Making Apple Wine Without A Press

Sliced Apples For Making Wine Without A PressCan you make wine from cut up apples instead of using only juice. I found recipes for all kinds of whole fruit, but not apples. I have made several batches of wine with your products and they have all turned out well. I have a large apple tree and would like to make apple wine, but don’t want to squeeze the juice. I have made chokecherry and blueberry that are wonderful.

Name: Jerry S.
State: Nebraska
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Hello Jerry,

It is possible to make wine apple without a press and use cut up apples, instead. The issue is that water needs to be added along with the chopped apples to make it a fermentable must. The result is a weaker flavored apple wine than what you would get with straight apple juice. This is not a particularly good thing when you consider that fact that apples do not have that much flavor to begin with as compared to chokecherries and blueberries.

So you have to ask yourself if you would be happy making an apple wine that was a little lighter in body and with a little less flavor. If you’ve got the time and the apples would be going to waste anyway, I say go for it. If you have limited time and you’d eat the apples anyway, then I might reconsider, but of course, it’s up to you.

If you do decide on making apple wine without a press the first thing that should be realized is that if you are making 5 gallons, you will need about 10 gallons of fermenter volume. This is to make room for all the apples and water needed. By the time you remove all the apple solids during the fermentation you will be left with about 5 gallons.

To start out you will need to decide how you are going to chop the apples. I would suggest focusing on making slices of apples instead of cubes. This will allow more flavor to be extracted more easily during the fermentation. An apple coring/slicing knife would not be a bad option for this. You nee to be chopping about 80 pounds of apples to end up with 5 gallons of apple wine.

Dump all the sliced apples in the fermenter(s). Add a sugar/water mixture to fermenters until the apples are covered. This sugar/water mixture is made by dissolving 1-1/2 pounds of sugar to each gallon of water.

You will need to add acid blend to the apple must. For now, add 2 tablespoons to entire 5 gallon batch. If the batch is divided into two fermenters, put 1 tablespoon in each. This is just to get the acidity close enough for a proper, safe fermentation. Once the fermentation is complete and the apple wine has cleared and it is ready to be bottled, you will want to test the acidity with an acid test kit to make a final acidity adjustment.

You will also want to add yeast nutrient at the rate of 1 teaspoon per gallon of actual must. You will also need to add wine tannin — 1 teaspoon over the entire 5 gallon batch is plenty.

The final steps for preparing the apple wine must is to add 1 crushed Campden tablet per each gallon of wine must. If you have 10 gallons of actual must, add 10 tablets. Wait 24 hours for the Campden tablets to do their thing, then add a packet of Red Star Pasteur Champagne Wine Yeast. During this 24 hour period you want to leave the fermenter(s) uncovered, or covered with a very thin towel, at most.

From the point of adding the wine yeast on, the wine making process is like making any other wine. After 5 days or so you will want to remove the apple pulp and then get the wine must under air-lock. You may want to consider using a fermentation bag in the fermenter. This will make pulp removal a breeze. And, you will have a lot of it.

So there it is, all the steps for making apple wine without a press. Just understand that the flavor will be a little weaker, but it will most certainly taste like an apple wine.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus

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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

8 thoughts on “Making Apple Wine Without A Press

  1. I have questions about 3 issues
    1. when stabilizing wine just before bottling, do I go through the sweetening process before i stabilize or after?
    2. should I always use both, Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulphite ?
    3. Is it OK to use a juice concentrate to sweeten and flavor wine? If yes can I use it straight out of the can?

  2. Stan, you want to rack the off any sediment; sweeten to taste; then stabilize with both potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite. Yes, you can use a concentrate directly from the can. The only concern is: is it making the wine too acidic — too, tart/sharp/sour tasting.

  3. Enjoy your info-has been a great help! Would there be any problem using one gallon glass jugs with screw cap tops. Thanks for your help.

  4. Reg, I am assuming your are talking about bottling your finished wine in gallon jugs. This is fine to do. Just realize that you should drink the wine within days after opening the jug. The wine left in the jug can spoil and/or oxidize once air gets in the jug. As a side note, never use a screw cap on a fermenting wine.

  5. Check with a local orchard that processes its own apple cider. Ask them if you can buy raw apple juice. The orchard I use charges about 5 bucks per gallon. And the juice make great apple flavored wine.

  6. If you are not going to use a press, why would you not recommend freezing the apples first? There is basically no work by freezing the apples and you will get a lot flavour and aroma out of the apples. By cutting the apples up, you will have cut up some of the seeds and there will be off flavours.

  7. Don, I see nothing wrong with freezing the apples first. It will only help to get the flavor out. Great suggestion! Realize that the apples will still need to be processed in some way: chopped, mashed, etc.

  8. In South Africa we have the fruit of the marula tree.Lots of pip inside.Little juiceAdvice.We can’t crush it bit we can bruise it.They use it whole to ferment it to make moonshine.

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