I hate winter! In a big way… The lack of light, the cold, the snow… So, this year I decided to protest winter by planning to make a tropical wine. Something refreshing and charged with the summer sun.
Making Dragon Blood wine was really easy and fun. It is kind of like a hard berry lemonade, which is fine… But… I want something a little more island. Think Palm Trees, Steel Drums… Something Jimmy Buffett could write a song about… How about Dragons In Paradise!
So, I wanted to make a virtual winemaking party and Invite YOU! This is what I am going to try, and if you want to join the party, you can make it along with me and a bunch of us in the Home Winemaking group on Face Book. A bunch of us are going to do this all at the same time, with people from all over the world! How fun is that?
On a Dragons In Paradise mission, I headed out to BJs (similar to Costco) and found this Tropical Fruit Blend, which has Mango, Pineapple and Strawberries. Armed with 4 bags, I am ready for action.
Tropical Dragon Blood Recipe AKA Dragons In Paradise
- 12 Lbs of Frozen Tropical Fruit Blend
- 2 Large Bottles of Pineapple Juice ( Total about 3-4 Liters )
- 11 Lbs of white Cane Sugar
- 1 tsp of grape tannin
- 3 tsp of yeast nutrient
- 1 tsp of yeast energizer
- 3 tsp. pectic enzyme
- 2 tsp. Bentonite
- EC-1118 Wine Making Yeast
This is the working recipe that I will be using. If I can find some passion fruit juice, I will also add that. The beauty of this particular wine is that there are lots and lots of variations. Want to use Lemon Juice instead of Pineapple… Go for it. How about Lime Juice, Awesome! Want to add Peaches, Way Cool! The idea here is that we are going to have fun making this together with folks all over the globe. Hopefully, all will be done before New Years Eve, where we can all raise a virtual glass together in friendship!
Ok, here is how I started my Dragons in Paradise wine:
- Clean all of your equipment including mesh bags.
- Pour your Pineapple Juice in the primary fermenter.
- Pour in 9 or 10 lbs sugar in the primary fermenter and stir until it is dissolved. I added a little boiling water to help it along.
- Add the fruit to the mesh bags and put the bags into the pail.
- Pour Boiling Water (BE CAREFUL) onto the frozen fruit in the pail. The water will defrost the fruit in a few minutes. Stir it a bit.
- Add the Tannin, Nutrient, Energizer and Enzyme. Stir that in well.
- Fill up the pail with additional water to around (a little over) 6 gallons total. Stir that in well.
- Put the lid on and WAIT AT LEAST 12 hours for the Enzyme to work its way in.
- AFTER AT LEAST 12 hrs… squeeze the bags, stir and take a specific gravity measurement. I shoot for under 1.1, but many people are looking for 1.080 or so.. If it is higher, add some water. You can add sugar if it is too low.
- OPTIONAL: In a cup, I take some boiling water and add some bentonite SLOWLY as I stir. Once dissolved, I stir that into the Dragons in Paradise Wine.
- Take a moment to admire the smell of the must! This is going to be GOOD!
- Take the yeast and either : A) Put it in a cup of warm water and a few spoons of sugar, let it activate then pour it in… OR B) Just tear it and sprinkle it on top.
After this, I snap the lid on, put an airlock on the bucket and wait for some action in the next day or so… Once fermentation has started, I will EACH DAY:
- Clean my hands, a large bowl and Large Spoon.
- Take the bags, squeeze them with my hands to get juice into the wine.
- Place the bags into the bowl.
- Stir the Dragons In Paradise Wine like a lunatic on a mission.
- Take a Specific Gravity Reading
- Place the bags of fruit back in the pail.
- Snap the lid and attach the airlock again.
When the Specific Gravity of the Dragons in Paradise wine is 1.0 or Less, it is time to move to the next step….
- Squeeze the bags into the wine, then discard the fruit.
- Transfer the wine to a clean and sanitized carboy
- Crush 6 Camden Tablets and stir into the wine
- Degas the Wine, with either a wine whip OR a vacuum pump setup. (Look at my post on how to build a vaccum pump setup.)
- Prepare Sparkolloid, according to the directions and stir that into the wine.
- Put a bung and Air-Lock back on the carboy, and wait 10 days or so to clear.
- After the Dragons in Paradise wine is clear, Transfer it to a clean and sanitized pail
- Taste it and Back Sweeten Your Wine with Sorbate and Sugar. I have a post with the details.
After you have gotten this far, you are just about done. I would recommend putting the wine back into a carboy for a week or so, then filtering and bottling. However, if the wine is very clear, you can just bottle it. I have found that it is almost always better to filter lighter colored wines.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and have had fun making this wine along with me! After all is, this is about having fun with friends, and what would be better than raising a glass of Dragons in Paradise wine this new years eve.