There are many ways to make wine with the purees. It comes down to personal preference. Vintner's Harvest Fruit Purees one gallon recipe (see chart) calls for one can of puree with enough sugar to bring the original gravity to 1.090 or higher. This produces a wine with an alcohol level of 12% by volume and will remain stable for a long time.
To make a fruit wine comparable to using a 96 oz. can of fruit base, use two cans of Vintner's Harvest Fruit Puree per five gallons and enough sugar to bring the gravity to 1.090 or higher. Add natural fruit flavoring enhancers to bring out flavor and give more aroma.
Add sugar gradually both initially and for sweetening. Add 1/2 the initial sugar and take a gravity reading or taste if you are sweetening a finished wine before adding the rest. This will ensure that your wine doesn’t come out too strong. Fermentation will stop automatically, but wine must be stabilized with potassium sorbate if sugar is added after fermentation for sweetening. This will prevent renewed fermentation. The amounts of acid blend, yeast nutrient, white (table) sugar, and grape tannin vary depending on the fruit.
Here are some guidelines:
- Apricot: 1-1/2 tsp. acid blend, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 1-1/2 lbs. sugar, 1 tsp. pectic enzyme, 1/4 tsp. grape tannin.
- Blackberry: 1/2 tsp. acid blend, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 3/4 lbs. sugar, 1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme, no grape tannin.
- Blueberry: 2-1/2 tsp. acid blend, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 2 lbs. sugar, 1 tsp. pectic enzyme, no grape tannin.
- Cherry: 1-1/2 tsp. acid blend, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 1-1/2 lbs. sugar, 1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme, 1/4 tsp. grape tannin.
- Peach: 1-1/2 tsp. acid blend, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 1-1/2 lbs. sugar, 1 tsp. pectic enzyme, 1/4 tsp. grape tannin.
- Raspberry: 1/2 tsp. acid blend, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 1-1/2 lbs. sugar, 1 /2 tsp. pectic enzyme, 1/4 tsp. grape tannin.
- Use an open plastic bucket for a fermenter. For one gallon batches it is best to use a two gallon bucket and for five gallon batches, use a seven gallon bucket. Sterilize your fermenter and any equipment that will come into contact with the must.
- Dissolve the sugar and additives in a quart of warm water.
- Add the fruit puree and enough water to equal one gallon total volume.
- Take a gravity reading. The must should be between 1.090 and 1.100. If it is lower, add enough sugar to bring the gravity up. Approximately 4 oz. of sugar will raise the gravity 10 points in one gallon of water.
- Make up a yeast starter using Red Star Cote Des Blancs or Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast and add to the must. If your bucket does not include a lid, cover the fermenter with cheese cloth or a fine nylon mesh straining bag. This allows the must to breathe.
- Stir must every day for 5 to 7 days (until the gravity is about 1.030).
- Rack into a sterilized one gallon jug or three gallon glass carboy (depending on volume made).
- Attach an airlock and ferment for 2 to 4 weeks or until fermentation is complete. The gravity reading should be 1.000 or lower.
- Rack wine off the sediment into another sterilized gallon jug or glass carboy.
- Add a fining agent according to directions and let set for 4 weeks.
- For a sweeter wine, dissolve 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar in 1/4 cup warm water.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate to the wine and then add the sugar mixture to wine.
- The wine can be bottled when it is clear and stable.