Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pumpkin Wine

I think I've become addicted to making wine with fruit.  My wife and I had a 1/2 share of a CSA from a local farm.  As a result we've gotten a lot of pumpkins this year.  That's what got me thinking, I wonder if a sugar pumpkin would make a good wine.  From there I made the long trip to google and found a few recipes.

First I came across a recipe on the Jack Keller page:

and then I found this one:

and I mashed the recipes around in my head and came up with one of my own.  As I've found in the past this does not always make for a good wine.  I just racked it yesterday for the second time, or in it's third fermenter, and it is clearing up.  It's a little less orange than I would like, and it's a little sweeter than I would like but here is the recipe I came up with:

4.5 lbs sugar pumpkin (sugar)
1 lb golden rasins
4 lbs sugar
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
2 tsp citric acid
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch fresh ginger root
1 whole nutmeg
Lavin 71B-1122 white wine yeast

I started out with 5 quarts of water thinking the boil would bring it down to about 1 gallon, but I ended up having about 2 gallons. I think the pumpkin adds some water of its own. I poured the boiling water over the pumpkin and raisins and let them sit for 24 hours. I added a campden tablet about 16 hours into that, and at 24 hours I strained out all the raisins and pumpkin.

I took some of the must out, put it on low heat in a pan and mixed in the sugar. I then added it back to the rest with the spices, citric acid, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrient. Then I re-hydrated the yeast in 1 cup of warm water with some sugar and pitched that in once it became active. My starting gravity was 1.150 which is probably why it is a little sweet. I figured the recipe asked for 5 lbs of pumpkin and I only used 4.5 lbs so I would go a little higher on the sugar. When adusting for sugar don't count on the pumpkin adding much even though you are using sugar pumpkins, right? I also had some squash and threw some of that in the mix which may account for the less than orange color. Some brewing notes: manually removing the pumpkin form it's skin with a fork is very time consuming. Especially if you want to make more than 1 gallon, find a better way and if my one try is any proof, the pumkin itself (if you squeeze all the liquid out of it) will add some volume.

Next year I'm going to try this:

Happy brewing, and remember if you can find it in a bottle out there, you can make it in your kitchen.