I had an intense craving for fresh fruit and veggies the other day. Since that is one of those food desires that is acceptable to give in to, I drove down the street to the local fruit market.
The awesome little tienda down the road was on my list to visit anyways, as they have a wonderful selection of 7 Day candles, and we go through those fairly quickly. I love their bins of dried peppers, and they also stocks local produce, as available. The rest of their products come from Mexico and Guatemala. I merrily went home with a coconut, a pineapple, a bucket o’strawberries, a cucumber, a tomato, and an amazingly sweet watermelon!
Once I was home, I realized that I’d probably gone a bit overboard on fruit for just me and Eric, so decided it was a good time to brew a quick gallon of wine.
Strawberry Pineapple Wine
Into a big brewing bucket went:
- 3 lbs strawberries, washed, with greens and most of the white cores removed. They were so sweet and awesome, and local from SC!
- 1 lb fresh pineapple – it could have been sweeter…not bad, but I’ve had better.
- 2 small oranges, cut in half, squeezed and thrown in skin and all
On the stove, I boiled just about 1 gallon of water. While that was heating, I mashed up the fruit with a sterilized masher in the sterilized bucket. When the water boiled, I added it to the mashed fruit. It smelled like strawberries and happiness!
Next, it needed to cool so that I could add the yeast. I covered it with a clean towel and strapped it down to keep any fruit flies and other pests out of it.
Once that was all cooled off to below body temperature, I opened it up and added a healthy sprinkle of regular baking yeast and re-covered the bucket. Within a few hours, the whole bucket was fizzing away merrily while distressed fruit flies gathered around in abject misery at being kept from the fermenting fruit. I swear that I could hear their tiny violins…
Three or four days later, I strained the bubbling mass into another sterilized bucket, stirred in about 2 pounds of sugar, and poured the whole thing into a sterilized gallon jug. The bubbling was fierce! The color was vibrant! The smell was alcoholic! In the first 6 hours of being in the jug, it blew off the airlock. I sanitized a new airlock and replaced it, and the fermentation slowed down after that.
It’s been in that gallon jug now for over a week…more like 10 days, and I think it is DONE. There are no more bubbles rising to the surface, no more pops from the airlock. The sediment is settling and the wine is clearing. The next step is bottling, and then the waiting, and finally the drinking!
Bottling Update: Well, I must say that it’s lackluster. *sigh* The amazing, potent, heady strawberry scent has vanished, and left only a tiny trace of flavor, and the yeast nommed up ALL of the sugars. It’s very dry, and definitely alcoholic!
But not all is lost! I bottled it anyways, and labeled the bottles with the flavor and date. I also made a note to add a Simple Syrup to jazz them up when I open them for use. Maybe even a Strawberry or Pineapple flavored simple syrup using fruit juice…mmm….
Waste not, want not! Booze abuse is not tolerated in this house. *grin*
I think that my mistake was that I used standard activated kitchen yeast. I know that it works, but I really do prefer the sweet mead yeast that I get from the brew shop. I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy some more!
Tasting Update: I made a simple syrup, as in this recipe, and it worked out quite well. Adding it to the bottle of wine as my tastebuds dictated returned quite a bit of the fruit flavor. Next time I make the syrup, I’ll use some fresh strawberries as well to restore some more of the sweet fruitiness! I love it when something works out…