Making Apple Wine


I’d promised a video peek at how I’ve been making lovely apple wine from urban yard waste. Fortunately, Kristeva and Jessica volunteered to give me a hand, and they quickly jumped in and took over, allowing me to shoot a good portion of the process. If you have any questions about the details, ask in the comments.  [And pardon the profanity, but I just couldn't resist using this song. ]

23 Responses

  1. Awesome! I so gotta do this! (I did something similar, but your crusher musher and apple squisher press are way better than what I had going!)

  2. What a fantastic system. Truly incredible. The video was brilliant. The song was hilarious and perfect – how you did all of this, and then made us dinner still amazes me. How do you sterilize those huge jars. When you syphon off the clear juice, how do you clean them and dry them… – or do you. You must. Hmmm. And then, is it in those huge jars you add the yeast etc. to. Do you leave them in your garage on that table to sit – or move them? I was amazed at the colour the following day. Outstanding. What program are you using to do your videos with… you have a macbook, right? So, what do you use?
    your cyber stalker

  3. concretematt says:

    looks awesome kevin. I have been interested in doing this as well, I think your article is just what I need to push me over the edge.

  4. jeff says:

    wondering how you fabbed up the crusher. it looks like a garbeurator. whats the process of that?

    also did you add any water at all or extra sugar to get your SG to a certain level. i am just about to do my crush hopefully this weekend and love your video. my last apple wine was two years ago and i have two bottles left and it turned out great.

    i am also in edmonton and like what your doing over there. i also did some saskatoon last year which turned out great as well however the bushes at my folks acreage didnt do well this year bummer.

    cheers man

    keep it up

  5. Kevin says:

    I drilled a hole in the case to get the electrical out the side, wired it to the plug of a power bar [cut off the power bar], wired in a light switch which is duct taped to the case, and used a plastic potato salad pail with the bottom cut out to prevent splash & be the hopper. There’s a lot of ways to skin this cat. I did post about it, so do search that.

    Water no, sugar yes – to get to a target 12.5% abv. Glad your apple wine turned out! I think it’s seriously underrated stuff, and I’m glad to hear someone else in town is tackling it!!

    And yeah, seems like a poor year for saskatoons around here, no matter who I talk to.

  6. Kevin says:

    Standard winemaking sterilant, swirled around lots, and rinsed many times. I also have a carboy brush, available at winemaking stores.
    Post syphon, just rinse lots, and they come out clean. And yes, I ferment in the carboys, in my root cellar for a cold fermentation [cleaner flavors in whites], which is currently about 14C.
    Video editing software: Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 14. No macbook – just a boring old PC.
    All the audio has been edited in Cubase, including all the music.

  7. Lynn says:

    Love it! Looks like yummy juice. Don’t know how you can keep it for long enough to turn it into something else.

  8. jeff says:


    Did the crush this weekend. Rented a crusher and press from a shop up on the north side (will be building my own for next year) and it worked out well.

    Did about 160lbs of apples from my next door neighbours tree and got approx. 30 ltrs. of juice. Just pitched the yeast last night.

    I am thinking about oaking most or all of this wine. Do you use oak at all in yours. I hadn’t with my last batch but was at a cidery on Vancouver island this summer and tried some of their oaked wares and liked the taste.

    Perhaps we can do a bottle trade in a years time. maybe even for the saskatoon as well if i have any left.


  9. jeff says:

    hey another quick question. you mention spontaneous malolactic fermentation in your last batch of apple wine.
    How does one know if this happens and how do you moniter it?

    What does the mlf even do? I hear about it all the time but am unfamiliar with the details of it.


  10. Kevin says:

    Jeff – I use oak from the Barrell Mill – their infusion sprials. I used their medium toast last year, and will certainly be oaking a batch this year. The MLF happened post the sugars fermenting dry, and you monitor it by watching it bubble away, and wait until it settles out!! The MLF converts malic acid into lactic acid, which softens the texture, and is typically induced in reds for that reason. Because apples [malus] happen to have loads of malic acid, I’m guessing this will always want to occur. You can prevent it or seize it with cold and sulphites, but I don’t want to go that route, and it may spontaneously occur later on anyway.

  11. [...] pounds of mixed apples and crabapples that are slightly blemished? Well if you have the right equipment you can make cider – either hard or soft. How about apple sauce? Apple butter? Chutneys’ and relishes, or pies [...]

  12. Barry says:

    That video is just covered in awesome sauce!! Love it Kevin, nicely done.

    I have always wondered what would happen if you were to ferment some of your harvest with some of the skins from the apples. Obviously you’d have to reserve a dozen or so and peel them by hand, but I wonder if it would add any flavor, tannins, color to the finished product.

    I’ve been wanting to try this, but haven’t had a chance yet. If I do, or if you do, please share.



  13. [...] admittedly have become lightly obsessed with urban orchard wines, given the propensity for city yard fruit trees to produce literally tonnes of wasted fruit that [...]

  14. [...] a big Shiraz in the pork sausage literally makes me think: ‘ew’. I immediately thought: apple wine. Way better pairing imo [as would be most white wines], and introduces a terroir element. I [...]

  15. [...] and my various crews crushed and pressed apples from 5 trees, in 5 yards around the city – so I have quite a few batches, 2 being lovely [...]

  16. [...] sec, hanging above aging wheels of local goat cheese, themselves above many carboys full of urban fruit wine – and was thoroughly pleased to the core. It’s a dream-come-true, really. The cheese setup, [...]

  17. Kevin says:


    I have had my eye out for a used cider press for years. Now I know what a real one looks like.

    What happens if you ferment the sauce without pressing?

    Kevin Beckman

  18. Kevin says:

    Really good question. I’ve fermented saskatoons with the fruit intact, so can’t see why an apple mash wouldn’t ferment, drop its solids in somewhat the same way. Perhaps the cap would become inhibitory – ie choke out O2 from the yeast and stop fermentation? Not sure.

  19. Kevin says:

    I was thinking I could start making cider with just investing in the garbage disposal.

  20. [...] juice. You can see my crusher and press in action here, that can largely be slapped together for $100 or less if you’re thrifty. It makes juice. [...]

  21. [...] Today was one of my favorite days of the year. This is my third vintage of apple products from my backyard tree, and today was go-day. I left the apples on about 2 weeks longer than normal, religiously collecting windfalls every day, hoping for a more aromatic and sweet apple. Mission accomplished. The pruning over the years has meant fewer apples of larger size, which is a positive for eating out of hand, but slows down crushing with my gear. If you want to see a video of how I crush and press, there’s one here. [...]

  22. [...] living, we knew we couldn’t let them go to waste.  I’ve been admiring Kevin’s apple crush for quite a while now, so we attempted our own.  With baby strapped on, the three of us set up our [...]

  23. Dusti says:

    If you are going to go with an electric crusher you may as well save yourself some work and go with an electric car jack too. They come for about 65 bucks on ebay.

Leave a Reply

+ six = 8