Plum Wine. How I Make Plum Wine And Other Country Wines

By Brian Lemay 53 comments

Hello, I’m Liz Zorab and this is Byther
Farm. I’m back in the kitchen again today and this morning I’m making some wine, so I
thought I would show you the process that I use to start off a gallon of wine.
And today I’m making some plum wine. This is not a full of winemaking video, but it
will show you how I start it off.One of the most important things is that
everything you use in relation to your wine is very, very clean, so it’s worth
sterilizing equipment before you begin. Here I have three and a half pounds of
plums that were previously frozen, so these are last year’s plums. And two days
ago I popped them into this bowl, poured boiling water over them covered them and
I’ve left them to stand for the flavor and the color, as you can see, to come out
of the. And I also put in a very small handful of sultanas.
So they’ve just been sitting and it smells wonderful. So I’m going to strain
them off. Okay, I’m not going to throw this away
now because I’m going to use that for something else. So this is the
liquid that I’m going to make my wine with. Here’s my demijohn I’ve just
sterilized this using a sterilizing solution. I actually use baby
equipment sterilizing tablets. As long as you follow the instructions on whatever
you get that should be absolutely fine. I can’t, I’m not going to guide you because the instructions will be different for
different products. So into here I’m now going to add sugar, the water from
the plums and my yeast mixture. Using a funnel I’ve weighed out my sugar, now
that was three and a half pounds of plums that I put into the bowl to soak
and we’re going to use three pounds of sugar and I’m putting the sugar in first
so the funnel isn’t wet when I’m trying to put the sugar in, because otherwise what
happens is the sugar sticks to the funnel.
it took me about three or four goes to learn that one, so that’s a good tip! The next thing I’m going to do is add in the the
fruit juices. Now it really doesn’t matter what fruit it is as long as you’ve
extracted the juices and the flavor from it. What I used to do would be to press
the fruit but something like plums sas an awful lot of bits come ou,t which means
you don’t get a particularly clear wine and it takes an awfully long time to
settle. So I’ve stopped squeezing things like plums and pressing them to get the
last bit of juice out, I just let them stand. And next I’m going to put my fruit
juice in. And the next thing I want to do is make
up the yeast mixture to go in there. And I use a dry active yeast for winemaking
and obviously you follow the instructions. But with this one, for one
gallon it’s one teaspoon. It doesn’t look like very much in here and there’s a
certainly a temptation to add in extra, but the yeast is a living thing and it grows
and swells and multiplies, and this really is plenty enough. So I’m going to
add that to my mixture as well and then I’m going to top this up with lukewarm
water. And before this gets completely filled up I’m going to sterilize the
handle of a long spoon just to give it a stir and a mix in. The reason I’m doing this is that I
think it helps the yeast if there is some sugar dissolved in the fruit and
water. The sugar won’t all dissolve in it at this stage, but some has, so I’m
going to carry on topping it up to the base of the neck. And in fact for a couple of
days, I’m going to leave it at this level because the yeast action is quite
vigorous and very often bubbles right up through the airlock. And this way it just
gives a little bit of space for the yeast to do its thing and then in two
days time I will top the water up to this at the base of the neck just here.
So the last thing to do is to put an airlock on it to stop this oxidating
or oxidizing, I’m not sure which it is! And for that I use an airlock. Now there
are different designs, this is the one I like to use. So you fill up the top parts
about half way with water. You could also use an alcohol like vodka to do this and
then you push it into the top, so this has got a nice seal between the the
rubber bung and the glass jar. It’s got a seal here so no air can get in. And as
the yeast action happens the carbon dioxide will come up through this tube,
around through the airlock and out at the top. Next thing to do is just to leave this now to do its thing. You can see that
it’s already getting busy. I tend to stand this in a container just
in case it does fizz all out at the top so it doesn’t make a mess everywhere,
and in a few days time, as I said, I’ll top this up to the base of the neck here
and then I’ll just put it in a, not a very hot place, not a very cold place,
just a room temperature to ferment for the next three to four weeks. Now I’m
sure at this point, there are lots of you shouting at the screen saying no no
that’s not how you do it! This is how I do it. I’m not making a high-quality
fancy wine to sell, I’m making a country wine for Mr. J to drink. It will be an
everyday wine, it will be palatable. Some of them are a bit sweeter than
others, but as this is a plum one I don’t imagine it will be too sweet. Generally I
tend to think these country wines are a bit sweeter than say a really nice
Graves, which is very dry, but they do the job. And they’re a really good use of the
surplus fruit here. I’m going to use a sticky label just to label it and so I
know which wine is which, because at this time of year I make quite a lot of wine.
They all just look like pinky red liquids, no idea which is which, unless I give it a label. I hope you found that useful, when I do the next stage in
the winemaking I’ll be sure to show that to you as well.
Well I think that’s it for me I’ve got a lot of tidying up to do in the
kitchen today. And so, wherever you are in the world and whatever you’ve got
planned for today I hope it’s a good one. And I also hope you’ll join me again


