Apple Wine

A few weeks ago, I put out the call looking for locals who had apple trees with apples that they weren’t going to use.
Said we’d happily come out and pick the trees, take away the apples and return with a few bottles of apple wine.
Got a few nibbles, but mostly it was people who wanted me to make them an entire 5 gallon batch, plus pick their tree…one woman told me I could have all the half rotten ones on the ground if I picked the good apples for her.
🙄

And then, I got a message from a friend of friends, a local horse woman, who had an apple tree, and hankerin’ for a few bottle of wine.
Well, with a little back and forth, we set a date, met up and I came away with a bag of roughly 50lbs of apples.
Gorgeous, sweet, crunchy eating apples…perfect for a batch of wine.
After I ate a couple. 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Way back when we were in the city, our tree there was producing 250-300lbs of apples a year.
We could only eat so many, so I started making and canning juice.
But I got tired of the old cook it on the stove top, strain it through cheesecloth method of making juice, and went to my parents and stole (with permission) my Dad’s juicer.
Now?
I make juice by running the apples through the juicer.

Big bowl of sliced apples, ready to be run through the juicer.

Once the juicing is done, the mush that comes out the other side is put into a mesh bag.
That goes into the primary fermenting pail, with the juice itself.
I want aaaaaaalllllllll the apple-y goodness going into my wine. 😉

Cores get cooked down and strained for juice…nothing gets wasted here!

Once the cores have given up everything they had, those get tossed to the pigs.
Pigs ❤ love ❤ apples!
The juice is then added with the other juice and the mush to the primary fermenter.

From there I add sugar, pectic enzyme (if I have it on hand…with the cooked juice, the wine finishes with a creamy mouth feel with out the pectic enzyme. Some people don’t care for it, but I don’t mind it, so I don’t get frantic if I don’t have the pectic enzyme to add), k-meta and water to 6 gallons.
I let it sit for 24ish hours, then pitch the yeast and add some yeast nutrient.

That’s all there is to it.
Over the next week, I stir the pail a few times a day, and squeeze the bag of mush.
After a week or so, I pull out the bag of mush…that goes to the pigs…and depending on the specific gravity reading, I’ll either give it a few more days in the pail or rack it off to a carboy.
Once it’s on the carboy, sealed with an air lock, I let time do it’s work.
Anywhere from 2-5 months.
Honestly, I put it in a corner and forget about it.

After a while, I’ll come back to it, rack it off the stuff at the bottom (the lees), stabilize it and usually I’ll sweeten it.
Typically with some raspberry syrup…because apple raspberry wine is fan-effing-tastic!
And then, into bottles for a few more months.

All told, it’ll take anywhere from 4-12 months before it’s in the bottle and ready to drink.
Trust me though, it’s worth the wait!

Linking up with September Days at The Hearth and Soul link party hosted by April J Harris.

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🙂

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Bobbing For Apples

Hubby was given a whole lot of apples.
More than 50lbs worth.
Nice apples too.
So, I sorted into “wine,” “eating” and “livestock” piles.
And then, we sent the Merry Mares bobbing for apples…

Astrid thought this was pretty awesome…until she snuffled in a nose full of water.
Then, not so fun!

Pretty Sable…I love her natural black eyeliner…looks so good on her. 🙂

😍😍😍😍

Sable looks disgusted at how deep Ruby was willing to go for an apple. lol

Got it!!
Nom nom nom

She’s rather dedicated when it comes to food.
😉

We still have half a 5 gallon pail for the horses, a crisper full for humans, and I just pulled the bag of apple mush out of the fermenting wine. That made little piggies very, very happy!

Next wine prospect…
Either concord grape or banana.
Or, maybe I’ll mix the 2.
Because that might just be interesting.
😉

Bobbing For Apples

I mentioned yesterday that a friend of Hubby’s had given us a bunch of apples for the Girls. We’re playing “bobbing for apples” with them. Well, except for Sable, because she’d rather eat them right from your hand. 😉

Todays’ Wordless Wednesday series is all about horses and apples. Enjoy!

Toss a few in the trough...wait for someone to find them.

Toss a few in the trough…wait for someone to find them.

Oooooh, Astrid found them first!

Oooooh, Astrid found them first!

She was munching happily until Cookie came up behind her...

She was munching happily until Cookie came up behind her…

Ruby was the most fun to watch...

Ruby was the most fun to watch…

Apples5

Apples6

"Come here you stinkin apple!"

“Come here you stinking apple!”

"Got it!! Yumm...."

“Got it!! Yumm….”

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Crafty Spices, Create With Joy, Blog Paws, Frugality is Free, and Mama to 5 Blessings.