Apple Wine is a tradition in many families, and thus many different recipes for making the “best” apple wine. This is a relatively simple and straightforward approach that is similar to a Plum Wine recipe also on this site. Campden tablets kill bacteria and give you a little safety when making homemade alcohols and fruit wines.
Using a variety of baking, cooking, and eating apples will give your wine a beautiful array of sweetness, tart, and all around flavor that tastes natural. The addition of raisins in this recipe adds a little tannin and sugar needed for the fermentation and taste profile.
History of Apple Wine
The Greeks originally made Apple Wine and called it Sikera. It was their main wine for drinking since apples were plentiful at the time and could be used even if their texture was mushy or they were overly ripe. Mashing and fermenting the apples with hot water and honey was an excellent use of the abundant produce. In Germany clear and crisp apple wines or Apfelwein can be found in many establishments in the Rhine Valley. The Germanic process goes back 250 years and is a genuinely local experience.
Apple Wine is similar to hard apple cider and is just a step or two away from making apple brandy. This wine is best after dinner drink and would taste fantastic with an array of desserts such as Pistachio Macarons, Pecan Pie, Yema Cake, Polvoron, or Knafeh. Toasty and nutty flavors play well with the sweet apple drink.
Towards the end of the fermentation process a spice sachet of mostly cinnamon, but not limited to cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom, think pumpkin pie spices, could be added to make the drink more festive for winter month holiday consumption.
Choose a large (about 4 gallons) non-reactive, tight-lidded, and opaque container for the fermenting process.
Place clean and cut apples, raisins, and sugar into your vessel.
Pour the hot tea over the apple mixture and stir a bit.
Close the vessel tightly and let it stand for 12 hours, then stir or shake the mixture.
Let the mixture stand again for 12 more hours and add in 1 gallon of warm water.
Strain the apple mash and bits from the liquid by using a very fine strainer and layers of cheese cloth.
Pour the liquid into a clean vessel and add the yeast and campden tablet.
Seal and let stand for 2 days.
Finally, add the lemon juice and seal for 2 days.
When you are ready to bottle the mixture, make sure that your bottles are sterilized. If you used a vessel with an opening at the bottom, fill your bottles using a funnel and hose. If you did not, skim all the scum from the top of your wine before bottling. Do not mix any of the scum into the wine.
You can check the alcohol content and fermentation at this time.
If you are concerned about bacteria, you can add another campden tablet.
Bottle the Apple Wine and let it stand for at least 2 months.
If your Apple Wine is quite strong, you can weaken it by adding water.
If your wine smells like vinegar, this means that oxygen got into the mix while fermenting.
Wine kits, with all equipment needed and can be purchased for use in this recipe.
There is also wine fermenting kits with additional chemicals, please adhere to the kits instructions for making your wine.