Daniโ€™s Little Barn Farm

Aug 8, 2018, 1:33 pm Reply

Hey liz What video editor software do you use and have you changed it since you started ?

Liz Zorab – Byther Farm

Aug 8, 2018, 1:39 pm Reply

Do you have a favourite homemade drink? If so, please let me know what your favourites are.

Rick Mitchell

Aug 8, 2018, 1:41 pm Reply

WooHoo! You're speaking my language here! ๐Ÿ™‚
Plum is one I've not tried yet (but is THE most requested).
Have you ever kept the fruit in during fermentation? I wonder if that would make a different flavor in the end?
Home wine making is a wonderful craft. I encourage anyone who likes wine to try it at least once. It's SO satisfying to pour and enjoy a glass of something you've made yourself. Even better than the high priced, fancy wines.
But, of course, as a Winery owner, I also encourage supporting your local establishments. LOL

Chrissie Maclachlan

Aug 8, 2018, 1:48 pm Reply

Amazing to see how much sugar goes in, I was really surprised. Great vlog as always Liz ๐Ÿ™‚

florida msjefmaker

Aug 8, 2018, 1:57 pm Reply

that looks so easy to do! I have seen kits on amazon but haven't tried it yet.. thank you so very much.. one question do you really need that much sugar each time or does it depend on the fruit your using at the time? maybe I'd better invest in a home wine making book if they have one in print before I start , any suggestions on reading material?

Gail Reese

Aug 8, 2018, 2:05 pm Reply

Could you have desolved the sugar on the stove and let cool first?

Elizabeth Gibbs

Aug 8, 2018, 2:12 pm Reply

Thanks Liz Zorab you make it look so easy. I have never made wine. We inherited two grapevines when we moved last year. (one is growing really well). Will have to give it a go. Lock forward to the next part. ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Started On Homesteading

Aug 8, 2018, 2:29 pm Reply

Looks good Liz and I bet It taste great. Have a good one!!

Almost Homestead

Aug 8, 2018, 2:36 pm Reply

I want to try making some. Our son has a lot of plums at his place. Thanks Liz.


Aug 8, 2018, 2:36 pm Reply

Fascinating! I wish my husband liked wine. Iโ€™d love to try making some.


Aug 8, 2018, 3:14 pm Reply

I'm not much of a alcohol drinker. I've always run hotter than most of my siblings or even people I know. When I was young I found alcoholic beverages would only make it worse, so I haven't drank any since I noticed that which was the first time I tried it. My mom share just some of her wine cooler, only took a sip, for me to feel like I was boiling up. I was in my 20s then and in my 50s now. Coffee is my drink of choice, more than I ought to, I'm sure. I also drink herbal tea daily for the health benefits (stinging nettles, dandelion, green tea, and couple others), but I think for sure my steel water bottle is never far from me, I drink a lot of water. Mr J is a very lucky man. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jody Sappington

Aug 8, 2018, 3:41 pm Reply

thank you for sharing..enjoyed the video but don't like any wine…

Jane Kelly

Aug 8, 2018, 4:53 pm Reply

That was just what I needed Liz – I've always been put off making wine thinking that it was way too complicated but I think I could just about manage this! Plus our plum tree is ridiculous this year – there's only so much jam you can muster!

