You asked for it–now get ready for summer
Zucchini Wine isn’t all that difficult to make–actually none of the country wines will challenge you that much. Just for the sake of clarity, let’s define country wines that are those made from other fruit than grapes.
Four pounds of ripe zucchini
Two Oranges, Two lemons
One thing about zucchini is that there is little real flavor, so unless you want to drink straight alcohol with water, you must add something that has flavor. In this case, that’s going to be oranges and lemons.
Wash the zucchini thoroughly, then chop into small pieces and place in your primary fermenter. The primary fermenter can be any food-grade container that you can cover to keep our insects and other unwanted things. Make sure that the container is large enough to handle the amount of wine you are making.
16 cups of boiling water
7 cups of sugar
With the zucchini in the fermenter, wash and slice the oranges and lemons and place them atop the zucchini. Boil 16 cups of water, add the sugar to the water and stir to dissolve. Place this atop the fruit, stirring gently and allow to cool.
Pectic Enzyme–check the package for dosage
Camden tablets–check your wine supply store or go online for several sources.
When the mixture has cooled, add the pectin enzyme and stir to distribute the enzyme. At this point, you may wish to kill all natural yeasts with the addition of Camden tablets, but it is not necessary. After adding camden tablets, let the lixture set for at least 24 hours before adding a specific wine yeast.
Wine yeast–usually comes in small packets
Wine yeasts are cultured to give a specific result, batch after batch. For this reason, you might not want wild yeasts to remain in your wine.
After adding the yeast, you might also want to add a nutrient that acts as a fertilizer for the yeast, allowing it to grow rapidly and reproduce. This step is called the primary fermentation. During this time, you’ll see a lot of bubbles rising to the top and creating foam. Stir this down into the mixture for about five days, at which time, the heaviest foaming will have stopped.
The next step is to strain all the solid particles from the primary fermenter and place the unfinished wine into the secondary fermenter, which looks exactly like those water bottles that once were used for the office water cooler. Place an airlock on top to prevent any foreign yeasts from entering and spoiling the wine. This also keeps fruit flies out–they can turn the wine to vinegar.
Now, every three months, rack the wine into a new container, afix the air lock and wait a while longer. During this time, the wine will begin to clear, but there are still yeast in there working until they produce so much alcohol that they literally kill themselves.
After about one year, the wine should be finished. If it is too dry, there is a mixture that can be added to it–available from shops that sell wine making supplies–that will not feed the remaining yeast in your wine. Add another camden tablet to make certain that the yeast have finished working and you are ready to bottle.
Make certain that the bottles are clean and sterilized, fill, leaving only a small air gap at the top and seat your corks. Carefully clean the outside of the bottles, add your custom label and you are set to serve guests a beverage matching the zucchini casserole you are serving for dinner.
If you are new to wine making, it might pay to get one of those little inexpensive books at the wine supply store to follow step-by-step. Once you get a little experience, you will have little trouble making this and many other recipes to create a a beverage to accompany what’s on your plate.
If you’re the curious type, do some experimenting in the future by adding spices to the primary fermentation. One of my all-time favorites was a wine made with malt and pumpkin. A small amount poured over ice cream was to die for.
- 4 pounds zucchini
- 3 campden tablets
- 2 oranges
- 2 lemons
- 7 cups sugar
- pectic enzyme
- 1 package wine yeast