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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Strawberry Wine

Pickle Jar Wine

1 gallon water
6 cups sugar
6 heaping cups prepared fruit

Cover and stir every day for 30 days- more if the mix is still bubbling (flying corks make a good story though!). Strain out the fruit, bottle and let age for at least 6 months.


1. You DON'T want fruit flies. It is horribly disappointing to wait a whole month and find that your wine is fly-infested. Be careful about leaving the jar uncovered, and make sure there are no fruit flies in your fruit before you start.

2. Let the 'must' (sediment) settle to the bottom of the container before bottling. It is okay to have sediment in your wine, but it looks prettier without it.

Last year I made my first batch of wine. To be honest, I don't really like wine. It must be an acquired taste. But I do like the thought of being able to make your own wine for cooking and medicinal purposes. The world of wine-making is full of high dollar equipment and technical recipes, but this recipe is great for getting your feet wet.

There is a great post on pickle jar wine-making here.

The cost of this recipe is variable depending on where you get your fruit. My out-of-season strawberry wine costs about $4 a gallon. You'll want to also invest in a corker (mine was $15 off Ebay) and some corks (a few dollars) and a $4 bottle brush. Bottles can be found for free if you're creative, or you can also buy bottles. I bought some small bottles several years ago that I love and are great for my small batches. They also work with caps, so I can use them for pop and kombucha as well. The corker can be used for non-alcoholic drinks as well, like raspberry cordial.

Each day I would stir the strawberries and let the fermentation gasses escape. You can see in the top photo that there gets to be quite a buildup even after just one day. After 30 days I strained out the nasty strawberry goop and bottled the wine. Honestly I think that was a bit early, as I had several bottles pop their corks. This time around I am going to to ferment it until there are no bubbles (plus I forgot when I started it... so therefore it would be problematic to do the primary fermentation for "30 days").

As I said before, I am not a great fan of wine. However, I have had friends try this simple recipe, and they thought it was very good. It was described as sweet, more like a dessert wine. I gauged the alcohol content at around 11%.

Mass of bubbling strawberry flesh! Whose color is slowly being drained!

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