Fruit Cocktail Wine - Extremely cheap and cheerful party booze

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RobWalker

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A few months ago I was given a book by my dad who used to be an avid homebrewer entitled "Winemaking with Canned and Dried Fruit."



What really bugs me about this forum - no fault of anyone's, of course - is that over in the UK, we simply can't get some of the stuff you use for fruit wines - frozen concentrates, bulk juices at decent prices, etc. Therefore, I set about finding a cheap method for making what can only be called Party Fodder - quick, cheap filth that tastes good. Results were good!

Where this recipe really comes through is the cost. 1 Gallon of this wine costs me around £3, chemicals aside which I already owned. For 6 bottles of strong cocktail mixer, that's an absolute bargin, and it's easy as pie and very rewarding.

Recipe

2 Tins Fruit Cocktail in Syrup
1kg Glucose
Montrachet Wine Yeast
Nutrient
1sp Tannin
1sp Citric Acid
1/2tsp Pectic Enzyme

Method

Steralise equipment, open tins and drain the syrup into your demi-john. Set aside.
Gently boil 1-2L of water and gently dissolve Glucose.
Liquidize fruit from tins (I used a blender) and add Tannin, Citric Acid and Pectic Enzyme. Add to Demi-John, then pour in your glucose syrup.
Top up to 1 gallon leaving room for a head, and add Yeast and Nutrient.

For the first week of fermentation, shake the demi-john daily to disperse the pulp through the liquid. After a week, leave to fully ferment and settle out. Bottle, drink, and enjoy.

Good, bad, and variations.

It's good, reminiscent of Martini Bianco but with a sweeter, sticker taste, a little like Schnapps. It's especially good as a cocktail base - great with grenadine and orange juice, and tastes decent just mixed with lemonade. It's a little too powerful to drink neat, however, although the more experienced winemakers on here could probably put together something a little less prison-wine.:p

I'm unsure of OG and FG accurately, but it came out at around 12%-14% judging by the taste alone and approx OG/FG. For an extra sweet wine you can add another 1/2 pound of sugar, but it really is extremely sweet anyway. You can also make this recipe with 1 can of Fruit Cocktail instead of 2, although the flavour won't be as obvious.

As you get plenty of sugar from the fruit and syrup, this wine can vary, so here's a rough idea of what you can use for your preferred sweetness.

1 Tin + 1kg Glucose - Dry
2 Tins + 1kg Glucose - Medium
2 Tins + 1.5kg Glucose - Sweet

You can cut this one short if it's getting too dry and it'll still taste great. Worst case scenario, tip some vodka in to strengthen it up. This isn't South France!

Hilariously, despite being printed in the late sixties, you can still buy copies of the book I used from Amazon. Ace. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0900841001/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Pictures to come soon, hopefully. Any questions, send them this way!
 
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nutty_gnome

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Please elborate on the style/size/contents of these two things:
2 Tins Fruit Cocktail in Syrup, glucose?

To me a tin in the US of fruit cocktain is about 2 ounces in size from Dole. is that it?

and a KG of glucose...where does that come from? Is that just invert sugar?
 
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RobWalker

RobWalker

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Glucose is readily available here in home brew shops but I think the US Substitute is Corn Sugar. It's the same sweetness as regular sugar more or less, so you should be fine just using caster/granulated, worse case scenario. I think Glucose just gives a purer flavour and is much easier to dissolve. Still, I'm very new to this so I'd check with someone else, hahah.

The 2 tins are 420g each, so that would be a 14oz can I believe. Here's what I used;



It doesn't sound like much but the flavour's very strong!
 

Lynda Collins

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If your'e in the UK we have LIDL Stores... great stores selling household stuff, and, veg and great selection of different fruit juices perfect for making into wine.
If you keep your eyes open these are sometimes on special offer....... Orange, Pineapple, Tropical Red and White Grape, Pinapple, Apple, Cranberry [our favourite] and many other veg /fruit combinations........
And not forgetting Rice to create into Saki........
 
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RobWalker

RobWalker

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Fermentation was something like a month, clearing a week, and it's ready to go after that. I didn't bother ageing because it doesn't need to develop, you just mix it with lemonade or something and chug it down! It's a good way to brew "alcopops" or cocktail mixers for your friends...and if they're getting drunk for free, everybody's happy!

Anyway, I've learned a lot since this recipe, so the best way to do this would be to use your hydrometer and aim for around 15% potential alcohol, which should leave it sweet and unable to cause bottle bombs or anything. Keep adding sugar in small quantities until the yeast dies, and then you can add sugar to taste. I made mine quite sweet so it was easy drinking at parties :)
 

Vance71975

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Oh my god. Did I just see a can of V8 on that book? I wonder what V8 mixed with sugar would taste like after fermenting.

