Today I propose a very simple recipe to create a peach-based drink, using Spontaneous Alcoholic Fermentation.
As explained in the article on the basic concepts, spontaneous fermentation does not involve the addition of a starter, but allows the preparation to be colonized by yeasts, naturally present in the environment, thus spontaneously, starting the fermentation. It’s not a mistake to use a starter, but in this case I do not need it.
Peachy wine, as well as many other fermented spirits based on fruit, water and sugar, are simply called Sugar-based Country Wines, a term used by many fermenters. It is a category of fermented beverages that are not really wines, as they are not made with grapes, but other fruits, although there is a procedure that reminds the fermentation of must.
To obtain a spontaneous fermentation, let the yeasts naturally present in the environment colonize the preparation
- 1.5 liters (6 cups) of water, possibly not chlorinated (in a forthcoming article on fermentation tools I will talk in depth about water);
- 150 grams (10 tablespoons) of white sugar;
- 4 ripe peaches (click here to discover more about peaches);
- A large jar that can be sealed hermetically;
- One or more hermetically sealed bottles;
- Wipe or cheesecloth and an elastic.
How to make Peach Country Wine
- Dissolve the sugar in the cold water in the jar.
- Wash and cut the peaches into quarters and put them in the jar in the sugar solution. I personally leave the skin, if you do it too, make sure it is edible.
- Cover the jar’s opening with a cheesecloth or a clean wipe blocked with an elastic. This way, you allow the yeasts (and bacteria) to enter, keeping out dust and insects. Mix it all twice a day and allow fermentation to start spontaneously. It will take 1-2 days to become bubbly. This means that microorganisms are producing carbon dioxide and fermentation has begun.
- Now close the jar hermetically or close it with a bubbler airlock. This way, you avoid evaporation, especially on hot days, strongly restrict the development of molds (creating an anaerobic environment) and avoid that anything can fall inside. Go on for about 5-7 days, remembering to open the jar to vent excess carbon dioxide and mix well all at least 2-3 times a day. Warning! The fermentation produces a lot of CO2 and if you do not vent the jar often, it could explode! Alternatively, use a bubbler airlock.
- Taste during the 5-7 days of fermentation and decide when the fermented has achieved the best flavour. Over time, sweetness decreases (yeasts and bacteria eat sugars, remember?) And the alcohol content increases, so does the acidity and complexity of the drink. Once you have achieved the desired result you can filter and pour the content into a bottle and transfer it to the refrigerator to block the process. Next, taste the peach wine every day to make sure the flavour has not changed too much.
To have a more objective approach possible, monitor the trend of fermentation even with a refractometer, to control the concentration of sugar, and a pH meter to control its acidity, which is also a food safety parameter.
Warning! Hermetically sealed containers may explode during fermentation!
A drink as a starting point for other fermentations.
When the fermented is ready, you have other alternatives in front of you. The simplest solution, as mentioned, is to bottling and using the peach wine immediately. For example, you can prepare a very special fermented bellini. Read Giovanni’s recipe by clicking here.
Otherwise, it is possible to transform peach wine into other fermented products: a heavily carbonated beverage through a second short fermentation, a dry peach wine after a long ripening or, even a peach vinegar, using another type of fermentation (or rather oxidation): the acetic one.
As we said, fermentations are a tool to obtain unique flavour products that allow you to distinguish yourself from the mass.
For this recipe there are wide margins of customization!
- First you can peel the peaches. I leave them with the skin because of the colour;
- Sugar used should not be just white, but you can create different sugar mixes for different end results. If you do not know the differences between types of sugar I recommend reading here;
- In addition to water, sugar and peaches, you can also add spices at the beginning of the fermentation to obtain unique flavour mixes.
One last tip: When you filter the peach wine, don’t throw away the fermented peach quarters, but put them into an slow juicer. You will get an intense and complex flavour juice that you can either drink natural or mix in your drinks.
Fermentation is change and transformation. Never stop modifying and changing your recipes.
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