Only the uninitiated can reject a fantastic glass of wine with all the possible flavors you can find. With all of those possibilities, it’s hard to not want to figure out your own homemade fruit wine recipe. Turning that idea into something of value can be a lot harder than you think at times. Luckily, you came across a great place to quickstart your journey towards making fruit wine.
Knowing how to make fruit wine is a valuable ability that could come in handy as a hobby or in other ways (Apropos, knowing how to open a wine bottle without corkscrew is also will not be superfluos). Soon you won’t need to head out to enjoy a glass as you learn how to make fruit wine at home.
Fruit Wine Basics
Grapes are generally the best known for making wines but relatively any fruit can be used just as easily. The process is always the same you’ll just need to make adjustments along the way. Grapes are commonly chosen because they require very little adjustments. Fruit quality is an important factor for the quality of your wine. Try to use ripe fruit with minimal blemishes, and rinse before just like if you were cooking.
Three adjustments will be needed for fruits other than grapes. They are the amount of fruit per gallon, the amount of available sugars, and the fruit juices acidity.
How Much Fruit Do I Use?
There is no easy answer here as the amount will differ depending on your choice of fruit. Your choice of fruit will also determine whether water is needed as well to dilute the mixture. Dilution is necessary for two reasons. When the fruit is too strong and when the fruit is too acidic. Some wines like apple even need acid added back. To give you an idea here are some of the amounts of fruit needed to make 5 gallons of homemade wine.
Apricots: 18 lbs.
Peaches: 15 lbs.
Pears: 22 lbs.
Pineapple: 14 lbs.
Strawberries: 16 lbs.
Watermelon (cores): 18 lbs.
This is just a start as you’ll want to study and experiment on your own. By adding 28 lbs. of pears to a 5-gallon recipe you can produce a heavier wine. By the same account using less will produce a lighter wine.
Adjusting the Available Sugars
The fermentation process is caused by yeast consuming the available sugar to become half alcohol and half carbon dioxide(CO2). All the sugar won’t ferment but this is how you determine how much alcohol will be made. The best way to measure this is with a winemaking hydrometer. This simple object can be dropped into your juice to measure the potential alcohol. Once that is determined you can add in more sugar if necessary. There is no best sugar so try experimenting with many. Other sweeteners like honey and concentrated fruit juices can work as well.
Adjusting the Level of Acidity
Reaching the proper amount of tartaric acid in your wine will improve its character and balance while also aiding the fermentation process. Every fruit has acid and there are two main ways to test it. The use of pH strips is an inaccurate way because they judge all acidity, not just the actual flavor. Purchasing a wine titration kit is the best way to test for acidic flavor with a simple process once practiced. Too much acid makes for sour bitter wine while too little can create a flat lifeless concoction. Tartaric, malic, and citric acid are the three most commonly used for increasing acidity.
After this, you will have what is called a “Must” or wine ready to ferment or in the process. You will then add winemaking yeast and winemaking nutrients to your must and leave it till bottling (and don’t forget to open the bottle with style).
You can always make little adjustments along the way, though preparing a smaller experimental side batch is recommended.
What fruit can be made into wine?
Almost every fruit you can imagine can be made into wine though of course the juicier the better. Some of the more common examples are plums, blackberries, pears, peaches, strawberries, and grapefruit. You can also use plenty of other fruits like watermelons, persimmons, boysenberries, gooseberries, and pineapples. This is just the beginning as there are many other possibilities, grapes can work as well in a pinch.
How long does it take to make wine from fruit?
Winemaking is a time tasking project and there isn’t really anything you can do to speed it up. A fresh batch of wine will generally take between 8 and 12 weeks before it’ll be ready for bottling. From there most people will continue to age their wine for another 3 to 4 months. Depending on the fruit aging could be necessary for up to a year.
Does homemade wine go bad?
One nice thing about homemade wine is you don’t have to worry about your lack of expertise affecting the shelf-life. There aren’t any special qualities that make homemade wine deteriorate or age quicker than any storebought wines. This is part of the reason homemade winemaking is a very popular hobby.