Raspberry Wine

Tips and Techniques for Novice Wine Makers

Wine Making Basics Wine and wine glasses

"If I were to give my main tip to successfully making raspberry wine, it would be to not water it down too much.

That seems to be the biggest mistake among hobbyists. We go to great lengths to keep our water additions at a minimum. Too much water really dilutes the flavor of this wine, and it will leave you wondering what went wrong." Denny Franklin Master Winemaker Wine Maker Magazine

There are over 300 known species of Raspberries. This recipe works best with Red Raspberries, but will also lend itself to Black Raspberries as well. Some Raspberries have a higher sugar content than others, so naturally you should expect some variance among cultivars.

This is a very basic and general recipe, presented in a format that novices will have little trouble with. Those who are already seasoned winemakers are well aware that sugar and acid contents vary significantly in any fruits due to variables such as location, cultivar, and climate. Keep your hydrometer and acid tester on hand as you may have to make adjustments. - See - Acidity in Wine Making


10 pounds raspberries


2 lbs. sugar

1 packet wine yeast

1 Campden Tablet or 0.45g of metabisulphite

1/2 teaspoon tannintannin for wine making - Optional

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or Asorbic Acid - Optional

1 Teaspoon of Calcium CarbonateCalcium Carbonate for wine making - Optional but advisable.

Juice to Water Ratio

It takes almost 14 lbs of fresh Raspberries to get a gallon of pure raspberry juice. By freezing and then thawing the berries you can get the ratio down to about 12 - 13 lbs of raspberries per gallon. [The freezing and thawing causes the membranes to break down and yield more juice.]

Adding water to the juice thins it out and dilutes the natural berry flavor, however the raspberry juice by itself is very acidic. You need to add some water. A 1:3 ratio is best, that's one part water for 3 parts juice.

So to get a gallon of raspberry wine you would need about 10 lbs of Raspberries and added water to make a gallon.

Prepare the Raspberries

Place your raspberries in a colander with a collection vessel underneath . Squash and squish the dickens out of them allowing the juice to collect in the container below.

Once you've squeezed as much juice as you believe is possible from your berries, allow the berry mash to drain a tad more , unmolested for a few minutes to allow some of the remaining juice to pool, then smush it again. You want to collect as much juice as these berries can feasibly yield while excluding pulp and seeds.

Mixing the Ingredients

Put your raspberry juice 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 raspberry mix, water , sugar and so forth.

Add your water.

Collect the raspberry pulp in a fermentation bag fermentation bags for making wine 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 TabletsCampden Tablets to  eliminate bacteria and wild yeast which can ruin or toxify a batch of wine. are sulfur-based, they eliminate bacteria and wild yeast which can ruin or toxify a batch. It also eliminates free chlorine from tap water.

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

Add the 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.

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.

yeast for wine making shopping linkWine Making Yeast

Secondary Fermentation

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 airlockfermentation lock for wine 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 arse kicking Raspberry 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.

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