We’re very proud and excited about some of our most recently bottled wines. We call these our experimental wines because that’s exactly what they were. An experiment!
Our international grocery store carries a line of juices from Bulgaria made by Philicon. They are completely without preservatives which made them possible candidates for wine making. At $1.99 per one liter carton, they were worth the gamble.
Philicon offers quite a variety of juices.
We selected the Plum, Peach, and Exotic because all three contained a minimum of 50% fruit.
Plum was first. We started with four liters for a gallon batch. We added a 3-1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme, a pinch of yeast energizer and pitched one gram of Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne yeast.
We let it ferment to dry which meant that later we would need to back sweeten.
Following fermentation, we discovered that there was quite a bit of solids that settled out. While not useful for the bottled wine, I did experiment and use some to make a really nice plum wine sauce. The rest I froze for future use.
To compensate for the settling and solid waste, we adjusted our starting volumes of juice to seven gallons for the Peach and six gallons for the Exotic. With the added volume, we also had to adjust our additives.
Peach: 2 teaspoons acid blend, 3-1/4 cup corn sugar, 1 teaspoon pectic enzyme, 1 teaspoon yeast energizer, 1/2 package of Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast (white wine yeast)
Exotic: 3 cups sugar, 1 cup corn sugar, 3/4 teaspoon pectic enzyme, 1 teaspoon yeast energizer, 1/2 package of Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast (white wine yeast)
There was really no reason for the corn sugar versus the regular sugar. It was just what we had on hand.
For both of these batches, we froze the must to arrest the fermentation in hopes of having a sweeter wine to start with and lesson the need for back sweetening. While this helped, we still found we needed to back sweeten to get the flavor just right.
Six to seven liters of juice turned out to be the perfect volume to yield one gallon of finished wine.
We were quite pleased with how our exeriments turned out. Bushmaster had been skeptical at first but now he’s sold. These juices are a great resource for when fresh fruit is out of season.
Of course I’m not done.
This is the one I want to try next when it is back in stock. Can you imagine a Rose Rosé?
I also want to experiment with one of the juices with a lesser amount of fruit.
Believe it or not, the Tomato Juice intrigues me. I love using it in cooking. So why not a wine?