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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apple Wine, Applesauce and Butter

When a friend's parents needed to have the apples picked off their tree, they called my husband to come help, and for his effort, he got a good 15-20 pounds of apples. This is a good thing because I LOVE APPLES!!! However, not even I can eat that many before they go bad, lol!

This is ONLY about a THIRD of what we got :-)
So, we naturally wanted to make wine out of them. The last time I made apples wine, I ended up rushing the process and losing all the wine because I didn't have everything I needed to make it work out. However, it wasn't a complete loss because I learned something important...

When juicing a ton of apples, there ends up being a TON of pulp! When I had a good 3/4th of a gallon of juice, I had enough pulp the almost fill a 6 quart pot. So, I added a hint of sugar (about 1/2 cup to the first pot and closer to a whole cup for the second pot) and some water (7 cups in each pot) to the pot of apple pulp and let it simmer on low for about a half an hour.

Note: I don't mind seeds or even peel in my applesauce, so I did not peel the apples nor did I remove the seeds. The juicer I use doesn't put any of that in the juice anyway. This meant that I did have to spend a good 20-30 minutes each batch sorting through the pulp to pull out the bigger chunks of peel. If you would rather NOT have peels or seeds in your pulp, feel free to use an apple corer and peeler before juicing the apples.

Another reason that I did not remove the peel is that is has quite a bit more flavor than the apple flesh does, so leaving some in there can help give it some zing.

So, after a while, I had close to a gallon of apple juice, but it also had a lot of froth. That's okay, IMO. The froth is simply bits of pulp that is so fine it was able to fit through the micromesh of the juicer. To that batch (actually to both batches) I added a pound of sugar (approx 2 cups), lemon juice (between 1-2 lemons worth) and half a 12 oz box of raisins. I used organic raisins so that I know that the yeast I want hasn't been removed via chemical washes or irradiation.

The froth is at the top, the bottom has sugar and raisins... and maybe a little of the froth, lol!
Then I started on my second gallon of juice. To be honest, I almost wanted to stop because I had so much pulp from the first one, that I was leery of making more, lol! But I persevered!

From my second gallon of juice, I decided to remove as much of the froth as possible because - well - if any part of it is going to attract mold, it would be the frothy stuff on top. I figured that it would have to be removed later on anyway (when I bottle the wine) so why not remove it now?

That frothy stuff went into a smaller pot and then simmered on low for 10-15 minutes to make apple butter. The reason why for the simmering is that the froth is loaded with pectin, and the simmering thickens the froth and activates the pectin to create apple butter - like jelly but not clear. (I might just go back and remove the froth from the first batch because I liked it so much :-D )

This is the jar I removed the froth from, as a result, there is less total. Off to the left is my Rumtopf :-)
From the first batch of applesauce simmering in the 6 quart pot, I got 6 full pints of apple sauce. From the second, I got nearly 7 pints, but I decided to divide the last of it into bowls for my hubby and I to enjoy :-) To me, it turned out tasting almost exactly like the sugar free variety I buy in the store (the second batch was sweeter like "normal" applesauce) but it definitely looks different - containing bits of peel, seeds, and a brownish color. The froth taken from the one jar made TWO 8 ounce jars of apple butter.

Last note: I didn't "officially" can the applesauce, but I did put it in the jars while warm and most of the jars made a clanking noise as they self sealed. This means that the jars that clanked are technically shelf stable, but I plan to store all of mine in the fridge anyway.

As for the wine, well, I've added the sugar, lemon juice, and raisins to the second gallon and now have them sitting out on my stove to ferment. I will keep an eye on them to make sure they don't go moldy, but other than that, they just need to sit there for up to 4 months before being bottled. I look forward to tasting the finished wine!




1 comment:

  1. Update 10-20-14 I have already bottled the 2 gallons of Apple Wine that my husband made. His version was different in that his simply sliced up a bunch of apples and soaked them in sugar water for a couple of days before removing and dehydrating them. This meant his batches were apples flavored sugar water - which he used 2 pounds of sugar in each gallon instead of one. His wine turned out very good! It tastes like apples, which I thought it might not because it's mostly water :-)
    Anyway, my 2 gallons are ready to bottle too, I just need to buy a couple more jars first :-) I look forward to making more wine in the future... maybe even adding apple pie spices to it as an extra treat :-D

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