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Home and Farm Food Preservation
Food Preservation Recipes
Chapter XXXI - Recipes for Fruit Wines


The following recipes for fruit wines are designed for the home or very small scale manufacture of these fermented fruit juices.

(96) Red Wine.

1. Use ripe red wine grapes of good color. Crush them thoroughly into a wooden tub or open barrel or open stoneware jars. Crushing maybe done with a fruit crusher or with the hands. Place in a warm place.

2. In a day or two fermentation will start. Stir the grapes thoroughly and vigorously three times daily for about one week. By this time the juice should be deep red in color; if not, leave a few days longer.

3. Press out the fermenting red juice from the skins and stems. Place it in a cask or barrel or demijohn and leave in a warm place till fermentation is over. Then fill the barrel or demijohn with wine and place a barrel bung or cork in loosely to close it. Do not drive it in. Leave thus for about 2 or 3 weeks. Then drive the bung or cork in tightly. Leave for three weeks longer. Then draw off the wine from the sediment and transfer to other barrels or bottles, filling them full and sealing tightly. If barrels are used they should be filled up occasionally, once a month, with wine to replace that lost by evaporation.

4. After 6 months draw off the wine again and fill into clean barrels or demijohns and seal. Repeat after 6 months.

5. Store till wine is aged sufficiently to be used. This will usually not be under 1 year. It may then be bottled, corked and stored till used. Bottling stops further aging and checks deterioration.

6. Suggestions. Better results will be obtained if a culture of wine yeast is used for fermentation. Such a culture can be obtained from the Division of Viticulture, University of California, Berkeley, for one dollar. Grapes must be sound and not moldy. Keep all utensils scrupulously clean.

(97) White Wine.

1. Crush ripe white grapes and press out the juice.

2. Allow to ferment in a barrel, cask, or demijohn in a warm place. When fermented completely, proceed as directed for red wine.

(98) Hard Cider from Apples, Oranges, and Other Fruits.

1. Yeast Starter. Crush and press out the juice from a small amount of sound fruit. Place this in a jar in a warm place. When this is fermenting rapidly (after about 4 or 5 days), it may be used to start a larger lot. Make enough for 1 gal. of yeast to each 10 gals. of juice.

2. Crush and press the main lot of fruit. Add 1 gal. of the yeast starter from (1) to each 10 gals. of juice and mix thoroughly.

3. Allow to ferment until fermentation ceases. Fill the containers with fermented or hard cider and close them with bungs or corks as the case requires.

4. Allow to settle several weeks. Draw off from the sediment and filter as clearly as possible. Store in well filled and closed containers. The cider will be ready for use in a few mouths. It should then be bottled to prevent deterioration.


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