What’s growing wild around you?

We love to make things at home.  One of those things we make is wine.  Our neighbor Andrea pointed out to us last year that we have wild persimmons growing. She’s been prodding us to make different types of wine since she found out that we make wine.  She brought over a large number of figs she had dehydrated from her trees so we could try making fig wine.

Saturday evening when Andrea came over to buy eggs and brought us some of the persimmons.  She had picked up several of them along the way when she walked over.  We were unaware of that we had a second tree that she began telling us about which is hanging over the driveway. As we tasted the Persimmons, we found that they don’t have a complex flavor profile, just sweet, and she wondered out loud if we though that we could make wine with them.

We did some google searching and learned that native Persimmon are a fruit that have been eaten by both Native American Indians as well as colonists, and the bark, root, seeds and fruit were used for medicinal purposes during the American Civil war,  Most interestingly, the seeds were roasted and ground to use as a replacement for coffee.  Here’s the link to a very interesting history of the persimmon.

We’ve decided to try making persimmon wine.  We’ve been collecting them daily and dehydrating them to preserve them until we collect enough.  It’s a bit of a chore because they have a large number of big seeds in them, about 7, and comparatively little flesh on them. We think it’s going to take a lot of persimmons to make a batch of wine, but if we don’t give it a try, the deer and the goats will probably eat what is dropping.  Zuzu (one of our yearling does) has already found them and when she is put out into that pasture she goes sprinting over to that area, apparently to collect all the sweet goodies before her mother gets them.  We may as well try it out and see if we can use this free gift from these unique fruit trees growing on the property.

Here is the recipe we tried (per 5 gallon batch)

  • 9 lbs. ripe persimmons (quartered, dehydrated, then seeded and frozen until we had enough to rehydrate for wine )
  • 8 lbs. granulated sugar (to attain specific gravity to 1.09 on the hydrometer)
  • 2 Tbsp. acid blend
  • 5 gallons water
  • 2 Campden tablet, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. yeast nutrient
  • ½ tsp. pectic enzyme
  • 1 packet Montrachet yeast