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Making Fruit & Country Wines

Introductions

Instructions to make 4.5 litre (one gallon or 6 bottles) or 22.5 litres (five gallons or 30 bottles) of the following Fruit Wines:

  • Apple Wine
  • Blackcurrant
  • Blackberry
  • Cherry (Black or Red)
  • Crab Apple
  • Damson
  • Elderberry
  • Gooseberry
  • Greengage
  • Loganberry
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Raisin
  • Raspberry
  • Redcurrant
  • Rosehip
  • Rowanberry
  • Strawberry

See the quantities table below for the amount of fruit needed. If you are producing Wine from Grapes please see our Beer Making Kits, Equipment & Supplies .

Equipment needed to make 4.5 Litres (6 Bottles)

Equipment Needed to make 23 litres (30 Bottles)

You will also need

  • Scales (for weighing the fruit and sugar)
  • Sugar (depending on the amount of fruit, see quantities table)
  • Raisins (depending on the amount of fruit, see quantities table)

Extra ingredients

The Hedgerow Wine Kit contains all Ingredients you will need and full instructions for their usage. The kit comes in two sizes, depending on the volume of wine you are making.

Alternatively you can buy the ingredients separately. This is generally useful when doing large quantities or if you make wine regularly. You will need the following:

Temperature Control

For temperature control you may want to look at using a heat tray, brew belt or similar. We sell a number of products to help control temperature:

Bottling Equipment

We offer a that includes everything you need to bottle your wines as listed below. You can or course also buy the items individually on our store.

Preparing the fruit (see quantities you will need after the instructions)

For Hard Fruits
Remove stems, wash with warm water and slice into the bucket leaving the core and any rotten fruit behind. The skin is important for flavour so don't peel the fruit.
For small currents and berries
Remove the stems and wash the fruit in warm water. Add to the clean bucket and mash with an implement like a potato masher or use the Pulpmaster. There is no need to remove the stones or the pips.
For soft fruit
Remove the stems and wash in warm water. Remove the stones if possible. Add to the bucket and mash as above.

Other fruits

Greengages and gooseberries
Remove the stems, wash in warm water and slice into the bucket.
Raisins
These should be soak in warm water for approx. 2 hours. Large pieces should be chopped first.
Rosehips
Wash in warm water and add to the bucket.

Campden tablets (or powder) should not be added if you follow instructions within the time period. If there are any delays to making once the fruit has been processed add one to two Campden tablets per 4.5 litres (per gallon).

