'Natural WILD WINES' by M. Plummer & J. Hodges.
Everything you need to know to learn the process and the kit needed for making delicious Wild Wine. Also included are 20 fantastic recipes to make the most of the Wild foods right on you doorstep. Making your own wine couldn't be simpler. Below is an extract from the book demonstrating the step by step process of making 1 Gallon of fruit wine.
How to Make One Gallon of Fruit Wine:
This recipe is adapted from a simple guide from my local homebrew shop whose advice has been invaluable.
8-10Kg of fruit
250-300ml of grape juice
750g-1Kg of sugar (caster or granulated)
Red wine yeast and yeast nutrient
Finings / Pectinase or pectolase enzyme / Potassium sorbate
· Wash the fermenting bucket and lid in a solution of hot water and a crushed campden tablet.
· If necessary soak in hot soapy water for an hour or two and then treat with the tablet.
· Put the fruit into the now sterilised fermenting bucket.
· If the fruit is frozen defrost completely BEFORE adding the campden tablet
· If the fruit is fresh you can remove any stones but this is not essential.
· Stir thoroughly and seal the fermenting bucket with the lid.
· If one is present gaffer tape the air hole.
· Soak the fruit for at least 24 hours in two pints of COLD water (or enough to just cover it) and one crushed campden tablet.
· Add the grape juice and stir thoroughly.
· Place the bucket on a heat mat – the enzyme will need its optimum temperature of 15- 20°C.
· Leave for about an hour or until the water feels tepid.
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the pectinase enzyme – as a rough guide about 2 level teaspoons per kg of fruit is needed.
· Dissolve the sugar in about a pint of HOT water – do NOT use boiling water.
· Pour into the bucket and stir.
· Add FOUR pints of COLD water and stir.
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the yeast nutrient, about one teaspoon will be sufficient.
· Then add a COMPLETE sachet of yeast and stir.
· Take and note the SPECIFIC GRAVITY (SG) with a HYDROMETER. The SG should be about 1075-1090 depending on the amount of sugar
· Cover with lid and store for the PRIMARY fermentation.
Step Three (primary fermentation)
· This should take between 5 and 7 days and will ferment about 75% of the available sugars.
· If needed place the bucket and must on a heat mat and wrap in a towel (or equivalent) this will keep the must at its optimum fermenting temperature (15-25°C).
· Stir every day as this will agitate the yeast and the enzyme.
· After a maximum of seven days the wine is ready for the second stage of fermentation.
Step Four (Second Fermentation)
· This takes about a 3 weeks to a month to complete but can take a several more weeks.
· The objective is to ferment out the majority of the remaining sugars.
· Take a second SG reading with the hydrometer. You should notice a significant drop down to about 1040 in the SG.
· Transfer the must to a thoroughly sterilised demijohn and seal absolutely air tight with an air lock.
· The must should be poured through a sieve and muslin through a funnel into the demi-john.
· Much of the suspended particles you will see are in fact lees which contain the majority of the remaining live yeast cells.
· Discard any fruit pulp.
· Once sealed you should see a steady stream of bubbles passing through the wine, this will gradually taper off until you see about one bubble every 30 seconds.
· The demijohn should be wrapped in a towel and stored out of any direct natural light.
· The towel acts as a shield but also traps heat from the fermentation (an exothermic reaction) helping to maintain the optimum temperature.
· After a few days to a week you may need to put the demijohn on a heat mat.
· After about a week you may notice a layer of sediment in the bottom of the demi-john.
· If the fermentation is still bubbling DO NOT interrupt it.
· The sediment can be removed by syphoning and NOT decanting back into the fermenting bucket.
· You will still see plenty of suspended lees in the wine.
· There will be some discrepancy in the volume which you syphon back into the demijohn.
· This can be made up with a mixture of crushed fruit (defrosted or fresh), sugared water and grape juice.
· Removing the sediment reduces the risk of microbial infection and puts less strain on the finings.
· After about a month there should be no bubbles coming through the air lock.
· If you are still seeing bubbles leave to continue and if you have a heat mat you can “push” the fermentation along.
· Ideally the wine should ferment until dry (until all the sucrose and most of the fructose has been converted) to ethanol.
· If bubbles are present this has not happened.
· When the wine is fully fermented by checking with the hydrometer it can be syphoned back into the fermenting bucket.
· The hydrometer should show an SG of about 1000.
· Once satisfied add about half a teaspoon of potassium sorbate and an additional crushed campden tablet.
· The sorbate stops the yeast reproducing and stops the fermentation.
· Stir steadily for two minutes and leave for two days in a cool dark place and wrapped in the towel.
Step 7 (Settling ad bottling)
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the finings.
· Leave for at least three weeks. Then……..
· If necessary sweeten with a little extra grape juice. Do NOT stir it in, pour in a little (about 50-100ml) and leave for another day or two.
· You are now ready to transfer to wine bottles. You will need about 6 750ml bottle per gallon.
· Check for sweetness; if the wine needs more grape juice add about a capful to each bottle.
· Syphon the wine into the bottles and leave to stand for an additional three weeks.
· Check for sweetness if necessary add about HALF a capful of grape juice and leave for another few days.
Step 8 (drinking)
· Assuming there have been no mishaps, believe me you will know by now, pour into glass.
· Say cheers or equivalent and enjoy.
· Repeat the whole process as often as you can, you know it makes sense!