Crabapple Wine

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
One gallon recipe

6 pounds crabapples
water
1 campden tablet
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
wine yeast
1 tsp yeast nutrients
About 3 pounds sugar
honey (if wanted)

Crush apples, but do not cut or crush seeds. Put in large mesh bag and add enough water to cover apples in primary. Add 1 crushed campden tablet. Stir well. Cover loosely with a towel. 12 hours later, add pectic enzyme and stir well. The next day, add sugar to desired sg (usually 1.085- 1.100) in enough water to bring to one gallon in the primary, then add nutrient and wine yeast. Stir daily for 5 days. Keep loosely covered.
On the 6th day, strain and discard apples. Rack into secondary and top up to one gallon with water. Rack about three weeks after fermentation has ceased. At this point, you could mix 1/2 cup of honey with one cup of of wine, and rack the wine into that. Fermentation should start up again, if it doesn't add 1/2 tsp nutrients. This can be done several times, if desired, for a sweeter wine.
(I'm doing one batch with honey, and one without)

Rack every 45 days- 3 months until no more lees drop. Bottle at 6-12 months.

This wine is very good dry- the crabapples give it a kind of spiciness lacking in most apple wines. It could be sweetened just a little for a nice table wine, or sweetened more for a dessert wine.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
No, I picked them when there were fully beautifully ripe and then froze them in my chest freezer. When they thawed, they were very mushy and easy to work with.

(I had to fence the trees to keep the deer from eating them!)
 

dpt222

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
93
Reaction score
1
Hey, thanks so much for posting this recipe. Can't wait to give it a try!
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
This is bulk aging in the carboy right now- it's completely dry at .992 or so. We had a homebrew club meeting yesterday, and sampled some right out of the carboy. I had two "wino's" tell me that it is fantastic and should be entered in competition. So, it's not bottled yet but it's a great white wine. Slightly spicy from the crabapples, with a dry crisp finish.

Just make sure you use "real" crabapples, not those ornamental fruits.
 

KiRbY29869

Active Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Yooper, you wouldn't happen to be able to get a picture of those crabapples, would ya? I think I have one but can't get a picture to find out for sure. I dont want to use some poisonous kind or something thats gonna taste bad.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
No, I don't have a picture. They are just edible crabapples. NOT the ornamental ones. They look like small apples, about the size of a lime.

We opened a small bottle last night- and it was really good!
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
One more thing- the honey really smoothed it out. I ended up adding honey to the entire batch. It of course fermented out, but there is a real smoothness there. It's still a little "hot", but it'll be a great wine with a little age on it.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I opened a bottle of this on club night for some fellow HBT'ers. Either they liked it, or they are good liars. I personally liked it, though, so that's what matters! ;)
 

582brew

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
Location
Willimantic CT
Thanks for the recipe Yooper! I started my first batch today. I didn't freeze the crab-apples first, I just squished and put them in for the initial soak. Do you think the pectinase will still be able to chew them up enough despite the lack of the freeze thaw step?
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Thanks for the recipe Yooper! I started my first batch today. I didn't freeze the crab-apples first, I just squished and put them in for the initial soak. Do you think the pectinase will still be able to chew them up enough despite the lack of the freeze thaw step?
Yeah, I think it'll be fine! I only freeze them first because it's easier to squish them after freezing, plus I can't really deal with 70 pounds of crabapples at the moment!
 

582brew

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
Location
Willimantic CT
Thanks Yooper! I also had another quick question. With the stirring steps (each day) I'm worried about introducing contamination, am I being paranoid? Thanks :)
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Thanks Yooper! I also had another quick question. With the stirring steps (each day) I'm worried about introducing contamination, am I being paranoid? Thanks :)
Yes, you're being paranoid! Just use a sanitized spoon (stainless is ideal, but hard plastic works- don't use wood) and stir it up. I just put a towel over the primary but you can use a rubber band around the towel to hold it in place if it makes you feel better. I just try to keep out fruitflies during primary.
 

VerticalGambit

New Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Sterling, VA
This is a real good find. I am staring out at the inlaws yard at a pear tree and a crab apple tree. I have been telling the we can do something with them, but just was not sure.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I have 5 gallons of this wine in secondary, made from 30 pounds of crabapples. Bob mentioned that he had some crabapples still in the chest freezer. I told him to go pull them out- we might as well make more wine and use them up.

Here's what he came upstairs with:
DSCF5007.jpg


That's right- 83 pounds of crabapples!!!!!

