Plum wine is a great way to enjoy an abundance of plums.
We made plum wine a couple of years ago using yellow plums, and this year as we have a very large Italian plum tree we’ll be doing the same this summer. I imagine the taste and color will turn out quite different.
If you use only sweet plums you’ll get more of a dessert wine so it’s good to get a mix of tart and sweet plums for a more balanced wine.
The first time we made plum wine with was with yellow plums
We also used a champagne yeast instead of wine yeast to try and make it sparkly (which didn’t work out too well). The second time we made this plum wine we used Italian plums. The color is far prettier than the yellow wine! The Italian plums create a red wine, the flavor changing depending on the plum balance.
Italian plum wine can be super sweet if you only use very ripe plums.
I prefer a mix of tart and sweet plums.
Recipe for making 1 gallon of plum wine
This recipe is from the Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook.
- 4lbs Plums, pitted
- 6 pts Water
- 2lb Sugar
- Acid Blend 1/2 tsp
- Pectic Enzyme 1/2 tsp
- Nutrient 1 tsp
- One Campden, crush
- 1 pkg Wine Yeast
- Primary Fermentor *
- Secondary carboy Fermentor *
* The size of your primary and secondary fermentor will depend on how much wine you plan on making. The above recipe is for a 1-gallon size. We used a 5-gallon size (so we multiplied the recipe by 5). We just bought a 5-gallon winemaking kit, (you can also get the smaller 1-gallon wine making kit), as it was easier than shopping for all the individual supplies.
- Nylon straining bag (the size will depend on your primary fermenter)
- Siphon Hose with Shut-Off Clamp
- Hydrometer & Test Jar
- Bubbler air-lock & carboy bung
- Corker (we have this one) but this is the size that takes up way less space!
You can use any plum-type: Damson, Yellow, Greengage or sweet plum. With wild plums, that are generally high in acid, use an acid tester or cut down to 3lbs per gallon. You need to know some winemaking basics to make recipe. Learn some basics here.
- Wash, drain, remove stones, chop into smaller pieces.
- Put in nylon straining bag, crush and squeeze juice into primary fermenter. Keeping all pulp in the bag, tie top and place in the primary.
- Stir in all other ingredients EXCEPT yeast. Cover primary.
- After 24 hours, add yeast. Cover primary.
- Stir daily, check S.G and press pulp lightly to aid extraction.
- When ferment reaches S.G 1.040 (3-5 days) squeeze juice lightly from bag. Siphon off wine sediment into glass secondary, attach airlock.
- When ferment reaches 1.000 (about 3 weeks) siphon off any sediment into clean secondary. Reattach lock.
- To aid clearing siphon again in 2 months and again before bottling*.
To sweeten wine, at bottling add 1/2 tsp Stabilizer, then stir in 1/4-1/2 lb dissolved sugar per gallon.
Have you made plum wine before?
What type of plums did you use?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.