2013 Pomegranate Wine

We had originally planned to harvest some persimmons from a friend of a friend but due to some miscommunication, that didn't end up happening.  I still wanted to ferment something so, upon realizing pomegranates were also in season, Jed and I went to Super King Market in search of those.  Super King had them, of course, but we probably would have needed a truckload of them in order to squeeze five gallons of juice and the cost was looking prohibitive.  Then we discovered that they sold pomegranate concentrate with no preservatives besides citric acid!  We bought half their supply, as well as some whole pomegranates, probably raising some eyebrows at the register.

January 6, 2013

Pomegranates are stingy with their juice!  It took a ridiculous amount of time to scrape the seeds out of the pomegranates and press them, using a potato ricer, only to get a miniscule amount of juice.  No wonder it is so expensive.  Also, we managed to stain the kitchen walls and our clothes with red juice.  I will probably stick to concentrate in the future and let someone else do the juicing.  We also squeezed in some fresh cherries and blueberries, since they were so cheap at Super King, but pomegranate concentrate constituted the bulk of the must.  It was extremely acidic due to the added citric acid, so we had to add 12 tbsp calcium carbonate to bring the pH up to 3.5.  We added enough sugar to bring the specific gravity to 1.114. 

January 10, 2013

Still fermenting.

fermenting pomegranate wine

January 14, 2013

Still fermenting.

January 23, 2013

I racked the wine into a sanitized secondary and fitted it with an airlock.  The wine continues to ferment.

January 24, 2013

April 21, 2013

Racking is well overdue.  The lees have settled into a compact layer but racking should have been done months ago.  We'll see what happens.
  • TA: 0.95%
  • SG: 1.0
  • pH 3.5

August 17, 2013

I racked the pomegranate wine into another sanitized carboy and took a sample from the last of it. There was only a thin ring of sediment at the base of the carboy--the wine is otherwise crystal clear. It has a very fruity aroma and the flavor is a little on the tart side. It may benefit from some sugar addition. I may want to use more of the pomegranate concentrate from Super King, perhaps with extra sugar dissolved in it. The wine is a bright red color and translucent, like a rosé.

fig and pomegranate wine samples

October 9, 2013

Since I was adding lysozyme to the fig wine, I figured I'd add some to the other wines that are currently bulk aging.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially in winemaking.  Of course, I sampled a bit with the wine theif.

pomegranate wine sample

This tastes better than I remember it tasting in August.  Since it's red, my immediate instinct is to visually judge it against a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon but this is wrong.  It's not a grape and I need to stop expecting it to be rich and dark.  It was mostly made from concentrate, after all.  The color of a red wine comes from grape skins anyway.  The flavor is light and fruity.  I suppose it would be fair to compare to a white zinfandel, which is not one of my favorite wines.  Perhaps some oak chips will give it some complexity.

November 16, 2013

I was already fining our loquat wine with kieselsol and chitosan so I figured I'd do the same with the pomegranate wine.  It was pretty clear already after the lysozyme addition, so a little fining should make it crystal clear.  I drew off 7.5 ml of kieselsol with a syringe and added it to the wine, stirring it with a sanitized racking cane.  An hour later, I added 30 ml of chitosan and stirred that.

Meanwhile, we tasted a sample I drew prior to adding the fining agents.  It tasted good but had more of a sweet, juicy flavor than a typical wine.  I sprinkled a tiny amount of grape tannins into the sample and stirred it.  The mouthfeel was improved significantly.  The bottle of tannins recommended 1/4 tsp per gallon for white/rosé wines and 1/2 tsp per gallon for fruit wines but we decided to be conservative and try the 1/4 tsp dosage first.  I dissolved 1.25 tsp tannins in a small amount of distilled water and stirred that into the wine between the kieselsol and chitosan additions.  I'm not sure if this will have the desired effect, as the fining agents may simply drop the tannins along with everything else.  Ideally, the tannins should have been added prior to fermentation.