I happen to have plenty of sugar, since I bought about 20 4 pound packages when it went on sale for $.99/package. So, tonight I am starting a 14 gallon batch of crabapple wine. Good thing he found some empty primary buckets, too!
 

carrie_mt

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Montana
YooperBrew said: Just make sure you use "real" crabapples, not those ornamental fruits.

Silly me planted an ornamental crabapple tree in my front yard 6 years ago because I didn't want to have to worry about the fruit. I could v-8 slap myself for that now! Last year I made jelly and crabapple juice from the apples and it tasted great! The apples are red and about the size of a quarter.

Since I liked the juice could I use them for wine or is there a specific reason you said not to use ornamental crabapples?
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
YooperBrew said: Just make sure you use "real" crabapples, not those ornamental fruits.

Silly me planted an ornamental crabapple tree in my front yard 6 years ago because I didn't want to have to worry about the fruit. I could v-8 slap myself for that now! Last year I made jelly and crabapple juice from the apples and it tasted great! The apples are red and about the size of a quarter.

Since I liked the juice could I use them for wine or is there a specific reason you said not to use ornamental crabapples?
If you like them, you could use them! The ornamental crabapples I've seen have had tiny hard red fruits. If yours are edible, you certainly could try wine with them.
 

carrie_mt

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Montana
Awesome - Thanks Yooper! I'll give it a try!

The crabapple juice and jelly I made last year with them was delish so I think it will make a great wine!
 

microflt

New Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Littleton
Trying the first batch of this...so far, so good, I think.

I've been trying little 1-ounce "shots" of this every other week or so and it seems to be on track so far. Every time it's tasting a little more like something you could serve to friends with out them thinking that you're trying to poison them. lol.

I've just added the honey (1/2 cup). I didn't really see any fermentation action, at least not like the initial fermentation (mad bubbling and convection). It tastes pretty good at this point, although it has a pretty strong everclear-like nose.

That being said, my real question is, what color should be expected of the wine at this point and when it's finished? Right now it has a "apple juice" color whereas earlier in the process it was much redder, then pinker, and now this color. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Trying the first batch of this...so far, so good, I think.

I've been trying little 1-ounce "shots" of this every other week or so and it seems to be on track so far. Every time it's tasting a little more like something you could serve to friends with out them thinking that you're trying to poison them. lol.

I've just added the honey (1/2 cup). I didn't really see any fermentation action, at least not like the initial fermentation (mad bubbling and convection). It tastes pretty good at this point, although it has a pretty strong everclear-like nose.

That being said, my real question is, what color should be expected of the wine at this point and when it's finished? Right now it has a "apple juice" color whereas earlier in the process it was much redder, then pinker, and now this color. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Mine finished as a clear white wine, but one time it had a golden hue to it.
 

GilaMinumBeer

Half-fast Prattlarian
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,437
Reaction score
10,792
Just make sure you use "real" crabapples, not those ornamental fruits.
Huh? What is the difference?

I am about to plant (2 ) Malus Sargentii (Sargent Crabapple) trees and was just poking around to see what if anything could be done with the fruits. from Googling it appears that Crabapples are Crabapples. They are all anywhere from 1/3" to 1/2" in size (like a cherry).

Praytell what you mean.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Huh? What is the difference?

I am about to plant (2 ) Malus Sargentii (Sargent Crabapple) trees and was just poking around to see what if anything could be done with the fruits. from Googling it appears that Crabapples are Crabapples. They are all anywhere from 1/3" to 1/2" in size (like a cherry).

Praytell what you mean.
Crabapples for eating are not from those pretty ornamental trees. The cherry-sized fruit from the ornamental trees are hard and not made for eating. They're not poisonous or anything, of course- just not really very good and they are small.

The crabapples grown as a fruit tree are large, and look like small granny smith or other apples. They have a great flavor and texture, and are just like apples but a bit "spicier" if that makes sense. We grow "centennial crabapple" and "dolgo" for varieties. http://www.raintreenursery.com/catalog/producttype.cfm?producttype=Apples-Crab

The "ornamental" type trees are really pretty with fragrant blossoms, and common in landscapes, but they are grown for their attractiveness, not their fruit. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1029.html
 

GilaMinumBeer

Half-fast Prattlarian
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,437
Reaction score
10,792
Crabapples for eating are not from those pretty ornamental trees. The cherry-sized fruit from the ornamental trees are hard and not made for eating. They're not poisonous or anything, of course- just not really very good and they are small.

