Loquats are also known as Chinese or Japanese plums. The trees are usually very tall, with the leaves grouped and the fruit clustered near the leaves. The fruits somewhat resemble apricots in size and color but have several large seeds. This tree bears very early in spring, sometimes in late March or early April; in fact the biggestproblem we have in gathering this noble fruit is that it is so eager to bear that often a late frost will kill the whole crop.
- 4 pounds fresh Loquats
- 2 1/4 pounds sugar
- Water to one gallon
- 1 Campden tablet (crushed)
- 1/2 teaspoon Pectic Enzyme
- 1 teaspoon Acid Blend
- 1/4 teaspoon Grape Tannin
- 1/2 teaspoon Super Ferment yeast nutrient
- Wine yeast (one pkg. for up to 5 gallons - try Red Star Cote des Blancs or Lalvin 71B-1122)
- Wash the fruit in cool water and remove the seeds. Chop up the fruit (do not pulverize! ) and put into the primary fermenter.
- Add the pectic enzyme, the tannin, the acid blend, the sugar, and enough water to give a total volume of one gallon. Stir in the crushed campden tablet, cover the container with plastic sheeting, then wait 24 hours. Stir several times during this period.
- After 24 hours, stir in the activated yeast (For best results, "rehydrate" the yeast in a half cup of lukewarm water for 15 minutes beforehand). Now would be a good time to add the yeast nutrient, too. Allow to ferment in the primary container for 7 days, stirring well every day.
- After the week is up, strain pulp, squeezing out as much juice as possible. Syphon this liquid into the jug, attach the air lock and allow to ferment for three to four weeks.
- After this initial three to four week period is up, siphon wine into another clean secondary (or into primary, wash secondary and back into clean secondary). Re-attach air lock and let it stand until clear (approximately one month). Repeat this step once a month until clear.
- When wine is clear and stable it may be bottled. If a sweeter wine is preferred, use 1/2 tsp. of potassium sorbate stabilizer per gallon at least 48 hours before adding sugar. For a fruitier sweetness in the finish, use fructose (fruit sugar) in lieu of household sugar. For best results, dissolve the sugar in some boiling water, and sweeten to taste. Bottle in fifth wine bottles with corks, stand upright for 3-4 days to allow corks to expand then lay on side and age at least 2-6 months.