Fruit wines are wines usually implied by the primary ingredient used in making them – fruits. They are different from country wines, which from the term itself connote the fact that they are not made from grapes. Because of the growing popularity of fruit wine making, there abound recipes on how to make homemade wine from fruit that offers simple tips and procedures that even those new to wine making can easily follow.
A misconception is that fruit wines can only be made from grapes. The range is large because practically any fruit or non-toxic plant can be used that when done properly produce the same bouquet of aroma and taste as grapes. Before trying your hands at your newfound recipe on how to make homemade wine from fruit there are some points to consider first.
The first step in fruit preparation is to sanitize everything. This does not only involve the equipment to be used but the fruits as well. Always choose the best fruits that are ripe because they are juicier. Avoid rotten, bruised and under-ripe fruits. The final quality of the homemade wine depends on the quality of the fruits used. Wash them completely and thoroughly including the leaves, pits, and stems. Remove bad spots as they may contain bacteria and may cause undesirable taste to the wine.
Slice the fruits into pieces making sure that not a bit of juice is lost. Some fruit juices have much potency in flavor and have a higher level of acidity that is why they have to be extracted with water unlike pure grape juice that can be used undiluted. Slightly mash the fruits in a nylon strainer bag. Hang the bag on the side of the fermenter, then mash and squeeze some more for the fruit juice to come out.
Making the Fruit Wine
Stir in the rest of the ingredients: sugar, tannin, acid blend, Campden tablet, and if, required, a pectic enzyme. Regulate the sugar level of the fruit juice before fermentation. There are different types of sugar that can be used and each one can affect the quality of the wine. Do trial batches with corn and cane sugar, being the cheapest. Honey is also an option because it provides a better-rounded flavor.
Add the yeast after 24 hours.
Many fruits are lacking in yeast nutrients that are important for fermentation that is why homemade wines use yeast to promote this process. When the pulp starts to break, use the hydrometer to have an accurate measurement of alcohol produced when sugar reacts with the yeast. This process of sugar conversion to alcohol is called chaptalization. Determine if more sugar is needed according to your taste preference. In a week’s time, the “must” reaches an SG of 1.030 – 1.040. Remove the fruits and siphon off the wine into a glass carboy to continue fermentation. When the SG is down to .990 – 1.000, rack the liquids into another clean carboy with an airlock. By this time, the wine is getting clearer.
Finally, when you’re ready to enjoy your wine, make sure you aerate it properly before tasting. This is especially true for red wines, as it brings out the flavor of the wine. You can get fantastic advice from TheWineAerator.com regarding the best wine aerators to buy.