Country wine is a diverse art that is subject to interpretation and experimentation. The below method is an approximation and can be altered in many ways. I encourage you to read a few more articles on the process and then dive in and give it a go!

 

Ingredients

3kg of ripe to over-ripe plums
5L of water
0.75-1.5kg sugar (depending on how alcoholic/sweet you want it).
 

Method

For ‘green’ wine (ie. single ferment, sweet and fizzy, lightly alcoholic, quick and easy):
 
Clean a bucket/barrel and sterilise with vinegar. Add sugar and water and stir, stir, stir until dissolved. Add plums and stir. Quantities are a guide and can be altered for different outcomes – have a crack and see what happens!
 
Cover with a breathable cloth so no insects can enter. Keep in a warm place and stir 3 times a day or more. If mould forms on the top you are not stirring enough! Scoop it off and keep going. You want to turn over all those floating plums and spread the yeasts throughout the wine. It will become more and more effervescent as the fermentation increases – you will hear the fizzing sound and see the froth after stirring.
 
Once vigorous fermentation subsides and fruit has dissolved, the wine is ready to drink. It is a simple, fizzy and sweet first ferment or ‘green’ wine. Enjoy the wine as is and share it with all your friends! Ensure you keep it in a cold place to slow the fermentation or it will turn into vinegar. If you bottle it keep the lids ajar or ‘burp’ them often – if they are tightened and too much pressure builds, they may explode.
 
For country wine (ie. second ferment, dryer flavour, more alcoholic, slightly more complex):
 
Once vigorous fermentation has subsided, strain out the chunky fruit though a sieve. Transfer remaining liquid to a narrow necked vessel. Fill to the top (you can top up with extra water to reduce sweetness or sugar syrup to increase sweetness). Close vessel with an airlock.
 
Leave wine to slowly ferment until desired taste is achieved. Siphon off wine, leaving the ‘lees’ behind (the sediment at the bottom of the air-locked vessel). Bottle and store in a cool place. Note – if fermentation is still too active, bottle may over carbonate and explode.