Make Sweet Apricot Wine #WithMe (and Cutting My Own Hair?)

This video is all about making a 5 liter batch of homemade sweet apricot wine from dried apricots. Will you choose to let me do the Cut Your Own Hair Challenge?

Click here to go directly to the recipe.

Video transcript:

Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tony Needs Hobbies. In this video I will show you how to make a sweet apricot wine from dried apricots.

The video will be a little bit different as I will not appear on screen! As a result of the coronavirus situation all hairdressers in this country are closed so I look hideous. My wife really wants to cut my hair for me, but I’d rather do it myself. So we made a deal, and I’m going for a long shot here.

If this video gets more than 20 likes within 7 days, or before I upload another video, whichever takes the longest, my wife gets to cut my hair and I will make a video about it. However, if this video gets more than 50 likes I will try to do it myself and show you how to do it, because I am the expert than!

I want to start with a big shout out to all people working in vital professions. Thank you for your commitment to keep society going in these extraordinary times. That’s that, now let’s dive into the actual content of this video.

For the first step I will need the following materials:
A food grade bucket suitable for fermentation, an airlock and a graduated beaker. StarSan to sanitize all the materials that will be used. Sulphite, pectic enzyme, wine tannin, acid blend and off coarse the main ingredients which are sugar, white grape juice for a better wine character and obviously, dried apricots.

You can find a full list of ingredients in the description and the recipe is published on my website,, in both metric and imperial units.

Working clean and sanitation is one of the most important things of making beer and wine. That’s why you see me spending so much time on it. You definitely don’t want infections, because than all your work and months of waiting will be for nothing. I sanitize all the materials that will come into contact with the young wine with a StarSan solution. You do not need to rinse this off after sanitizing and you can use the solution for a longer period of time as long as the pH is below 3. All the equipment will be soaked in it for a few minutes just to make sure that they are free of anything that will spoil my wine.

My recipe asks for 1000 grams of sugar. In a saucepan I weigh the sugar and add one liter of the total amount of water. It dissolves a lot faster with some heat under it, but when it’s fully dissolved be sure to set it aside for a while so that it can cool down.

Now that the sugar is cooling down, it is a good time to start chopping the apricots. I need to coarsely chop 1500 grams of dried apricots. That will take a while so I will speed this up a bit. Chopping all these apricots is a little bit boring, but watching another person do it is probably even much more boring.

When all the apricots are cut, all the ingredients can be transferred into the sanitized fermenting bucket. First I add the apricots, then three liters of cold chlorine free water. For the amounts of additives, be sure to check the guidelines on your ingredients. Concentrations might differ between different suppliers. I use 2 teaspoons of acid blend, 1 teaspoon of pectic enzyme, a 1/2 teaspoon of wine tannin and an 1/8 teaspoon of sulphite. Finally I add 2,5 liters of white grape juice and the dissolved sugar. I give it all a good stir and let it sit overnight so that the enzymes can do their job breaking up the fruit.

As part of a good winemakers tradition I pour myself a nice glass of homemade wine. Mead in this specific case. If you want to learn how to make mead, be sure to check out the video suggestion in the top right corner.

Day two is all about fermentation. That’s why I am going to use wine yeast, yeast nutrient, a graduated beaker, a graduated cylinder and a hydrometer and an Erlenmeyer flask to hydrate the yeast.

I start by measuring the correct amount of yeast nutrient and adding it to a sanitized Erlenmeyer flask. Swirling the flask aids in dissolving it in some water. Then I get the yeast, cut open the package and add it to the solution. The flask will be covered with a sanitized piece of aluminum foil. It will be set aside for 15 minutes so that the yeast can properly hydrate before it will be added to the pulp that was prepared yesterday.

While the yeast is activating I will measure the specific gravity. Knowing this value at the beginning of the fermentation process helps in determining when fermentation is finished. I will monitor this every time when I rack the wine into another carboy until it is clear and ready for bottling. As expected it currently measures 1.105. That’s perfect, so I add the yeast, close the vessel and wait for fermentation to start.

The next day fermentation has started as indicated by the airlock. When airlock activity has dropped significantly I will transfer the young wine into a carboy. In the back you can see a bottle of Dotori Sul. I use this North Korean acorn licquor as liguid in my airlocks.

On the last day I am going to use a large pot, an auto siphon to transfer the liquid into a carboy, a graduated cylinder and a hydrometer, a sieve to separate the pulp from the young wine, a glass carboy that hold 5 liters and StarSan solution.

First I check if the StarSan solution that I saved at the beginning of this week is still usable. If the pH is below 3 it is still safe to use. It reads 2 so I can go on and sanitize all the equipment that I’m going to use this day.

Now I need to find the best way to separate the pulp from the fermenting juice. I thought it would be good idea to use a sieve for this purpose. That didn’t work out great though, as it got clogged in no time because the mesh was too fine. Then I went for this muslin bag. Because the mesh is not that fine it worked a lot better and I got it strained in no time. It’s always good to learn things like this by experimenting.

Time for the second gravity reading. This time it reads 1.012 so the fermentation is not quite finished yet, but it’s well on its way. That means the liquid can be transferred into a clean and sanitized glass carboy. My favorite tool to help do this is my auto siphon. Fill the carboy to leave as little space as possible in the top. This will prevent oxidation. I close the carboy with an airlock. I mentioned before that I fill it with some North Korean acorn licquor. The stuff you put in the airlock should kill bacteria but it should be harmless in the occasion if it’s sucked in to the fermentation vessel. I found that cheap vodka or any other distilled licquor works very well. I have an additional liter of juice fermenting on the side in a smaller bottle. I use this to top up the carboy after racking the contents to another one. In this manner the carboy will remain full and it keeps oxidation to a minimum.

In about a month I will transfer the cleared up wine into another carboy and top it up. I will repeat this until the wine is totally clear and then it’s time to put in in bottles and enjoy drinking it. But for now, this is all there is to it. I hoped you learned something from this video. Don’t forget to hit the like button if you want to see my hair being cut by total unprofessional people with zero hairdressing experience. That is either me or my wife, depending on the amount of likes. Don’t miss the video about that by subscribing to this channel. For now, I would like to thank you for watching! Bye, bye

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