Several years ago I discovered some wild plum trees. I was delighted at the thought of plum wine, plum pudding, plums to eat as and when I wanted. The list was endless. 2 hours of picking and eating plums later, most of the plans had changed. My stomach fit to burst with the number of plums I had consumed and children who had also had more than their fill of these super sweet little gems, the bucket of plums would be wine. Turns out it was a big hit with everyone. Alas, since then the fruit yield has never been as good as that year, we haven’t even managed a gallon of wild plum since.
FRUIT BOWL SAVIOUR
We all do it, we fill the fruit bowl to the point it overflows. We wander the aisles of the supermarket picking up fruit thinking, ooh, that will be nice. The children don’t eat through it and neither do you, you have a bowl of overripe fruit. Bin it or use it?
Recently I may have overbought plums, they were on offer and so our fruit bowl was overflowing with plums. Whilst everyone likes plums, the family likes other fruit too. You are faced with a pile of overripe fruit, don’t waste it, make wine with it. Here is what I used and how I make a simple but delicious plum wine.
Obviously, you need the plums, but most fruit can be turned into a wine with ease.
I used a 20-litre bucket with an airlock already fitted.
You will need 2 kg of brewing sugar, this is because it dissolves far quicker than granulated sugar. Brewing sugar will give you a cleaner finish when making fruit wines as its more refined.
Pectolase. This is required when making any fruit-based wine. Pectolase is used to dissolve the pectin which is naturally present in fruit, this is good for jam makers but bad for brewers as it will leave the wine very cloudy.
MIX AND STEEP
Don’t worry about washing the fruit, the wild yeasts on them will only add to the wine. Chop the plums up to remove the stone, we don’t really want them in the mash as they contain cyanide. Put all the fruit in the bucket. Heat 8 litres of water on the hob and add the 2 kg of sugar, stir to dissolve and then pour over the fruit. Add a further 2 litres of cold water to bring the total fluids to 10 litres.
Place the lid on loosely and stir twice a day for a week. The fruit will break down, helped along by the stirring. You will notice the mash is now a fantastic deep purple, magic is happening.
After a week you will need to strain the mash, I use a straining bag, the pulp can be composted or put in the food waste bin, now add the yeast nutrient and yeast. Fit the lid nice and tight so it snaps shut and ft the airlock ensuring it has water in it. Fermentation will take around 3 months. Once the bubbles have ceased in the airlock you will need to add a finings to clear the wine. I use CLEAR IT. A box that size will last for ages and do many brews.
Once the wine is cleared you can then decant into bottles, using a syphon will mean you can decant without having to tip the bucket and disturbing the sediment. once you have decanted the bottles need to settle and age. 3-6 months is optimum for a plum wine.
Plum wine is a wonderful rose wine which goes perfectly with fish or any pale meat. best served cold, perfect for a summer bbq. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you will raid the fruit bowl yourself. Its a very easy process to make wonderful wines and don’t be afraid to experiment. Items you need are highlighted links, please use them, it costs you no more but gives me a small commision to help with site costs.