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
  • JEANNE
    Re: Can I Save My Orange Tree?
    I HAVE A NAVEL ORANGE TREE THAT WAS NEGLECTED WHEN I WAS IN REHAB. NO ONE WATERED IT. IT HAS LOST ALL THE LEAVES ON BRANCHES, BUT HAS…
    15 January 2020
  • Pippa
    Re: Growing Avocados
    @jc83 yes, it's still available if you would be interested. Sorry for the delay, I stayed offline for the holiday period.
    1 January 2020
  • Jc83
    Re: Growing Avocados
    @Pippa We currently live in SE London too but we are moving and would love to take the tree if you still have it going spare? Or if anyone else…
    26 December 2019
  • Pippa
    Re: Growing Avocados
    @KitchenGarden I saw you had some interest in someone's avo tree going free. I have a young avocado tree that was grown with some kids as a fun…
    22 December 2019
  • Jodie
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I’ve just started growing my first avo plant. He is called Avi, he’s about one month old and already roughly 30cm tall. He’s currently sat on…
    5 November 2019
  • Shroppy
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    I am 83 and now live in Australia. As youngsters my wife and I grew up in Abercarn and Newbridge in the Ebbw Valley. We…
    2 November 2019
  • EcoMaster
    Re: Growing Goji Berries
    Do not even consider growing this invasive 'weed' from China. It has an ultra strong root system which is exceptionally difficult to…
    31 October 2019
  • Emma
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have a 15 year old plant from a stone brought to UK from my father-in-law’s tree in Spain. It’s in a pot on wheels and lives outside in summer…
    15 September 2019
  • Dee
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Hi Pringleberry... you commented your cat chewed your avacado plant. Some articles maintain avacado plants fruit and leaves all contain a toxin…
    14 September 2019
  • Athena06
    Re: Apple Trees
    I have an apple tree in my garden but don’t know what they are if they are edible or not
    12 September 2019