Hope’s quick Plum Wine
Using cider yeast will really sped things up, and although not such a refined or strong wine, it’s delicious, And we will be drinking it before summers end.
What You’ll Need:
- 5lbs (2.25 kilos) of plums– I used little red wild plums, but any kind will work
- 3lbs (1.35 kilos) of sugar (I like to use raw sugar/ sucanat)
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1 packet cider yeast (ask at a local brew shop, or this one should work well)
What to Do:
Give your plums a good wash in water, discarding any that are overly bruised or moldy. Add them to a sterilized fermentation bucket, and mash them up quite a bit with a potato masher or a (clean) wine bottle. I kept the pits in because my plums a super tiny. Just make sure not to break any pits open.
Bring your gallon of water to the boil, and pour over your crushed plums. Put the lid on your bucket, and leave it for a few days (3-4) and stir it every day.
Add the lemon juice and sugar to your fermenting plums, and stir to mix. Then sprinkle the yeast on top. After an hour or so, give it a good stir. Cover and leave someplace warm for four days, stirring once or twice a day. (Sometimes I just grab the bucket and firmly swish it around.)
It’s time to move it to some demijohns (Carboy). I like to do this by just using a siphon hose in the bucket, with a funnel topped with a small sieve in the mouth of the demijohn. Keep the hose a good inch away from the bottom of the bucket, so you don’t suck up all of the yeasty sediment. Once you have the wine in the demijohn(s) top with an airlock.
After two weeks, rack the wine by siphoning into newly sterilized demijohns, being careful to leave the sediment in the bottom of the old ones.
Taste it after three weeks, and see how you like it. We basically started bottling some of it at this stage, leaving the rest to age and racking again over the next couple of months. It is ALL good! The longer you wait to drink it, the drier and more clear it becomes, so it’s really up to you. I just finished bottling the last of it, about six months after starting it.
If you are not planning on drinking it quickly, then leave it in the demijohn longer. What you don’t want is a lot of young, active wine in bottles for a long period of time. They could keep fermenting and build up too much carbonation. So, if you’re in it for the long haul, just keep it in the demijohns for a few months, racking every month or two, before bottling. But you can definitely drink this wine young, as we did, about a third of it, The rest we aged and it was really worth the wait. If my tree produces enough fruit again this coming summer I will be making more for sure!