How to Make Skittles Wine

Winemaking is a fun and rewarding hobby, both for the very serious oenophile as well as the 'country' winemaker. While all have different ideas on what constitutes a good wine, most will even disagree on what a wine is!

There are many winemakers who will argue that wine is a fermented product using only grapes, while just as many will use a looser definition that wine is a fermented product of any fruit juice. While it's true that wines made from grapes are more generally called “wine” and wines made from other fruits are usually referred to as “country wines”, I call them all wine.

Home winemakers produce wine that can vary from terrible to exceptional. Using proper techniques and good ingredients will always be one of the keys to making wine that is at least “good” and hopefully better than that. I would argue that a “good wine” is in the eye of the drinker; that is, a wine is a “good wine” if the person drinking it enjoys it.

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Once a winemaker gets started, they tend to look at fruits and vegetables in a whole new light. Walking through the grocery store, I see it all the time, at least for me. Bananas? Yes, I can ferment that! Pineapple? Yes! And so on. Some are a great idea, like blackberries. Blackberry wine is a delightful wine. Others are better than they sound, like canned cranberry sauce or rhubarb wines. There are edible flowers that make wonderful wines- lilacs, dandelion, rose hips and more- and vegetables like carrots or beets. Many times I, and other winemakers, will walk around a farmer's market and sometimes wonder out loud, “Can I ferment that?” Generally the answer is yes!

Still, there are always those of us who want to take it a step further and think of things they enjoy eating but don't seem likely as candidates for a wine. Chocolate covered cherry wine? (It's good!) Candy cane wine? (Ditto!) And finally  …………. Skittles wine.

You know you love them. Those sweet, fruity, tart little nuggets of deliciousness cry out to be made into a grown up version. This recipe and tutorial will help you take your favorite childhood candy to something to enjoy and share with your grown up friends. Or, keep it all to yourself. We won't tell!

First, some basic winemaking equipment is needed.

Alternatively you can buy a kit like the One Gallon Wine Equipment Kit which includes most equipment items.

Now that we have the equipment, let's make skittles wine!

Recipe For Skittles Wine - One Gallon

Pour the skittles into a heat-proof bowl or pot, and pour over 2 pints of boiling water. This will
dissolve the skittles, so stir with your sanitized spoon until it dissolves. This may take a while, but keep stirring . Add a bit more boiling water if necessary. Once it's dissolved, add 1.75 pounds of sugar and stir again to dissolve. Pour into your sanitized primary fermenter, and top up to 1 gallon with cool water. Add the grape concentrate, the yeast nutrient, acid blend, and 1 crushed and dissolved campden tablet. Stir very well to ensure the mixture is well mixed. Using a sanitized wine thief or clean sanitized turkey baster, put a sample of the must (the unfermented mixture of ingredients) into the hydrometer test jar. Spin gently to dislodge any air bubbles under the hydrometer, and make sure it doesn't touch the sides o the jar. Be sure to read it at eye level, and check the specific gravity (SG). It should be between 1.085-1.100 SG. If it is under 1.085, add 4 ounces more sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water, and it should be in the area. If it is a bit more, don't worry about it. Write down this number for future reference. Cover with a clean towel or a loose fitting lid, to keep out fruit flies and the like. In 12 hours, add the pectic enzyme, stirring well. In another 12 hours (24 hours from starting), add your wine yeast and cover once again. Stir daily beginning the next day, with your sanitized spoon. At day seven, check the SG again with your sanitized wine thief or turkey baster and your sanitized test jar. If the SG is above 1.020, stir well, and cover again. Check again in a few days. When the SG is 1.020 or below, sanitize your siphoning equipment and transfer the wine to the sanitized glass vessel. Try to avoid any scum or solid pieces still in the wine when you siphon, but don't worry about it too much. Make sure the liquid level is up above the shoulder of the vessel, adding water if it is below. Add the bung and the airlock, filled to the line with water, and set in a moderately cool dark place (ideally 64-68 degrees).

Skittles Wine 4

Thereafter, rack (siphon) to a new sanitized jug whenever you have lees (yeast deposits and other sediment) of 1/4” thick or more, or in 60 days, whichever comes first. Check the SG at this time- it should be 1.000 SG or under. The wine should start to clear. After that, rack again in 60 days. Check the SG, and write it down. You can use this figure to ensure the wine is finished, as well to use the following formula to figure your approximate ABV:

Estimated ABV = (Original gravity- final gravity) x 131

At this time, dissolve 1 crushed campden tablet and ½ teaspoon potassium sorbate in ¼ cup warm water and pour the solution into the new vessel, and rack the wine into that. Those are the “stabilizing” chemicals, and this is the stabilizing step. Allow your skittles wine to sit in this new vessel for at least 10 days. If there have been no changes in the wine- no new lees (sediment) dropping, and no visible activity- this is the time to sweeten the wine to your taste.

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You may want to “dry Skittle” the wine. That is, chop up 2 small packages of skittles and add them gently to the wine. Taste it in 10 days, to see if the taste is sweet enough. If it is, it is fine to move to the bottling stage. If the wine is not sweet enough, make a simple syrup of water and sugar (two parts sugar to one part water, brought to a boil and cooled), and add gently until sweet enough. Replace the bung and airlock, and wait 3 days or longer to ensure fermentation does not restart. Taste for any corrections, adding more acid blend if needed if the wine needs more tartness. If the wine remains stable, proceed to bottling.

Bottling your Wine

Sanitize the wine bottles and the siphoning equipment. Siphon the skittles wine into the bottles, leaving approximately 1.5 inches of headspace between the wine and cork. For hand corking, #8 corks seem to insert better, while with a floor corker, #9 corks are recommended. Allow the bottles to stand upright for at least 3 days, and then store them on their sides.

Writer Bio

Lorena Evans has been making wine for many years, getting very serious about it about 12 years ago.  She has been brewing beer for about the same time, but real seriously for 10 years.   Lorena is very active in the homebrew community. She is an Administrator for HomeBrewTalk.com and been active in the community since 2006.  Lorena is married, happily semi-retired, and spends her time with her two grandsons and a big yellow lab.

written by Lorena Evans

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