So I found myself with some pineapple that was quickly approaching the “past its prime” stage and banana that had ripened more quickly than expected…seems like the perfect time to make wine!
In fairness, the pineapple had suffered internal bruising (due to being used as a grocery store football?) that was only revealed when it was cut open. The flesh had already turned a dark, translucent color, and had passed the optimal ripeness point – the point at which candy sweet is balanced by a bit of sour. The flesh was sweet, but lacked any real tanginess.
The bunch of bananas had been peeled and refrigerated to preserve them longer (if you leave the peels on, they’ll turn black in the fridge but the fruit will taste fine). The flavor was still nice – sweet and fresh – and tannin that would otherwise have been provided by the discarded peels could be replaced by powdered tannin.
I mashed up the remaining pineapple (I’d estimate about 2 pounds) and 2 bananas and placed the mix in the primary fermenter. After dissolving 2 pounds of sugar in about a quart of dechlorinated water, I poured it into the primary fermenter. I then added another 3 quarts of water and added 1/4 tsp tannin, 1 tsp yeast nutrient, and 1 tsp acid blend. Since it was cool enough to add yeast, I poured in slurry from another recently-made wine, stirred, and covered it.
This morning, the yeast was active when the must was stirred. It smells great: tropical, with prominent banana aromas. I’ll let the fermentation go for another few days, then move the strained liquid to a secondary fermenter.
Based on the smell, I’m expecting the flavor to be primarily banana, but the pineapple should still come through. And doesn’t this just seem like a winning combination?