Saturday, May 01, 2010

Home Brewing - Plum wine is ready to drink

Rather than provide links to posts about the plum wine I'll just copy and paste from here and self sufficientish. This will keep it all in one place and be easier to follow, I hope!

Seasoned wine makers will tell you "Oh it's so easy to make wine" Is it heck as like! What I've found so confusing about it all is the differing opinions and techniques that people use. So I asked for help on Self Sufficientish and I started a thread here. I expect by the time I've finished asking all my questions I will have driven them all to drink, homebrew of course!
First you need something to make it in, we bought this fermenting barrel at the brewing shop, it was $45, it has a tap, and airlock, has both metric and imperial measurements and a thermometer, all pretty flash.

So to the winemaking, I filled the barrel to the one gallon mark with plums
I decided to cut them in half
Then sprinkled on some pectin enzyme, this apparently helps the flavour to come out of the fruit. However I have since found out that I did this wrong, I poured two kettles of boiling water over the fruit which would have killed the enzyme! See what I mean about instructions haha they don't tell ya that bit and it wasn't on the back of the packet either. Oh well it's a learning process I'm sharing with you.
Two kettles of boiling water poured over the fruit to kill off any natural yeasts. Approximately 3 litres.
I left it for about 2 hours because I thought that what I was meant to do, according to the back of the pectin pack! Sigh, I've only just started and I'm confused already! Then I added 5kg(11lb) of sugar and stirred adding another kettle of hot water to help it dissolve.
Then I topped up with cold water to the 5 gallon mark. I shouild have just stuck to the simple instructions on SSish!
Looking good as they are...long way to go yet though........
Once the water had cooled I added a packet of wine yeast

and gave it a stir
I covered it with a teatowel and the barrel was moved to the back utility room. A few hours later it had a nice froth forming on the top, the yeast was working at least. It was at this point I added another heaped teaspoon of pectin enzyme and stirred.
Apparently according to MKG on SSish that at this stage I can't got wrong! You wanna bet! ;-D

Ooh update on the pectic enzyme... frozenthunderbolt on SSish has just told me this in reply to my question ('At what stage do I add the Pectic enzyme?) : "At the same time you add your yeast - once the hot water has gone in with the sugar then cooled to a blood heat"

That's that little mystery cleared up, thanks FT!

26th January
I put the lid on the bucket, the contents looked like this:
5th February
I took out the plums
Which brought the level down to this
Topped the level up to this
Put the lid back on and checked the airlock
And then I just left it, checking to make sure there was water to the fill line every so often.

23rd March
I put the wine into demijohns, I probably could have done this earlier, but I only bought these that day
20 litres of homebrewed plum wine. I put airlocks on here, purely because I wasn't overly certain that fermentation has stopped, I'd heard a few horror stories of bottles exploding, so I didn't want that to happen. The demijohns were then put away in the wardrobe in the spare room and checked once every so often. But basically I just forgot about it again.

Saturday 1st May, today
How it looked today

I went and bought another fermenting bin to make feijoa wine and whilst I was there I bought some clip on lids. And here it is ready to drink I reckon. I shall decant some off and enjoy a glass or two in the spa later.


A BIG THANK YOU to MKG and the forum members at Self Sufficientish for talking me through this.
If you want to read the thread, Click here


  1. This looks beautiful! We always have an over abundance of plums..hmmm, you make me feel brave! I just might have to try this!(especially since you've worked out the bugs) :)

  2. The secret, keep it simple! We tried a grape wine and messed about with it so much it's no good at all! This is really quite nice wine, I've tasted worse bought wines! Good luck.

  3. Yum!! Looks lovely.

  4. You have plenty of wine to last a little while and then won't be long and you will have cider :0)
    We have made homebrew beer but I would love to have a go at wine

  5. Just keep it simple Debbie! I just stopped looking at all the info to be honest, all that did was confuse me! I'v just started a Feijoa wine today. So that will be a white wine. I'm still debating whether to do an apple wine too. Got loads of apples still. Mind you I could just freeze them for another time.

  6. Anonymous12:48 pm

    The color is gorgeous. Enjoy!!


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