Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another attempt at pawpaw wine

I made pawpaw wine 2 years ago and it turned out pretty tasty, in my opinion.  It definitely had to age longer than some of my others like the wineberry and strawberry wines.  Trust me, young pawpaw wine isn't something you'd serve your guests.  Maybe some of my friends wouldn't even appreciate it aged but some of my less discriminating pals shared it and didn't complain.  I don't know why I didn't make it last year.  Too lazy, I guess.  A friend of ours recently posted pictures of pawpaws on Facebook so I decided it was time for us to get some for ourselves. 

James and I gathered about 40 or 50 lbs of them, most for us and some overly ripe ones for the pigs, who thoroughly enjoyed them, seeds and all.  So did the donkeys.  I only made 5 gallons of wine so far because it took awhile to peel them and some could use another day to ripen.  I'll make 5 more tomorrow.  The recipe calls for you to remove the seeds too but there are so many seeds in each one.  The fruit is in a mesh bag that gets removed from the wine anyway so I figured I'd leave the seeds in and it couldn't hurt anything.  I did remove some of the seeds so we can plant them down by the river and hopefully one day have our own pawpaw trees.  They're a pretty seed.
Here's a shot of the pawpaw before it gets overly ripe.  It doesn't take long for them to turn black like a banana.
You may be wondering if we eat any of the fruits.  Nope, not much.  A few bites is about all we can handle.  It's probably one of the sweetest and richest fruits you can eat.  The first bite is delicious but a little goes a long way.   I'm not sure why that is. 

My wine recipe calls for 2 to 3 lbs of pawpaws per gallon of wine.  I make 5 gallons at a time.  After peeling them I squashed them up and poured boiling water over them and the 10 lbs of sugar.  When it cools I'll add the other ingredients.
Here's the recipe I use.  Ignore the "canned pawpaw cubes" part.  Where does one get canned pawpaw cubes anyway?  Of course I multiply it by 5 since I usually make 5 gallons at a time.  The only ingredient you don't increase is the yeast because one packet of yeast is good for up to 5 gallons.


2 lbs canned pawpaw cubes

2 lbs granulated sugar

7 pts water

1/2 oz citric acid

1 tsp pectic enzyme

1/2 tsp grape tannin

1 tsp yeast nutrient

wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, put fruit in nylon straining bag, tie closed, and place bag in primary. Mash fruit in bag, pour sugar over fruit and, when water boils, pour it over that. Cover primary and set aside to cool. When room temperature, add all ingredients except yeast. Recover and set aside 12 hours. Add yeast. When the must is fermenting vigorously, stir twice daily for 5 days. Drain bag and squeeze gently to extract most juice and flavor, then transfer juice to secondary. Fit airlock and set aside for 2 months. Rack into sterilized secondary, top up and refit airlock. Rack again after 3 months, top up and refit airlock. Check wine for clarity after additional 3 months. If wine has not cleared, fine with gelatin, wait two weeks, and rack into bottles. Age additional 6-12 months. [Adapted from Leo Zanelli's Home Winemaking from A to Z]

I wonder how many people make this wine.  I've never had anyone offer me a glass of pawpaw wine.


  1. Picking up paw paws puttum in your pocket........ Mike. ;-)

  2. I HAVE!!!! It was fantastic!!! Hope you invite me again.

  3. I took a class at OU called "Plants and People" - basically a mix of anthropology and biology - we had a unit on the pawpaw and were able to sample various dishes. The instructor brought a speaker who was petitioning for the pawpaw to become the state fruit of Ohio.

  4. I remember singing the paw paw song when I was a kid, but I have never seen a paw paw - let alone taste one. I wonder if they sell paw paws anywhere around here? I think I'll keep an eye out - I'd love to taste them! And I bet your wine will be wonderful.

  5. pawpaws arent sold in stores as a whole fruit at least that ive seen and i live in the hills of southern ohio were pawpaws thrive so if you want to try one just go hiking

  6. Have 3 paw paw trees on our property in South East PA all bearing lots of fruit. Going to attempt Paw Paw wine. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Have about 7 mature Paw Paw trees, attempting Paw Paw wine for the first time