Sunday, November 13, 2011

Orange Wine

Introduction: There are a number of recipes for orange wine out there that give a very sweet end product with spices in it. This is not one of them. This recipe gives a dry, light-bodied orange wine that's more of a refreshing summer or fall drink. It's a good young wine, not requiring a lot of aging before it has good drinkability, about three months. Make sure your oranges are sweet and ripe. Because their sugar content can vary so much, it doesn't hurt to take hydrometer readings. This wine also clears really fast, which is fun! Give it a go!

30-40 ripe oranges
water to one gallon
2lbs (4 1/2 cups) sugar
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
1/8 heaping teaspoon tannins
wine yeast (used EC-1118)

Peel and juice your oranges, keeping as much of the white pith out as possible. We peeled our oranges, pulsed them in the blender, then put them in a cheesecloth/straining bag. This gave a really high juice yield. We used 35 Valencia oranges and less than one quart of water. Less water means a little more body and more fruity-ness.

You can use a campden tablet crushed overnight here to kill off wild yeasts/bacteria. We slowly heated our juice up to 170 degrees for 20 minutes with no adverse effects on the taste; it also helped the sugar go into solution. Add you tannins, yeast nutrient, and wine yeast when back to room temperature.

Attach an airlock, and ferment! It should clear easily, bottle when done fermenting, age a few months to one year, and enjoy!

The winemaker


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