When the peaches come in, our preservation kitchen goes into overdrive. Peaches are high sugar and high acid, which makes them perfect for canning, but that also makes them ideal for homemade peach wine. Once the canned peaches are put up, it’s time to break out the fermenter.
Vermont isn’t exactly the peach capital of the world, but with selective breeding practices, there are now new peach varieties for our zone 4 climates. I’m really excited, and I even have a few neighbors that have tasted their own homegrown peaches already. Our trees are still tiny sticks, but that doesn’t stop us from preserving a few crates of peaches from Pennsylvania Amish Country every year.
Home-canned peaches line our shelves, but I’ve also started canning peach pie filling, peach jam and peach scrap jelly from all the peels. Still, there’s only so much jam and preserves my family can eat in a year, so of course, I had to try my hand at homemade peach wine.
In the past, I’ve tried to use a small home juicer to extract peach juice for wine, but since peaches are so soft it just results in a peach puree. There’s a reason they don’t sell jugs of peach juice at the store, it comes out more like nectar than a straight juice. There is another way though…
This year I’m using a sugar juicing technique that I learned making rhubarb wine. Start by chopping the peaches and then pack them in sugar. The sugar will pull out the juice and break down the peach cells, making the juice more digestible for wine yeast.
When you first add the sugar to the peaches it’ll look a bit absurd. The peaches are more or less lost in the sugar, and it’s hard to imagine how this will turn into a juice. Patience…
All that sugar is doing the work for you, and within a few minutes, the peaches are already releasing their juice. After about an hour, a jar of sugared peaches has been transformed into a jar of sugar-sweetened juice perfect for peach wine.
I was a bit hesitant to add too much sugar because I didn’t want to overwhelm the peach flavor. When I make my homemade peach jam, I use very little sugar to avoid overwhelming the peach flavor. My husband disagreed, and though he usually prefers dry wines, he thought a dry peach wine would be pretty unappealing. There has to be enough sugar in the fermenter to both create alcohol and leave a good bit of residual sweetness in the peach wine.
I went ahead and added a full 3lbs of sugar the first time I made peach wine, at his sweet suggestion. I’m using a champagne yeast with a high alcohol tolerance and though I didn’t measure the specific gravity, by taste and effect I’d say the finished wine came out both highly alcoholic and quite sweet. It’s VERY easy drinking, and you’re liable to end in a bit of trouble when you look over and the bottle’s empty before you know it.
For that reason, I’ve listed a sugar range on this recipe between 2lbs and 3lbs. Usually, I make fruit wines with 2 to 2.5 lbs of sugar per gallon, and peaches are quite sweet. Two pounds should yield a tasty balanced wine that’s not too sweet, and if you think it’s too dry for your palate when it’s finished fermenting you can always back sweeten it.
After I juiced the peaches with sugar, the remaining pulp was so pulverized that I just tossed it into the fermenter. I didn’t want to waste that peach flavor, but that was a mistake. Once the peach wine began fermenting, the pulp all floated to the top. While it looked pretty pulverized when I poured it in, it quickly formed a dense mat at the top of the fermenter. Next time, I won’t add in the peach pulp, just the sugar extracted juice.
In my case, it worked out just fine and that peach pulp never managed to clog the water lock and create a big mess. There was enough headspace, and I poped it open to shove the peach chunks down a few times (with a sterilized implement). No worries, and no trouble, but I still will filter out the pulp next time.
In this peach wine recipe, I’m using the same yeast that I generally use for my small-batch meads. It’s Premier Blanc wine yeast which used to be called champagne yeast. It has a high alcohol tolerance and produces tiny bubbles in the finished wine like champagne. Since this type of yeast is often used to restart sluggish fermentation, it’s also a great choice if you want to make sure a homemade wine gets started right the first time.
Feel free to choose a different wine yeast, but be sure to dissolve the yeast in water and allow it to bloom for 5-10 minutes before adding it into the peach wine base. The yeast granules are hibernating and throwing them right into a sugary solution before allowing them to rehydrate can shock the yeast.
Other than wine yeast purchased specifically for home brewing, I generally like to make wine with what I have in my kitchen. I avoid yeast energizers, acid blends, tannin powders and the like. For acid, I add in a bit of lemon juice. For tannin, I’ll add in a few currant leaves or grape leaves, or a black tea bag. I like to let my wines ferment completely and then carbonate slightly in the bottle, rather than ending the fermentation with Camden tablets.
