Wild-Fruit Wine

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Courtesy of Amy Crowell
Photography by Andy Sams

I’ve used this “closed fermentation” recipe to make Mexican plum wine and Texas persimmon wine with good results. Wine recipes are plentiful. If you want to experiment with different fruits and vegetables, or different sweeteners such as honey or molasses, I highly recommend reading Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook by Raymond Massaccesi.

Be sure to check with Austin Homebrew Supply or online to find the basic equipment for winemaking. Start with cheesecloth, a primary fermenter, two glass secondary fermenters, an air lock and siphon tubing. If you choose to bottle or rack your wine, you’ll also need wine bottles and corks.

Fairly difficult

Wild-Fruit Wine

Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Cream

  • 2 pounds wild fruit
  • 14 cups water
  • 2 pounds sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons acid blend
  • 1/2 teaspoons pectic enzyme
  • 1/2 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • 1 Campden tablet
  • 1 package wine yeast

Wild-Fruit Wine Directions

  1. Prepare the fruit by removing any leaves and stems and washing well. Sterilize all your equipment.
  2. Wrap the fruit in a double layer of cheesecloth, place it inside your primary fermenter (I use a food-grade plastic bucket with a hole in the lid for inserting the air lock) and mash with the back of a large spoon. Leave the mashed fruit in the fermenter and stir in all of the ingredients except the wine yeast. Cover with a lid and let sit for a day, then add the wine yeast. Stir every day. 
  3. When fermentation slows in 3–5 days, remove cloth-wrapped pulp and siphon wine off of sediment into your glass secondary fermenter (I use a carboy or a 1-gallon glass juice jug). Attach the air lock. Fermentation will continue and more sediment will form. In a few days or a week, siphon into another clean glass fermenter and reattach the air lock.
  4. You may siphon a third or fourth time to help your wine clarify. Anywhere in this process, you can taste your wine to find out how it changes over time. In a few months, you may choose to bottle your wine for aging. They say wine gets better with age but I haven’t been able to let any wine sit long enough to find out!

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