How To Make Homemade Fruit Wine - Blackberry and More
Elderberry Is A Classic Fruit Wine
Now that summer is wrapping up, a lot of fruit harvests are piling up and getting past their prime. This is the peak season for making your own fruit wine! Any fruit can be made into wine, although blackberries, dandelion (okay I know it’s not a fruit but it still counts), rhubarb, cherries, plums, and elderberries are the most popular.
Fruit wine is exactly the same as “regular” wine made from grapes, although it has a lesser reputation as a homebrew product. You are not likely to find fruit wines at the grocery store! Part of the reason for this is that the grape is the perfect fruit to make wine out of, having the best balance of sweetness and acidity, and being far easier to control from one year to another.
Fruit wine tends to have crazy swings in acidity and sweetness, and the results tend to be unpredictable. The classic fruit wine is heavy on the sweet side, with a slightly syrupy taste and texture. It is what you would call an acquired taste!
People have been making fruit wine for as long as people have been around. The ancient Sumerians are the first people with a documented history of making wine, but the alcoholic effects of fermentation have been known long before then. Fermenting fruit helps to extend the harvest, and to preserve those softer fruits (like blackberries and plums) which are difficult to preserve otherwise.
The basic process to make a fruit wine like elderberry wine is:
1. Cook all of the ingredients over the stove.
2. Let it ferment in a container.
3. Decant into a second container (a carboy or wine bottles) for the second fermentation.
One of the best resources for home wine making information on the internet is Jack Keller’s winemaking site. Here is his page on the basic winemaking steps; click the yellow menu items at the bottom to explore his site further.
It takes between six months to a year for homemade fruit wine to be ready to drink. If you start now, you will have homemade blackberry or plum wine in time for next summer, or for next winter!
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