That said, winemaking additives do have their place and they make a far more reliable brew than kitchen pantry alternatives. If you do want to use winemaking additives instead, here’s where to find them:
- Pectic Enzyme for breaking open the peach fruit cells and help the natural pectin to separate and settle. Use about 1/2 tsp per gallon.
- An acid blend to decrease the overall pH. How much to add depends on the type of wine, and here’s a good primer on using acid blends in home winemaking.
- Yeast Nutrient to feed the little beasties and give them the micronutrients that help them thrive. Add 1 tsp per gallon of wine.
- Tannin to give the sweet wine a bit of astringency and balance the flavor. A little goes a long way, and 1/8 to 1/4 tsp is all you need.
- Potassium Sorbate and Camden tablets (potassium metabisulfite) to completely end the fermentation and stabilize the wine before bottling for a still wine with no carbonation.
In some of my homemade wines, I make a conscious choice to use winemaking chemicals, as I did in this lemon wine. I wanted a really clean flavor, so instead of raisins, I added yeast nutrient. That said, I’ve never used potassium sorbate or Camden tablets. I have no desire to eat preservatives in my food, and I’m not happy when they sneak into my favorite foods. There’s no way I’m going to consciously put them into my homemade wine.
To get started brewing, the only specialized equipment and ingredients you need is the wine yeast, a carboy, rubber stopper, and an airlock. This kit has everything you need except the yeast for about $10. Beyond that, an auto-siphon is wicked helpful for bottling and worth the investment if you plan on making more than one batch of homebrew in your lifetime.
The whole process for making peach wine is pretty simple. Place the sugar juiced peaches, lemon juice, tannin source, and water are in the fermenter and seal it with a water lock. Allow it to bubble away for about 10-14 days. This is known as primary fermentation and is the most active stage of fermentation. The bubbles should be coming strong, and the water lock will be burping almost continuously once the ferment gets going.
Once things settle down after the primary fermentation step, siphon the wine over into a clean container, leaving any sediment behind. This is where it’s really helpful to have a second fermentation vessel. Racking the wine into secondary it’s strictly required, but it is highly recommended. All the sediment at the bottom can create off-flavors in a finished wine, and it’s best to move the wine off of them if possible. Racking the wine into secondary also helps it clear.
If you choose not to rack, know that any chunks of peaches in the wine can cause contamination over long periods of time. They’re fine in there for just the primary ferment, but after that, anything above the waterline may mold and should be removed. If you’re not going to rack the wine into secondary, make sure you’ve really filtered out all the peach chunks before the wine goes into the carboy.
Once the wine is in secondary, allow it to bubble away for at least 6 weeks until fermentation slows or stops. More time isn’t harmful, provided the water lock still has water in it and stays sealed (it can evaporate if left for extended periods). Leaving the wine in secondary for 3-6 months will actually improve its flavor, and if you’re patient I’d suggest that route.
Either way, after a secondary of at least 6 weeks (or 6 months), us a siphon to bottle the wine, leaving the yeast sediment behind. You can re-use wine bottles from previous batches, but be sure to clean them out thoroughly with a one-step sanitizer. Always use new corks when bottling (and a wine bottle corker). If you don’t have a bunch of wine bottles on hand (or you’re not confident that you can get them really clean), they’re also available here.
Allow the peach wine to bottle age for at least a month, but preferably a year or more for best flavor.
This simple recipe uses everyday pantry staples to make one gallon of homemade peach wine.
- 2-3 lbs peaches chopped
- 2-3 lbs sugar
- 1/2 cup prepared black tea, strongly brewed
- (or 1/8 tsp tannin powder)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- (or 2 tsp Acid Blend)
- 1/8 cup raisins
- (or 1 tsp yeast nutrient)
- Premier Blanc Wine Yeast
- Chop the peaches into a large bowl or half-gallon mason jar. Cover the peach slices with sugar, and stir every few minutes. The sugar will extract the peach juice in about 1-2 hours.
- Drain the peach juice into a fermentation vessel, and then use water to wash the peach pulp to remove the last bits of sugar and peach juice. Pour the water through a fine-mesh strainer and fill the fermenter to about 3/4 full, leaving space for the remaining ingredients.
- Brew a cup of strong black tea, remove the tea bag and add about 1/2 cup of the strongly brewed black tea into the fermenter. (Or just add winemaking tannin.)
- Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice into the fermenter. (Or just add 2 tsp acid blend for winemaking)
- Add raisins or yeast nutrient, but keep in mind if you add raisins they will float and you must filter them out before secondary to prevent surface mold down the line.
