Use a mixture of dessert and cooking apples, but avoid russets. Apples oxidize very quickly, and it is therefore best to start off in a slightly different way. Put 7 pints/3.5 litres water into a bucket (4 pints/2 litres cold and 3 pints/1.5 litres boiling), add the sugar and 1 Campden tablet. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Wash the fruit, cutting away any bruised parts and chop the fruit leaving the skins on. Press it or put through a juice extractor and place the liquid in the bucket immediately. The next day, take out about 1 pint/500ml of the liquid, heat it, and return it to the bulk. When the temperature is down to 70-75°F/21-24°C, add the pectic enzyme, acid, nutrient salts, and yeast starter and stir well. Ferment on the pulp for five days, stirring daily. Strain the pulp, pressing out the juice as efficiently as possible, and place the liquor in a fermentation jar under airlock, making up 1 gallon/4.5 litres with water if necessary. Allow to ferment to a finish in a warm place.
This should be a dry table wine, drinkable within six months, but if a sweeter, heavier wine is required, add 8oz/225g extra sugar in liquid form during the ferment, and 8oz/225g chopped sultanas at the beginning.
© 1978 Mary Norwak estate. All rights reserved.