Watermelon wine is the stuff song and stories are written about. Making watermelon wine is a simple process that can be done in your kitchen and is a perfect beginners wine when watermelons are in season. Because of its delicate flavor, many winemakers add other fruits, such as peaches or grapes, to the brew, but watermelon alone will make a delightful, light wine.
Things You'll Need
Prepare the Brewing Vessel
Wash one of the plastic pails with soap and water and rinse clean. Pour boiling water into the pail to sterilize the inside and empty it. This will be your first brewing vessel.
Use the drill to make a hole in the center of both of the pail lids. Insert the airlocks into the holes.
Use the silicone caulk and run a bead around the base of the airlock and the top of the lid to hold the airlocks in place.
Make the Wine
Cut the watermelon into chunks that will fit into your strainer bag. Remove the rind and the seeds.
Hold the strainer bag over the plastic pail and fill the bag with watermelon. Use your hands to squeeze the juice from the melon into the pail. Remove the pulp from the bag and place into a large bowl. Repeat until all of the watermelon has been squeezed.
Add 5 pounds of sugar to the juice. Stir the sugar into the juice until it is dissolved. Add in the yeast, the Campden and the yeast extract and stir.
Put as much of the pulp as you can back into the strainer bag and tie the top with a length of string. Place the bag into the watermelon juice.
Place the lid on the vessel securely. Fill the airlock half full with water. Set the container in a warm, dry area away from drafts.
Ferment and Bottling the Wine
Let the wine ferment for 45 days. Wash the second pail and sanitize with boiling water.
Use food-grade plastic tubing to siphon the wine from the first brewing vessel into the second pail. Keep the tubing off the bottom of the pail to keep the sediment on the bottom from transferring to the second pail.
Place the lid on the second pail and half fill the airlock with water.
Let the wine ferment another 30 days.
Siphon the wine from the pail into bottles and cap tightly. Store in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
References and ResourcesThe Foxfire Book of Wine Making; edited by Lori Gillespie, Kelly Shropshire and Allison Adams; 1987
Making Wild Wines & Meads: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More; Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling; 1999