- Open the yeast packet and allow it to bloom in about 1/4 cup of lukewarm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the yeast into the fermenter. One packet is enough for 5 gallons of wine, so you can save some for other batches, or use the whole thing if you're not planning any other brewing in the near future.
- Add water to fill the fermenter to within a few inches of the top. Cap with a rubber stopper and give the whole thing a shake, careful not to drop it. Or, for the more conservative, use the handle of a long kitchen spoon to stir it up.
- Cap with an airlock and allow the mixture to ferment for about 10-14 days. When the fermentation begins to slow, siphon the mixture over into a clean carboy, leaving any sediment behind.
- Re-cap with a water lock and ferment for at least another 6 weeks, preferably longer such as 3 to 6 months. It may finish and clarify sooner, depending on your local temperature.
- Bottle the peach wine in clean, sterilized wine bottles with corks. Allow the peach wine to bottle age for at least 1 month, but preferably up to a year before drinking.
If at any point the airlock clogs with peach pulp, pull it off and clean it out before re-attaching it. This shouldn't be an issue if you've filtered the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer.
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More Winemaking Recipes
Looking for more easy winemaking recipes? Try any of these homemade country wines:
You need to do this as a small batch.
You mean a 1-quart batch? Easy enough, just divide the recipe by 4 =) I just put up a general post on making small-batch wines, and that should help you make a micro-batch out of just about anything: https://practicalselfreliance.com/small-batch-wine/
I love your blog and I’ve just begun this process. My question is that should I begin to see bubbling right away? Because, if so, I’m not. My yeast has a date of 2024 on it and I used some recently to make Dandelion Wine and it was fine. Just wanted to know what I should expect to see and how soon. I also opted to use my crock for the initial fermentation with peaches left in.
You should start seeing bubbles within a day or two. If you have not seen any yet, you may need some warmer temperatures. The warmer the temperature, the faster the fermentation.
I wanted to say thank you for your blog, it’s one of the more comprehensive and practical sites that I use. Keep up this content!!! Lastly, I wanted to inquire of you about black tea recommendations, which (tea bags) do you use? Is there a similar brand that you’d recommend if the one you use isn’t available in my area? Thank you again for your time and efforts!
You’re just using them as a tannin source, so I go with cheap and harsh…namely Lipton black tea. It has a lot of tannins, but not a whole lot of flavor (in my opinion). We buy a huge box Lipton tea bags to use to make sun tea in the summertime, and then I always have a few on hand for winemaking.
you don’t get to stomp around making demands, hon. lol.
Pectic enzyme. Peptic would be entirely wrong.
Very yummy pics.
Thanks for catching that! Fixed.
Thank you for the recipe!
Can this be made with purchased frozen peaches that have been thawed poor to adding the sugar?
At what point should I add the camden tablet if i decide to use it to stop fermentation?
You can add it at any point during the secondary fermentation when you decide to bottle. If you want more residual sugars in your peach wine, add it earlier, but generally, it’s added when fermentation slows to a near stop anyway. The tablet just ensures a still wine in the bottle with no carbonation (and no yeast sediment).
This is for a 1 gallon batch?
Do you know the approximate abv?
Yup, this is a one-gallon batch. We used to measure abv, but stopped doing that years ago because we found that some batches just hit us harder than others, regardless of actual abv. A measurement just meant false confidence, at least in our house. For me, the peach wine hit me hard and I have to be careful with it.
i would like to try your home made peach wine recipe can i use instant dry yeast that we make bread with if i don’t get wine yeast?
That will make wine, but the yeast choice really impacts the taste. If you brew with bread yeast, the finished wine will actually have a strange almost bread like taste believes it or not. A better option is to make a wild yeast starter, and there are instructions for that here: https://www.growforagecookferment.com/how-to-make-a-wild-yeast-starter/
I would use a champagne wine yeast, or a fruit wine yeast such as Lalvin K1-V1116
Do you add the peach pulp as well as the juice to the primary fermentation vessel? Trying to scale this down to a 1 quart batch and was wondering if the chopped fruit is added as well.
Do you eyeball the water that is added?
I regret adding the peach pulp to this batch, and it meant a lot of babysitting a clogged waterlock. Especially in a quart batch, where the pulp would take up a lot of the volume in the jar, I’d filter out the pulp. Pour the extracted peach juice into the primary fermenter, and then add water to the pulp to wash it of any last bits of juice and pour that in to top off the jar. Yes, eyeball the water added. In a quart jar, leave about 1 inch of headspace, which is roughly where the threads stop on the jar neck.
