Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Windfall Apple Wine
So after putting up 11 quarts of apple pie filling, I still had about 12 pounds of apples left over, and little desire to do any more canning between now and Thanksgiving, since both involve a lot of time in the kitchen, and I need to pace myself. So I decided to make wine. There are many recipes out there for windfall cider and windfall apple wine (windfall meaning extra apples, often found under the trees or leftover from other endeavors, as these are). I minced and simmered the apples, added the pectic enzyme, yeast and nutrient and now.....I wait.
I give it about 50/50 odds I will get any alcohol out of this. The one variable I forgot to factor in before starting the whole process was the temperature. Fermentation happens best when indoor temperatures are between 72 and 75 degrees, and we're just not that warm anymore. With the pellet stove going I usually get the house up to about 71 degrees, but at night we go down into the 60's or lower, which may be enough to shut the process down before it even really gets started.
I've thought of some inventive ways to keep the must warm -- everything from heating pads to sticking it in the oven with the light on, but nothing will keep it at the right temperature. It's the old Goldilocks dilemma of one being too cold, one too hot, but none just right.
Anyway, I have nothing to lose at this point, so we will give it a couple of days and see if the yeast starts the mixture bubbling. If so, then we're on our way. If not, then I'm just out some windfall apples and some pride, neither of which is a huge deal since I'm a homesteader and have had my pride rubbed into the apple must more times than I can count. At least it smells good.