Basic Plum Wine Recipe
Makes one gallon.
- 3.5 quarts water
- 2 pounds sugar or 2 pounds light honey
- 4 pounds ripe sweet plums or 3 pounds wild plums
- 1/2 teaspoon acid blend (Do not use with wild plums)
- 1/8 teaspoon tannin
- 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
- 1 Campden tablet (recommended)
- 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
- Champagne or Montrachet yeast
- Boil water and sugar/honey. If using honey, skim the scum.
- Wash, stem and pit the plums. Cut into small pieces saving the juice. Put into straining bag in bottom of primary fermentor and mash.
- Pour hot sugar water over fruit and fill up to 1-gallon mark.
- When cooled, add acid, tannin, nutrient and Campden tablet. Cover and fit with air lock.
- After 12 hours add the pectic enzyme.
- 24 hours after adding pectic enzyme, add yeast and stir.
- Remove straining bag after a week.
- When must reaches specific gravity of 1.030, rack to secondary fermentor.
- Rack again in 2-3 weeks.
- Rack again in 2-6 months.
- After it ferments out, stabilize with Campden tablets or stabilizer and add 2-6 ounces of sugar to sweeten if needed.
- Bottle and age 6-12 months.
Easy Plum Wine Recipe
Makes one gallon.
It may be a good idea to put on an airlock for a while to make sure the plums are done fermenting before final bottling and aging.
- 3 1/2 pounds ripe plums
- 4 pounds granulated sugar
- 1 pack yeast
- 1 gallon boiling water
- Wash plums and pour on water.Stir and mash with wooden spoon.
- Leave for ten days.
- Remove mold carefully. Strain off into another bowl and add sugar, yeast and stir.
- Cover and stir daily for three days.
- When ready to bottle after three days, add Campden tablet before bottling to kill off stray bacteria Use demijohn or gallon jug to bottle.
- Ready in six months; better after nine.
Versatile Plum Wine Recipe
Makes one gallon.
You can use these recipes for any plum-type fruit -- home grown or store bought; Italian, Damson, Yellow, Greenage, or any sweet plum. With wild plums, which are generally high in acid, use acid tester or cut down to 3 pounds per gallon.
4 pounds plums, pitted
6 pints water
2 pounds sugar
1/2 teaspoon acid blend
1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
1 teaspoon nutrient
1 Campden tablet, crushed
1 package wine yeast
- Wash, drain and remove stones. Chop into smaller pieces.
- Put in nylon straining bag, crush and squeeze juice into primary fermentor. Keeping pulp in bag, tie top and place in primary.
- Stir in all other ingredients EXCEPT yeast. Cover primary.
- After 24 hours, add yeast and cover primary.
- Stir daily, check specific gravity (SG), and press pulp lightly to aid extraction.
- When ferment reaches a SG of 1.040 (3-5 days) squeeze juice lightly from bag. Siphon wine off sediment into glass secondary and attach air lock.
- When fermenting is complete (SG has dropped to 1.000 - about 3 weeks), siphon off sediment into clean secondary and reattach air lock.
- To aid clearing, siphon again in 2 months and again if necessary before bottling.
- To sweeten wine, at bottling add 2 teaspoons stabilizer, then stir in 1/4 to 1/2 pound of dissolved sugar per gallon.
Notes on the chemicals used in some of these recipes:
Ammonium sulfate or "yeast nutrient" is necessary with most fruit wines.
Tartaric acid adjusts the acidity to a pleasant level for reasons of taste, much as you use salt to bring out flavor in foods (not exactly the same, but the analogy will do.)
Pectic enzyme is needed to break down something in the fruit that is good for jams and jellies, but you don't want that consistency in wines. You often add more pectin when making jelly. You don't want any when making wine.
The Campden tablet (1/16 teaspoon sodium bisulfite) is "sulfite", added at the beginning to kill off weak wild yeasts and prevent bacterial growth. You add this at the beginning, wait 24 hours, and then it is safe to add your winemaker's yeast, as the sulfite should have dissipated into the air as sulfur dioxide, which prevents anything from spoiling your wine. Some people add more at each racking and again at bottling time.
Good luck and enjoy!