Hi, I really enjoyed your articles on home wine making, and have my first batch of apple wine in-progress. Do you have a recipe for Concord grape wine? Preferably gallon size batch? Having a hard time finding anything on the internet.
I found this recipe for a 5-gallon batch. Maybe this will be a good place for you to start.
You forgot to add the link to the recipe. LOL
Ooops. I hate it when that happens. LOL. I am not sure where the other recipe is but I actually found a one-gallon recipe this time so maybe it was meant to be. https://www.homebrewit.com/blogs/news/concord-grape-wine-recipe
For a small batch (smaller fermenting vessel) I would recommend leaving out the pulp. For larger fermenting vessels (5 gallons and up) mix in some bentonite and the pulp will soon settle at the bottom instead of floating at the top. I initially ha this problem with my cherry wine, but after adding 2 tbsp to my 5 gallon mixture the pulp sank to the bottom and was easily separated when racking for secondary fermentation / aging.
Hope this helps for those who like to add the pulp for flavoring during the primary fermentation.
How about 6-5 gallons? I never make small batches. Always use chemicals. Am intrigued with the tea bags and grape leaves. So would i use 5 tea bags? Etc….. When ive used chemicals and was told to double ot triple it always seemed to much. Had a bounty of peaches in 2018 and froze some now i want to make peach wine
Yes, you can just multiply this recipe for a full 5 or 6-gallon batch. When you’re brewing with an alternate tannin source things are a bit less exact. I updated the recipe to be a bit clearer, and instead of using 1 tea bag I now have it say to add 1/2 cup (4oz) strongly brewed black tea. Some people will have you add 6 or 8 ounces of strong black tea to a one-gallon batch, so that’s where the subjective part comes in. Adding more tea means more tannin, but it’ll also potentially add a tea taste to the final brew depending on the type of tea you’re using.
Do you primary ferment in the demijohn with an airlock? Mine is too active and keeps overflowing D:
I don’t drink caffine yet I really wanted to make this. Could I use raisins instead of the tea and if so how many?
The black tea is for added tannin, which helps balance out the flavor in peach wine. It’s not strictly required, and you can just skip it, though it will alter the flavor and mouthfeel. If you’re looking for an alternative, try tannin powder (it’s a winemaking chemical). If you have them available, a handful of black currant leaves is another traditional way to add tannins to homemade wine and works really well.
Do you peel and take the seed out of the peaches? I may have missed this part in the directions 🙂
I don’t peel them, but I did remove the seeds because mine were freestone so the seeds came out easily. I don’t think that’s strictly nessisary though.
Could this stuff age for too long? Will it go bad?
In the fermenter, if the water lock remains sealed (ie. all the water doesn’t evaporate), the wine can stay in secondary for years and be just fine assuming it wasn’t contaminated at some other stage in the process. If you have floating chunks of peaches in the wine, those need to be filtered out after the primary ferment. Anything floating above the water line can mold and could cause the wine to spoil. Assuming you’ve racked the wine after the primary fermentation step and filtered out the fruit chunks, the wine can keep in secondary for a very long time. Once bottled, assuming everything was clean and you’re using corked wine bottles, this wine can keep in the bottle for many years and actually improve with age.
And say someone wanted to further the process and age the wine in an oak barrel. Would you suggest further applications of something like sulfites?
Honestly, I’ve never done either so I can’t advise. The only oaking I’ve ever done is with oak chips in secondary, mostly for beer, which always turned out lovely.
Thank you for taking the time to share this information, it’s truly appreciated..:)
Quick Question- Did you peel the peaches before adding the sugar?
Yes, I peeled the peaches for a few reasons. The peels don’t have that much juice to contribute and they’re potentially covered in pesticide. They also are more solid, so if anything’s going to clog up the water lock it’s the peach skins.
Ok cool!!! Thank you so much for this recipe and your website! Let’s see how my batch turns out!
I want to make some peach wine but I don’t have the items to make it with yet . I know where there are peaches at . Could I buy a bushel of them and put them in the freezer till I’m ready to use them for wine ?
Yes, that’d work just fine.
If I had unsweetened peach juice (I extracted from peels and trimmings from jam making) how much sugar should I use? I have a half gallon of the juice which isn’t very sweet but has a great peach flavor that I’d like to brew in a small batch as you have here, I just can decode how much sugar I should use. Should I target a specific gravity or is there rough estimate I can use? Also, what is the target pH when adding acid like lemon juice?
