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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Texas Persimmon wine
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:20 AM   #1
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Default Texas Persimmon wine

My husband and I own a small ranch outside Llano, Texas. Granite uplift geology, although most of the Texas Hill Country is limestone. Apart from a couple of cows, we have beaucoup Texas persimmons, and this year there is a bumper crop. Some are going into jelly and jam, but I want to take a shot at making wine with them.

For you poor unfortunates who are not from Texas :-) a Texas persimmon is about the size of a good sized cherry tomato. When they are ripe they are quite sweet, sort of plummy tasting. The juice and skins are used in Mexico to dye leather. Deer love them, our cows love them (one of them got quite shirty about me picking berries off the bush she'd just come up to snack on). From the little I can glean about this, it *ought* to make good wine.

Has anyone tried this with this particular fruit? Suggestions, cautions, horror stories, glorious successes?

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Old 09-22-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
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I don't have a clue... but jack keller does

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/persimmo.asp

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Old 09-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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:-). I got that recipe from some website out of Austin, who probably got it from the same place Jack Keller did. Good to see The Master gives it his blessing though.

Has anybody on here ever DONE this, though? If not I'll be the first and report :-)

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
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Sorry, should have continued my thought... My major question has to do with the role of FROST in preparing Texas Persimmons (aka Mexican persimmons) for fermentation? There is some word out there on the net, (relating mostly to jelly but I expect the concerns are the same) that Texas persimmons picked pre-frost end up so dry your face sinks back into your head :-). So what I need to know is whether anyone has done this; did you wait until first frost to harvest; did you pick up any tricks along the way to turn out a good wine?

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Considering: Sparkling raspberry wine, carrot wine

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In Secondary: Pumpkin Pie Mead; Traditional Mead; Dried Elderberry Wine; Blueberry Wine; Texas Persimmon wine; White grape/peach wine; Texas Twang; Hi, Biscus! Metheglyn; A Maize-ing Wine

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Old 09-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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I'm in the middle of doing this wine right now. I had a few pounds in the freezer for when I was bored. I waited until the fruit fell from the tree to harvest them. I do have one tip when making this wine. You have to taste each persimmon you use. I would stick my tongue to the fruit after I removed the large seeds to tell if they were ripe. If they aren't ripe it will numb your tongue and destroy your wine. Hope this helps!

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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Thanks! I assume you used a Campden tablet, if you were essentially licking each persimmon...?

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Old 09-25-2012, 09:39 PM   #7
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Persimmons have high tannin levels when immature. Ripening of the fruit leads to a decrease in tannin content and a hard frost will lead to the plant to concentrate its sugars. So, yes, you need to wait until you get frost before you go harvesting them. Up here in Indiana we harvest persimmons anywhere from mid-october all the way to November.

I made my own sparkling persimmon mead and so far I'm not excited with how it turned out. When the fruit ferments out it gets a musty, dank flavor which IMO isn't suited well to wine. Granted, it was only about 5 months old when I last had it back in June, so things might have changed. But I'm not holding out hope. I did make a persimmon ale fermented with brettanomyces that turned out well, though.

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Old 09-25-2012, 09:41 PM   #8
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Also if you live in a rural area, you can try putting a fence around your persimmon tree to deter any deer. I know my in-laws had their entire persimmon harvest wiped out in the matter of a couple of days by deer. They just didn't make it to the trees in time.

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Old 09-26-2012, 03:49 AM   #9
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Thanks, Doug. For now I'm apparently in no danger of going off half-cocked and picking this weekend...bloody rain is supposed to soak the entire eastern 2/3 of Texas all day Saturday. (Which just happens to be the opening day of archery DEER SEASON and would have been my first year shooting my crossbow but I'm ) At any rate, sounds like waiting is the best option.

At our ranch we have a LOT of Texas persimmons. There would be no fencing all of them. Besides, they're good for the deer, and the cows. I can share. They can't get the tops of the trees

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Old 09-26-2012, 04:04 AM   #10
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I'm just down the road in Waco. I'd love to hear how your harvest goes.

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