Monday, September 25, 2006

Concord Grape Universal Recipe

Friend of the family stopped in last week after picking a bunch of Concord grapes.  Of, course I said that I would take some and he brought over a large colander filled with grapes.  It's times like this that call for a recipe that you can use rather quickly.   I used this recipe last year when the nieghbor asked if I wanted her grapes.  Works extremely well and the wine usually tastes great.
Here are the steps needed to make wine using the universal wine recipe method.  The recipe is designed to make a 1 gallon batch. 
1.  Grab your primary fermenter, clean and sterilize it.
2.  Prepare the fruit as indicated.
3.  Mix all the ingredients, crushing the Campden tablets before adding them.  Make sure that the sugar is dissolved.  Cover and let it be for 1 day.
4.  Add the yeast.
5.  Cover and let ferment for about 4 - 7 days.  Make sure that you stir twice a day to punch down the cap.
6.  After the primary fermentation, strain, and place into a secondary fermenter.  Rack as needed until the wine is clear.
7.  Bottle and enjoy your wine.

  Type of Fruit Concord Grape  
  Weight Needed 6 pounds  
  Preparation crush  
  Water 1 gallon  
  Acid Blend none  
  Campden Tablets 2  
  Yeast Nutrient 1 teaspoon  
  Sugar 2 1/2 pounds  
  Raisins none  
  Pectin Enzyme 1/2 teaspoon  
  Grape Tannin none  
  Yeast   1 packet  

Notes:  I used 6 cups of sugar since 5 pounds of sugar will contain 11 to 12 cups.  Also used Lavlin Burgundy yeast and looks like my yield to from the first racking is about 1 1/2 gallons.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Gooseberry Wine

Green Gooseberry Wine(one gallon)

  • 5 lb ripe green gooseberries
  • 2 lb sugar
  • 6-7 pints water
  • yeast nutrient
  • yeast
  • pectic enzyme

or a lighter version

  • 2 1/2 lb gooseberries
  • 2 lb sugar
  • 1 campden tablet
  • 1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 gallon water
  • wine yeast
starting specific gravity should be 1.080-1.085,acid .65%

top,tail and wash the berries,put into a large bucket and squeeze by hand until they are pulpy. add the enzyme and water.(for lighter version add campden tablet,let sit 12 hrs,then add the rest of the ingredients except the yeast) allow to stand for 3 days,well covered,stir occasionally. strain then add the sugar(in lighter version this is already done),stirring until it is dissolved. then add the yeast and yeast nutrient. put into fermenting bottle until fermentation has finished.rack then rack again in 6 months. age for 1 year.
This little tidbit was taken from a New York State 4H website that tells you what a goosebeery is.

What about it?
The gooseberry is a close relative of the currant, and its culture is very similar. There are white, green, yellow and red-fruited varieties; most are slightly smaller or about the same size as a table grape. Although gooseberries are not popular in this country, they have some very nice characteristics! In addition to being a tasty, easy-to-grow fruit, gooseberries can be an effective barrier plant (nobody would walk through those thorns!) and are one of the few fruits that tolerate shade. They grow to 3-5 feet and have small, attractive, palmate leaves.
If you want more info, check out their website.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pear Wine

Pears are plentiful this time of the year.  Some of your friends and nieghbors may have tried pawning off a bunch to you.  Do what I do, accept them and then begin to make them into wine.  This is a simple recipe for pear wine and one that you should enjoy making.


Traditional Pear Wine Recipe

1 gallon water
5 lbs very ripe pears
1 lb raisins
2 lbs ultra fine sugar
1 ½ teaspoons acid blend
½ teaspoon pectic enzyme
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 package wine yeast

Boil water in large pot. Chop pears and place in primary fermentation container. Add the sugar and citric acid to the container. Pour water over fruit and stir until sugar has dissolved. Let cool until room temperature. Add the pectic enzyme and let liquid rest for 1 day. Add the yeast and yeast nutrient, cover, and place in warm, dark location. Stir daily for 1 week. Rack into secondary fermentation container. Seal with airlock. Rack into bottles in 3 months. Let rest for at least one year.

Note:  I usually post on Mondays, but decided to not post on September 11th.  I felt it was more important to remember that day than to post on the blog.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Sweet Potato Wine


Turkey and sweet potato wine for Thanksgiving, sounds like a winner.  Or, maybe, the wine is for sipping during the football games. 


  • 12 cups chopped sweet potatoes or yams
  • 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups light raisins
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrients
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
  • 1 campden tablet
  • water
  • 1 package wine yeast

Peel and chop sweet potatoes fine. Place in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Simmer 25 minutes. Chop raisins and put into primary fermentor with sugar. Strain liquid into primary fermentor and squeeze all liquid out of the pulp. Pulp can now be used for sweet potato pie or other recipe.

Add enough water to make up to 1 gallon. Slice oranges thinly. Add all other ingredient EXCEPT yeast. Stir to dissolve sugar. Let sit overnight.

Next day, Specific Gravity should be 1.090 - 1.100. Stir in yeast. Stir daily for 5 to 6 days or until frothing ceases. Siphon into secondary fermentor 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.

If wine is not clear, or still has quite a bit of sediment forming between rackings, Fine the wine as follows:

Use wine finings or plain gelatin. Gelatin: use 1 teaspoon per 6 gallons of wine. Finings: 1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons or as per package directions. Soak in 1/2 cup cold water for 1/2 hour. Bring to a boil to dissolve. Cool. Stir into wine. Let sit 10 to 14 days. Rack. If not clear enough yet, repeat process. DO NOT increase amount of gelatin or finings. The mixture will stay suspended in the wine, preventing it from ever clearing. Bottle once wine is clear.

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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