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Easy Homemade Apple Wine Recipe – 2 Variations
It’s easy to make apple wine at home using either fresh-pressed cider or store-bought apple juice.
Although I prefer to make apple wine from fresh apples. While it is quite difficult to make high-quality hard cider, apple wine is very easy to make.
To make a well-balanced hard cider, you must choose the right apple varieties and blend them to create the perfect juice.
The difference between apple wine that apple wine is made by fermenting any apple, apple juice, or even store-bought pasteurized jugs of generic juice.
It is so easy to make apple wine because winemaking additives are used to balance the juice rather than careful blending.
Currently, it’s difficult to source high-tannin cider apples, or “spitters”, since they don’t taste good, but their natural astringency is actually needed for winemaking.
In wine, tannins provide a body and a pleasant mouthfeel but taste terrible in fresh fruit. Like acid apples, these aren’t your generic grocery store varieties.
Even the sweetest apples aren’t as sweet as grapes, which makes it difficult to make anything but very dry hard cider from tannin- and acid-rich apples.
in the best apple wine, apple juice provides the aromatic base and fragrant apple flavor, while natural additives provide the balance of acids, tannins, and sugars.
Apple juice with preservatives added, such as Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate, will not ferment into apple wine. Instead, use pasteurized juice and juice with added ascorbic acid.)
How To Make Apple Wine
Apple wine can be made the same way as any small-batch country wine.
Start with Using seasonal apples, add sugar, along with other winemaking additives, and then a yeast strain for fermentation.
Until most of the very active fermentation has been completed, allow the mixture to ferment for about seven to ten days.
Ferment the mixture in a cool, dark place for another six weeks to six months by siphoning it into a clean fermentation vessel (leaving the sediment behind).
Then simply bottle the wine and let it sit for a few weeks (preferably a few months) before drinking.
My first apple wine was made in 2k, i.e., the year 2000. I did not drink it up for a year. and after that, kept making batches every year. now in 2023, I have old matured wines of the years 2K, 2005 and onwards.
Apple Wine Additives
Hard cider and apple wine differ primarily in their additives, so what is added to apple wine?
To be honest, this is somewhat subjective based on both your tastes and the juice you’re starting with.
Your starting juice may contain tannin if you’ve pressed wild apples. In addition to being sweet/tart, some backyard apple varieties also contain a lot of acids.
So that you can adjust the recipe, I’ve provided a good range for each additive.
Yeast Nutrient ~ A yeast nutrient can be added to any type of country wine as it provides micronutrients not commonly found in wines not made from grapes.
Add a teaspoon per gallon of wine. In the absence of yeast nutrients, brown sugar can be substituted, along with a handful of raisins, as a good substitute.
Cane Sugar or Brown Sugar ~ In the finished apple wine, you can add either cane sugar or brown sugar. Cane sugar is clean and sweet, while brown sugar enhances the apple flavor with warm caramel notes.
Molasses also provides yeast nutrients, so if you’re not using yeast nutrients, you can use it instead. For a gallon of wine, add about 1lb of sugar, but you can add up to 1 1/2 pounds if the alcohol level and/or residual sweetness are high.
Acid Blend ~ In the winery, the yeast works properly in a slightly acidic environment and the flavors are balanced. An acid blend includes 50% malic acid, 40% citric acid, and 10% tartaric acid.
You can titrate your apple wine juice to determine how much acid blend you should add…or you can just choose a middle-of-the-road amount and call it good if you’re really nerdy. Recipes for apple wine range from 1/2 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp per gallon.
In lieu of an acid blend, lemon juice is a good substitute, even though it is citric acid instead of a blend. One tbsp of lemon juice will acidify as much as one teaspoon of acid blend powder.
Wine Tannin ~ Tannin powder replaces tannin-rich astringent apples in winemaking to improve flavor and balance mouthfeel. Without it, the finished wine would have a one-dimensional sweetness and thin body.
