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Requested Recipe:


"Can you make wine using jelly as a flavoring?" Reggie Thomas, Grand Junction, CO


Many people have asked me this, so I am past due in answering. Jelly is made from fruit juice, usually highly clarified. Prized jellies are "sparkling" or "brilliant." Four things are required to make fruit juice turn into jelly: pectin (gelatin), sugar, acid, and heat. The pectin makes them gel if the juice contains acid, sugar and gets hot enough -- about 220 to 222 Fahrenheit at sea level. The sugar and acid are good for winemaking, but both require augmentation. The secret to making wine from jelly is to make sure you neutralize all the pectin in the jelly.

This recipe is really intended for homemade jellies, but if commercial ones are used you are advised to read the ingredients very carefully and avoid any that contain potassium sorbate (or sorbic acid), sodium benzoate (or benzoic acid), or any chemicals you don't recognize or understand their purpose in the product.

Making Wine from Jelly

* This really depends on the jelly. Add 2 teaspoons for high acid fruit, 3 teaspoons for low acid fruit. Other considerations: add more tannin for tannin-neutral jellies, like peach or apple mint. You can match the wine yeast to the fruit, just as you would for the fresh fruit itself, or simply use a general purpose yeast you like.

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil, remove from heat and stir in all the jelly. Cover and set aside 4-5 hours (until room temperature). Transfer to primary, stir in pectic enzyme, cover primary, and set aside 3 days (72 hours). Transfer back to pot and bring to a boil and hold boil for 5 minutes. Put sugar, citric acid, powdered tannin, and yeast nutrient in primary. Pour liquid over dry ingredients in primary and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover primary and set aside to cool to room temperature. At the same time, begin a yeast starter. When liquid is cool, check specific gravity and adjust to 1.095. Transfer to secondary but do not top up. Add activated yeast starter solution and cover with paper towel held in place with a rubber band. After 3 days seal with airlock. When vigorous fermentation subsides (5-7 days), top up; this will reduce the alcohol level slightly to a more amenable 11.5-12%. Wait 30 days and rack, sulfite, top up, and reattach airlock. Rack every 30 days (sulfite every other racking) until no new sediment forms and wine is clear. If wine doesn't fall perfectly clear in 60 days, add another teaspoon of pectic enzyme and wait 2 weeks. If still not clear, add another teaspoon. [NOTE: Be sure pectic enzyme has been stored properly. If wine does not clear after adding 7 teaspoons, replace the pectic enzyme.] Stabilize, sweeten if desired, wait 30 days, and bottle. Might taste after 3 months, but really should wait 6 or longer. [Author's own recipe]

My thanks to Reggie Thomas and all the other people who have requested a jelly wine recipe and have been patient.


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This page was updated May 5th, 2008

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