If you want to learn how to make homemade wine from fruit then you’re in luck – it’s exactly what we’re going to take a look a today!
Making wine from fruit is highly popular due to how interesting the end result is in terms of flavors, colors and aromas, as well as due to how easy and versatile it is to make. You can do it with nearly all fruit – fresh or frozen – so the sky’s the limit.
It’s also fun, rewarding and an excellent way to make use of excess fruit.
Before going through the step by step guide, let’s first look at a quick overview of some tips and the ingredients and equipment needed.
General tips before starting:
Extra optional ingredients:
You can get all of these items by visiting the best home wine making equipment article. It’s complete with reviews, the top rated items of each category and you can get them online, sent straight to your doorstep quickly and easily.
To start making wine from fruit like a true expert, all you’ve got to do is pick your favorite fruit or combination of fruits and follow these simple steps closely.
Firstly, remove any seeds or pits from the fruit you’re using as they will bitter the wine if left in the fruit. Then, make sure to freeze the fruit as the cold will break down their cell membrane walls which makes it much easier to extract juice from them.
Whenever they’re fully frozen, remove them from the freezer, thaw them and place them inside a resilient nylon bag. Now you have two options – either mash the fruit inside the bag and move them to your primary “fermenter” container or use a fruit press to do this for you.
Add all of the recipe’s ingredients to your fermenter (wooden barrel, large glass containers such as a carboy or a demijohn or, as the last option, large plastic food grade bucket). This includes sugar, water or any other ingredient the recipe mentions.
Make sure that the fermenter has a tight fitting lid to prevent any material or bugs to go fall inside. It also has to have an airlock or blow-off tube in order to allow the carbon dioxide gas to escape while also preventing air from entering the fermenter.
Keep 1 extra bottle of wine filled with the end product as it will be used later as a “top off” to prevent oxidation. If you don’t want to save this extra bottle, it’s perfectly fine as the “top off” can be done with clean water too.
Take a sample of the mixture and perform a hydrometer reading to check the specific gravity (SG). If it’s around 1.080 to 1.090 (for most wines) then you’re good to go, if it’s above or below that you have to adjust the wine by adding sugar, fruit or water until it reaches those levels.
If you’re going to use cultured yeast (which is much more reliable and foolproof), you’re going to have to kill any wild yeast that’s present in the must first. To do this, simply add 1 crushed Campden tablet for every gallon of wine you have. After doing this, let it sit for 24 hours before proceeding.
If you want to use wild yeast instead (already present in the fruit and other ingredients, although it can be much less reliable), then skip this step and the next one, moving on up to the 6th step. This is only possible to do if the fruit you’re using has been kept in nature and is still untouched and unclean when you get it. If it’s bought in a supermarket for example, it won’t work.
If you’ve opted to kill the wild yeast and use a cultivated yeast instead, then now is the time to add it to the must. Let it ferment until the must’s specific gravity is at 1.040 or lower (use hydrometer to check the specific gravity levels). This usually takes around 4 to 7 days.
Now we’re going to be racking the wine, which is simply using the power of gravity to move it from a container to another by using a siphon, heavily reducing any sediment present in the wine as it will be left behind in the first container.
Grab a siphon or a tube that can be used as one and use it to siphon the must into sanitized, clean glass carboys (or other large containers such as a barrel) or wine bottles (only recommended if you’re making very, very small batches). Remember to add airlocks to all containers.
We’re going to do this 3 times overall but you can do it as much as you like or skip the process entirely – it’s all up to you and how clear/thin the wine is.
Now relax and let everything sit for 2 to 3 weeks.
Continuing the racking process we’ve started previously, siphon the wine into another sanitized container and attach an airlock.
Now is also the time to siphon IN that extra bottle you’ve saved at the first stage. It will reduce the air in the container and prevent oxidation (you can have at most 2″ of air or the wine risks oxidation). You can also do this with clean water if you forgot to save that extra bottle at the beginning. This is optional and only needed if you’ve got a bit of air that you need filled.
Now let it all sit for at least 1 month.
Perform the final siphon, moving all the wine into another sanitized container. Now use your hydrometer and test the wine’s specific gravity. If it’s less than 1.00 you can add 1/2 to 1 full crushed Campden tablet per gallon to prevent oxidation.
Let it sit again for at least 1-2 months.
Give the wine a look and make sure that the sediment’s mostly or fully gone. If you still notice that the wine’s cloudy and there’s still sediment present in it, then you can either continue racking it as we’ve done or you can use a fining agent to help it clear.
If you decide to add a fining agent, carefully follow the instructions and wait at least 2 weeks before finally bottling the wine.
If it’s already clear and beautiful, you can grab your hydrometer once again and perform the final specific gravity reading. Most fruit wines should be at 1.00 or a bit higher at this stage. Make sure to also give it a taste so you get an idea of its sweetness.
Now depending on your preference, you can sweeten the wine. To do this you’ll have to make a simple solution to add to the wine. Simply bring a cup of water to a boil, add 2 cups of sugar for every cup you’ve used and then boil for around 10 minutes until it clears – now you’ve got the solution.
For 5 gallon recipes, 3 cups of water and 6 of sugar is a good measure. For 1 gallon, use slightly more than 1/2 cup of water and use a bit more than 1 cup of sugar (0.6 cup of water and 1.2 cup of sugar, to be exact).
Be very careful and controlled when adding the sweetener, especially if you’ve got a small amount of wine. After each addition, always take a hydrometer reading (until it’s around 1.00 or higher) and give it a quick taste. If you’re satisfied with the wine’s flavor, then make sure to write down the final specific gravity so you know this batch’s final number.
Finally, add around 1/2 a teaspoon of stabilizer (potassium sorbate) per gallon of wine. This will heavily reduce the possibility that the wine can enter re-fermentation and it’s an absolute must-do if you decide to sweeten it before bottling.
Now after all your hard work, it’s finally time to bottle your delicious wine.
Get all the glass carboys and/or wine bottles that you need and proceed to fill them up with your self-made nectar.
Whichever container you use, make sure that they’re sanitized (metabisulphite is the most commonly used substance for this but you can also use other “One Step” cleaners).
Also, be sure to use only use corks that fit tightly. If they’re loose, the wine can spill or even worse – spoil. They should be air-tight.
The moment you’ve been waiting for. Pop open a bottle, pour the gorgeous wine into a glass, give it a look, a smell and enjoy!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to make homemade wine from fruit like a pro!
When it comes to fruit wine recipes, this one is an extremely high-quality choice through and through – from the methods to the tools and processes – ensuring that you get an excellent product. It doesn’t take any shortcuts and follows the traditional, timeless route.
For other options that are easier and faster to produce, be sure to check out the homemade fruit wine recipe article. You can find other solutions there that focus on specific fruits such as blackberries, blueberries or even bananas, which are also more straightforward to make.
Follow these simple steps and you’re guaranteed to make homemade fruit wine like a true professional. The main strength of this exceptional method is that it’s the real deal, not a shortcut that’ll get you a poor result. You’ll actually get a top-quality wine that’s simply made of any variety of fruit instead of grape.
Thank you for reading and as always – enjoy responsibly and have fun!