Instructions

  1. Clean and sterilise the bucket (30 litre for the 22.5 litre kit and 10 litre for the 4.5 litre kit) and lid with hot water.
  2. Add the prepared fruit in the quantities as per table below. Add 5 litres (one litre for the 4.5 litre kit) of boiling water and stir well. Now add 2 kilos (400g for the 4.5 litre kit) of white sugar and stir really well. Now add just enough cold water to cover the fruit. You don’t want to overdo this, and allow the temperature to cool to 50°C. Add the Sachet of enzyme. Leave for one hour stirring occasionally.
  3. After the hour top up the bucket to 18 litres (3.5 litres for the 4.5 litre kit) with cold water. You might already be here after you covered the fruit. Allow the liquid temperature to fall below 30°C and then add the Sachet of Wine Yeast/ Nutrient and stir. Now add the bentonite (sprinkled over the surface) and stir in.
  4. Leave at a temperature between 20-27°C to ferment for 3 days with the lid loosely fitted and if you have one the airlock in place. This should be half filled with clean water.
  5. After 3 days strain the fruit through a straining bag and gently squeeze the liquid out from the bag back into the bucket. Don’t overdo it, you will introduce a bitter taste into the wine which comes from the seeds and other fruit compounds.
  6. If you don’t have straining bags use a sieve to remove the fruit gently pressing and squeezing it to remove the juices. Alternatively pour off the entire bucket contents through a sieve into the spare container ensuring the fruit is gently squeezed to retain the precious juices. If making the 4.5 litre kit transfer to the plastic 5 litre fermenting demijohn.
  7. Dissolve the rest of the sugar in a separate container (see table) in 4 litres (800ml for the 4.5 litre kit) hot water. Allow the temperature to drop below 40°C and then add to the container. If necessary top up to the 22.5 litre mark (4.5 litre on the small kit). Don’t worry if you are slightly over this at this stage.
  8. Replace the bucket lid (and airlock half filled with water) loosely and leave to ferment at an air temperature of between 20-27°C for 3 weeks. It will help if you place the bucket on a surface that will allow you to siphon into another container and don’t keep looking at it during the fermentation as you can introduce infections. The temperature is important and should be maintained as accurately as possible. It’s better to be too cold rather than too warm and airing cupboards are a definite no no. If the temperature drops below 20°C (15-20°C) is still okay but the fermentation will take longer. We would also recommend that heat trays or brew belts are not used as additional heating aids. If you are struggling to maintain this temperature use a thermostatically controlled immersion heater. Alternatively use a timer on a heat tray or brew belt so that they only come on during the hours of the day when the temperature drops (i.e. overnight).
  9. When fermentation is complete (if using a hydrometer this will show the same gravity reading for 3 days) add the contents of the Sachet of Stabiliser.  Give the wine a good stir this will remove the carbon dioxide gases which build up during fermentation. Keep stirring occasionally for the next 48 hours.
  10. When the gas has been removed add finings to clear the wine. Sachet of Finings A should be added first to the container and stirred for 30 seconds. After 2 hours add the Sachet of Finings B and stir for 10 seconds. It is really important to add the finings as we have suggested. Delicate bonds are formed between the various fining agents and will be destroyed if these are not done in accordance with the instructions. Each fining agent only needs to be folded into the wine. It is important that you do not proceed to the next step until the wine is absolutely clear. Using the kit finings the wine should be clear in 48 hours but can take up to 3-5 days.
  11. Once you are sure the wine is clear you should siphon the clear wine into a separate container. If you have not got a siphon kit you will not find this easy. Start with the full container on a work surface and siphon down to the clean container on the floor being careful not to disturb or siphon the thick sediment which will have settled at the bottom of the container.
  12. You will probably need to make some adjustments to the acidity and sweetness levels. Do the sweetness levels first.
  13. Adjusting Sweetness - Taste the wine and decide if it needs sweetening. Ignore all other factors like sharpness and acidity and roundness. All these will change in time. Most wines will need some form of additional sweetness so don’t be afraid to do this. Add sugar or better still grape juice concentrate. Keep doing this until the wine is to your taste. What the wine will really taste like won’t be seen until the acidity has been adjusted, and the wine has had 3-4 weeks to mature.
  14. Adjusting Acidity - Taste the wine now you have finished sweetening it and decide if it is sharp enough for you. If it’s not add about one third of the Sachet of Citric Acid. Dissolve well and leave to stand for 10 minutes before re-tasting. Keep repeating until you are happy with the taste. If in doubt leave it 24 hours and then retest the wine when your taste buds have had a rest.
  15. The wine can now be bottled. Depending on how long you want to keep your wine depends on whether you use cork or plastic tops. If you are going to keep the wine for more than 3 months we recommend using corks you will need a 2 handled corking device to push these in. See bottling packs to buy.

Quantities

Suitable Fruit How Much Fruit (kg) How Much Sugar (kg) Extra Fruit
  22.5 Litres 4.5 Litres 22.5 Litres 4.5 Litres  
Apple (Sour) 10 2 6.5 1.3 100g per 4.5 Litres of Blueberries
Blackcurrant 4 0.8 6.5 1.3 400g per 4.5 Litres Redcurrants
Blackberry 6 1.2 6.5 1.3 100g per 4.5 Litres of Blueberries
Cherry (Black or Red) 10 2 6.5 1.3 100g per 4.5 Litres of Blueberries
Crab Apple 10 2 6.5 1.3 200g per 4.5 Litres of Raisins
Damson 10 2 6.5 1.3 Nothing Else
Elderberry 4 0.8 6.5 1.3 400g per 4.5 Litres of Raisins
Gooseberry 7 1.4 6.5 1.3 100g per 4.5 Litres of Blueberries
Greengage 10 2 6.5 1.3 150g per 4.5 Litres of Raisins
Loganberry 4 0.8 6.5 1.3 200g per 4.5 Litres of Blueberries
Pear 8 1.6 6.5 1.3 Nothing Else
Plum 8 1.6 6.5 1.3 150g per 4.5 Litres of Raisins
Raisin 4 0.8 6.5 1.3 Nothing Else
Raspberry 4 0.8 6.5 1.3 150g per 4.5 Litres of Raisins
Redcurrant 4 0.8 7.5 1.5 400g per 4.5 litres of Blackcurrant
Rosehip 0.5 0.1 6.5 1.3 150g per 4.5 Litres of Raisins
Rowanberry 5 1 6.5 1.3 300g per 4.5 Litres of Raisin
Strawberry 5 1 6.5 1.3 120g per 4.5 litres of Raisin

