It’s the time of year when I look to use as much of the frozen/canned produce from previous growing seasons as possible, freeing up space for the coming year’s harvest. So in going through my freezers I found a serious cache of raspberries from Summer/Fall 2008. A batch of raspberry jam was duly made, only to discover that we already had several jars tucked away in the back of a cabinet. What to do? Why not a batch of raspberry wine? It’ll be several months before I know how it came out, but the method was as follows:
• Grow 4½ lbs “Heritage” raspberries. Rinse, freeze and defrost 18 months later.
• Thoroughly sterilize a large plastic container and a 5 gallon glass carboy with hot water, detergent and bleach. Rinse well. Making sure your equipment is sterile is key to pulling winemaking off.
• Dissolve 6 lbs of granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient (urea & ammonium phosphate) and 2 teaspoons acid blend (tartaric, malic & citric acids) in 1 imperial gallon of hot water (208 degrees Fahrenheit).
• Add 1 imperial gallon of cold water, the 4½ lbs of frozen raspberries, ½ teaspoon of wine tannin and 1 teaspoon of pectic enzyme.
• Blend fruit with a “blunt” hand blender. You want to leave the seeds intact!
• The starting specific gravity was measured at 1.095.
• When the must was at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it was transferred to the carboy and a 5 gram sachet of active dry wine yeast added. A fermentation lock was placed in the top of the carboy.
Fermentation had very obviously kicked in overnight, carbon dioxide was vigorously bubbling through the lock. After 24 hours, the raspberry seeds had sank to the bottom and thick foam had formed above the must. After a week, the rich red fluid was transferred to another carboy to complete the fermentation. The fermentation was complete after another week. A chitosan clarifier was then added which rapidly cleared the wine, which was bottled approximately 3 weeks later using 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid per bottle as an anti-oxidant. (You may want to sweeten prior to bottling.) From start to finish, the whole process took only 5 weeks. This is the quickest batch of wine I have ever done.
And remember, too, that the gubmint won’t get duty on this to pay for their madcap schemes!
Update: I found a bottle of this in the back of the fridge, opened it on May 28 2012 – over 2 years after bottling. It was perfect. So 2 thumbs up for this batch.