I started with a MODERN *1-gallon* recipe:
************* ORIGINAL RECIPE *************
|3 lb fresh bananas||3 tsp Acid Blend|
|1.5 cup chopped light (white) raisins||1/4 tsp Tannin|
|7 pints water||1 tsp nutrient|
|2.25 lb sugar||1 pkg wine yeast|
Slice the bananas and skins, put into nylon straining bag and tie. Put into 1.5 qts water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove pulp, pour hot liquor over sugar in primary fermentor, and mix thoroughly. Stir in remainder of water (cold) and all other ingredients. Add yeast when cool enough (85 deg or lower). Cover primary. Stir daily, check SG When ferment reaches SG 1.040 (3-5 days) strain out and siphon wine off of sediment into glass secondary. Attach airlock. When ferment is complete (SG has reached 1.000 -- about 3 weeks) siphon off sediment into clean secondary. Reattach airlock. Siphon again in 2 months and again if necessary until clear before bottling.
*********** END OF ORIGINAL RECIPE ************
All of that said, I was making 5 gallons and just cut up the bananas and threw them into the boil. After I boiled them 30-45 minutes, I had this gray "wall paper paste-looking" goop. We sewed some cheesecloth into a 'bag' and did our best to strain the pulp out of the liquid. What a horrid mess!! It kept squirting out holes in the cheesecloth bag as we squeezed it trying to get every drop.
I was not using a hydrometer at that time, so I can't tell you any of the Specific Gravity info. I racked it religiously, and after about 6 months, when I racked it, it was HORRIBLY DRY! Being a fan of sweet stuff, I added 5 cups of sugar (1 cup per gallon). It WENT CRAZY!! It looked like it was boiling in the carboy! I waited a month, racked it, and added more sugar. Again, GONE CRAZY!! This continued for 3 or 4 months, and then when it didn't go nuts when I added sugar, and it no longer tasted dry, I bottled it.
I entered it in that A&S competition at about 18 months total age, and it was AWESOME. Some "clueless" judges refused to taste it because they were convince it was poisonous due to the ketones that are present in banana skin. They didn't understand that heat (boiling) neutralizes/drives off the ketones, and so they didn't taste it. I provided samples at the feast and people loved it and wanted more. I had to guard my supply, passing out bottles carefully over the next 5 years on special occasions.
Drink at your leisure!