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How to become an expert winemaker | punch

wine and grapes

Some spirits are made specially for making punch, but you can use wine. You can make red wine, that is suitable for making Sangria, either from red grape juice, blackberries or damsons, when there is a surplus. For a tropical punch, pineapple wine wine with added fruit and lemonade is nice on a summer’s day. It’s great for barbecues too. You can get cartons of pineapple juice in the supermarket. I just checked a well known British supermarket and they are doing 6 for £4.00. Make sure you buy the concentrated one.

You need 5 or 6 cartons of pineapple juice, 6 bags of sugar and a wine yeast that can ferment to high alcohol to make 25 litres of pineapple wine. Alternatively, if you are making just 5 litres, use one litre of juice and 1200 grams of sugar.

It’s easy to make in a food quality bucket. Make sure your bucket is clean and sterile. Then add your sugar, all of it. Then add some grape tannin or simply a pot of tea (there is tannin in tea) one spoon of tea (1 teabag) per 5 litres will do. Try to dissolve the sugar in the tea, by stirring, add the pineapple juice and stir more to dissolve the sugar.

To this mixture, you add water to dilute it. Your wine should be put into a fermenter unless you intend to ferment in the bucket. If you’re making 25 litres, it gets heavy so put it some where warm before you top it up with water.

When you top up with water, top it up to about 2/3 full before you add the yeast. This will allow your wine to froth up when the fermentation is getting started. The yeast should be one that can tolerate high alcohol (like a Tokay yeast), ask your winemaking  supplier for advice. This can be added when your wine has cooled to about room temperature.

The wine can be fermented in a warm place until the fermentation has slowed down a little and it stops frothing; then it can be diluted with water to close to the top of the fermenter. Ferment it for about a month, maybe a little longer until the specific gravity is 1.000. You can ferment it lower to as low as you can get it. Then add a little sugar and keep it fermenting, keep doing that until it will ferment no more to get extra alcohol.

The wine can be placed in a cooler place to clear it. To clear it add fermentation stopper (stabiliser) such as potassium sorbate (follow the instruction on the carton) and wine finings (isinglass is the best) and leave to clear for at least a week.

When the wine is clear, syphon of the sediment into a clean and sterile container and leave it again and repeat that syphoning it off the sediment again or if it’s really clear, filter it.

You can put you finished pineapple wine into a punch bowl or a glass jug to make punch. Add pineapple chunks and seedless grapes to the wine. You can add any fruit that you want, but pineapple and grapes make it look good! It is better placed in the fridge before you serve it up too. Then you can add ice, not too much or it will dilute it. Finally, a little  lemonade will give it some fizz. If your children get jealous, you might let them have a little with lots of fruit, ice and lemonade. It shouldn’t be given to young children obviously and it should be diluted at least 90% for older ones.

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  1. Pingback: » How to become an expert winemaker | port and sherry A Zillion Ideas and counting…

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