Have you got a ton of raspberries sat around your kitchen with no other use? Well, rather than making a load of raspberry jelly or a huge raspberry pie, have you considered turning those juicy red jewels into wine?!
Raspberry wine is a super delicious drink that you can make from the comfort of your own home in just a few simple steps. In this article, we will be taking you through the process of making raspberry wine and showing you just how easy it can be!
What do I need to make raspberry wine?
To make raspberry wine you may think that you need masses of technical ingredients that you have never heard of. However, all you need are 4 simple ingredients, all of which are pretty easy to get your hands on. You will need:
- Raspberries (for this recipe we are using around 2 pounds of them)
- Water (around 12 cups)
- Sugar (just regular sugar is fine and you will be using 1 cup of that)
- A packet of yeast (this should be wine yeast which can be bought from many homestead stores, health food stores, and online)
Steps to make raspberry wine
Now that you have all of your ingredients ready to go it is time to start making your wine! Keep on reading to follow all of our winemaking steps below.
Squeeze your raspberries
The first step is to place your raspberries in a strong plastic ziplock bag. Make sure they are secure and that there are no holes. You can double bag them if you wish.
Then you need to squeeze and squish the raspberries in the bag as though your life depends on it! Your aim here is to turn those whole raspberries into juice! Doing it this way rather than with a blender helps the raspberries retain their flavor.
You can then use a sieve and a bowl to decant all of the raspberry juice. Ensure the bowl is large enough for all of the juice. You can continue squeezing the raspberry pulp through the sieve if you wish!
Make your yeast starter
Collect just one tablespoon of the juice and place it in a cup alongside a drop of lukewarm water and your whole packet of wine yeast. You need to ensure the water is not cold and not boiling. Set this aside for now whilst you follow the next step.
Time for sugar water
Bring your 12 cups of water to a boil and then add in your cup of sugar. Stir this until all of the granules are dissolved fully. Whilst it is still boiling you can pour the sugar water mixture over your raspberries in the sieve and into the bowl.
Squeeze through any remaining raspberries to get all the last bits of juice. Set this aside and move onto the next step.
Time to get technical
While the raspberry and sugar water mix has been set aside and the yeast mixture is getting all frothy and activated, you should use this time to prepare where you are going to keep your wine.
You will need a suitable container for this that is thoroughly sanitized as well as an airlock. You could use a plastic bucket, a glass carboy, or a food-safe plastic or glass bottle. You must ensure any container you use is safe for use with food as well as being clean and dry.
Prepare it all and keep it at hand. If you do not have an airlock then you may be able to utilize another method such as some tightly wrapped Saran wrap or even a clean, sanitized rubber glove and elastic band.
Add your raspberry and sugar-water mixture to the container
When your raspberry juice and sugar water mixture has cooled down fully you can place it into your container. You need to ensure that the mixture has cooled down to well below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything over this will kill your yeast and render it unusable. If it is still a little warm when you put it in the container, wait for a little before moving onto the next step.
Time to add the yeast
When you are satisfied that your mixture is cool in the container you can add the yeast! This is the fun part as this is what makes your raspberries turn into alcohol! Simply add the mixture into the container and decide whether you want to add in your raspberry pulp.
Many people decide to add the pulp inside a nylon packet. This allows the flavor to remain but ensures pulp does not get into the wine itself. It is our choice, but either way, you should ensure that no pulp is left in the wine itself.
Add your airlock, plastic wrap, or glove
Now there’s a sentence you never thought you’d see together.. For real though, this step is important as it ensures the fermentation process happens.
If you are using Saran or plastic wrap, you need to ensure you wrap it very tightly so that no air can get in.
If you are using a rubber glove, ensure it is clean, unused, and dry. Secure it tightly in place with an elastic band.
This will really only work if the container is small enough to fit inside the glove, but it can be a cool method as you will see the glove start to inflate when the fermentation process occurs.
…and now we wait
You should be patient when waiting for the fermentation process to occur. You can usually expect to have to stir your wine on day 2, although this is not essential unless you want to.
It usually takes up to a week to ferment in tidal and after this time you can transfer the fermented mixture to a second container. To do this you need to do a process known as racking. Keep on reading to find out how to do this.
Racking your wine
You can rack your wine using one of two methods. You can either use plastic winemaking tubing to siphon the solid raspberry leftovers from the wine, or you can strain the mixture through a cheesecloth.
When all of the wine is in the second bottle you should leave it alone for around 4 weeks. After this time you may well find more solid sediments at the bottom of the bottle.
You can repeat the racking process into a third clean container or bottle if you wish, or, y’know, drink it there and then!