The crabapples grown as a fruit tree are large, and look like small granny smith or other apples. They have a great flavor and texture, and are just like apples but a bit "spicier" if that makes sense. We grow "centennial crabapple" and "dolgo" for varieties. http://www.raintreenursery.com/catalog/producttype.cfm?producttype=Apples-Crab

The "ornamental" type trees are really pretty with fragrant blossoms, and common in landscapes, but they are grown for their attractiveness, not their fruit. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1029.html
Ahhh. Alrighty then.

I will be planting the Ornamentals then. It appears they are best used for preserves or pies.

Perhaps one day I may try a Ornamental Crabapple wine and see if I can make you drink your words.I am thinking a Begian Yeast throwing off tons of Phenolic may pair well with the tart character of the Ornamental Crabapples.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Ahhh. Alrighty then.

I will be planting the Ornamentals then. It appears they are best used for preserves or pies.

Perhaps one day I may try a Ornamental Crabapple wine and see if I can make you drink your words.I am thinking a Begian Yeast throwing off tons of Phenolic may pair well with the tart character of the Ornamental Crabapples.
They probably are fine to eat- just very small!
 

Thundercougarfalconbird

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
760
Reaction score
25
So, I went to my girlfriends fathers house and picked about 3lbs of ornamental crabapples. They're very sour and pretty hard. Do you think I could freeze like 3lbs of granny-smith apples and the crab apples to make a wine(using the same additions as you did in the original)?
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
So, I went to my girlfriends fathers house and picked about 3lbs of ornamental crabapples. They're very sour and pretty hard. Do you think I could freeze like 3lbs of granny-smith apples and the crab apples to make a wine(using the same additions as you did in the original)?
Sure. I did something similar a couple of years ago. Not with ornamental crabapples, but with windfall apples because I just didn't have enough crabapples.

These edible (rather than ornamental) crabapples have great flavor- sort of like a cider apple with some spice- so the flavor will definitely be different. But still good, just more in a regular apple way.
 

Thundercougarfalconbird

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
760
Reaction score
25
Great =D I'm hoping the potency of the ornamental apples makes up for having to half the recipe(atleast a little)
I've had the bigger ones before, but no longer have access to them =(
Kinda excited tho, my girls dad has a tiny farm. So I got pears and watermelons to use later in the year =D
Thanks Yoop, your advice is always so helpful.
 

Seeds

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Boulder
The next day, add sugar to desired sg (usually 1.085- 1.100)
Yooper - Can you tell me what this means exactly and how I would measure it?

Also, can you explain what racking is?

Thanks,
teh noob~
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Yooper - Can you tell me what this means exactly and how I would measure it?

Also, can you explain what racking is?

Thanks,
teh noob~
The SG is a measurement, called specific gravity, done with a hydrometer. They are about $7 at the homebrew stores. You really need one, because it's important to have enough alcohol to help preserve the wine, but not so much that you make rocket fuel. It's also how you tell when the wine is finished and not going to blow up a bottle.

Racking is simply the winemakers word for siphoning. I don't know why they don't say "siphoning", but they don't! You need something called a racking cane, and some tubing. They are cheap and plastic, but you really need them for making wine because oxygen/splashing/pouring is the death of wine once fermentation because and even a small amount of splashing, such as in pouring, will ruin the wine completely.
 

safronsue

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
kozani
I am about to try this recipe particularly becuase of the freezing method mentioned. can i just check...to avoid the hassle of crushing i am freezing clean unblemished apples chopped up and put in mesh bags and then proceeding where it says cover with water in the primary.

Can i use this method as a kind of generic one with other kinds of fruit too? I have many kinds of apple and pear and plum and no press so thought this would be a way to start.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,731
Reaction score
12,428
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I am about to try this recipe particularly becuase of the freezing method mentioned. can i just check...to avoid the hassle of crushing i am freezing clean unblemished apples chopped up and put in mesh bags and then proceeding where it says cover with water in the primary.

Can i use this method as a kind of generic one with other kinds of fruit too? I have many kinds of apple and pear and plum and no press so thought this would be a way to start.
Yes. I use the same method for stawberries, cherries, grapes, rhubarb, etc.
 

Madinaman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincoln
Yooper, I am about to do a 5 gallon batch of your crab apple wine. I see that white table sugar is used, but I was wondering if I could use honey instead. The crab apples came from my parents orchards, and the honey is from bees the orchard next to my parents uses to fertilize their trees. I know the end result would be different, but would it still work?
 

Madinaman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincoln
And, for making wine, I have found your information and experience invaluable, just giving out some thanks!
 
Top