This Recipe calls for dried Goji Berries. Although if you access to fresh ones, don’t use them here as it will drastically alter ratios …..
- 2 pounds Dried Goji Berries
- 1 lb Raisins
- 1.5 lbs. sugar
- 1 Pkg. Wine Yeast
- 2 Campden Tablets or 1/4 Teaspoon Potassium Bisulfite
- 1 teaspoon tannin
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or Asorbic Acid
- 1 Teaspoon of Calcium Carbonate – Optional but advisable.
Prepare The Goji berries
- Fresh goji berries are very hard to come by unless you’re growing your own. They are however readily available dried. In order to extract the juice from dried Goji berries I steep them overnight.
- Start by boiling about 1/2 gallon of water for every 2 pounds of goji berries – remove the water from the heat and toss your berries and raisins in – be sure they’re completely submerged.
- Rough up the berries and raisins somewhat so that some of the skins are broken , you don’t have to sit there and break every berry – but you can if you’d like. I usually just mash and rip them a bit with my hands as I am adding them to the water.
- The reason Raisins are included in this recipe is to add body and improve the wines viscosity, which the goji berries alone do not provide. Raisins will sometimes enhance the oxidation of a wine and add caramel effect -which is undesirable, using muscat or white grape raisins will eliminate this.
- As the water cools overnight, the berries become somewhat rehydrated and the water, which you’ll be using in your wine, is more like juice. Save the water.
- The goji berries can now be squeezed for any juices remaining in them. I like to puree them at this point and then squeeze the juice out through a sieve. Needless to say, you don’t want the pulp getting through.
- In theory this is a no-no due to oxidation factors – but I haven’t encountered any problems yet.
Mixing The Ingredients
- Put your Goji Berry juice, which includes the juice extracted through the sieve as well as the water you steeped the berries in, into a “primary fermenter” – any food grade plastic container will suffice for this purpose. Be sure it is thoroughly clean and sufficiently large enough to hold the mix, water , sugar and so forth.
- Add your water to make a gallon total.
- Collect the Goji Berry- Raisin pulp in a fermentation bag and submerge the bag into the mixture.
- Add your sugar and stir gently.
- Tannin – Add your tannin either after, or while stirring the sugar in. Dissolve it in some luke warm water first and then stir the water mixture evenly into the batch.
- Tannin is Tannic Acid. Tannic acid enhances the flavor of wines and aids in the clarification process by neutralizing unwanted proteins. Wines lacking in Tannin deteriorate in quality more rapidly in storage.
- Sulfites – Crush a Campden tablet and add it to the batch. Campden Tablets are sulfur-based, they eliminate bacteria and wild yeast which can ruin or toxify a batch. It also eliminates free chlorine from tap water. The ingredients called for two campden tablets- the other is optional when bottling your wine.
- Cover the batch with a porous towel for 24 hours to allow it to purify. During this 24 hour period the sulfur gas from the campden is vaporized and leaves the batch.
- Add your yeast only after the sulfites from the campden tablets have dissipated . 24 hours is sufficient. Adding it earlier would have killed off the yeast. It is imperative that during this one day purifying period that the juice can breath in order for the sulfites to escape. If they do not dissipate , then it is probable that the yeast you add will be destroyed and fermentation will not occur.
- it is best that you use yeast designated for winemaking / brewing – you can use standard Supermarket yeast, but for best results wine yeast is advisable. Champagne yeast is also good.
- Add the yeast by sprinkling it over the top of the juice then cover it with a clean towel and allow it to ferment for about a week. After a week remove the pulp bag and do what you will with its contents.
- Siphon the wine into a carboy. A carboy is a container, generally glass, sometimes plastic used for the secondary fermentation of your wine. You only want the liquid, not any sediment. Siphon off as much as you can without stirring up any sediment. Keep the feeder end of the hose off the bottom for this very same reason.
- Add a teaspoon of ascorbic acid or lemon juice to the siphoned off liquid. It is an anti-oxidant that reduces oxidation.
- Attach a wine airlock filled about half-way with water. A wine air lock, also known as a fermentation lock is an inexpensive device,which allows gases to escape the fermenter, while not allowing outside air in, thus avoiding contamination and oxidation.
- Allow the batch to age for another 4 or 5 weeks and you should have some a decent Goji Berry Wine.
- You can also rack it again several times along the way if you’d like. Racking is siphoning the wine off of the accumulated sediment and into another secondary fermenter. Repeat this as many times as you feel comfortable with, a good wine should be clear, no cloudiness.
- Ageing the wine will only make it better at this point, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Usually about a year if you can manage to have it last that long.
- If you plan on storing it to age it add another campden tablet [or potassium bisulfite] before bottling it. This will help keep the wine from spoiling up until the time it is consumed.