Here are instructions for how to make apple wine. Apple wine can trace itself back to the very dawn of mankind, when Greeks called it sikera and drank it in abundance as the alcoholic beverage of choice. As with all fruit wines, the fruit itself adds a distinct flavor that is unique to every batch. Many wine makers advise using a mix of apples for the best flavor, and making apple brandy is only a distillers step away from apple wine.
- 6 lbs apples
- 1 lb of raisins
- 3 lbs granulated sugar
- 1 tsp acid blend
- ½ tsp pectic enzyme
- 1 packet wine yeast – Preparing the yeast packet can take hours, read the directions on packet.
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1 gallon of water
- ¼ tsp tannin (optional)
- 1 campden tablet – a sulfite that prevents wild yeast oxidation
- Primary fermentation container (4-gallon heavy plastic container with lid)
- Secondary fermentation containers (2 or 3 1-gallon glass jugs)
- Large nylon mesh straining bag
- 5 wine bottles for one gallon of wine
- Corks (size #9 fits standard wine bottles)
- Hand corker
- Bung – This is the closure for the airlock and the fermentation containers.
- Clear, flexible half-inch diameter plastic tubing
- Substitutions. You can substitute one gallon of apple cider instead of fresh apples as long as there are no preservatives like Potassium Sorbate or Sodium Benzoate. You can also substitute Honey for sugar.
- Water and Apples. Place the water on to boil and while you are waiting for that, prepare the apples. Apples will need to be chopped, cored and de-stemmed with absolutely NO seeds. Place the apples and the raisins in the straining bag and mash fruit with a potato masher or wine bottle.
- Combine ingredients in fermentation container. Combine the fruit, sugar, tannin (if you choose) and acid blend in the fermentation container, then pour the boiling water over the mixture. Continuously stir the mix until sugar is fully dissolved.
- Let the mix cool before adding the pectic enzyme. The mix should take approximately one hour to become room temperature, when that is achieved add the pectic enzyme and stir. Let this new mix sit for one day.
- Add yeast and yeast nutrient. After one day of letting the mix sit, add your prepared yeast (as per packet instructions) and yeast nutrients. Test the mixture with hydrometer for sugar content and add more if needed. The hydrometer should read between 22 and 24 brix, which means alcohol percentage is eleven.
- Cover and place in warm dark location. Continually stir mixture every day for one week. Then take out mesh bag and let drip drain. Do not squeeze the fruit, only drip the juice.
- Place into secondary fermentation container. Use the tubing to siphon the clear wine into the second jug. After you have placed liquid into secondary container, seal with bung and air lock. Repeat this process with another container in one month.
- After three months have passed, add campden tablet. The wine should no longer be fermenting or producing dead yeast cells. If it is, continually change the fermentation container every 30 days until wine is clear.
- Rack into bottles and let sit. If wine is clear and no longer fermenting, rack into your bottles and let mixture sit for a minimum of six months before tasting. Waiting six months to one year for your white wine to sit will add a better taste to the wine, and one year minimum for red wine.
Tips and Warnings:
- For a dry wine, rack every three months for one year.
- The best apples to use are tart not the sweet Delicious apples.
- Mash the fruit directly into the fermentation container to preserve as much fruit juice as possible.
- Apple wine tastes better with a maximum alcohol percentage of twelve.
- Make sure your mixture is air locked to prevent oxygen from leaking in and turning your wine to vinegar.
- Wine kits, with all the equipment, can be purchased.
- Beginners should start with grape wines before trying other fruits.
- When changing containers be very gentle to not mix the sediment you are trying to ferment away from the wine.
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