May taste like ass to drink straight but i bet it would make an AWESOME marinade for a beef roast soaked in and injected with before grilling!
 
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RobWalker

RobWalker

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Kahler: Room temp.

I've started this one again today, and I'm using Gervin GV4 high tolerance wine yeast so I can get this up to about 16%. Just pulped the ingredients, added sugar, added chemicals and yeast, and sat it in the demi-john :)

Gradual sugar addition using Glucose this time, so we're starting off at 1.070, and requiring around 16oz of additional glucose, leaving us with a total OG (sort of) of 1.120.

For the record, this isn't hooch - it's a high alcohol mixer, and besides, it's far too awful to drink neat. I love this on ice with lemonade, it's basically a wine spritzer, but with a decent kick.
 

Genacide

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What would be the effect of using a ale yeast with a low tolerance? Would this make it more tolerable to drink neat, or would it be overwhelmingly sweet?
 
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RobWalker

RobWalker

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I would use Montrachet wine yeast and less sugar. It's all down to your OG, so if you got this to 1.070 or so and let it ferment out, it'd be strong enough and dry enough to drink like a wine. You'd need about 2 tins of fruit cocktail and 1kg glucose to get 1.070 OG, and then you'd definitely have to age it some.
 

Genacide

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I'm about 10 days in and haven't shaken up the jug for a few days. It appears that the bottom 1/4 of the jug is pulp and lees, if this normal?
 
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RobWalker

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Yeah, mine is the same. I just ran it through a muslin bag and back into the demi-john (resterilized) when it's finished fermenting, so you barely lose anything. There's a lot of must in this one!
 

ashfatboy

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Genacide said:
I'm about 10 days in and haven't shaken up the jug for a few days. It appears that the bottom 1/4 of the jug is pulp and lees, if this normal?
I don't think there is a need to shake it,the crap at the bottom will settle to a small percentage of the overall mix if left alone,be patient
 

andyn11

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Sounds great lol might try this one wen iam looking for summin diff lol
 

Hooligan125IN

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I made this almost exactly the same way while in Iraq on my first deployment. My mom make wine and sent me a plastic container about 3 gallon size with a pack of red star yeast. The instructions I got were: place 2 pounds of sugar and a bunch of fruit cocktail( she didn't specify how much) and add water and yeast to fill 3/4 of the jug. She called it friendship wine. Well I put about two styrofoam trays filled with fruit cocktail from the dinning hall. Added 2 pounds of sugar I bought at the PX and then added the yeast and water. After two weeks we tried it and it was sweet but not sweet enough. We added a bunch of pineapple and let it sit another week. The end result was great. We would just scoop out a bowl of fruit and eat it. The reason she called it friendship wine was all you had to do was scoop some out and give it to a friend as a base and add more sugar, fruit and water and let the new pot ferment. It was a little like prison hooch but it was good and got us a little buzz.
 

RedBearded

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Hooligan125IN said:
I made this almost exactly the same way while in Iraq on my first deployment. My mom make wine and sent me a plastic container about 3 gallon size with a pack of red star yeast. The instructions I got were: place 2 pounds of sugar and a bunch of fruit cocktail( she didn't specify how much) and add water and yeast to fill 3/4 of the jug. She called it friendship wine. Well I put about two styrofoam trays filled with fruit cocktail from the dinning hall. Added 2 pounds of sugar I bought at the PX and then added the yeast and water. After two weeks we tried it and it was sweet but not sweet enough. We added a bunch of pineapple and let it sit another week. The end result was great. We would just scoop out a bowl of fruit and eat it. The reason she called it friendship wine was all you had to do was scoop some out and give it to a friend as a base and add more sugar, fruit and water and let the new pot ferment. It was a little like prison hooch but it was good and got us a little buzz.
Love this! I was lucky enough to work with all civilians both of my deployments to Afghaniland (2009 and 2011), and some how they could get cases of whatever we wanted... What "Top" doesn't know won't hurt him.
 

saramc

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I used to make Amish Friendship Fruit Starter...pretty similar though it was just fruit, sugar and brandy. It was made into Amish Friendship Cake. Your recipe reminded me how good that was, may have to start making it again.
 
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I was having some crazy ideas and wondered if adding a pack of jello (no potassium or recognizable yeast killers) to my primary fermentation would be detrimental to the outcome of my wine? Any thoughts?
 

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