How to Make Pear Wine
Have you a fruit bowl full of pears at home and don’t know what to do with them? Why not find a pear wine recipe and make your own tipple?
It’s surprisingly easy to make homemade pear wine and it's a great way to put a surplus of pears to use!
Traditionally, any fruit which wasn’t considered to be good enough to eat could be used for making wine.
Although pears which are food-quality make the best pear wine, you could also use ugly, older or fallen pears to produce fine tasting wine.
If you’ve never made wine before but are keen to start, this is a great way to try out a new wine-making hobby while using up that abundance of pears which you can’t seem to get rid of! This is a basic and simple way of making wine that tastes great and works well.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
To make pear wine, you’ll need some simple ingredients. These include:
- 5 lbs of unpeeled, chopped ripe pears
- 3 cups of chopped white raisins
- 6 cups cane sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 pack of champagne yeast
- 4 quarts water
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Finding a Suitable Container
Before making pear wine, you’ll need to find the right container. 2-gallon buckets with tight fitting lids are ideal as long as they have a hole to use as an airlock. You can buy these in wine stores at an affordable price.
Alternatively, you can use a plastic or glass jar, bottle or jug. However, whatever vessel you plan to use, make sure that you’ve cleaned it thoroughly before getting started.
An unwashed vessel could be contaminated with bacteria which will get into your wine and turn it into vinegar.
Make sure that the vessel you choose has an airlock. If yours doesn’t, there’s no need to worry, simple get a balloon and stretch it over the container’s top before poking some small holes in it with a pin.
Alternatively, if you’re using a container with a screw-on top, put some wax paper over it and give the cap a half turn twist.
This means the container won’t be able to build up pressure but nothing unwanted will get into the liquid either.
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Our Pear Wine Recipe
First, you’ll need to ensure that your pears are sufficiently ripe so that the stem pulls out easily.
If your pears aren’t yet ready, just wait a couple more days before trying them again. Wash the pears, trim and quarter them then finely crush or chop the pears using a potato masher.
You can include the skins if you wish, but don’t add the seeds since they’re bitter and give wine an unpleasant taste.
Put the pears into a crock along with the chopped white raisins. In a medium-sized stockpot, dissolve the white and brown sugars in 2 quarts of water using a low heat.
Bring the liquid to the boil then leave to cool down to lukewarm temperature. Add two quarts of water to the fruit mash inside the crock and add the water with the dissolved sugar to it.
Stir the mix well so the sugar is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the yeast over the mash and stir it in so that the mix is fully dissolved and properly blended.
How To Ferment Your Wine
When making pear wine, you need to ferment it. Cover the mix and keep it safely in a warm spot for 3 weeks.
Stir it daily, mashing the fruit on the side of your crock. Make sure that the container is properly covered during this process since fruit flies are drawn to fermenting foods and could spoil your wine.
After you’ve allowed the wine to ferment for three weeks, it’s time to strain the mixture through a flour sack towel or jelly bag.
Make sure that it is squeezed as dry as possible. Return the liquid to the crock and put back into a warm location so it can continue to ferment for another 2 weeks. You don’t need to stir it at all in this second period of fermentation.
Once your second fermentation period is over, it’s time to strain the liquid. You need to use either a flour sack towel or several pieces of cheesecloth to do this.
Ladle or siphon into the strainer, allowing the sediment to remain in the crock. At this stage, you want the final product to be clear.
Put the clear wine back into the crock and leave it for another 2 days. This will allow for settling to occur. Put any cloudy wine remaining in the base of your crock into a 2 quart jar.
Allow this to settle for a couple of days and then repeat the process, drawing off the clear liquid and adding it to the remainder of the wine before allowing it to settle for a further day.
Bottling Your Pear Wine
After your pear wine has fully settled, it’s time to directly bottle it. At this stage, there may still be a small amount of active yeast remaining, so when you bottle the wine, put a balloon over the top of the bottle as this allows the gases to escape.
Once the balloon has stopped inflating, cork each bottle and age the wine in a dark, cool place for between 6 and 12 months before you drink it.
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Top Tips For Making Pear Wine
If you’re ready to get starting with your pear wine, here are some top tips to help you to get the most out of the final product.
- Allow the pears to be as ripe and soft as possible before beginning your winemaking. If you have some pears which aren’t ready while others are, put the ripe ones into a sulfite solution to prevent them from rotting until all your pears are good to use. This ensures the wine has plenty of “pear character”.
- Don’t allow the pear wine’s alcohol level to get too high – 10 to 12% is ideal. You can do this by using a hydrometer. When the alcohol level gets too high, the wine tastes watery rather than of pears.
- Only use wine yeast to make your wine and add pectic enzymes for the best results. This breaks the fruit fiber down more effectively while getting maximum flavor from the pears.
- Try mashing the pears after cutting them up. You want to disrupt the pulp’s fiber structure without turning it into a sauce! This allows the enzymes to more rapidly break the fruit fibers down.
Try these expert top tips when making homemade pear wine and you’re sure to be impressed by the final results.
This is a simple and quick way to use up all that unwanted fruit and you’ll be creating a wonderfully refreshing drink to enjoy with meals or at any time of the day!