Pear Wine

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  • 4-6 lbs ripe pears
  • 1/2 lb chopped or minced white or golden raisins (or sultanas)
  • 1-3/4 lb finely granulated sugar
  • 3-1/4 quarts water (more or less, depending on amount of fruit used)
  • 1-1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/8 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Champagne yeast

Cut a pear in half and set it so both cut faces are facing upright. Set a timer for 15 minutes and go
do something else. When timer goes off, come back and look at the pear halves. If they have turned slightly
brown, add 1/16 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the ingredients. If you think they have
turned really brown, add 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid to ingredients. Don’t overdo it! If you cannot
measure or estimate 1/16th of a teaspoon, use a thin pinch. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it
thoroughly. Wash, destem and core the pears, being sure to remove all seeds. Chop roughly and put in nylon
straining bag with the chopped raisins. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash pears using a potato masher, bottom
of a wine bottle, or a 4X4 piece of wood (be sure to sanitize whatever is used to mash pears). Pour boiling
water over crushed pears. Cover with a piece of sanitized muslin held in place with an elastic band Wait
one hour for must to cool a bit and add crushed ascorbic acid (if used), Campden tablet, acid blend, tannin
and yeast nutrient. Cover with muslin, wait 12 hours and add pectic enzyme. Again cover with muslin, wait
another 12 hours and strain out enough juice to float a hydrometer. Measure specific gravity and add sugar
sufficient to achieve starting gravity of 1.080 to 1.085. Pear wine is best under 12% alcohol.
Return juice in hydrometer jar to primary and add activated yeast (that means make a yeast starter at least
two hours — six or eight is better — before you get to this point). Cover with muslin once again. Stir
daily, squeezing bag gently to extract flavor. When vigorous fermentation subsides (about 7 days), remove
bag and let drip drain one hour. Do not squeeze or wine will be very difficult to clear. Taste the
drained juice. You should taste both acid and tannin. If either appears weak, add a little more (1/2
teaspoon acid blend, 1/8 teaspoon tannin) and stir very well. Return drained juice to primary and allow to
settle 24 hours. Siphon into glass secondary, top up to within one inch of the bottom of the bung, attach an
airlock, and set aside. Rack after two-three weeks, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again every two months
(but at least twice) until wine clears. Wait another 30 days and very carefully examine the bottom of the
secondary. If you see even a very fine dusting of sediment, wait another 30 days and rack again. Repeat
looking for sediment in another 30 days. The wine must go 30 days without dropping even a few dead yeast
cells. When wine pasts the test for no sediment, stabilize it with 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and one
finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet. Remove one cup of the wine and dissolve into it 1/4 pound (1/2
cup) of finely granulated sugar. Stir this into the wine, reattach the airlock, and set aside 20-30 days.
If there are no signs of continued fermentation, rack into bottles and age 6-12 months. [Author’s own