Monday, June 26, 2006

Banana Wine


4 1/2 lb. bananas
1/2 lb. chopped golden raisins
3 lb. granulated sugar
1 lemon (juice only)
1 orange (juice only)
1 gallon water
wine yeast and nutrient

Peel and chop bananas and their peels, placing both in grain-bag and tie closed.

Place grain-bag in large pan or boiler with water and bring to boil, then gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Pour the hot liquor over sugar and lemon/orange juice in primary fermentation vessel and stir to dissolve sugar.

 When cool enough to handle, squeeze grain-bag to extract as much liquid as possible and add to vessel.

When liquor cools to 70 degrees F., add yeast and nutrient. Cover and set aside in warm place one week, stirring daily.

Move to a cooler place (60-65 degrees F.) and allow to sit undisturbed for two months.

Siphon liquor off sediment into secondary fermentation vessel, add chopped raisins, and fit airlock.

Rack after four months and again in another four months.

Bottle and sample after six months. Improves with age. 

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ginger Wine

I had some ginger wine about 2 months ago at the local wine makers meeting.  Being the person that is willing to try anything once, I gave it a taste.  My first thoughts were that it would be some very nasty stuff.  Boy, was I surprised !!  It was quite mild and rather smooth tasting.  The best way I can describe it  was that it tasted like a flat ginger ale but had a kick.
The real beauty of this wine is that you can purchase most of the basic ingredients at your local supermarket.
  • Root Ginger 1 oz.
  • Sugar 2.25 lb
  • Lemons 2
  • Oranges 2
  • Raisins 0.4 lbs.
  • Campden Tablet 1
  • Pectic Enzyme
  • Water 1 gallon
  • Wine yeast
  • Yeast nutrient

Crush the ginger then add it to the water along with the raisins.
Bring to the boil and then add the sugar.
Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved then simmer for around half an hour before placing in a fermenting container.
Allow to cool then top up to 1 gallon with cold water.
Grate the skins of the oranges and lemons then add this plus the juice of the fruit to the fermenting container.
Allow to cool then add the pectic enzyme.
Leave for 24 hours then add the yeast and nutrient.
Place the container in a warm place and leave to ferment on the pulp for four to five days stirring daily.
Strain off the pulp into a carboy then fit a bung and airlock and return to a warm place to ferment out.
Once fermentation has finished, rack off the wine and add the campden tablet.
Once the wine is clear bottle and leave for around three to four months to mature before drinking.  

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blackberry Wine

This is one wine that I have made but did not use fresh blackberries.    For some reason they are difficult to find growing in our area.  I'm not sure if it is because there is a limited market or that they are a pain to grow and harvest.  The only one that I knew of in our town was cut down because the people did not like the mess.  What a shame.  I used Vintner's Harvest canned blackberries for my wine and followed the recipe on the can.  The recipe below is to make one gallon and uses fresh blackberries.
  • 3 lb blackberries
  • 2 1/4 lb sugar
  • 1 gal boiling water
  • yeast nutrient
  • pectic enzyme
  • yeast

Wash, pick over berries. Crush in pail, pour boiling water over. Stir well, cool to lukewarm, add pectic enzyme per instructions.
Leave 24-36 hours, then add yeast and nutrient. Cover well, leave for 4-5 days, stirring daily.
Strain, add sugar; stir well so that sugar is all dissolved. Pour into dark fermenting jar, fill to shoulder, fit airlock. Keep the spare liquor in a smaller bottle, also with airlock/cotton wool.
When ferment slows down sufficiently for there to be no risk of it foaming through the trap (about 1 week), top it up with the spare wine to the base of the neck, refit the airlock Leave it until it clears, then rack.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mint Wine

Since I grow mint, I've been wanting to try this recipe for the past couple years.  Just could never find the time.  Maybe this summer.

 4 cups fresh mint
 2 pounds honey
 pectic enzyme (opt)
 zest and juice of 2 lemons for acid (opt)
 champagne yeast

Steep mint in 3 quarts boiled water.
Add honey- stir till honey dissolves.
Add pectic enzyme and lemons.
Let sit over night with tight cover.
Strain into gallon jug.
Pitch yeast. Add airlock.
Rack after 2 weeks.
Then Rack every three months until clear.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blueberry Wine


Blueberry Wine


  • 4 to 5 cups blueberries
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 teaspoon nutrients
  • 2 campden tablet
  • 1 package wine yeast
  • water
Crush the fruit. Add 12 cups of water and all other ingredients except the yeast. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Let sit overnight. 

Specific gravity should be between 1.090 and 1.095. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and stir. Stir daily for five days. 

Strain the must and squeeze the juice out. Siphon into secondary fermentor, add water to make up volume and attach airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.

For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle. 

The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Strawberry Wine

With strawberry picking season just around the corner, I thought that I would dust off this recipe and republish it.  It was almost a year ago when I made my first batch of strawberry wine.  I still have about 2 gallons to bottle and 1 gallon is being used in my "wine bag" experiment.  The unbottled wine is pretty dry, around 14% alchohol and has a pretty good taste without it being sweetened.  So, for you country wine fans, grab your pail and fill it with berries.  Then come home and get started on your wine.
Hey, that's me picking strawberries. Well actually it is my assistant Jake. It was his first adventure out to a farm and Grandpa put the boy to work. Gotta' teach them early. This was my first ever batch of wine made from strawberries and I have to admit, it did not turn out bad. Generally, after the wine has completely fermented (and it is usually a dry wine), I go back and sweeten it up. For this batch, I used Splenda because somewhere I read that Splenda does not ferment. Here is the recipe if you wish to give it a try.
Strawberry Wine

20 lbs of fresh strawberries
10 teaspoons acid blend
5 teaspoons yeast nutrient
50 drops pectin enzyme
1 ¼ teaspoons grape tannin
10 campden tablets
23 cups sugar (about 10 lbs)
2 ½ gallons water
2 frozen Welch's white grape/raspberry juice, 11 oz size

Crush the berries and add all the ingredients to a 5 gallon primary fermenter. Add the yeast or the yeast starter the following day. Allow to ferment for about 7 days before racking over to a secondary fermenter. In about 3 months, check with a hydrometer and if stable enough, bottle.

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