All wines are designed to produce approx. 16-17% ABV wines. Should you wish to produce less than this simply reduce the sugar. For example if you wish to make a 12% ABV then reduce the sugar approx 25%.

All sugar shown is White Granulated Sugar available from any food shop.

For Rosehip you may prefer to use 5kg of white sugar and 2kg of brown sugar (1 kg and 400g for the 4.5 litre kit).

There is nothing to stop you experimenting with these recipes but do use the quantities as a base.

What to do if you have insufficient fruit

Work out how much you are short from the table above. Then add half this weight in White Grape Concentrate (for the red types like Elderberry you can use Red Grape Concentrate as this will help to increase the colour) or Raisins. You will get a better result using the Grape Concentrate. Alternatively you can mix different types of fruit together.

What do the ingredients do to the wine?

Pectolase 45g
This breaks down the fruit cell walls to release the juices. It also gives improved flavour, colour and helps with clearing the wine. This is a natural enzyme and is used in all commercial wines.
Wine Yeast 50g >
Converts all the sugars into alcohol. It's important to use a genuine wine yeast strain (as is contained in the kit) as this will help to improve the flavour and allow a sufficiently high alcohol level. Cheaper bread making yeast does not make good wine.
Wine Nutrient 35g (Best Value)
The nutrient in the kit is a special mix that contains all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the yeast to work at its best. Always buy a decent yeast nutrient if not using the one in our kit.
Citric Acid 100g
This is to balance your wine with the right amount of acidity. It gives the lemony zip you want.
Campden Tablets (Sodium Metabisulphate) Pack of 100
The sachet is a mix of Sodium and Potassium Metabisulphate. The Sodium helps to stop your wine going off and the Potassium helps to prevent a secondary fermentation but won't stop the fermentation so it's important to make sure the fermentation is complete before this is added.
Kwik Clear 2 Part Wine Finings (Treats 135L)
These will clear the wine and will also help to remove some off flavours smoothing and maturing the wine. The three part finings used in the Hedgerow Wine Kit are not available separately, so for bulk purchases we recommend Kwik Clear Two Part Wine Finings, which are just as effective.

Buy a complete Ingredients Pack now!

Equipment

Hydrometer with Case
This will be a must needed product for your winemaking. It will tell you when your wine has finished fermenting and will also help you work out your alcohol content. It measures the gravity in your liquid.
Thermometer
Temperature is one of the most important areas in successfully making wine. Don't rely on guess work.
Straining Bag (Large/Coarse)
This will make it so much easier to separate your fruit and obtain the maximum juice extraction. It will work much better if it large enough to fit around the rim of the bucket. We offer them in two sizes, with a fine and a coarse option for each size.
Immersion Heater
This fits through a bung or grommet and drops into your wine. On the top you have a control which allows you to preset the temperature to what you want. It will then switch off when it reaches this temperature and then switch on when it drops again. If you want to ferment in a cold area and can't keep a temperature between 20-27°C this is a must.
Pulpmaster Complete with Bucket (9 Litre)
This is like having a knife on the end of a metal rod that can fit into the end of an electric drill. This then chops up the fruit.
25 litre Extendable Siphon with Tap & Bucket Clip
This prevents you from drawing up the sediment after the wine has been cleared allowing you to bottle the clear wine. The U Tube fits onto the end of the siphon tubing and draws the liquid about 50ml from above its end.

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