About this time of year fruit is beginning to form on trees and bushes everywhere prompting fruit wine lovers to dream of the exotic flavors they’ll create with their fruit crop. Making homemade fruit wine is a passion for many of our customers. They return to us year after year for wine labels, so we get the opportunity to see many unique and beautiful designs.
Try Making Your Own Fruit Wine
Fruit wine is perfect for those who don’t have access to grapes. Even though it’s a lengthy process it’s the perfect wine to make. When your backyard doesn’t happen to be a vineyard, fruit like apples, peaches, blackberries, cherries and even pomegranates make tasty recipes. Every year I see a neighbor’s apple tree with an excess of apples going to waste and wish I could have them for something tasty like fresh fruit wine. You might see a similar situation in your neighborhood. If you don’t have the space to grow fruit, there are plenty of farmer’s markets and fruit stands to gather up enough fruit so even condo and apartment dwellers can make their own wine.
“Making homemade fruit wine is simple, enjoyable and worth every last sip.” Organic Authority e-zine
According to most sources fruit wines are easier to make than brewing beer. You will need to purchase equipment for your wine making venture however, and learn some new terminology like “must”, “rack” and “carboy”. “Must” is the gloppy mass of squished peeled skins, seeds and pulp. “Rack” means to siphon the wine must from one container to the next in order to leave any sediment behind. “Carboy” is the long neck glass container that looks like a large water cooler jug that holds the ingredients of the wine as it ferments. Bear in mind though, that most wines fail due to improper sanitizing of equipment due to contamination by bacteria, so don’t skimp on the sterilizing of your supplies.
Try This Easy Apple Wine Recipe
- 7 to 8 pounds of apples (a mix of eating and cooking apples is best)
- 2 pounds (yes, pounds, not cups) of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of acid blend
- 1 packet of wine yeast
- 1/5 teaspoon pectic enzyme
- 1/4 teaspoon tannin
- 1 Campden tablet crushed (kills bacteria)
Follow these steps:
Sanitize all equipment thoroughly. Be sure to use only firm, ripe apples and check for worms or insects.
- Cut apples in small pieces or quarter the apples to extract more juice. Place them in a nylon straining bag and mash or press lightly to release the juice. Keep all the pulp in a nylon straining bag, tie off and place in primary fermenter. For your primary fermenter, stay away from anything like buckets or water bottles that are not #1 PET plastic, because they will let in O2. A 6.5 gallon plastic bucket with lid works great for apple wine. You can buy buckets like this at your wine or beer supply store. Many come with the lids pre-drilled and fitted with a grommet for a tight seal or with a loose fitting lid (undrilled) that will work well for primary fermentation.
- Stir in all other ingredients EXCEPT yeast. (Be sure to crush campden tablet before adding). Cover primary fermenter. Let mixture set for 24 hrs. Remove pulp before adding yeast.
- After 24 hrs. check temperature to be sure it is at 70 degrees. If so, add yeast. Cover primary fermenter.
- Stir daily. After about 5-6 days remove fruit, pressing lightly to extract juice.
- Siphon (rack) the apple wine from sediment into secondary fermenter (carboy). Attach airlock filled 1/3 with water. An airlock keeps out undesirable micro-organisms that will ruin your wine. Vinegar bacteria, lactic bacteria and wild yeasts will be kept out with a proper airlock. An airlock also keeps oxygen from entering your wine. Yeasts only produce alcohol when it consumes sugar and this only happens when it runs out of oxygen, and that’s where the airlock comes in.
- When “must”has fermented about 3 weeks transfer again into clean secondary (carboy). Reattach the airlock.
- “Rack” again every 2 months until wine is clear and the sediment is gone.
You will then be ready to bottle. The wine will be on the dry side. If you prefer a sweeter wine sweeten prior to bottling with a simple syrup or glycerin.
Shortcut to Homemade Fruit Wine
An even faster way to make fruit wine is to buy the kits at your local home brewing store. The fruit is already prepared in boxes or cans. All you need to do is measure, add yeast and mix. These cans are the size of paint cans so you know there’s a lot of fruity goodness inside.
The fruit boxes (below) from Winexpert come in flavors like pineapple pear, pomegranate, and kiwi pear. There are many other fruity combinations to choose from besides these. If you like sweet wines then give these kits a try. Buying the fruit like this saves you time in preparation and ensures the exact measurement of fruit for your homemade batch of wine.
When your wine is finished fermenting and is ready for bottling, create a wine label like this customer did for their Black Raspberry Merlot, (see below) by uploading a photo or clip art. Our wine labels are self-adhesive and waterproof. No need to worry if you spill any wine on them since they can handle moisture and are even impervious to cool temperatures. If the bottle of fruit wine is chilling on ice the label will stay put and look fantastic.