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Requested Recipe:

Grapefruit


"I have two very prolific grapefruit trees and will
lose friends if I give any more away. I've made more
grapefruit marmalade than I'll ever be able to use.
Can I make wine with them?"
Cynthia Raye, Orlando, FL




GRAPEFRUIT


Anyone who has had a large, healthy grapefruit tree knows that it can produce far more fruit than you, your extended family and your best friends desire to eat. Two trees is simply a curse. So, after you've pushed fresh grapefruit and grapefruit marmalade off on everyone you know, what do you do with the other half of the crop? The answer is as you suspected. You make grapefruit wine.

Grapefruit makes a delightful dry table wine and an equally delightful semi-sweet to sweet sipping wine. It even makes quite a decent dessert wine. In either case, however, it requires at least six months bottle aging to remove the harshness of youth from the wine and allow it to mellow. Even longer aging will improve the wine to about a year or two. After that, the wine peaks and slowly declines.

The four recipes below should answer any need. Some are simpler than others, but all make great wine. They are, as usual, arranged from dry to sweet.


GRAPEFRUIT WINE (Dry) (1)

Scrub grapefruit clean. Peel one grapefruit thinly, making sure no white pith adheres to peel. Put peel in primary with half the sugar, the crushed Campden tablet, juice from all six grapefruit, yeast nutrient, and enough water to bring up to one gallon, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Cover primary with clean cloth. After 12 hours, add pectic enzyme. After additional 12 hours, add yeast. After two days of vigorous fermentation, add remaining sugar, stir well, and allow additional two days vigorous fermentation in primary. Discard peel, transfer to secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days, topping up each time. After fifth racking, bottle and set aside at least 6 months. [Adapted from Dorothy Alatorre's Home Wines of North American]


GRAPEFRUIT WINE (Dry) (2)

Scrub grapefruit clean. Put the water on to boil while thinly grating peelings of 2 or 3 grapefruit. Put zest (gratings) in nylon straining bag. Peel the grapefruit and remove all pith. Section the fruit and put segments in bag. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash the segments. Add grape juice, sugar, the crushed Campden tablet, tannin, yeast nutrient, and boiling water. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover primary with clean cloth. After 12 hours, add pectic enzyme. After additional 12 hours, add yeast. After 5-7 days of vigorous fermentation, remove nylon bag and allow to drip drain (do not squeeze). Siphon into secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days, topping up each time. After fifth or sixth racking, bottle and set aside at least 6 months. [Adapted from Terry Garey's The Joy of Home Winemaking]


GRAPEFRUIT WINE (Semi-Sweet)

Chop or mince raisins. Scrub grapefruit clean. Peel two grapefruit thinly, making sure no white pith adheres to peelings. Put peelings in nylon straining bag with raisins. Juice the grapefruit and pour juice in primary. With a spoon, scrape the pulp from the grapefruit and add pulp to nylon bag, being careful not to allow any pith to adhere to pulp. Tie bag and put in primary with half the sugar, the crushed Campden tablet, tannin, yeast nutrient, and enough water to bring up to one gallon, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Cover primary with clean cloth. After 12 hours, add pectic enzyme. After additional 12 hours, add yeast. After two days of vigorous fermentation, add remaining sugar, stir well, and allow additional three days vigorous fermentation in primary. Remove bag, drain without squeezing and discard pulp. Siphon liquor into secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days, topping up each time. After fifth racking, stabilize. Wait ten days and rack off sediment. Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in 1/8 cup boiling water. Allow to cool, add to wine, stir gently, and bottle. Allow to age at least 6 months. [Author's recipe]


GRAPEFRUIT DESSERT WINE (Sweet)

Scrub grapefruit clean. Peel one grapefruit thinly, making sure no white pith adheres to peel. Put peel in primary with half the sugar, the crushed Campden tablet, juice from all six grapefruit, tannin, yeast nutrient, and enough water to bring up to one gallon. Stir well to dissolve sugar. With a spoon, scrape the pulp from the grapefruit and add to primary, being careful not to allow any pith to adhere to pulp. Cover primary with clean cloth. After 12 hours, add pectic enzyme. After additional 12 hours, add yeast. After two days of vigorous fermentation, add remaining sugar, stir well, and allow additional three days vigorous fermentation in primary. Strain through nylon sieve into secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days, topping up each time. After fifth racking, stabilize. Wait ten days and rack off sediment. Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in 1/4 cup boiling water. Allow to cool and add to wine. Add glycerine, stir gently and bottle. Allow to age at least 6 months. [Author's recipe]


My thanks to Cynthia Raye of Orlando, Florida for the request.


This page was updated on November 4th, 1998.

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