It is suggested that you use about 1/4 teaspoon of wine tannin powder per gallon in apple wine recipes.
If you don’t have tannin powder, use strongly brewed black tea, grape leaves, or currant leaves instead. This is less precise, but it will add tannins to balance the apple wine.
Pectic Enzyme ~ The natural pectin in apples sinks to the bottom of the fermentation vessel when pectic enzymes are used.
The pectic enzyme is optional, but it will make your apple wine much clearer. At the beginning of the fermentation, add 1/2 tsp of pectic enzyme per gallon of juice.
When a wine lacks pectic enzyme, it can be improved by racking it into a clean fermentation vessel every few weeks until it reaches good clarity.
The pectic enzyme, acid blend and wine tannin can be purchased in a kit for just a few dollars, and yeast nutrients are all you need.
Choosing Yeast For Apple Wine
The yeast strain contributes a great deal of flavor to the wine.
Depending on the strain, some strains add fruity flavors; others do not add any flavors at all. Champagne yeast, for example, can ferment very dry without much sugar, because it has a high alcohol tolerance.
Make sure you choose a wine yeast that ferments cleanly or adds light fruit flavors to apple wine.
Among the best yeast choices are:
Lavin D47 ~ Added complexity to apple wine with a strong fruity, floral character. Moderately vigorous fermenter. Alcohol tolerance of 15%.
Lalvin QA23 ~ It’s usually used for white wine because it adds a clean, fruity taste. Ferments quickly and settles out relatively quickly to help clarify the wine. Alcohol tolerance is 16%.
Red Star Premier Cuvee or Lavin EC-1118 ~ The Red Star Premier Cuvee or Lavin EC-1118 yeast is a strong fermenter with a neutral taste. This yeast has a high alcohol tolerance (18%), so it may result in dry apple wine.
You don’t need the whole packet of wine yeast since it is enough for 5 gallons. It doesn’t matter how much you add, since the yeast will multiply quickly anyway, but approximately 1/5 to 1/2 of the packet is enough for a gallon.
The yeast should be dissolved in water and allowed to rehydrate. If it is added directly to the apple wine, the sugar in the juice will shock the yeast before it is fully hydrated.
There are generally detailed instructions printed on yeast packets, and some work differently (such as liquid yeast). Just follow the instructions.
Using bread yeast is not recommended !If you use bread yeast, you’ll get a wine that tastes like bread.
Since it’s not designed for long fermentations or winemaking, it will also add off-flavors as the yeast struggles to adapt to the high sugar liquid wine environment.
Start the fermentation of homemade apple wine by adding dissolved wine yeast to apple juice.
This recipe for homemade apple wine starts the fermentation by adding dissolved wine yeast to apple juice.
Apple Wine-Making Equipment
All of this equipment is already in your possession if you are an experienced winemaker. In order to make homemade wine for the first time, you will need:
One Gallon Glass Carboy (x2) ~ it is a narrow neck fermentation vessel, also known as a carboy, will hold the apple wine as it ferments. (Click on the link TO BUY in amazon.com) for Indians, you can buy here.
After seven to ten days of primary fermentation, you need to transfer the wine to a clean container (leaving the sediment behind). They usually come in a kit that includes a rubber stopper and water lock.
Rubber Stopper and Water Lock ~ The Rubber Stopper and Water Lock allow CO2 to escape but prevent contaminants from entering the fermenter.
Without a water lock, the brew is at a high risk of becoming vinegar during secondary fermentation. There’s no need to panic since you’ll have apple cider vinegar but not apple wine.
Brewing Siphon ~ You can use a siphon to move apple wine from one container to another, as well as to bottle it. (Click on the link TO BUY)
You don’t disturb the sediment on the bottom by simply pouring the ferment from one container to another.
Although you can technically get by without one if you pour carefully, using a siphon is much easier and you’ll get a better-finished apple wine.
Wine bottles ~ The best option for bottling wine bottles will allow the apple wine to be stored for longer periods.
