"Any ideas for a CAROB wine recipe please?" Bob Hawkins, Perth, Western Australia
You must have read my mind. My wife and I were talking only a week ago about obtaining some carob pods and trying to make a wine from them. I say "try" because I have never seen a recipe for carob wine.
The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is a medium-sized, warm climate tree in the legume family, sometimes growing to 50 feet in height. An evergreen with Mediterranean origins, it is now found throughout the world in appropriate climates. It produces an amazing number of foot-long green pods that dry to a reddish hue and contain bean-like seeds of incredible hardness.
Carob seeds and pods are edible and have been used as food for over 5000 years. The ground seeds are used as a substitute for cocoa and as a food (also known as algarroba, St. John's bread, and locust bean gum). The pods, both green and dried, are commonly used as cattle feed. Carob bean powder is also used as a food stabilizer and as a darkening agent. The green pods themselves are extremely sweet and that is what I would try fermenting first. This means picking the pods rather than waiting for them to fall.
The following recipe is the way I would do it. I believe the recipe is sound, but admit I have never tried it and have no idea how this wine would turn out. Still, I think it would be rather good. It might improve with aging, but I really don't know. If you make it, please let me know.....
Chop the pods up into short pieces (1/2 inch). Chop or mince golden raisins. Toss chopped pods and raisins into primary. Meanwhile, bring water and sugar to boil. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved and pour over pods and raisins. Cover primary and allow to cool to room temperature. Add all remaining ingredients except pectic enzyme and yeast. Recover primary and wait 12 hours. Add Pectic enzyme, stir and recover. Wait additional 12 hours and add activated yeast. Recover primary and set aside, stirring twice daily for 10 days. Transfer to secondary through nylon straining bag, discarding pulp. Fit airlock and set aside 30 days. Rack, top up, refit airlock, and set aside additional 30 days. Wait 30 days and rack, stabilize wine, sweeten to taste, refit airlock, and set aside. After 2 weeks, rack into bottles. [Author's own recipe]
My thanks to Bob Hawkins of Perth, Western Australia for this request.