If the beautiful ruby clusters of red currant pleased us with a generous harvest, if jams, jams and compotes are already harvested, and the berries still remain, it's time to start winemaking.
After all, the wine from these berries can be not only particularly beautiful, but also tasty, no less noble than a wine made from grapes, if it is prepared with love with your own hands.
Red Currant Wine - Basic Technological Principles
Professional winemakers, engaged in the production of grape wines, have long and successfully used a strict algorithm of actions, from harvest to bottling. The same procedure, but when using simpler tools and equipment, must be observed in the home winemaking.
Raw material preparation
After collecting and sorting the berries they are sent under a press for squeezing the juice. On average, from 1 kg of red currant you can get 600 ml of juice with a simple method of pressing. There are also two main ways to increase the volume of juice extracted from fruit and berry raw materials.
First method: thick, left after direct pressing, pour water, add sugar, heat up. Then squeeze the liquid and connect it with the juice of the first extraction.
Second method: the harvested berries are pressed with the addition of sugar and yeast. Raw materials imitate, resulting in improved secretion. After this, the wine material is filtered, and the solid particles are squeezed out.
If you compare these methods, then it is better to give preference to the second method for making red currant wine, as it allows you to get a natural product, but given the following important criteria for evaluating wine materials, you should not be in a hurry with the conclusions.
Evaluation of the chemical composition of wine materials and the preparation of red currant wine wort
The balanced content of acid and sugar in the juice of the fruit - the basis of winemaking and obtaining high-quality product. The acid rate in the finished wine is 0.7%. In the natural juice of red currant acidity ranges from 1.5 to 4.8% in one liter. As you can see, such a high acid content is far from an ideal indicator. Therefore, returning to the methods of obtaining juice, we can say with certainty: no matter how you get the juice for red currant wine, adding water to it is inevitable, since this is the only way to adjust the acidity of the wort.
Water, of course, must be prepared, and distilled water is ideal for wine. It can be easily purchased at any pharmacy. In addition, it is believed that this water contains the least foreign elements to the wine elements that can be reflected in the taste of the drink.
The sugar content is different and much more complicated. Its volume in wine can be different, depending on the type of wine, its strength. But at the stage of preparing the wort, it is still necessary to adhere to certain norms, on which the working capacity of the yeast and the alcohol content in wine depend.
The recommended amount of sugar in cooked wort is 20% for wine with a strength of 12%. Each added percentage of sugar increases the strength of the wine by 0.6%. But this does not mean that if you need to get a wine with a strength of 16%, you need to immediately pour more sugar into the wort. Recall that sugar is used as a preservative in jams, because it inhibits the work of yeasts and other microorganisms that live on the surface of the same fruits from which wine is made. In addition, to stop fermentation completely in winemaking, sugar is often added to sweet, dessert and liqueur wines before sending them out for aging.
How to get a wine of greater strength? Very simple. You can add a second part of sugar in the period after rapid fermentation, when the yeast has already coped with its original volume, their colony has grown significantly and an additional portion is needed as a source of their energy. Of course, the fermentation period will increase significantly, but the strength of the future wine will increase. Sometimes an increase in the strength of the wine is achieved by pouring alcohol. That is how fortified wines are prepared, such as Port wines, Vermouths. This method is used in the preparation of liqueurs and liqueur wines.
Strong homemade wine is impossible to obtain without high-quality wine yeast, while for the manufacture of dry domestic wines of their red currants and other fruits, you can do without even a ferment of wine.
Speaking of yeast, it is necessary to remember that for the successful preparation of wine these microorganisms need a comfortable habitat until the end of fermentation: the optimum temperature is 20-25 degrees, the availability of nutrients and energy that the yeast gets due to the presence of sugar and other elements the composition of the wort. As the carbon dioxide is released from the liquid during the processing of sugar and the sugar processed by yeast is saturated with alcohol, the wort will turn into a young wine.
Like all living organisms, yeast needs oxygen. But as long as the wort turns into wine, the quantity that is inside the container and in the liquid itself will be enough. At the end of the fermentation process, the yeast dies and sinks to the bottom along with the smallest pieces of fruit. This is the essence of fermentation and wine preparation, and that is why the wort is sealed in the bottle with a water seal, a tongue or an ordinary rubber glove, with a small hole for the gas to exit.
The duration of fermentation may be different. It depends on the temperature, quality of raw materials and yeast, varieties of wine produced. It makes no sense to call the exact date of readiness. A signal of the completion of fermentation can be a deflated glove or the cessation of the release of bubbles through a tube connecting the neck of the bottle and a can of water. But to keep the wine on the lees is highly undesirable so that it does not become bitter.
As a rule, fruit and berry wines “roam” 1.5-2 months to the stage of a young wine, but this period depends on all the factors listed above. The young wine is already suitable for consumption, but it still needs to go through several stages before the mature drink:
- At first, the wine should be placed in the bottle, in which it “played” to maximum transparency and precipitation of yeast and insoluble wort microparticles;
- After that, the wine is removed from the sediment, tasted;
- Depending on the intended variety and taste, the wine is sweetened or alcoholized;
- The next stage is aging or ripening. All additives must combine with wine, finally forming its taste. For example, sugar, for example, dissolves relatively easily, but its taste immediately after dissolving stands out sharply, and this wine is somewhat rough. The same can be said about the alcohol added to the wine: for a harmonious taste, after adding alcohol, the fortified wine must stand and mature.
