Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Raspberry Wine

Good day fellow bloggers.  For the past few months we have been in wine mode (and construction mode). But that's another blog story which you can see here.
 Hmmm that sounds like we were drinking and doing construction work....not so, but would have made pounding your fingers with the hammer more bearable.

 This is the recipe we follow when making raspberry wine
4 lbs. raspberries
2 1/2 lbs finely granulated sugar
1/2 tsp citric acid
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
4 litres water
1 tsp nutrient
1 crushed Campden tablet
wine yeast (we use 1 package of wine yeast per 20 liters of water)
We times this recipe by five to make a 23 litres batch. (standard  carboy size)
This is how we do it.....

We are blessed with many raspberry bushes.
  Many jars of jam have been made here.  A few years ago we tried our hands at making wine.  It was pretty good.  Last year we made over five gallons and this year we are aiming for 12.5 gallons.  Some will become chocolate raspberry port but the rest will be raspberry wine.  We started picking buckets and buckets

and then even more buckets.

We froze raspberries for about two weeks.  We would pick about 2 to 3 buckets per day and then would pop them into freezer bags.

  When we had enough for a five gallon batch, we got busy.
 In a large bucket we measured out 20 lbs of raspberries.
 After they thawed,  we mashed them all up.
We added the campden.  This mixture is left overnight before anything else is added.

The next day, the rest of the nutrients are added.....not the campden.

Now  the sugar.  12.5 lbs of sugar

We fill our biggest pot with about 8 litres of water and add the sugar to it.  The water-sugar mixture is heated until the sugar is completely dissolved.

We dump this over the raspberries and add 12 more litres of tap water.
The yeast is added when the mix is at room temperature.  We steep this mixture for approximately 3 days.  It is covered with the lid that comes with the primary fermentor.  You do not want anything contaminating your batch or you will end up with vinegar.

SORRY NO PHOTOS..... After the steeping we take out as much pulp with a large holed strainer.  After we get most of the pulp out we strain it through some stainless steel fine mesh that we actually found in a scrap yard.  (should have bought more)  It is finer than cheese cloth.  This is left overnight to drain as much juice as we can get.  All of the juice is put back into the large barrel a.k.a. primary fermentation.   This is left for a few weeks to get the yeast working.

When it slows down we transfer the wine into a plastic carboy a.k.a..... secondary fermentation.  This step of transferring the wine is called racking.
It is racked again 6 weeks later and left to clear.  (Actually, this wine took longer to ferment and clear.   We were at week nine.)  We racked the wine again and  degassed it.  It was  left to clear for another week.

  The chocolate raspberry port will need to be sweetened and we may fortify it with some vodka.  Most people use brandy for fortifying, but we don't want to contaminate any of the flavour of the chocolate and raspberry.   
This is our chocolate raspberry port.

We are going to bottle the raspberry wine.  Sterilize thirty-one   750 ml bottles and soak thirty-one  corks.  The corks soak in a water/ metabisulphite mixture.  One tablet per 4 litres of water.  The next two photos show the wine being racked into a pail.  You can skip this step and rack right into your wine bottles if you choose.  It is easier for us to bottle upstairs and not worry about getting any sediment from the bottom  of the carboy into any of our bottles.
Have to taste before you bottle.  Its going to be a good batch!

The bucket is hauled upstairs to our counter. 

We use our siphoning hose to fill our bottles. 

While I am filling the bottles, Hubby is corking.  

This is the finished product.  The wine bottles are left upright for two days and then flipped on there sides for storage.  This keeps the corks from shrinking.  We use dark wine bottles for bottling.  The color of red wine will degrade if exposed to light.

While editing this blog, I was thinking back to building our dormers.  I am in amazement of how we managed to pick berries after working 12 to 13 hour days.  Luckily we have last years wine to celebrate.

makes 10 British gallons

Peaches  30 lbs
White Sugar 22 lbs
Citric Acid  3 ounces
Grape Tannin  1 1/2 tsp
Water   45 litres
5 tsp nutrient
3 crushed Campden tablet
2 packages wine yeast

Strawberries   4 lbs.
Citric Acid   1 TBSP
Grape Tannin  1/2 tsp
Water   1 Gallon
1 tsp. nutrient
1 crushed Campden tablet
1 package wine yeast



  1. Oh my! I have been drooling over this blog post! Looks fun, sounds delicious! How lucky you are!


  2. this is fascinating!!!! i adore adore adore raspberries and you give us a wine recipe -- how AWESOME is that!!!!! when the Summer months roll around again -- this is going to be a project for SURE!!! thanks so much for sharing! i found you through Katherine's Corner Blog hop and now i am your newest follower -- come and visit over at the cottage market : ) sending you holiday hugs and wishes for a picture perfect new year!!!

  3. I am trying to figure out how I missed this post. ummmmmmm....yes. I vote, yes. This is exactly what I want to drink all year round. Wishing my chickens didn't find my two meager raspberry bushes so delicious.

  4. Did you check it with a hydrometer? What were the beginning and ending specific gravity readings (on whatever scale you recorded)? We are trying to make a sweet, high alcohol wine...

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Cheers to great words!