When apples are a good price at the store it is a good idea to buy bulk. There are so many things you can make including Stewed Apples, Apple Tart and Apple and Raisin Cake. We've made all of these recipes but we also like to make our own apple core wine. We drink the wine and also use it for cooking.
The beauty of this recipe is we've used apple cores that would normally be discarded.
Now, commercial wine makers have very specific processes and equipment. But we've managed to make wine with everyday household items. As you make more wine, you may want to invest in proper brewing equipment (barrels, air locks, finings etc) but start small and see where it takes you.
This is how we did it.
Step 1: Assemble Your Fruit
- 3.5 kg apple cores and skins (you can use full apples, just cut them up into large pieces)
- 1 kg sugar
- 4 L of boiling water
- 5.5 grams yeast (we've used standard bakers yeast)
This makes a gallon of wine (5 x 750ml bottles).
Put your apple cores into a glass vessel (we've used a 6 L hurricane jar) and pour in the boiling water.
Cover with cling film and leave for 5 days. What you are making is called a 'must'.
Step 2: Removing the Fruit From Your Must
The fruit floating on the top of your must may look a little frightening but don't worry. Remove the fruit from the must and discard it...ideally in your compost bin.
You may also want to strain your must through a muslin or plain cotton cloth.
Step 3: Add Sugar and Yeast
Add sugar and yeast to the must.
Step 4: Optional Stage - Measuring Specific Gravity (liquid Density)
This is not an essential task, but if you have a hydrometer use it to determine the alcohol level in your finished wine.
A hydrometer measures the specific gravity of the must. Place the hydrometer in the must and take the reading. Keep this number safe until the next stage.
Cover the jar with cling film and leave for 4-6 weeks.
Step 5: Six Weeks Later...
...and it's time to bottle your new wine.
But first, we again take a reading with the hydrometer. Make a note of this and we'll calculate potential alcohol level shortly.
Informational. Yeast consumes sugar and secretes alcohol. Eventually the alcohol will become too strong for the yeast and the yeast will die. Your finished alcohol level and overall sweetness of the wine will depend on how sweet your must was at the beginning, and also what type of yeast you used (wine brewing yeast will have a higher tolerance to alcohol).
Step 6: Get Your Bottle On
If you look at the photo you may notice the wine is cloudy and there is heavy sediment at the base of the jar. To disturb this sediment as least as possible, we'll siphon the wine into bottles.
You may also notice the wine has changed color and smells alcoholic...great!
Bottles - we've simply reused commercial bottles and their caps. You may wish to remove the labels and affix your own.
Step 7: Siphoning Requires a Height Differential
To make your siphon work the wine needs to be higher than the bottles.
Start your siphon and cycle the bottles through the flow of wine.
Step 8: We're Approaching the Bottom, Captain!
Take care when you get near the bottom of the wine...you want to avoid as much of the sediment as possible.
We've taken one more hydrometer reading, just for good measure.
Potential alcohol is determined by:
%v/v alcohol = (SG2 - SG1) / 0.0074 Where -
SG1 is the initial specific gravity measurement
SG2 is the final specific gravity measurement.
Our readings were:
Initial reading 1090
Final reading 1000
1000 - 1090 / .0074 = 12.1% alcohol
Step 9: Your Wine Is Ready to Taste...
...after 4 months, however generally longer is better. Try and leave it for 12 months before you crack it open.
This is a long time I know, but the wait is worth it.
I'd suggest you make a new batch every couple of months...that way you'll have an ongoing supply of wine in the future.
I hope you have enjoyed this instructable.