If you’re using just peach juice extracted from trimmings, I’d suggest using the higher end of the sugar recommendation (3lbs for 1 gallon of wine). For specific gravity and pH, I generally don’t get that scientific about my winemaking. For fruit wines, I put in somewhere between 2 and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice per gallon usually, and I went light on this one because the peaches already had such a bright flavor.
Hi! We have an abundant amount of grape leaves at our farm.. How many could I use per gallon for the tannin of the wine?
We just add a couple, like 3 or 4, but honestly, I’m not sure how many you’re supposed to add from a strictly technical perspective. That’s worked for me though.
About what temperature did you do the fermentation at for this wine?
This one went into my basement after the primary ferment, which stays reasonably cool even in summer. I’d say it was about 55 to 60 degrees.
Does the peach “mash” not require heat/pasteurization to avoid infection by organisms other than the yeast during primary fermentation? …and does all of your equipment need to be sterile?
It’s always a good idea to wash all equipment with a brewing sanitizer (I use one step no-rinse cleaner) before starting. As to sterilizing the mash, that’s not strictly necessary, but you could if you want. Instead of boiling it, which would change the flavor of the peaches in cooking, I’d suggest adding a 1 Camden tablet for every gallon of wine and then waiting 24 to 36 hours before pitching the yeast. That kills off everything in there and gives the yeast a clean slate.
That said, I don’t use Camden tablets in my brewing. There will be a small amount of ambient yeast on the peaches, but whatever strain that is will be quickly overrun and outcompeted by the pitched yeast. Some people do their primary fermentation in an open vessel for 7 to 10 days, no water lock and just a towel over a bucket. The yeast are working so strong at that point they out-compete anything that happens by. The main risk of contamination is later after they’ve slowed down and there’s more alcohol. Racking, if you do that step, is the main source of contamination because that’s when vinegar causing bacteria could get in since the yeast have settled down and are no longer so dominant.
Why thank you so much for your response! I am anxious to try this! 🙂
Do you think after rinsing the juice and sugar out of the peaches that jam could be made from the leftover pulp?
I imagine you could, but I can’t speak to how good it’d taste. The idea is to remove as much peach flavor as possible, so in theory there’s not too much taste left…but that said I haven’t tried it. We have chickens that demolish any brewing waste, so that’s where our peach pulp went. Here’s a recipe for peach jam if you need it, since they’re very low pectin fruits the jam won’t gel without some kind of additional pectin.
The other thing you might try is a peach jelly instead, since that’s actually designed around extracting flavor from peach scraps and you can just add more of the pulp from this recipe until you get the flavor you need. Good luck!
I am attempting dirts time peach wine. I.ha e bought all equipment needed. 2 carboys, etc. I have started my fermentation in 3 6gal wine buckets. I chopped peaches added sugars and peptic enzymes. I am hoping indid not add too much water. I added water to the ring on the buckets? Is that correct
The recipe here is for a one-gallon batch… If you’re using 6-gallon wine buckets, you’d need to really increase the recipe. The peach chunks take up a good bit of space and will be removed, so for each bucket you should have added enough ingredients for AT LEAST 5 gallons of wine in order to fill them up to the 6-gallon fill line.
If you didn’t multiply the recipe, don’t worry, it’s not all lost. It’ll be a very light, very mildly alcoholic peach soda, but it should be consumed before it’s fully fermented so that the yeast doesn’t consume all the sugars and make it too dry.
Hope this helps.
Made your wine in July, just tried it last week. Pretty much did it the same as you, except I did not strain the peaches and I racked to another growler after about 2 weeks. Came out great! Love the all natural, no sulfites, tea for tannins! I’ll make this again next year.
How long would you let it ferment if you were going to put it through a still to make peach brandy? Would you add anything else?
I honestly don’t know anything about distillation, so I don’t have any specific advice for you there. I assume the process would be exactly the same, honestly, I have no idea.
Doreen & John
Did I miss how many peaches you used for your one gallon batch? I realize this is a subjective thing, but I’m guessing there’s a sweet spot that can be nailed with just the right number.
Making my first batch of this and didn’t add the pulp/mash to the 1gal jug but man o man did I get a lot of foam, Peach Wine Volcano… I’ve stirred it down, but it will foam up in about 30-60 min.
Too much yeast?
Hmm, mot really sure how much yeast you used, so I can’t say if it was too much, however, it’s perfectly normal to have a lot of action in the first 12 hours or so.
From brewing experience, some batches just go crazy.It can overwhelm airlocks and will launch the airlock, plug/lid and must (juice in the fermenter). I had a batch of Sake that “painted” the ceiling – I now use a 1/2 vent hose into a 1 gallon jug filled with water.