- It is possible that after maturation the wine will again have to be removed from the sediment, once again check its taste;
- Completion of the cooking process - bottling and storage. In what dishes to pack wine, how to seal and where to store, you need to decide in advance. The best storage containers are oak barrels, but at home, such dishes are often a luxury item. The alternative is glass. For red wine - dark glass to protect its enzymatic properties from exposure to light. The fact that dishes for the storage of wine must be absolutely sterile, and the wine in it must be hermetically sealed, it is clear without unnecessary reminders. After all, no one needs problems with mold, which is just waiting for a chance to penetrate into any environment that is favorable for it.
Another important component for any wine is the presence of tannic acid, which not only adds flavor to wine, but also helps preserve it. For home winemaking, you can use tannic acid or tannin, sold in a pharmacy. There are more simple and affordable options - adding oak bark or fresh oak leaves to the wort. Tannin is found in the berries of the wild cherry, ripening almost simultaneously with the red currant and growing everywhere, even where pharmacies are significantly removed from the dacha settlements. Of course, you can tell a lot more about the technology of making homemade redcurrant wine, but you can start making it with the volume of material already outlined.
It remains to add that if desired, a dry, semi-sweet, sweet and dessert wine can be made from these berries. When alcohol is added to homemade red currant wine, you get a good vermouth, brandy, liqueur and even sparkling wine.
Only need to take into account the features of the berries. Red currant has a peculiar taste, but it does not smell. These berries are perfect for wine raw materials as a basis, in combination with more fragrant and, perhaps, less juicy fruits. Pure red currant juice makes table and strong wine of good quality, and for sweet wine it is better to mix berries with raspberries, strawberries, black currants, cherries, cherries, apples. For the preparation of liqueur wine from red currant instead of pure alcohol, it is better to use aromatic tinctures.
Come up with a name, draw your company label and start cooking. The main thing is to have enough berries for such an exciting activity!
Recipe 1. Dry homemade red currant wine, table
- Berries 5.6 kg
- Water 5.7 L
- Sugar 1.7 kg
- Free the berries from the stalks and crush them in an enamel bowl. Out of the specified number of berries, the juice yield is about 3.3 liters. Dissolve sugar in water, warmed to room temperature and pour into a bucket of pulp.
- Put an imitation mixture by covering the bucket. Stir periodically. If bubbles form on the surface, squeeze the thick. Fermented juice of 10.7 liters, pour it into a larger bottle and seal the neck with a rubber glove.
- It is not necessary to add yeast to table wine.
- Next, at the end of fermentation, after clarification, remove the wine from the sediment. Try it. If necessary, you can improve the taste of sugar. Put on the shutter speed.
- After 2 months, bottle and seal.
Recipe 2. Strong homemade red currant wine
- Currants, red 6.3 kg
- Water 5 l
- Sugar 2.1 kg
- Yeast, wine 3 g
- Put the sugar in water and heat until dissolved, but do not boil.
- Add the prepared berries. When the mixture has cooled, drain the water, and squeeze the currants under a press, adding its juice to the total mass.
- Add the yeast, mix well and pour it into the bottle, put a water stopper and wait for the fermentation to end.
- Further course of action is described in recipe No. 1 and in the “Basic Technological Principles”.
- The output of the finished wine, after removal from the sediment - 11 liters.
Recipe 3. Redcurrant and raspberry liqueur
- Raspberries and red currants (50/50) 11 kg
- Sugar 6,150 kg
- 0.7 l water
- Yeast 4 g
- Bird cherry (berries) 0.5 kg
- Crimson tincture (50%)
- Grind all the berries, passing them through a meat grinder, place the pulp under the press. When the juice is drained, fill with water and pasteurize (at 80-85 degrees)
- Squeeze the mixture after cooling and pour the second spin juice into the total mass. Add 1/3 of the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
- Then you can put the yeast and pour the wort into the fermentation bottle, wearing a glove on the neck.
- After a week, and then after 5 days, add sugar, dividing the remaining amount in half. After removal from the sediment, seal the finished wine with crimson tincture and leave to mature for 40-60 days.
Recipe 4. Homemade red currant and sweet wine
- White sweet cherry juice 3.5 l (7.3 kg of berries)
- Red-currant juice 3.7 l (6.2 kg of berries)
- Sugar 3.9 kg
- Water 4 liters
- Yeast 5 g
- Pour warm syrup into the juice mixture, mix and, adding yeast, pour it into the bottle prepared for fermentation.
- Until the end of fermentation and clarification of wine, watch the temperature.
- Remove the young wine from the sediment no later than 14 days so that the yeast decomposing at the bottom does not transmit the bitterness of the wine.
- If necessary, repeat the removal from the sediment during aging and maturation of the wine.
Recipe 5. Sweet homemade red currant wine with mint-lemon tincture
- Table wine (see recipe number 1) 2 l
- Tincture, citric (40%) 0.5 l
- Mint tincture, bitter 500 ml
- Sugar 900 g
- Combine all the ingredients, stirring the sugar until completely dissolved. Pour the cooked liqueur into the bottle and seal.
- Try to sustain them for at least six months.
- Red Currant Wine - Tips and Tricks
- When making wine, use glass, enameled ware or at least made of stainless steel.
- All containers and equipment in contact with juice, wort or wine must be dry and sterilely clean.
Fresh, just picked berries are suitable for making wine. In no case do not keep the harvest in the sun: berries podyalyatsya and of them will be more difficult to get juice.