract the flavours, sugars and colour from the raisins means they need to be chopped or minced to extract maximum flavour.
A decent food processor can make light work of this and should only take a moment. The raisins dont need to be fine particles but just chopped/minced roughly.
How Do You Know When Its Finished Fermenting
Its finished fermenting when you tap the edge of the glass and no bubbles appear. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Fermenting can stop or slow greatly due to fluctuations in temperatures.
A cold spell can slow fermenting, while a sudden warm-up can kick start it once more. This can lead to blowing corks in bottled wine, but you shouldnt have that problem if youre using the balloons or plastic wrap.
And there you have it, a cheap and easy way to make wine at home with very little money and no fancy equipment. Once youve tried making wine from fruit juice, then try your hand at making wine from fruit, flowers or even herbs. With a little imagination and experimentation, you can create your own wines to enjoy for years to come.
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Nutritional Content Of Elderberries
Elderberries have almost no sugar, but somehow still manage to taste sweet when picked ripe. They have more vitamin C than orange juice, and other good stuff like vitamins A, B, and Iron. Plus, they have lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
The berries also about 330 calories per pound of berries or 4000-5000 calories per plant. By comparison, a dwarf apple tree that requires about the same amount of planting space and significantly more care will produce roughly the same amount of calories of fruit.
In a small space, with marginal growing conditions, elderberry shrubs are a smart choice for good nutrition, calorie-content, and beauty. Plus, they can be used to make wine!
Do You Need To Age Homemade Wine
Most people are aware of the wines aging process. Older bottles from great harvest years are coveted and can cost thousands of dollars.
The shorter the amount of time you let your wine age, the more intense the flavor profile will be. So, if youre looking to produce a smooth or delicate flavor profile, youll want the bottle to age longer.
Some people are OK with only aging a bottle of wine for two weeks, while some prefer six months to a year. It really depends on the type and style of wine you made.
If youre new to this process, larger batches of wine will yield multiple bottles enabling you to open and taste one or two at different points in the aging process. Whats also great about larger batches is that even when the wine has reached your desired profile, you can leave one or two bottles from the batch to sit even longer and further develop for years, just to experiment. Note taking is highly recommended for future reference.
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What Does Blueberry Wine Taste Like
Blueberry wine has all the tangy, tart, and sweet flavor profile of eating a fresh blueberry. When making your own wine, you have complete control over how sweet or dry the final product isso YOU are in charge! You also can control the alcohol contentwhich means you can make your final wine taste more or less boozy. When it comes to making homemade wine, you can experiment to figure out the perfect combo for you.
Use Of The Wrong Container
If you are putting together your own homemade kit, keep in mind to acquire a food-grade container . If you dont check whether or not your container is food grade, it can actually contaminate your wine.
In very rare cases you may actually get very sick or even get lead poisoning if not checking whether or not your plastic/metal container is suited for winemaking.
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How To Make The Wine
Armed with a popular recipe, I headed to Bitter & Esters, my local homebrewing shop. The employees, used to the experiments from their regular clientele, seemed unfazed by my project, and helped me select the absolute minimum amount of hardware required for the project.
I left with a 1-gallon glass jug yeast yeast nutrient, to keep the fermentation from getting stuck pectic enzyme, which keeps the wine from going cloudy an airlock for the jug a funnel sanitizing solution a hydrometer, to measure sugar and alcohol and a beaker, all for just under $50.
I need to make a disclosure: Ive made wine before. I worked at a winery in France for six months and have done everything you could possibly do from nurturing vines to stomping on grapes. It in no way gave me an advantage here. The only time I remotely recalled that experience was when I had to clean my recently purchased equipment.
Raw material aside, sanitizing is crucial to the success of any homebrewing project. You sanitize anything that will come in contact with your future booze: the jug, the funnel, the utensil for stirring, thus protecting yourself from the potentially unpalatable result of rogue bacteria spoiling your work.
This recipe is to winemaking as the Easy-Bake Oven is to making elegant French pastries.
In my freshly sanitized kitchen, I started to follow the recipe by dissolving sugar in water and adding the thawed concentrate, then fortifying it with the yeast nutrient and a dash of pectic enzyme.
Adding The Juice And Sugar
Put the thawed juice concentrate and fresh lemon juice into your container. If youre making an all grape wine, you can leave out the lemon juice. If you are using different fruits, the lemon helps to bring out the flavor as well as giving a nice edge to the wine.
Add the sugar to the juice. Stir or shake well to dissolve the sugar. The sweeter the fruit juice and more sugar added, the higher the possible alcohol content.
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Read Me: An Important Winemaking Caveat
Like most things in life, the craft of home winemaking falls on a wide spectrum. On one end, you have the folks who love to dive all inthey spend hundreds of dollars on special tools, they sanitize everything using synthetic chemicals, they take scientific records, they use very specific winemaking additives. On the other hand, there is what I like to call heritage winemakers. These people use barely nothing more than a clean canning jar, fruit, water, and some sugarafter all, thats the way folks have been making wine for generations. And then there are all of us who fall somewhere in between on the spectrum.
A Basic But Delicious Blueberry Wine
The reason this wine recipe is such a good wine to make for the beginner is the ease of the process and the resulting wine is delicious.
Many fruit wine recipes require lots of small tweaks and refining to produce a decent result whereas the blueberry wine produces a good wine even if you dont get everything just right.
There are a few additives that youll want in this blueberry wine, these are just the usual suspects of any fruit wine.
Acid blend and tannin are required for the vast majority of fruit wines and this blueberry wine is no exception. You should have these kinds of additives, along with pectic enzyme and yeast nutrients to hand for any fruit wine you intend to make.
The blueberries you use, whether they are frozen or fresh, is up to you. As long as the fruit is good quality and ripe you should be in for decent blueberry wine.
Frozen fruit tends to be picked when its riper than fresh fruit from the supermarket in this case picking the frozen fruit will result in a better wine. Freezing the fruit will also break down the cells of the fruit releasing the juices and flavour better than just mashing the fruit.
I have used frozen blueberries for this recipe. You can get them year round and they are much cheaper than fresh berries.
If you can get hold of wild blueberries you can, of course, use these, picked at their ripest and being able to choose the highest quality blueberries will make a superior wine.
- Fermenting Bucket
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