Normally I use my own apples to supplement store bought juice in my apple wine, but this year I had more fruit available so I decided to make it exclusively from my own apples. I followed the same procedure as last year.
Chop & juice the apples
I don’t have enough apples to justify an apple grinder, but I’ve got too many for a juicer. With no alternative, I used the juicer anyway, and it did the job. One downside to using the juicer is that you have to chop the apples to make them fit in the chute. Another is that you have to stop and clean out the filter frequently. The Lady of the House helped, and that made it a lot easier; she chopped, and I operated the juicer. In the end, the 12.8 lb of apples yielded 2.5 quarts (2.4 liters) of cloudy brown juice. I added sulfite at the beginning and pectic enzyme at the end.
Adjust the sugar and acid
Suspended solids made the juice brown and cloudy. They would also throw off the specific gravity (SG) reading by making the liquid more dense, so I ran about a cup (250 ml) through a coffee filter to get clear golden juice (this took almost an hour, and involved changing the coffee filter halfway through). In the meantime, I was calibrating my pH meter and setting up my new acid test contraption (I really need a clever name for that). I quickly measured the filtered sample:
SG: 1.046, pH: 3.08, titratable acidity (TA): 5.9 g/L, as tartaric
I’m using honey, like I did last year, to bring the SG up to 1.090. This equation determines how much honey to add:
VH = VI * (SGT – SGI) / (SGH – SGT)
VH is the volume of honey – that’s what I’m trying to find
VI is the initial volume – 2.4 liters
SGT is the target SG – 1.090
SGI is the initial SG – 1.046
SGH is the SG of honey – 1.417 (at 18% water)
VH = 2.4L * (1.090 – 1.046) / (1.417 – 1.090) = 0.3L
To measure out 0.3L (300 ml) of crystalized honey, I added 200 ml of apple juice to a measuring cup. Then I added scoops of honey until the liquid reached the 500 ml line. After some stirring and dissolving, I added it to the rest of the juice then measured another filtered sample – SG 1.090 on the nose!
With the TA at about 6 g/L, I decided not to adjust the acid until it ferments out.
Turn it over to the yeast
After that it was as simple as adding the DAP and tannin, dissolving them in a little water first, then pitching the yeast. It’s been several months since I made wine, and its good to be back. I’m excited to see how my first “estate bottled” apple wine turns out, and I’ll be sure to post updates.
Apple wine from store-bought juice: less work, easy cleanup
Would you rather have someone else juice the apples? Someone with efficient, state-of-the-art equipment? And while he was at it, clean up afterwards? Buy store-bought juice. Then use the recipe I made for Leslie to make apple wine with less work and easy cleanup!
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