Corks naturally breathe, and apple wine in a wine bottle will improve with bottle aging over time. A beer bottle is also an option, but it is best suited for short-term storage.
As an alternative, flip-top Grolsch bottles work well, since they’re reusable and come with a cap attached so you can bottle quickly without needing any other equipment.
Wine bottles can be reused if they’ve been washed and cleaned with brewing sanitizer between uses. (Click on the link TO BUY)
Bottle Corker ~ Use clean, new corks to bottle the wine if you’re using wine bottles. (If you’re using Grolsch bottles, you won’t need corks or a corker.)
Brewing Sanitizer ~ It prevents contamination and results in a more predictable winemaking experience by cleaning and sanitizing all equipment before use with a one-step no-rinse brewing sanitizer. The apple wine will turn into vinegar if it doesn’t have this protective coating.
How To Make Old-Fashioned Apple Wine Recipe
Prep time: 1 Hour
Primary fermentation: 21 Days
Secondary fermentation: 21 Days
Total time: 1 Month, 11/12 Days
Author: Ranjeeta Nath Ghai
- 1kg Apple
- 1kg sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 6 cloves
- 2 cinnamon rolls (optional)
- 1 cup caramel sugar
- 1 tbsp citric acid
- 1 medium borosil glass Brandy Rum (optional)
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and keep it aside to ferment in a glass for about half an hour.
- wash and cut apples into small pieces.
- Boil together Apple pieces and cloves. You can add cinnamon id you like.
- After boiling, remove it from the fire, cool it, and put it in a stone jar
- Add sugar caramel sugar used and citric acid to it till the sugar dissolves.
- Close the jar with a lid and cover it with a piece of cloth.
- Keep it for 21 days to ferment.
- After 21 days, strain the mixture and remove the Apple pieces and add Brandy to it.
- Brandy is needed to kill off the yeast and stabilize the wine. By killing off the yeast at the end of fermentation, the wine will remain still wine without bottle carbonation, and you can back-sweeten the wine according to your taste.
- Pour only the liquid into the jar.
- Seal it again and keep it for yet another 21 days.
- After 21 days, strain the wine and fill it in bottles. The wine is ready to use.
- Due to the yeast, the actual taste of the wind will come after about a year if you can wait until then.
If you cant get One Gallon Glass Carboy then go for indian ceramic achar barni. The CO2 will also escape easily.
The only drawback is that it is opaque, and you won’t be able to see from the outside and while filtering, sediments might get sucked in.
Making Best Apple Wine From Store-Bought Juice
Prep time: 1 Hour
Primary fermentation: 14 Days
Secondary fermentation: 1 Month 11 Days 14 Hours
Total time: 1 Month 25 Days 15 Hours
Author: Ranjeeta Nath Ghai
- 1-gallon apple juice
- 1 pound cane sugar (about 2 cups)
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1 tsp acid blend
- ½ tsp pectic enzyme
- ¼ tsp wine tannin powder
- Wine Yeast, see note
- 105 ml BRANDY/RUM for Stabilizing (Optional)
- Campden Tablet + Potassium Sorbate for Stabilizing (I do not use these. I use Brandy)
- Pour 3 quarts of juice into a fermentation vessel after removing about 1 quart of juice (4 cups) from the gallon.
- Put 2 cups of the removed juice in a small saucepan, and keep the other 2 cups on hand for topping off the fermentation vessel when needed.
- Warm the juice gently in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve all the ingredients (except yeast). Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the sweetened juice mixture with the other apple juice in the fermentation vessel.
- Adding some unchlorinated water to the winemaking yeast will dissolve it (approximately 1/4 cup). A packet is more than enough to start fermentation in 5 gallons of juice, so you only need about 1/5 to 1/2 the packet. For about 10 minutes, allow the yeast to rehydrate.
- Juice and wine yeast should be added to the fermentation vessel.
