For centuries wine has been made from just about every fruit known to man. Of course the most popular is grapes. If you are like me you have not stopped with just grape wine you have tried apple, black berry, rice and plum. I have tried just about every wine you can think of and I am glad I did. I hope that you do not limit yourself to one fruit when you are trying wine. The complexities of wine of all fruit types will always give you a new experience.
That said making fruit wine is about the same for all fruit types. Fruit wine depends on the fermentation process to produce an acceptable tasty wine. The key to having a good wine at the finish is the balance of the Must. Must of course is the mashed up fruit that you add your yeast to.
Your acid level, PH, and sugar levels must be balanced to produce the end result that you desire. One of the most important keys to a great wine is to pick your fruit at the height of its perfection. This is measured in Brix the sugars of your fruit should be at about 23 to 25 degrees Brix. If you ask the grower they normally will know. You can measure this yourself by using a refactometer or a standard hydrometer.
You will want to clean your fruit and remove as many stems and seeds as possible. The stems and seeds possess tannin that can cause your fruit wine to have a bitter taste.
Once you have crushed your fruit you will want to and SO2 Potassium Metabisulfate. By adding SO2 you will neutralize the native yeasts that can affect your fermentation. Most wild yeast will cause your wine to be bitter.
You now need to test the Must. It is rare to find any fruit that has the required PH, acids or sugar levels that it needs for a good fermentation. You will want to start with the sugar levels of the Must. You should let the Must set for twenty minutes or so before testing so you get the most accurate reading.
Test the Must with a hydrometer you will want a level of around 22 Brix. If your Fruit wine is low on sugar you will need to add some. One and a half ounces of sugar brings the Brix up 1 degree. Just add the sugar to warm water to dissolve and add to the Must. Make sure to stir in the sugar before taking another reading it is best to allow to set for twenty minutes or so before testing.
Once the sugar levels are good you will need to test the PH and TA or acid levels. This is done by using an acid test kit. You are going to want a TA of.60 to.90 TA. Acid and PH are relative to each other if one is high the other will be low. To adjust the levels you will add tartaric acid to raise the TA Levels. One level teaspoon of acid raises the level by.12%. If you need to raise the PH level you will need to use cold stabilization or MLF to raise these levels in making fruit wine.
Now that your levels are good you will add your yeast to your primary fermentation container. The Yeast eats the sugars from the fruit and produces alcohol. Continuing to check and adjust your PH and TA levels will help you have a great finished product when making fruit wine.
There is much more to making fruit wine. I have tried to give you the most important keys to having a successful batch of fruit wine no matter what fruit you have chosen. The rest of the wine making steps are the same as making grape wine. If you have made grape wine all other fruits are basically the same. You may choose additives that accent the fruit such as cinnamon and Thyme. The recipes may vary, if you stick to balancing the Must then you will in most cases end up with a very nice end product.
Making Fruit Wine will improve your palette and expand your imagination when it comes to wine.