Ever since I started fermenting my white rice wine, the idea of making my own fruit wine has never left me. Although I'm not really considered a frequent drinker, I do drink wine, especially red wine. And I love fruit wine, especially sweet ones. :) So I decided to try my hands on fruit wine after the good start in my white rice wine. After all, it doesn't seem that difficult, does it? ;)
There is no one around me who has tried brewing fruit wine at home. So I can only turn to the Internet for help. Thanks to technology, I was able to locate a few good sites as references (sorry, these are all Chinese sites as I couldn't find any simple enough English site).
Most of the sites use similar method. I find 周老師 gave very clear explanation of all the hows and whys. So I decided to follow her way. I brought all the necessary equipment and ingredients and couldn't wait (as usual) to set my hands on it. The first fruit wine I chose to start with is Grape Wine, since that is a common choice. Grapes have natural yeast on their skin which aids the fermentation, so no additional yeast is required.
These are what you'll need.
- A large glass container (as I'm only testing the process this round, I only use a 1000ml container)
- Grapes enough to fill up to 80% of the container (I use a total of 672g of red grapes)
- Sugar (not more than 25%, I use 50g which is about 7%, 周老師 used 100-200g of sugar for 3kg of grapes)
1. Wash and air dry the grapes and container. Make sure all are dry before start.
2. With a clean and dry hand, crush each grape into the container. Fill up 80% of the container with grapes.
3. Add the sugar in and stir to mix with the crushed grapes.
4. Cover the container and leave it in a place away from direct sunlight or heat to ferment. Fermentation is best at 25-30℃. Too high a temperature will affect the quality of the wine.
5. Starting from the 2nd day, you'll notice bubbles starting to appear due to the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. From this stage onwards, you can loosen (not open fully) the cover once or twice a day to let out some of the carbon dioxide. I did not lift up the cover at all. I just loosen the cover for 2-3 secs then tighten it again.
6. When the bubbling has stopped, or has very little bubbling (about 7-8 days), the fermentation has completed and the wine is ready to harvest.
7. Open the cover to remove the grapes and seeds from the container. What is left is a cloudy reddish-pink wine. Leave it to rest for a day. The residue will settle at the bottom and the wine will separate into 2 layers.
8. Slowly and carefully pour out the top clear layer. Store into bottle (till almost full) and sealed. Do not shake the wine. Store in the fridge if to be consumed later. The bottom residue wine can be consumed or used in cooking.
- It is important to fill up the container only to 80% to prevent it from exploding due to the production of carbon dioxide during the fermentation process.
- Do not shake the content too much during fermentation and after harvesting. Otherwise it will turn to vinegar.
Do give this a try and join me for the fun. :)
See next progress here.