Why Use The Boiling Method To Make Wine?
The boiling method lost most of its popularity when it was discovered that heating the fruits gave pectin into the wine to cause heavy and permanent cloudiness. This was, of course, before pectin-destroying enzymes came onto the market for general use by amateur wine-makers. It was owing to this that the sulphiting method came into its own. But because people like wines with the flavour of the fruits when stewed and because we now have Pectinol and Pektolase two popular pectin-destroying enzymes which ensure a clear wine — the boiling method is fast becoming popular again.
Preparing the fruits The methods call for prepared fruits. But first let me warn that it is wise not to gather fruits close to roads carrying heavy traffic because it has been proved that these contain lead from exhaust fumes. This is not to say that wines made from them would be dangerous, but the cumulative effect of drinking large quantities of wines made from them might prove harmful.
All that need be done by way of preparing the fruits is to remove stalks, hulls, leaves and so on and rinse them under a fast running tap.
All the recipes on this site are designed to make fully-flavoured, quite robust wines with a good bouquet and aroma without using any additional ingredients. However over the years since concentrated grape juices have become available many people, including myself, have been experimenting to find which concentrate goes best with which fruit and whether the addition made a worthwhile improvement to the wine. And most agree that there is an improvement. It will be seen that under each recipe I recommend a certain amount of a certain type of concentrate. I add ‘reduce sugar’ by whatever amount is given. It is necessary to reduce the amount of sugar given in the recipes because the concentrate contains a lot and if we did not reduce it the wines would not turn out dry or medium as we want them and a sweet wine would be far too sweet.
Boiling the fruits and water destroys the wild yeast and bacteria on the fruits and any wild yeast there may be in the water so that we start off with a mixture free of the causes of spoilage. Do be careful to allow the boiled mixture to cool well before adding the yeast and pectin-destroying enzyme (Pektolase) otherwise both may be harmed and become ineffective.
It will be found that the sugar in the concentrated grape juice settles to the bottom of the can and becomes quite solid. It must be mixed with the juice before using. So open the can, stand it in hot water and stir until all the sugar is thoroughly mixed. Then measure the amount required.
All the recipes are for 5 ltr (1 gall) of wine. This is the amount most people like to use to get the feel of things before they embark on larger amounts. If you want to make two, three or four gallons merely increase the amount of each ingredient by the number of gallons you want to make.
Note that a 1 kg can of concentrated grape juice, the most-used size these days, contains 27fl oz or 1 pt 7 fl oz. The 3.5 dl (13 fl oz) given under most recipes will be near enough half a 1 kg can. But bear in mind that the 35 oz by weight of 1 kg does not bear comparison with the liquid measure of 27 fl oz. So the 13 oz (350 g) of dry sugar is not the same as the 13 fl oz of grape juice.