Practical Modern Homestead

Aug 8, 2018, 5:03 pm Reply

Charlie is presently making a hard cider from the leftover apple bits after we ran apples through the mill and press. Should be interesting! Great video, Liz! I am going to show it to Charlie, as he has been on a wine making kick ever since we are not drinking on our diet!๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿคฃ

Suzanne Davis

Aug 8, 2018, 5:06 pm Reply

Hubby and I made apple wine last year…this method looks pretty easy…do you think I could boil down some pears to make pear juice and use that…when the wine is finished will you be bottling it or just storing in the frig.

Mrs McAdie

Aug 8, 2018, 5:11 pm Reply

Thanks for sharing, Iโ€™ve got the equipment to make wine but have always been put off but you have made it look so easy that I think Iโ€™ll give it a go, do you recommend a wine to make for a first timer? xXx

Little Urban Homestead

Aug 8, 2018, 5:15 pm Reply

Just started my plum wine from this years plum (not made a plum wine before). I boil 2 litres of water then dissolve the sugar in that then top up with another 2 litres cold water so itts tepid then put straight in the demijohn (that way not much stirring).

Rebecca Jo Steelman

Aug 8, 2018, 6:56 pm Reply

Thank you for sharing, how lovely ๐Ÿ’—xo

Emily Pulman

Aug 8, 2018, 7:52 pm Reply

Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€ Iโ€™ll finally give it ago tomorrow x

colin charlton

Aug 8, 2018, 11:15 pm Reply

we need taste avsion when its ready.My Mom always made parsnip wine it was good

Part-Time Permies

Aug 8, 2018, 12:22 am Reply

Since you are adding sugar and water, why not make a simple syrup, let it cool and add that instead? That way the sugar is all dissolved in the solution.

What kind of plums do you use?

Green Rage

Aug 8, 2018, 2:51 am Reply

Thanks Liz.. interesting.. It seemed like a lot of sugar.. Is this a sweet wine or dry? I assume sweet. I make mine by the 5 gallons.. And peach is my favorite. Thanks for sharing – fun to watch.

Charlotte’s Rub a Dub Homestead

Aug 8, 2018, 3:23 am Reply

That's nice Liz I have never tried making wine but it looks fun Here I know some who make muscadine wine,and Scuppernong wine it is very good . Do you every cook with your wines? Thank you for sharing

Rough-Hewn Homestead

Aug 8, 2018, 6:38 am Reply

Love this video! What size demijohn are you using here? My son is a home-brewer (beer/ale) so I've been using some of his equipment for champagne making, but he only has 5 gallon demijohns and brew buckets, which is a bit much for my 1 gallon brews.

Nicola J

Aug 8, 2018, 7:19 am Reply

Sorry for late commenting today as only been able to watch now. Very interesting video thanks Liz, i was a bit shocked by the amount of sugar, probably as i like dry wine, but heck I'd still drink it lol.

Hilltop Farm

Aug 8, 2018, 8:52 am Reply

This is great. Thanks Liz. This is something I'm hoping to do this summer. Will be watching this series closely.

Anna williams

Aug 8, 2018, 4:42 pm Reply

How interesting I'd love to give this a go. Thank you for making this video liz. I have plums that suspiciously taste like apricots. They ripen in September to October time. Could I use them to make wine. Sorry I've not been well and just watching this video nowxx๐Ÿ’Ÿ

suzanne burford

Aug 8, 2018, 6:45 am Reply

What a lovely colour, I used to like beetroot wine. sue xx

Erica’s Little Welsh Garden

Sep 9, 2018, 8:27 am Reply

I really need to make some wine! With all that sugar that yeast is going to be having a party.


Sep 9, 2018, 10:16 am Reply

I may have missed it, but how do you know when it is ready to drink?

Steve plum wine!