My peach chucks didnt “break down” into pulp during the sugaring process. The juice was extracted and it was orangey/yellow, sweet and tastes like peach. I tasted the peach chucks keft behind and they still had alot of peach flavor. Should i have chopped more fine? Will my wine peach flavor suffer?? What could u have done differently?
I think your peach wine will be fabulous. Another technique you can try is putting the leftover chunks in a brewing bag, jelly bag or sheet of cheesecloth and squeezing out the juice for extra flavor. That said, many people make peach wine simply by tossing the peach chunks into a pillowcase in a bucket and doing an open primary with them in there that way (then removing and tossing the whole sack). There’s plenty of ways to do it, and that pillowcase method is simple but gives you the least peach flavor/juice in the finished wine.
Thank you! Also, my juice was more like syrup then juice.
When you rack into the secondary do you leave the raisins behind?
Yup, when you rack it all the solids of any kind should be left behind, just move the liquid.
Any thoughts/comment on using hot water to “rinse” (sparge) the pulp?
Sounds like a good plan!
This is the info I’ve been searching for, I loved reading your detailed recipe and your reasonings behind not using chemicals in your wine, I was stressing as I can’t buy any of the products required to create wines, so I’ve used guavas with an open bucket for starters, after a week I strained the liquid and placed it into a 5 liter plastic water bottle with a pricked ballon the yeast is slowing down as the balloon isn’t as hard as it was about 6 weeks ago, I shall rack it and will make up my mind if I bottle or not at this stage,
My day time temps at the moment can reach 28 degrees, so we fairly warm.
I also tried hard cider with tea but that ballon is still rather strong.
I’m certainly at peace now and will use raisins tea (rooibos) and lemons in my next attempt.
Wonderful! Happy fermenting!
Can frozen peaches be substituted for the fresh?
Yes, frozen should work fine!
I’ve got everything in the fermenter now and it’s been there about 5 days. I think our basement was too hot so I just brought it upstairs and gave it a quick swirl. The airlock showed activity which it hadn’t shown before.
Question- should this be stirred at all during the first 10-14 day fermenting period?
I love this recipe. Can i just use your “sugar extraction” method to juice any fruit (like plums) and follow the same recipe rather that following for example your greengage plum recipe with pectic enzyme, whole fruit fermentation, etc?
Ps—i just bottled my dandelion wine and am SO excited!
Hey, Renee! Yes, it should work fine to swap plums or any fruit with the peaches.
It is a great recipe! I also tried it with plums and it turned out well 🙂
Gaining courage for my first attempt@ winemaking. I have an ample supply of canned fruit. What adjustments do I need to make? Also, how would I go about fermenting in a bucket (thinking 5 gallons) and does whatever I use to ferment need to be full or is it ok to only have it partially filled?
Hi! Love this recipe, thanks so much. I opted to use less sugar and my wine has come out quite dry. I would like to attempt to back sweeten – any advice on how to do so?
You can reference this discussion that was linked in one of our other wine posts. https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/back-sweetening-apple-wine.43184/
I was wondering if you could explain how I can get the airlock to stay in the bottle. The pressure keeps pushing it out? And will this ruin my wine?
Is there any pulp clogging the airlock?
I am having a lot of fun cutting the Peaches from scratch and making my own wine from scratch. I love the process and I cannot wait to see what my wine tastes like some 13 months from now (3 weeks in second carboy (step 11 on print out) + 3 months in third carboy (step 13) + 10 months in bottles (step 13)) and share it with relatives.
I do have a couple of questions. I like my drinks sweet. Is the final product supposed to dry or sweet? I noticed the yeast packets say ‘5 grams for 5 gallons) and your 9 yield recipe calls for 3 packets (15 grams). If it is dry, should I use less yeast?
Also, I want a made from scratch recipe for an Apple Wine (using actual apples, not wine some processed juice). Do you have any recipes?
One packet of wine yeast is good for anywhere between 1 gallon and 5. It’s really just a starter inoculation, and you just need enough to kick off fermentation (they multiply rapidly on their own). I’m not sure where you got 15 grams needed in the article, I looked back and I don’t see it. (Let me know if you see it, I always want to make sure I correct any errors if they are there.
Either way, if you did use 3 packets it’s not really an issue as within a few days there would be more than that in the wine anyway (your’s just got started a bit faster, and probably had a really violent first 48 hours).
