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Making Wine and Beer from Fruit Bases

Vintner’s Harvest has a marvelous selection of Fruit Wine Bases. Fruit Wine Bases use only premium quality pure fruit, packed in it’s own juice, with no sugars and no artificial preservatives added. Prepared especially for wine makers, these products offer the home wine maker year round supply of premium quality fruit.

all vintner's harvest fruit wine bases

Equipment & Supplies

  • Primary fermenter, a minimum of 2 gallons (7.5 litres) larger than batch size.
  • Secondary Fermenter, 3 or 5 gallon (11.5 or 20 litre) carboy, depending on the batch size.
  • Fermentation airlocks and stopper.
  • Nylon straining bag of size sufficient to hold fruit.
  • Very fine mesh cloth or fermenter cover
  • Siphon / Racking Equipment
  • Hydrometer and testing jar
  • Bottles, corks and corking device
  • Other useful items include cleaning brushes, funnels, plastic spoon or paddle and thermometer.

Types of Sugar to Use

The type of sugar you use is a matter of taste. Many wine makers use white cane table sugar. Some prefer the taste of corn sugar/dextrose and say that the difference can be noted in the finished product. Corn sugar produces a cleaner flavor profile during fermentation and is less sweet than cane sugar pound for pound. If you prefer to use corn sugar be aware that you may need to increase addition by 10% to achieve the desired level of alcohol in the finished wine. Wine conditioner, which is a sugar solution containing a yeast inhibitor can be added after fermentation is complete to adjust sweetness.

The Winemaking Process

The following process is to be used in conjunction with the recipes that
appear on each can of Vintner’s Harvest products. The recipes may vary
slightly with each product.
  1. Sanitize all equipment and utensils. For winemaking, we recommend a sulfite solution (see below for instructions).
  2. Put straining bag in fermenter, add fruit and tie off bag (except in the case of Apple and Elderberry which have no fruit pieces).
  3. Add all ingredients as directed on can label (excluding those with an * as they will be added later. The excluded ingredients are typically just your yeast and the wine stabilizer.) Add sulfite solution and stir well to make sure sugar is dissolved.
  4. Cover with a damp cloth or fine mesh fabric and let sit overnight to allow SO2 to be released.
  5. Sprinkle yeast on top of mix. Temperature should be between 70-80°F.
  6. Next day, gently stir top half of mix mindful not to stir sediment at bottom. Repeat daily until specific gravity lowers to 1.040 (4 or 5 days).
  7. When gravity reads 1.040, remove bag of fruit. Press and strain juice from pulp and discard pulp. Transfer wine into secondary vessel, top up with water to minimize air space. Attach fermentation lock.
  8. Transfer wine again (3 to 4 weeks) when gravity reads 1.010 to1.000. Add 1 teaspoon of sulfite solution per gallon of must.
  9. After wine is clear (2 or 3 months) stabilize with potassium sorbate to prevent renewed fermentation, sweeten to taste if too dry. Enhance flavor and aroma with natural fruit flavor at this time if desired. Bottle.
  10. Wine can be consumed at this point but will benefit with aging of 6 months to one year.

Sulfite Solutions

We make a distinction between using powdered sodium (or potassium) metabisulfite and a sulfite solution. Please be aware of this difference as it will affect your winemaking process. To make a sulfite solution, dissolve 5 teaspoons of sodium (or potassium) metabisulfite powder into 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Of this liquid, you add one liquid teaspoon per gallon of must (unfermented juice) when directed. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid solution per gallon of water to sanitize equipment.

Beermaking Suggestions

Adding real fruit flavors to your beer is incredibly simple with these products. Because they have been concentrated and pasteurized they can be added directly to an active fermentation, typically on day two or three once the krausen has fallen. The addition of all of these fruit sugars will wake your yeast right up and you’ll be back to a vigorous fermentation in a couple of hours. Be sure to account for the additional volume (about one gallon) by aiming for four and a half gallons of wort at the start of fermentation. There will be additional trub due to the presence of the fruit body. Rack off of this after primary fermentation per usual.

Beautiful Blonde – Honey & Apricot

  • 4lbs Light DME
  • 1lb Wildflower Honey
  • 1lb Gambrinus Honey Malt
  • 1 Can Vintners Harvest Apricot Puree
  • .5oz. Palisades (60 min)
  • .5oz. Amarillo (5 min)
  • Yeast: US05, Wyeast 1056, or White Labs WLP001.
  • OG: 1.052
  • FG: 1.009-1.011
  • ABV: 5.2
  • IBU: 18
  • SRM: 8
Apricot & Honey Malt build upon each other to complement the unmistakable flavor and aroma of ripe apricots. This beer will ferment out quite dry with a perception of sweetness primarily from the Honey Malt and Apricot. A nice underlying clean bitterness from Palisades is just enough to balance the malt and fruit sweetness with the citrus Amarillo hops providing a tangerine-like citrus-floral counterpoint.
This is an ideal lawnmower beer. Plenty of flavors, depth, and complexity yet still light, crisp and refreshing.

Weizenbozen Wheat Raspberry Ale

  • 5lbs Wheat DME
  • .5lb Acidulated Malt
  • 1lb Crystal 10
  • Raspberry Fruit Flavor (4 oz or to taste)
  • 1 Can Vintners Harvest Raspberry Puree
  • .5oz Columbus Hops (60 min)
  • 1oz. Amarillo (0 min)
  • Yeast: WB-06, T-58 or Wyeast 3944 Belgian Wit
  • OG: 1.053
  • FG: 1.010
  • ABV: 5.1
  • IBU: 17
  • SRM: Pink
In classic Frambozen fashion this beer uses tartness, rather than bitterness from the hops to balance the Raspberry fruit flavor. The wheat provides creaminess and a smooth mouth feel while the flavors remain light and refreshing.
Best served well chilled with high carbonation in glasses that will show off the massive frothy head, filled with the aroma of fresh raspberries.

Grown Up’s Dessert Black Forest Stout

  • 6lbs. Light DME
  • 1lb. Special B
  • .5lb Chocolate Malt
  • .5lb Black Patent Malt
  • 1 or 2 50ml bottles Top Shelf Crème de Cacao Flavoring (to taste)
  • 1 can Vintners Harvest Cherry Blend Puree
  • .25 to 1 lb lactose (to taste)
  • 1oz. Palisades (60 min)
  • 1oz. Willamette (10 min)
  • Yeast: Munich Windsor, S-04 or Wyeast 1098 British Ale
  • OG: 1.065
  • FG: 1.017
  • ABV: 6.1
  • IBU: 33
  • SRM: 43
This is a big beer. In fact, this is a rich, deep, and wastefully indulgent beer, full of chocolate and cherry flavors wedded with deep fruity caramel. Fruity esters from British yeast strains will accentuate the rich maltiness of the Special B malt, which also adds dark caramel flavor to offset the dryness of the roasted grains. The Chocolate essence and unfermentable lactose together adds dark chocolate and cherry depth.
A beer to savor alone or with dessert after dinner.