Just about any type of fruit can be fermented to produce alcohol. During fermentation, yeast converts sugar, which of course exists naturally in fruit, into alcohol. There are many varieties and strains of yeasts available from local brewing supply houses or from online suppliers. Once the fruit has been fermented, you can strain it and turn it into wine. You can also distill fermented fruit to make liqueur.
Things You'll Need
Preparing Fruit for Fermenting
Wash and peel the fruit. Seeds do not need to be removed. Cut the fruit into pieces. These should be slightly larger than bite-sized.
Place cut fruit into a stockpot. Add enough water to cover the fruit completely. Bring to a boil. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir well.
Remove from heat. Use potato masher to pulverize fruit to the consistency of applesauce.
Allow fruit mash to cool to approximately 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer cooled mash to a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Add water until bucket is 3/4 full, and stir the mixture well.
Fermenting the Fruit
Add yeast to the diluted fruit mash. Stir well.
Cover the 5-gallon bucket with plastic wrap. Poke 5 to 10 small holes in the plastic wrap.
Let fruit rest, covered, 2 to 3 days.
After the resting period, remove plastic wrap. With a straining spoon, skim off the material floating on top of the mixture and discard. Stir the liquid well. Cover the bucket with the same plastic wrap (with holes) again. Let fruit mash rest 2 to 3 more days, then repeat this step. After a third resting period, the fruit mash should be fermented and is ready to transfer into another fermentation vessel for winemaking, or into a still for distillation into liqueur.
- You can experiment with different types of yeast. Baker’s yeast works fine, but there are many other strains grown specifically for making wine and liqueur.
- Temperature variations can interfere with fermentation. Keep fruit mash within a temperature range of 75 to 80 degrees while resting.
- Fruit mash smells foul while it’s fermenting. Keep it in an area where this won’t be bothersome.
- You may need to add more water to the mash during fermentation. If evaporation causes the bucket to become less than half full of liquid, add enough water to fill the bucket 2/3 of the way, and stir well.
- Yeast can be more effective if it’s mixed with a small amount of fruit mash first in a pitcher and allowed to rest overnight before adding into the big bucket.