The final sweetness of a wine is less about how much yeast, and more about the type of yeast and amount of initial sugar that went in. All yeast strains have an alcohol tolerance, where they’ll just stop working and die out. If the strain has a lower alcohol tolerance then there will be more sugar left in the wine when they die. Starting with more sugar than your yeast can consume is a good way to ensure a sweet wine.
This recipe makes a peach wine that is quite sweet (by my tastes), so if you followed the recipe it should come out to your liking. If it’s not sweet enough for you when you taste it at bottling time, add a bit of sugar made into simple syrup (and cooled) to the bottom of a clean carboy and rack the wine over onto it. Leave it there for another month or so to ensure it doesn’t kick off another round of fermentation, and then go ahead with bottling.
Be aware when you taste it at bottling time it will taste a bit “off” as it hasn’t been bottle conditioned yet, and the flavors will change (for the better) after some time in the bottle. You’re just tasting it at that point to make sure it’s the right sweetness for your tastes.
Hi! This is my first time making wine and I’m excited! I used the amount of peaches called for but the juice only comes up about a third of the way in my vessel and I can’t find much information about the right juice-to-water ratio online, is this right or will my wine be watery? i’m using 2 half-gallon jars so I could combine them if necessary… thank you! also sorry haha, couldn’t figure out how to comment as a comment not a reply… I love this blog btw!
That sounds just about right. Peach juice can be quite thick, more like a nectar than a juice. You should fill the rest up with water. Around 1/3 to 1/2 volume is right for most fruit wines, and that’s what I shoot for in my winemaking recipes. You’re right on track (and don’t worry, the finished wine is very peach flavored, not watery at all).
Thank you for sharing this recipe and your hints. I made my first batch of peach wine, my first of any kind of wine! I started in mid fall bottled it about a week ago with it yielding 3 bottles. We each took a small sip during bottling at it seems like it is going to finish nicely!
Wonderful, I’m glad it turned out tasty!
Can you go into detailed steps on the sugar juicing technique?
Sure, just chop the peaches and pack them in the sugar. Let it sit for about an hour to allow the sugar to extract the juice. Then strain out the pulp and you are ready to make your wine.
Can I use plastic Carboy for primary fermantation
yup, that’s fine.
If I start with an open fermentation for 7 days, do you think I could leave the peach pulp right in there and then rack it when I move to my secondary? Or should I remove it all the same day?
You want to allow it to bubble in the primary fermentation for 10 to 14 days, then siphon into a clean container leaving any sediment behind.
Great thank you!!
I made this recipe last Summer, just tried it a couple of weeks ago and it was DELICIOUS! Now I’m going to make a 6 gallon batch so I can give bottles as gifts. Do you have any thoughts on ideal ripeness of the peaches? A little more ripe than is ideal for eating?
The more ripe they are, the sweeter your wine will be so it would really just be a matter of personal preference.
I followed this recipe with frozen peaches, 3lbs of sugar, and using the wine chemicals in the amounts suggested (except pectic enzyme which isn’t noted in the recipe, but is in the blog post above it). After around 6 months I bottled and back sweetened and the wine has a kind of ‘burning’ feel both when sweetening and now about a month in the bottle (akin to drinking a soda too quickly — perhaps carbonation?) do you ever have to degas the wine? or do you have any suggestions for improving this flavor for future batches?
Did you rack the wine into a clean container for the secondary fermentation or did you leave everything in the same fermentation vessel. Also, what type of fermentation vessel did you use? What did you use to back sweeten?
Thanks for your reply, i re-racked it twice during fermentation, once after primary and once about three months into secondary. Primary was in a 1 gallon wide mouthed glass fermenting jar (I didn’t think I could get the peaches in/out of a carboy) and the secondary was in a glass 1 gallon carboy. Backsweetening was done with 1:1 sugar water and I used about 1 cup of each in the end.
I will say, it might just be me on the wine flavor, most people I’ve shared with have loved it! I’m starting to think it’s just the “dry” flavor and I could just sweeten it more next time or swap to a different yeast that will leave a little more sugar behind.
Yes it sounds like it may just be your personal preference. The other thing you could try is using juice or finished wine to backsweeten.
Thanks for the replies and the recipe, I will most likely be making it again as gifts and will certainly try your suggestions
You’re very welcome.
Ashley, last fall I made my first ever peach wine as the first wine that I have ever made! I used Your instructions And bottled 3, 750ml bottles. Then came the hard part… waiting, and not knowing if I had done everything correctly! Well we invited a few friends over for dinner today, July 25th for the “Official uncorking.” I made a peach cobbler for dessert and poured the peach wine into glasses. It was WONDERFUL!!! Everyone truly liked it! What a great dessert wine!!! I am already looking forward to harvesting our peaches from our peach tree and making my next batch!!! Thank you for sharing your expertise!!!
