Humans have been fermenting and brewing alcohol, ever since recorded history. Across the world, till the medieval era, winemaking was a home-based enterprise. In India, a variety of alcohol was largely home brewed (Toddy, Mahua spirits, Rice beer etc). The commodification of alcohol happened during the Colonial era.
Winemaking is both science and art. Fermentation is an interplay of yeast and sugars (simple and complex). Fruit wines breakdown simple sugars like fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Fruit gives the flavour and fructose, yeast digests sugar (sucrose) and fructose to produce ethanol.
Science: For yeast, more sugar, the merrier! But depending on the type of yeast, the alcohol tolerance varies. Baker’s yeast cannot produce more than 3% alcohol. Turbo yeast can go up to 18%. In the fermentation process, make sure only yeast is active, all other bacteria are killed. That’s why its important to sterilize bottles and fruit before starting fermentation.
Art: The kind of wine you make depends on the imagination and skill of the winemaker. Choose your type of fruit; Variation in quantity and quality; Add flavors as you wish. Regulate sugar according to the sweetness needed post-fermentation. Choose stages of fermentation (secondary, and tertiary) – based on alcohol requirements and also your patience.
Mango Wine Cider for first timers
- Big Glass Jar (Pickle Jar) – 3 to 4 Liters; Plastic box of 4-5 litres can be used. But glass Jar is preferred
- Steel Vessel (4 litres) to make sugar syrup
- Funnel for filtering
- Mesh cloth (fine cotton cloth)/fine sieve nylon (120 micron is preferred)
- Empty bottles (preferably old wine bottle with cork/caps )
- 2 gm Turbo yeast/ Apple Cider yeast/ wine yeast any wine yeast is suitable
- 0.5 gm Campden Powder for killing bacteria if you are not using boiling water
- 2 kg Mango Ripe/overripe you can use Mango puree if Mango is not available
- 800 gm sugar
- 3 Liters water
- Assemble all the ingredients. Airlock, Yeast (Turbo, Fruit Cidar, and Red Wine), Iodophor bottle, Campden Powder, Corks
- Drill and fix airlock to lid (seal)
- Chop the mangoes into small slices (about 1- 1.5 cm3). Skin should be intact. This will hold the mango slices and makes it easy to filter out. 2 kg mangoes will give roughly a kg of pulp.
Save time with the following substitutes
- Alternative 1: Squeeze the mangoes, extract the puree. With this you can get a pulpy Mango wine, with higher alcohol concentration.
- Alternative 2: Readymade puree (800 gm, canned or bottled) – without preservatives (don't use ones with added colours).
- Sugar Syrup: Add 800 gm of Sugar in 3 liters of Water and boil it to make sugar syrup. If you wish to make it more flavorful :
- Add Cardamom for Mango wine, Cinnamon for Apple wine. You can also other spices like Nutmeg, cloves etc according to your taste.
- Sanitize: Use 4 ml of Iodophor liquid and add 3 liters of water; Rinse the bottle container with this liquid for 1 minute, also use this for sanitizng .ailock, stirrer and other supplimentary equipments.Alternative: use boiling water and sanitize all the equipment.
- Mixing: Pour mango slices to 1/4th of the bottle; and pour the boiling hot sugar syrup. Pour it up to the 90% of the bottle. Top rim can be left empty as during fermentation, the mixture expands, and may pour out in case there is no air gap.
- Some people like to keep mango fruit inside a muslin bag and add pectinase enzyme. This way the fibers, skin and pulp stay inside the bag and can be easily removed.
- Alternative 1: Make a fruit juice- 4 liters, filling 90% of Bottle; Use Campden powder as described before. After 1 day, add activated yeast. Follow step 7 to 10. The final stage of bottling can be tricky. The pulp is not easy to filter out. Use fine mesh cloth, filter in parts (need patience), and finally bottle. Initially you may get clear wine, the last bottle will be pulpier.
- Close the bottle with the lid, and pour some water on the airlock, this ensures that outside air does not contaminate the bottle and lets the hot steam out.
- Wait for 6-8 hrs. for the syrup to fully cool down. You can immense jar in ice cold water to fasten the process.
- If you wish to further sanitize the solution (fruit & sugar mixture) – add 1 gm of Campden powder, stir, close the lid and airlock, and wait for 24 hours for the bacteria to die out. This is absolutely essential if you are doing Juice fermentation (i.e. without using boiled sugar solution).
- After mango-sugar syrup mix cools down, create an activated yeast mixture. Use a cup/test tube with a lid. Make 50 ml lukewarm water (not hot, as it kills yeast). Add 1 gm of yeast and 1 spoonful of sugar. And shake/stir.Wait for 5 mins, the yeast will start bubbling. (Quantity of yeast determines how early the mixture will reach critical phase of fermentation; yeast grows exponentially in the initial phase, later reaches a saturation)
- Wait for 6-8 hrs. (May vary depending on yeast variety and quantity), you will see bubbling from air lock. You will see a gap in water level due to difference in pressure.
- Airlock is your fermentation gauge. The faster fermentation and hence CO2 release leads to greater bubbling, which you can observe in the airlock. The slower bubbling may be due to (a) lower sugar content (b) end of fermentation stageWaiting period: 7-10 days (Depending on ambient temperature). Every day observe fermentation; mango slice position; Stir it regularly (once or twice a day). If the fermentation stops early, add sugar and observe.
- When the bubbling rate slows down substantially you can stop fermentation. Use a small pinch (1.5 gm for 4 liters) of Campden powder (or tablet if you get). Wait for a day. If you don’t mind some yeast, you need not totally stop fermentation- but need to keep wine in refrigerator.
- Filter the wine using a mesh, pour them into bottles. Refrigerate and Enjoy!
Other Delicious Fruit Ciders
- Apple wine: Make small slices of Apple- 1 kg should be enough for 4 liters (It has no big kernel like Mango). Remove the seeds. Chop the apples into small pieces. Immediately transfer them on a big bowl with water so that it does not oxidize.Follow the same process as Mango wine. Apple is more acidic and less sweet, so add more sugar for fermentation and sweetness.
- Pineapple: This makes the best sweet and dry wine. 6-8 pineapples are needed. Make fruit juice out of Pineapple (long process to extract 4 liters of Juice). Remove major pulp from the juice. Follow the process. Alternative: Make fine slices of pineapple using a chopper; Add hot sugar syrup and follow the same process. Pineapple has high sugar content. So don't add excessive sugar.
- Kokum Wine: For 1 liter wine: Need 200gms of kokum syrup without preservatives. Add water and sugar solution 800ml liters. Follow the same process as before.
Buy Related ProductsWine yeast tends to finish dry. Using Sorbate or refrigeration to control the amount of sweetness. Fruit wine or ciders are best when the aromas of fruit is coupled with the sweetness.
Here is the link to the printable pdf version of the recipe.
recipe by Shivakumar Jolad, Photo credits: Shalaka Shah