Home > Eating & Drinking > Making Your Own Fruit Wine

Making Your Own Fruit Wine

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 12 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Fruit Wine Home Wine-making Make Your

As Keats so wonderfully wrote, Autumn is a ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,’ when the trees are laden with ripe fruit just ready for picking and the hedgerows sweetly scented with an abundance of plump juicy berries. And what better way to use up a glut of apples or a barrel-load of blackberries than to convert them into delicious fruit wine?Making your own fruit wine isn’t overly complicated nor does it require loads of expensive equipment; what you do need though is patience.

Equipment

You can buy specialist items online or in any large store that has a home-winemaking section.To make 6 bottles of wine you’ll need
  • 10 litre plastic bucket with a well-fitting lid
  • 5 litre demi-john (a wide-bodied glass or plastic bottle with a narrow neck)
  • air lock
  • siphon (plastic pipe) and U-tube
  • straining bag (alternatively use a large piece of muslin or a large fine sieve)
  • funnel
  • thermometer
  • sterilising tablets
  • hydrometer (optional) – helps determine when fermentation has finished

Ingredients

  • fruit
  • sugar
  • water
  • pectic enzyme – a natural enzyme that breaks down the cell walls of the fruit, allowing the juice to escape
  • yeast – converts the sugar into alcohol. Special wine-making yeast should be used in preference to the bread-making variety
  • yeast nutrient – helps the yeast to do its job properly
  • citric acid – to add zingy sharpness to your wine
  • campden tablets – to kill some bacteria and also inhibit the growth of wild yeast, which can affect the finished wine
  • finings – to clear the wine

Method

First wash the bucket and its lid in warm water and sterilise according to the instructions on the packet.

Prepare the fruit by first washing in warm water. Remove the stems and any rotten or damaged bits but don’t peel.

  • Hard fruits: slice into the bucket
  • Soft fruits: place in bucket and mash slightly. Remove stones from large fruit but small pips and stones can remain.

Add 1 litre of boiling water and 400g sugar and stir well. When the sugar has dissolved add cold water so the liquid just covers the fruit. Leave until the temperature has dropped to 50oC and then add the pectic enzyme. Leave to stand for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Now, if necessary, add more cold water to bring the level up to the 3.5 litre mark on the bucket. Check the temperature and when it has dropped below 30oC, add the yeast. Stir well and leave for another hour before stirring in the yeast nutrient. (For quantities, see the instructions on the packets.)

Now you need to leave the bucket, with the lid on loosely, for 3 days to ferment. It needs to be kept at a temperature between 20 and 27oC.

Strain the contents of the bucket through the straining bag, sieve or muslin, through a funnel into the sterilised demi-john. Gently squeeze the fruit to extract the juices but don’t squeeze it to the bitter end – as bitter is what it will be!

Dissolve the rest of the sugar in 800ml hot water and allow it to cool slightly. When its temperature is less than 40oC, add to the demi-john. The level in the demi-john should be 4.5 litres; if necessary add a little more cold water.

Put the air lock in place and leave the demi-john at a temperature between 20-27oC for 3 weeks. When fermentation is complete add the campden tablets and stir regularly for the next 48 hours. Then add the finings as directed on the packet.

The next stage is bottling but before that you may like to do a preliminary taste test. The true flavour of the wine won’t emerge until it has been allowed to mature but at this stage an early indication of the way it will develop can be seen and corrected if necessary.

  • If the wine isn’t sweet enough, add extra sugar or grape juice concentrate
  • After adjusting the sweetness, check for acidity. If the wine lacks a zing, add some citric acid

When you are happy with the taste, siphon carefully into sterilised bottles, making sure you leave all the sludge undisturbed at the bottom of the demi-john. Cork and leave to develop for 4 weeks or longer.

Fruit Sugar Ratios

For 6 bottles of wine you need:
  • 2kg apples to 1.3 kg white granulated sugar
  • OR
  • 1.2kg blackberries to 1.3 kg white granulated sugar

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Are there any other fruits you can use to make Home made wines?,I'm thinking of starting to make My own wine,for a hobby also for my family barbeques Thank youmax
max - 12-Jun-13 @ 12:23 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • TimJ
    Re: Growing Avocados
    @emmaq - you can leave it out - but if you do make sure it is protected as any cold snap can affect the tree, especially if it is young. If you…
    20 November 2017
  • emmaq
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Similar question to @AvoQueen. I have a small plant grown from seed on my roof in London in a pot. It has about 8 leaves atop a long stem about 2…
    19 November 2017
  • phyl1
    Re: Exotic Fruits to Grow in the UK
    hi,SINAE you can purchase persimmon trees from beechwood trees (3fatpigs)
    3 November 2017
  • Jim
    Re: Orange Trees
    We have had two great orange trees growing in the yard for 18 years. Until two years ago they produced the sweetest juiciest oranges almost the size of…
    30 October 2017
  • MashedAvo
    Re: Growing Avocados
    @Avo Queen, I don't think I'd cut the leaves off as you haven't got a plant then!
    12 October 2017
  • Huti
    Re: Exotic Fruits to Grow in the UK
    Can you grow jujube fruit in UK?
    10 October 2017
  • Avo Queen
    Re: Growing Avocados
    We have a plant which has grown to about 40 cm's. It has no leaves at all on the bottom half. I read in an earlier thread that once the tree gets…
    10 October 2017
  • Ben
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have 5 that sprouted in my compost. Delightful fresh leaf shades. I've been eating the young leaves as they are more nutritious than the fruit…
    8 October 2017
  • LizzyLi
    Re: Growing Avocados
    @Nita - you've inspired me to grow one now. I'm going to have a try! Avos are ace. Liah.
    28 September 2017
  • Nita
    Re: Growing Avocados
    It took just over 2 yrs for my tree. To get to 5ft. Just starting to flower it will be bought in from .y balcony soon and in nr my patio door .
    27 September 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FruitExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.