It’s loquat season! I tried four different recipes last year and this is the one turned out the best! The process is very similar to making wine from red grapes. Break out your food grade bucket and get picking!
- Pick fruit that is past the light orange stage, the fruit will be slightly squishy firm and a darker orange and may contain some sunburn. Discard smaller, bruised fruit.
- Wash all fruit in a bucket of water.
- Cut fruit in half on the bias and squeeze out the seeds. Remove stems.
- Put fruit in sterilized blender.
- As fruit fills the blender, blend it coarsely and put in a big freezer ziplock bag. Do 6pounds per bag.
- Add crushed campden tablet to each bag and squeeze it around.
- Bags of fruit will look brownish real quick like avocados, no worries.
- (optional) Put bags in freezer until you are 100% ready to make wine…if you’re waiting for enough fruit, supplies, etc.
Wine making day prep. 6 Gallon Food safe bucket with spigot. Original recipe inspiration: http://winemaking.jackkeller.
- 18Lbs Thawed Fruit (three 6 pound bags of fruit). Use at least 6lbs of fruit per gallon of water if you want to scale back.
- 16 lbs sugar on hand (don’t dump it all in until you check hydrometer brix. You want to get to 23-25 brix)
- 4.5 tsp acid blend (do Ph test and get to 3.4)
- 3 gal spring (unchlorinated) water, if boiled, let cool before adding loquats… you don’t want to cook them.
- 3 crushed campden tabs (if not already added to fruit bags) Add one more to the six gallon bucket.
- 2.5 tsp pectic enzyme
- yeast and nutrient. Make a yeast starter as explained on package. I used a dry white wine yeast packet.
- 2 tsp grape tannin (optional)
- Add fruit bags to the water and stir until mixed and completely thawed.
- Take a hydrometer reading and note the brix.
- Add sugar until your brix is 23-25. If over, add non-chlorinated cool water. Stir sugar until dissolved.
- Add 1 crushed campen tab (4 if you didn’t put it with the fruit with step six above in the fruit picking stage)
- Cover with cloth and a big heavy book to prevent cats from jumping in. Must be able to breath.If you brew beer with airlocks, don’t bother. The fermentation is going to go nuts…a cloth is perfect.
- After 12 hours, add pectic enzyme and recover. Make your yeast starter now.
- After another 12 hours, add wine yeast starter and re-cover.
- Stir twice a day, making sure fruit on top gets recycled with juice. If it dries out that’s bad.This is called “punching down the cap”.
- Add yeast nutrient once a day (gram/gallon)
- Continue stirring daily until the bubbling sound slows, take a hydrometer reading of your brix every few days.
- This part is up to you where to finish fermentation. If you like sweeter wine, go for 1-3 brix. If you want dry, go past zero. Google to learn how to crash fermentation on fruit wine. I preferred it dry and let it go.The fridge is a great way to crash fermentation.
- Strain through nylon jelly bag and squeeze well to extract as much juice as possible into another bucket or sterilized pot. I used a mesh bag and strainer into a sterilized stock pot. If you homebrew beer and have a mash-tun with a false bottom, use it.
- Put wine into sterilized secondary with minimal airspace.
- Fit sterilized airlock. Fill airlock with cheap vodka. Check airlocks weekly to ensure enough fluid is in them.
- Set a reminder on your phone/calendar to rack. Rack wine monthly until clear. Top off with boiled/cooled spring water. Minimal airspace!
- Be sure and taste a bit at each racking and take notes. It will get very smooth as it ages.
- If satisfied with sweetness, bottle the wine. If too dry, add stabilizer (sorpistatK) and sweeten to taste, adding up to 1/4 cup sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup water.
- This wine can be drank young. Mine won bronze in the 2012 OC Fair after sitting a year. After 6 months it was great.