- The level of the apple juice in the fermentation vessel should be at the base of the neck of the vessel after you have added some of the apple juice you set aside at the beginning. Allow 2-3 inches of headspace for the mixture to bubble.
- For about 21 days, cap the mixture with rubber bung and waterlock (filled with water). The fermentation process will be very active, and the water lock may be filled with bubbles. You may need to clean out the water lock and reattach it if necessary.
- To move the ferment from the primary fermentation vessel to a clean fermentation vessel, use a brewing siphon.
- Cap the ferment mixture with a water lock and leave it to ferment for at least 6 weeks, but preferably 6 months in a cool, dark place.
- After fermentation is completed, bottle the wine and let it age for at least one month, preferably longer. At this point, you may need to back sweeten your wine if you want it to be sweet. See notes for instructions.
Amount of Juice ~ Since the other ingredients take up some space in the carboy, you’ll need less than 1 gallon of juice. Depending on your fermentation vessel, you may have more or less juice at the end. I started with one gallon and had 12 ounces left over.
Yeast ~ To make apple wine, use a wine yeast that is moderately alcohol-tolerant and ferments cleanly. There are several good yeasts available, including Lavin D47, Lavin QA23, Red Star Premier Cuvee, or Lavin EC-1118. For specific qualities of each yeast, see the article’s notes.
Stabilizing and Back Sweetening ~ Back sweetening is an option if the wine is too dry at the end of secondary fermentation. Transfer the wine to a clean container (to avoid stirring up sediment), then add 1 Campden tablet or BRANDY/RUM and 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate to kill the yeast and stabilize the wine. A
Adding more sugar to the wine without stabilizing it first can cause the bottle to burst under pressure if it does not stabilize first.
Add sugar to taste once the mixture has stabilized. Make a simple syrup and then add that to the wine before bottling. Amounts will vary based on your taste, but I’d suggest starting with about 1/2 cup of sugar for one gallon of apple wine.
Difference Between Apple Wine and Apple Cider
One might think ‘apple wine’ and ‘hard apple cider’ are interchangeable, but that would be incorrect. Let’s dive a little deeper into the differences between brews and apple base forms.
It is important to distinguish between apple juice and apple cider since there is sometimes confusion as to what the difference is.
Apple cider is the purest unadultrated form of liquified apple fluid, since it is unfiltered, fresh, and usually unpasteurized, i.e., apple juice in its raw form, pulp and sediment included.
In contrast, apple juice has been filtered and pasteurized after being made from apples. Clarity is the biggest difference between juice and cider; cider tends to be very cloudy, whereas juice is almost 100% clear.
Apple juice tends to be sweeter than apple cider, and it lasts longer than apple cider.
It is more common to find apple cider during the autumnal season during harvest. Due to its unprocessed nature, apple cider has a shelf-life of about ten days.
According to Massachusetts, apple cider is different from apple juice, and they have a good explanation of the difference.
Next, let’s look at the differences between hard apple cider and apple wine. What is the main difference? The amount of alcohol. Yup, that is it – alcohol content.
The delicious apple brew cannot have more than 8.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) to qualify as a hard cider, while anything over that is considered apple wine. Doesn’t seem as complicated as you thought, does it?
Is it important whether apple juice or cider is used to make a brew? No, it doesn’t matter. The sediment, which includes apple sediment, will almost always crash to the bottom of the fermenting vessel when apple cider is turned into hard cider or wine. After the brew has been racked, you’ll have a clear, alcoholic apple beverage.
Although apple wine initially tastes harsher than hard apple cider, it only gets better with age. Whatever the case may be, aging it as long as possible will enhance its quality.
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One Gallon Glass Carboy
Product Name: Pack of Four 1 Gallon Glass Jugs with Lids, Airlocks, Thermometers & Blow Off
Product Description: The perfect set for the avid small-batch brewer. Have multiple batches fermenting so you always have enough!
Brand: Home Brew Ohio
Offer price: 65.98
Quality for the price
Ideal for homebrewind cider
Ideal for homebrewind wine
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