Persimmons are one of the sweetest fruits in the world when fully ripe and they make a fine, fruity wine that's very popular in Korea. Just remember that in winemaking, patience is needed. With good, ripe persimmons, you can make delicious wine at home in fewer than six months.
Just for the delight of offering a glass of wine you made yourself this recipe is worth every minute of waiting time.
Before You Start
You need a bucket, large crock, pail, pot, or another food-safe container that is non-reactive (ceramic, cookware with enamel coating, stainless steel, glass, or metal) and that preferably has a lid. This is where the primary fermentation will take place. The vessel needs to:
- Be capable of containing one-quarter to one-half more volume than the total volume of the liquid.
- Be able to contain the rising of the fermentation cap to allow good aerobic fermentation.
- Be covered during fermentation to prevent dust, bacteria, or foreign particles from blowing in.
- Not be air-tight.
Also find two jugs, jars, bottles, demi-johns or carboys, which typically have a wide-body and tapered neck with a small opening. The opening should be sealed with an airlock. This is your secondary fermentation vessel, where the second phase of alcohol fermentation will take place.
You also need:
- One airlock for the secondary vessels.
- One Campden's tablet, a sulfur-based product that kills almost all wild bacteria and fungi that come with the raw ingredients your wine will be made from.
- Wine stabilizer (Optional): Potassium sorbate, sometimes called "wine stabilizer," is added to finished wines before bottling to reduce the possibility of re-fermentation. It is strongly recommended that potassium sorbate is used in any wine you intend to sweeten or any wine that is still sweet after the fermentation has completed.
- Flip-top Grolsch bottles. 4 are enough for this amount of water.
- 3 pounds Hachiya persimmons (ripe, peeled, washed, seeded and quartered)
- 2.5 pounds granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon acid blend
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 1 Campden tablet (crushed)
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast nutrient
- 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
- 1 packet wine yeast (suggested: Montrachet or champagne yeast)
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon wine stabilizer.
Gather the fruit, water, acid blend, half of the sugar, yeast, Campden tablet, and primary vessel.
Using a serving fork or potato masher, mash the persimmons well and put them in the primary vessel.
Add acid blend, yeast nutrient, crushed Campden tablet, and half of the sugar to the pulp.
Add a gallon of water and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Leave to rest covered for half a day.
After 12 hours, add pectic enzyme and yeast.
Ferment for five to seven days, keeping the vessel covered but stirring daily.
After seven days have passed, strain the liquid through a nylon sieve into another container. Carefully rinse primary vessel and put the liquid back in it.
Add the remaining half of the sugar, stirring well to combine.
Transfer liquid to one of the secondary containers with at least 3 inches of headroom.
Put in the airlock.
After three to four weeks, rack (siphon) liquid into a clean secondary vessel and seal with airlock. Leave behind sediment/sludge that has settled at the bottom of the first secondary vessel.
Rack every month until the wine is ready to be bottled, or about three months.
After this time, if you would like a sweeter wine, you can add more sugar and the stabilizer. Remember not to add more than 1/2 teaspoon of stabilizer per gallon of wine.
Properly sanitize your flip-top Grolsch bottles before transferring wine from the secondary vessel into the bottles.
Chill and serve in tall flute. Enjoy!
Although there are many varieties of persimmons, there are two main categories:
- Dan Gam (Fuyu persimmon) translates to “sweet persimmon” and has a squashed-tomato shape. It is orange to deep red-orange. Peel it or wait for it to soften; its peel is edible. If you choose to eat it when firm it will still be sweet.
- Ddulben Gam (Hachiya persimmon) is pointier at the bottom. Longer and usually larger than the dan gam, it can't be eaten if it isn't ripe and soft because of its high level of tannins, and because of the unpleasant mouth feel it would leave behind. When ready, it is deliciously soft and pulpy. Peel it carefully or scoop out the insides with a spoon.