Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 Strawberry Wine

15 pounds of fresh June strawberries makes 3 gallons of strawberry wine, ready to bottle in October! This batch took a bit of work, from the picking of the strawberries, to the mushing up and constant agitation through primary fermentation, to the straining of the yeast-digested fruit when it went into the secondary fermentation carboy. (Mushing vs. a blender, because the latter would've chopped all the tiny strawberry seeds, releasing a bitter component the wine could do without...)

I was concerned that the wine would go straw or golden in color, but it finished as a dark reddish-amber. The specific gravity started at 1.110 and wound up at 0.990 in the end, so it took a goodly amount of sweetener to bring it back to a semi-sweet bottling stage. Due to the high acid levels of fresh strawberries, I used champagne yeast, so there's a relatively high alcohol content - but it is subdued in presence by the strawberry flavor, with a very clean finish on the palate.

I'm sure this batch of 15 bottles will disappear well before I pick another 15 pounds next spring.