Good natural home-made fruit and berry wines can be prepared from juices of various cultivated and wild fruits and berries, and they can be used in any combination. The basis of most fruit wines is apple juice, since apples are the most common fruits and make up a significant share in the total fruit harvest.
Homemade apple wines, suitable varieties of apples, especially the collection and storage of apples.
Apples are used to make wine of two types: strong wine from apple juice mixed with other juices, most often pear and mountain ash, in an amount not exceeding 20%, and cider, which is a fermented apple juice with or without sugar, artificially saturated with carbon dioxide.
, and at the same time, despite the fact that there are a lot of varieties of apples bred by gardeners, not a single variety, no matter how good it may be, individually satisfies the necessary conditions. Only a successfully and skillfully selected mixture of apples of various varieties can give a harmonious, strong, aromatic and tasty wine.
In addition, apple juices and wines are used as a blending material in the preparation of wine from plums, cornel, sea buckthorn, apricots, cherry plum, barberry, adding up to 20% of apple juice to these juices, as well as for making blend wines – dry, strong and dessert.
Varieties of apples for making homemade fruit and berry wine.
Cultivated varieties of apples used to make apple wines should be high in sugar, fragrant, have some astringency and contain enough organic acids. Forest apples contain significantly less sugar than cultivated varieties. However, they have a good aroma and contain a significant amount of organic acids and tannins. Good wines can be made from them, and they can also be used in the manufacture of cider..
Apples used to make the wine must fully ripen on the tree. Or reach maturity in a bed and have a characteristic color and aroma. With regard to the suitability of various apples for making wine, they can be divided into groups according to the degree of maturity, ripening time, taste and cultivar of the variety. By the degree of maturity, apples can be unripe, quite ripe and overripe.
Unripe apples (carrion) contain up to 1.5% organic acids, only 5-6% sugar, do not have aroma and are suitable for making table and strong wines. Sweet wines from such apples are tasteless and non-aromatic. In overripe apples, part of the sugar, tannins and organic acids contained in them is lost. And without the addition of these substances, the wine is not strong, but thanks to the aroma, such apples are suitable for making strong and sweet wines..
Fully ripe apples, ripened (summer varieties) or ripened (autumn and winter varieties), are suitable with the appropriate addition of sugar and acid (or other varieties of apples or other fruits) for making any wine.
Varieties of apples by ripening time, suitable for making homemade fruit and berry wine.
By the time of ripening, apple varieties are summer, autumn and winter. Of the cultivated varieties of apples in winemaking, autumn and winter varieties are mainly used. Summer varieties for cooking wine are of little use, as they contain little sugar, organic acids, tannins and aromatic substances. Therefore, the wine prepared from them is not strong, muddy, tasteless and must be consumed quickly..
Autumn varieties, when they have time to ripen on a tree, are subject to immediate processing after harvest. To accelerate the harvest, ripe apples that are processed immediately can be shaken off the tree. However, quite often autumn apples (and winter ones) are not fully ripe. In such cases, they are prone. To avoid damage to the skin and pulp when falling to the ground, the collection is done by hand. After that, apples should be aged in frost-protected rooms in pyramidal heaps 1 meter high, which are covered with canvas or straw.
While lying, the fruit ripens. Starch passes sugary, water and gases are released from apples, including ethylene, the role of which is that it directs the work of enzymes to accelerate the maturation process. In this case, a loss of 10% of the crop mass may occur..
Storage time for harvested apples.
The storage time of apples in piles is different and depends on the amount of ethylene emitted by apples. This process is faster in warm weather than in cold weather. A sign of the end of aging in heaps is the characteristic strong aroma emitted by apples.
It is very important not to overexpose the apples in heaps in order to avoid loss of juice and an excessive decrease in the acid content spent on the respiration of fruits. Prolonged storage in the cellars promotes a change in the pectin substances contained in the cell membranes: they turn into soluble compounds. As a result of this process, the cells of the fetuses separate from each other, the fetus becomes loose (softens). Juice is poorly extracted from such fruits, since the pulp from them is mucous, it is slowly pressed and gives a small yield of juice.
Wine made from ripe apples that have not been ripened for a long time after being picked from a tree has a more neutral, fresh taste and aroma reminiscent of grape wine. Too significant delay in extracting the juice often leads to the appearance in the wine of an undesirable strong specific aroma. Passing into a special flavor, reminiscent of the taste of apple seeds. Since aromatic substances are concentrated in the skin, apples do not peel before processing.
Preparing wine exclusively from varieties of apples with green peels is not recommended. They produce an almost colorless wine, while light green color is appreciated in apple wine..
The separation of apple varieties by their culture also matters:
Wild (forest or unvaccinated) have significant acidity, astringent, bitter and rough taste, low sugar content. Due to the fact that the wine from them is rough and non-aromatic, such apples are used only for the manufacture of table and strong wines..
Simple housekeeping and table apple varieties are used to make strong wines. Unsuitable for sweet wines, since they are slightly aromatic and rude in taste.
Good and top grades (Renet, Calville snow, etc.) in terms of aroma give high-quality wines with the addition of missing acid and sugar.
Apples are used to make all types of wine. So, for cider and light table wines, sweet and sour apples of autumn house varieties are suitable. Or a mixture of sweets with tart or sour. Table and strong wines are made from sour and sweet and sour autumn and good winter household varieties (for example, from Antonovka), and wild apples and litter are used to make stronger wines.
For sweet dessert and liquor wines, aromatic autumn and winter varieties of sweet and sour taste are most suitable. Paradise and Chinese apples are used to make all types of wine with the appropriate addition of sugar, water, etc..
To get good wine, you need to mix varieties of apples that give cloudy wine, with varieties of apples that give transparent wine. Sweet and tasteless (early summer) – with tartaric and tart. In cases where you have to make apple wine from sweet, slightly acidic apples, other fruits and berries are added to the apples, which are rich in tannins and organic acids to give the wine a flavor, refreshing taste, transparency and strength. For this purpose, most often use the juice of mountain ash, thorns, cranberries, black or red currants.
Based on materials from the book Making wine, moonshine, liquors and tinctures. Preparation technology, equipment, formulation, storage and use.
Team of Authors.