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How to Make Sweet Potato Wine
This recipe makes five gallons (twenty, 750 ml bottles) of sweet potato wine. This is an original recipe I came up with. I thought it would be good to drink with a thanksgiving meal. The wine flavor has gotten a wide variety of reviews, from "great!" to "unique" to "yuk". If you want to try something new, sweet potato wine could be for you. If you're looking for a "standard" wine, maybe you'd be better off trying out my cherry wine recipe. This recipe uses standard wine-making equipment and ingredients. It produces a light, sweet potato colored wine that is semi-dry (final specific gravity of around 1.002) and has an alcohol content of about thirteen percent.
Primary Fermenter (a 5 gallon food grade bucket) with a lid to accept an airlock, a canning pot or something large enough to heat 6 quarts of water and 11 pounds of potatoes in, a long-handled plastic or wooden spoon, a tube for siphoning (racking) the wine, two - 5 gal. glass carboys, a hydrometer, an airlock, a bung to fit the carboys, and measuring spoons.
INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED
11 lbs. of sweet potatoes, sliced with peels on
1 - 11.5 white grape concentrate with no preservatives (added vitamin C is OK)
12 lbs. of light brown sugar
8 tsp. of acid blend
6 quarts of cool water
2 tsp. of yeast nutrient
1 1/2 tsp. of tannin powder
8 campden tablets (KSO2)
about 8 more quarts of water (enough to top up must to five gallons)
2 tsp. of pectic enzyme powder or equivalent
5 tsp. cinnamon extract (I use McKormick's)
1 yeast packet (Cote des Blancs)
1. Scrub and slice the potatoes. Place them into the six quarts of cool water in your large pot on the stove.
2. Simmer the potatoes until they're tender, about 30-45 minutes. Don't boil them.
3. Strain the potatoes out of the water. You won't need them again.
4. Slowly stir in the light brown sugar and simmer until it's all dissolved.
5. Carefully pour the potato/brown sugar water into your primary fermenter.
6. Add the grape concentrate and the acid blend then mix it together.
7. Add the yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, tannin powder, cinnamon extract, and water to top up the fermenter to 5 gallons. Mix.
8. Crush 8 campden tablets and add them to the primary fermenter (bucket). Mix thoroughly.
9. Check and write down the specific gravity(SG).
10. Check the temperature of the mixture. Wait until the must is about seventy-five degrees.
11. Put the Cote des Blancs yeast into a cup of warm water. Let it stand for about 10 minutes then stir it into the must (mixture in the fermenter).
12. Place the lid on the fermenter (bucket) and put the airlock on it.
13. Check the must in twenty-four hours to make sure it has started fermenting. Bubbles should be audible and you should see some foam.
14. Check the specific gravity of the must every other day.
15. Stir daily.
16. When the SG gets to about 1.020 or in about two weeks, rack (siphon) the wine into your secondary container (preferably a five gallon glass carboy). Top up with cool water. Attach the bung and airlock.
17. Move the carboy to a spot where it's a little cooler. 65 degrees would be perfect.
18. In approximately ten more days, rack the wine again, into a clean glass carboy. Top it up and put the airlock on.
19. Age the wine in the secondary fermenter for about three months.
20. Bottle your wine.
21. Age the sweet potato wine in the bottles for a year or so. I was anxious and didn't wait near that long. I was drinking it after about five months. Although it was OK, I recommend waiting.
22. Open a bottle of wine and enjoy your creation!
- Like wine? Check out my post about the Mt. Hope Wine Gallery in Lancaster, PA.