It’s the first of May and with a few weeks left before our last frost date here in Ohio, I’ve been busy trying to remedy my dangerously low stock of homemade wine. Once summer is in full swing I daresay there will be little time to spend making wine. I am working hard to fill my secondary’s so they can be busy working for me while I am busy working in the garden.
Today’s recipe is a peach and white grape wine that is adapted from Jack Keller’s Peach and Grape Wine recipe. During my last trip to the local brew shop I picked up a couple of cans of Vinter’s Harvest peach puree. I’ve never made a wine from the canned juice sold by the brew shop, though the variety of flavors always has me drooling at the thought of the fabulous wine I could make. I decided it was time to give it a whirl!
Planning for a 3-gallon batch, I needed 3 cans of the puree. However, only two cans of peach were in stock. I did a quick Internet search and found Jack’s 1-gallon peach and white grape recipe using fresh peaches versus the canned puree. Perfect! I could use grape concentrate to make up for the peach shortfall. It took a little noodling to come up with a plan to convert this recipe, which made me a little nervous. In my short wine making “career” I’ve never made anything other than kits or recipes I’ve followed almost to the letter. You see, there’s actual chemistry involved in making wine so one misstep can ruin an entire batch! Yikes! If you don’t believe me have a gander at this. Just seeing all those little hexagons, letters and numbers strung up together are enough to make my palms start sweating. I’ve never taken chemistry and science in general gives me the heebie jeebies.
So once I drafted my recipe, I ran it by some wine gurus on a wine making forum. I am really glad I didn’t skip this step because I discovered the Campden tablets were completely unnecessary. Campden tablets are used to kill off any wild yeast present when using fresh fruit. Since I was using canned fruit they were not needed. Other than that, they said my adapted recipe should produce a fabulous wine! Yay!
With the ingredients gathered and utensils sanitized, it was time to get to work.
I dissolved the 4 pound bag of sugar in some boiling water. I wasn’t sure how much sugar it was going to take to reach my goal of 1.080-1.085 beginning specific gravity. I figured I would need between 4-5 pounds to reach my target. The plan was to start with 4 pounds and adjust from there.
Once the sugar was dissolved, I dumped it into the primary fermenter along with the 2 cans of peach puree and four cans of Welch’s white grape concentrate. I then added water to equal 3 Imperial gallons. Imperial gallons are a bit more than a US gallon and I wanted to have enough extra juice to top up after racking into the secondary. It was time to take the gravity reading. The mix was still pretty warm (100 degrees) and the gravity reading was 1.080, so after adjusting for the temperature of the must, it was darn close to where I wanted it to be, 1.086. No need for number crunching to figure out how to make the adjustment (math also gives me the heebie jeebies).
I allowed the must to cool down to room temperature and mixed in the tannin, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, and acid blend. I then removed enough of the juice to leave just 3 US gallons in the primary. I’ll save the rest in the refrigerator until the first racking.
The next step was to activate the yeast. I had 3/4 package of Cote des Blanc leftover from my vanilla wine so I added this to a little lukewarm water, let it sit for about 15 minutes and then added a few tablespoons of the juice to feed the yeast.
Once it was really foaming I added it to the must.
With that done there was nothing left to do but put the jug of juice in the fridge and the must into the closet to ferment!
I did fit an airlock on the bucket prior to storing it away.
Here’s my adapted recipe:
Peach and Grape Wine
- 2, 3 lbs cans of peach puree
- 4, 12 oz can frozen white grape concentrate
- 4 lbs granulated sugar (or to SG of 1.080-1..085)
- 3 tsp acid blend
- 1 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3/4 tsp tannin1/4 tsp tannin (received feedback on the wine forum that 3/4 tsp is too much. Oh well, too late now.)
- enough water to raise must level to 3 Imperial gallons
- 3 tsp yeast nutrient
- Cote des Blanc wine yeast
Dissolve sugar in 10 quarts of boiling water. Add to primary along with peach puree and grape juice concentrate and pectic enzyme.
When must cools, add acid blend, yeast nutrient, and tannin. Wait 12 hours and add the acid blend, yeast nutrient, and tannin. Activate yeast and add to the must. Stir daily for 7 days, then rack into secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days until fermentation completely ends and wine clears. Set aside two months and rack again into bottles. Taste any time after three months.
I can’t wait to try this wine! Hopefully it will be mellow enough to enjoy by summer’s end. I welcome all comments and especially suggestions by more experienced brewers. Thanks for stopping by!
Update: One of the winemaking forum members suggested that 3/4 tsp of tannin was too much and that the pectic enzyme and yeast should not be added at the same time. I revised the recipe to reflect these changes.
Batch Update May 7: Today I racked this out of the primary fermenter and into my new 3-gallon Better Bottle carboy. The gravity reading was 1.002. Here it is on the far left.
May 17 Batch Update: I racked the wine into a new carboy to get them off the lees and took a gravity reading. It’s looking good! I’ll let it sit for a while to clear some more and rack again in a few weeks or so.