Sep 9, 2018, 7:18 am Reply

Great job Liz, thanks! I've been making all sorts of drinks over the years such as cider, beer, eau de vie and some wines. This is the first time that I've seen the idea of letting the fruit sit to extract the flavour so I'm going to try. Beats all that messy squishing! I look forward to watching more of your vids- freshingly more straightforward than many on Youtube !

Stephanie Fultz

Sep 9, 2018, 3:53 pm Reply

Thanks!! Looks like Iโ€™m making wine ๐Ÿท

Silver Shadow

Sep 9, 2018, 5:41 am Reply

tip…if you lift the funnel a little it will fill quicker. displacing the air happens quicker.

McHugh J

Oct 10, 2018, 7:11 pm Reply

Hi Liz, did you peel and stone your plums or leave the skins on? Thanks, J

50 shades of green

Oct 10, 2018, 1:01 pm Reply

that was so easy i definitely go to try some wine making !! chers liz

Cassie Oz

Oct 10, 2018, 4:21 am Reply

Liz, I have about 18L of plum juice left from last year (extracted with a steam juicer so its, pasteurized and bottled) in the pantry. Can i use that to make wine? I'm guessing it would have a stronger flavour than your soaked plums


Dec 12, 2018, 3:02 am Reply

Hello Liz!!! Can you send me a bottle to taste……I would love to try some of your delicious plum wine…..ooooo it look so good!,,

Enlightened Nomad

Dec 12, 2018, 9:21 am Reply

is this like "Kinsen Plum" Wine Sake? ๐Ÿ™‚

Zachary Duffy

Mar 3, 2019, 11:33 pm Reply

I like it – good to see someone who has actually got some experience sharing !

You're right plum is hard to clear – if you go for flavour – I think it is very high in pectin so plum jam sometimes sets like rock !

Even so it is hard to get the plum flavour over to the finished wine – My own preference is to finish the wine to near clarity then infuse mqshed plums into it for a few days or weeks – give it a try – all the best


Andrew Walters

Mar 3, 2019, 3:43 pm Reply

Hi Liz can you make a pineapple one please?

steve hurst

May 5, 2019, 5:27 am Reply

If you put it in a cool dark place it will do better im just trying to help

Steve nokes

May 5, 2019, 7:46 pm Reply

Great video….

Steve nokes

May 5, 2019, 7:48 pm Reply

Could you use frozen Blackberrys to make wine..

Carol Mckerracher

May 5, 2019, 11:11 pm Reply

How do you clarify the wine ?

steve hurst

Jun 6, 2019, 8:28 pm Reply

It looks good buddy

sandeep chandel

Jul 7, 2019, 1:52 pm Reply

Wow plum wine

Arthur Whitt

Jul 7, 2019, 1:39 am Reply

When you poured the boiling water over the plums and covered them, did you put them in the fridge or them out?

Paul Hobbs

Jul 7, 2019, 2:33 am Reply

Do you keep the plums soaking on the counter in room temp, or in the refrigerator?

king james488

Aug 8, 2019, 10:26 pm Reply

hang on, I gotta go to the demijohn.

king james488

Aug 8, 2019, 10:29 pm Reply

I gave up caring about bits in my brews, it all settles out with the yeast anyways so doesn't matter when you rack it.

also you don't really need to pre-sterilize things you boil and you can just cap the jug and shake it, it has threads for a cap you see?

Paula Harris

Aug 8, 2019, 9:30 am Reply

How much plum juice did you add to the 3 1/2 pounds of sugar?

Mike Mike

Aug 8, 2019, 12:50 am Reply

You are absolutely a informative enough and simply Pleasant thanks

Homebird Farm – UK

Aug 8, 2019, 2:48 pm Reply

It may be a silly question but when you say sterilise the equipment, did you also sterilise that little teaspoon or just the funnel and jar? I think I'm complicating it in my head! I just bought my first demijohn yesterday and want to make some wine. Thanks Liz. I've been watching lots of videos and remembered you did some and came straight to your channel. Fab vid.

Leave a Reply