Wine 2020#4 – Pineapple

I was stuck for ideas this month so I consulted the classic book by C J J Berry on Winemaking and decided to make this Pineapple wine recipe. Berry was instrumental in the home winemaking movement and his book developed from a leaflet into what it is now. Sadly Berry is no longer with us. The book is what led me to meet the brewing circle that I attend.

Despite the fact that many people have cut their teeth with this book, the recipes are a bit hit and miss. I’ve had trouble with getting the fermentation started because the recipes typically have too much sugar in them. Also, there are some “world-beating” recipes in the book such as Ribena wine: one bottle of Ribena with 1.5kg sugar dissolved and boiled up to remove the preservatives… then ferment. I’m told that the 70s could be tough. I will give that one a miss.

The trick is to reduce the sugar or feed it to the wine during the fermentation. The fermentation needs to get started as soon as possible. I had a stuck one a few years ago and had to “reverse ferment” to get it going. I believe this was due to the sugar overwhelming the yeast.

Here’s the method:

  • 5 Pineapples
  • 1.75kg of sugar
  • 10g of Citric acid
  • 4.5l or so of water
  • Yeast & Nutrient

Cut up the flesh of 5 pineapples into chunks. Cover them with 1.5-1.75l of water in a large pan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. When finished, strain and press through a sieve into a sanitised fermentation bucket containing 1kg of sugar. Top up to 4.5/4.75l with cold water and add the citric acid.

When it is cooled, pitch the yeast and nutrient. Cover and ferment off for a week. Stir every day, introducing the rest of the sugar gradually. Then it needs to go into a demijohn to work itself out. Berry suggests reducing the temperature to 15C to get it to clear and then stabilising it. I probably won’t bother. When the time comes, I’ll rerack it and bottle it at some point.

I’ve reserved the cooked pineapple chunks for something else – I’m not sure what.

Whilst making this, I macerated another pineapple with some sugar. Tomorrow I will be mixing that with brandy to make a pineapple liquor.

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