We had a glut of greengages (small green plums) this summer so I decided to turn them into booze.
This recipemade 6 gallons of plum wine (about 30 bottles)
First I had to de-stone the greenguages (can I call them plums from now on please, it is shorter to type... thanks). After about half an hour with a knife I discovered the best method was actually to crush them on the side of the fermenting bucket I was dropping them in to and then just holding on to the stone as the flesh fell in. The whole de-stoning took a good hour to complete. I also chopped lemons and added them too.
I then added water (boiled) to the sugar, made a syrup and poured it over the fruit. After it had colled I added some pectolase to ensure the brew wasn't going to end up too cloudy, although this step is entirely optional.
After 8 hours I added cold water to bring the level up to the to 6 gallon mark on my bucket..
Now I add the yeast directly onto the juice/fruit/water mix . I loosely covered with a lid and left it alone. The next morning it was clear that fermentation was in full swing with lots of fizzing and froth.
After four days I transfered it to a big contianer with an airlock. In doing so I got rid of all the solids so I now just have a cloudy juice undergoing fermentation. I tasted it for sweetness and flavour, and although not good yet, it tasted as though this may well be a massive success.
The second fermentation will take about 8-10 weeks. After four weeks, I will transfer to clean sterile container to continue fermentation, leaving the plummy, yeasty sediment that might impart a bad taste in the bottom of the first container.
After a further 4 weeks, as long as the fermentation has finished, It will be racked off into wine bottles and left for a further 6 months minimum before drinking as a young wine.
With so much I fully expect to leave some for a couple of years or more to see how the flavour changes and hopefully improves over time.
UPDATE: 2 years later we are still getting out bottles of this and giving them to friends at parties. It has evolved into the most heavenly 'desert wine' which has never failed to delight. Even my best friend and harshest critic says it is a real treat when we bring out the greengage.
Last year we had a poor crop and so didn't bother to make any wine, but this year the trees are dripping with fruit so I will once again be knocking up a big batch.