From South Hamilton, MA
You’re very welcome. I am so glad it turned out so well for you.
Hi and thank you so much for this blog we are making our first ever peach wine and blueberry wine.
I have a concern about my peach wine. i cleaned all supplies with one step, made sure my water lock is not clogged and my second fermentation the wine is clearing up. My concern is no bubbling and tiny bits floating. I also check the lock for cracks. Is this normal am now at 2 days with no bubbling. What am I doing wrong?
Is this in the primary or the secondary?
Can you tell what the tiny bits are and was it bubbling well before you racked it into the secondary?
Yes lots of activity during the first. It is getting nice and clear. Can I send you a pic?
I don’t believe there is a way for you to upload a picture here but if it is clearing up and there are no more floating bits, it sounds like you are on the right track.
I racked it again and the bit are gone. It is getting clear. No bubbles but the first fermentation it bubbled alot
To clarify yes the is the second fermentation
Does this recipe take any water?
If so how much?
I read step 2 but it doesn’t state how mucb.
You want enough water to fill the fermenting vessel 3/4 of the way.
Hi. I have just under 3 gallons of peach wine in a secondary. I am ready to track it off the lees, and I will need to top off the next carboy. I want to keep as much alcohol and original flavor. What can I use? I’ve heard diluted vodka could do the trick. Or should I just buy a2 gallon carboy? I also have a half gallon bottle I can air lock. Thank you.
I think I would personally go with the 2 gallon carboy and not add anything.
Rebecca J Scalaro
How much water do i add to the recipe?
After you have followed the instructions and added all of the ingredients, you want to add enough water to fill your one gallon fermenter to within a few inches from the top.
Hi, Thanks so much for these instructions! I love fermentation projects. I just finished bottling 2 1gal batches from our peach harvest last year. I made one batch with Premier Blanc and one batch with Lalvin 71B. So interesting to taste difference between the yeast strains! I used only 2lbs of sugar to 3 lbs of peaches per batch. The Premier Blanc has a much drier finish than the Lalvin, which is still only slightly sweet, but much “boozier” tasting.
I am considering back sweetening just a little bit, as well as trying to coax a little more fermentation in the bottle to get some carbonation. I am using swing-top bottles, so burping excess gas is not an issue. My question is this: would you recommend adding simple syrup directly to the bottles (with daily burping for first few days), or is the risk of exploding glass too great? And if you think it would be alright, do you have an amount of syrup you would recommend adding to each bottle?
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!
Here is an article that might help you. https://celebrationgeneration.com/how-to-stabilize-and-back-sweeten-wine/ It talks about making a simple syrup and the ratios to backsweeten. You should be fine with the swing top bottles. Many people use the to make carbonated beverages with no issue.
Hey there. Have you ever put up sliced peaches in a light syrup, then used those peaches later to make wine? I would assume to also use the sryup, as the sugary substances goes well with the fermentation process and will retain flavor from the peaches…
I haven’t personally done it that way but I would think that it should work.
Hi Ashley, so glad I found your blog. I’ve just started wine making and have successfully made rhubarb champagne and rose wine. Both could be drunk within a week and were delicious. Now, I’d like to capture summer in a bottle to enjoy in winter and am happy to see you’re not using chemicals. I have just one question: Can I use screwtops instead of corks when bottling the wine. Thank you!
I found this thread on a winemaking forum. Apparently screw tops are typically not used in home wine making because there is a certain machine that is used commercially to apply them. I would just do a little more research to see what you can find out.
Do you boil the peaches and remove the skins or do you leave the skins on?
There is no need to remove the skins. Once you have juiced the peaches, you will just strain out all of the pulp including the skins.
Thanks so much for this recipe! Just looked at my primary ferment jars and there has been no fermentation gurgling for at least an hour. So I went ahead and got the solids/raisins out and racked it to secondary, but again, no fermentation gurgling in the airlock. Was just wondering if you ever add yeast mid-ferment when this happens? Or just leave be for the next 6 months?
How long was it in the primary before you racked it?
I there. I got 32 medium peaches and no scale to weigh them to make this peach wine, so I was thinking just multiplying everything by 4, as 3 peaches are about 1 pound. does this seem good?
If 3 peaches equal a pound then you would want 6 to 9 peaches for one batch. You can definitely make a larger batch if you wish as long as you have a large enough fermentation vessel. This recipe is for 1 gallon.