Springtime Strawberry Wine Recipe
Strawberries are wonderful! They are one of the first fruits of spring time. That is why I love to make Strawberry wine! It captures the energies and essence of Spring. If you make this Strawberry Wine Recipe, you will be able to experience “Spring time” in the dead of winter!
Usually, the main strawberry harvest is in June. Each spring may be a great time to gather up the family and go to a “Pick Your Own” farm to pick some fresh organic strawberries. It takes about 5 lbs of strawberries to make a gallon of wine with this strawberry wine recipe. I would highly recommend using more, as the more fruit you use, the more intense this strawberry wine well be in its flavor profile.
It is kind of funny what happens when I visit homebrew shops. I am kind of treated like a rock star when I go into some of my favorite shops, since I make so many interesting wines. People always want to know what I am making. I told my friend Dave, my friendly homebrew shop owner, that I was making a Strawberry Wine recipe and needed some yeast. Now, I usually make this strawberry wine recipe using Premier Cuvee wine yeast, by red star. Dave suggested I try Cote des Blancs. Dave is one of the Brews Brothers, after all.
I thought it would be a really fun experiment to make two batches of this Strawberry wine. If I were to keep both batches exactly the same, except for the yeast, I would be able to see how much yeast selection makes a difference to the end results.
So, I set out to make two gallons of this Strawberry Wine recipe. One gallon would follow my standard recipe, and the other would have the Cote des Blancs yeast. I filmed the whole thing so that you can see the entire wine making process.
Here is my standard Strawberry Wine Recipe for 1 Gallon of wine:
- 5 lbs Strawberries
- 3.5 Quarts of Water
- 2 lbs White Sugar
- ½ Lbs Light Brown Sugar
- Premier Cuvee Wine Yeast
- 1 ½ tsp Acid Blend or Juice of a few lemons
- 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
- ½ tsp Pectic Enzyme
- ¼ tsp Tannin
- Campden Tablets
If you want to make more than one gallon, just multiply all of the ingredients except the yeast. One packet of yeast is good enough for up to 6 gallons.
Let’s get started making this strawberry wine recipe!
The first thing I do after bringing my berries home is wash the fruit really well. I pick over the berries and remove any berries or spots that may be bad. I cut the green tops off and cut the strawberries up into pieces. Then, I place my berried in ziplock bags and freeze them. Be sure to double bag them.
I believe that freezing the strawberries, or any berry for that matter, makes the extraction of fluid, flavor and color in the wine better. Therefore when I make this strawberry wine recipe, I always look to freeze my fruit when I can. After freezing the strawberries overnight, take them out to defrost completely. Be sure to put your bags of frozen strawberries in a sanitized bucket to thaw completely. I have found that no matter what kind of bag I am using, somehow it ends up leaking.
Place a mesh bag into you primary fermenter pail. Pour your Strawberries and any juice into the mesh bag. Smash up the strawberries with a cleaned and sanitized potato masher or use your really clean hands to really squish it up.
The next step in this strawberry wine recipe is to boil the water and dissolve all of the sugar in the water. While the water is nice and hot, pour it over the strawberries and stir it with a clean spoon. At this point, I will cover the strawberry must and let the whole thing cool off to room temperature.
The next step in this strawberry wine recipe is optional. Crush one Campden tablet per gallon of wine you are making and stir it into the strawberries. It is important that if you do this step that you do not add the yeast for at least 24 hours. Take note of the time and write it in your log.
It is time to add the remaining ingredients, except the yeast and Pectic Enzyme. Add them all and stir them into your strawberry wine. Tie a knot in the mesh bag, so that your strawberries can not come out while they are fermenting later.
Twelve hours later, add the pectic enzyme. This will ensure that you don’t have what is called a Pectic Haze in the wine. Snap the cover on to your pail and wait another 12 hours for the enzyme to break down the pectin in the fruit.
After another 12 hours have past, it is time to sprinkle your yeast onto the wine. Make sure you give it a last good stir with a clean spoon before adding the yeast. Before adding the yeast, take a Specific Gravity reading and write down your SG. Then, sprinkle the yeast on top of the strawberry must. DO NOT STIR the yeast in. Just sprinkle it on top. Snap the lid and affix the airlock and wait!
In about a day, you should be seeing some signs of fermentation starting. If not, wait another day. Try to keep your wine around 75 degrees while you are making it. Stir the strawberry wine each day after fermentation has started. Give the mesh bag of strawberries a good squeeze with clean hands. Cleanliness is very important in making homemade wine.
After about a week to a week and a half, you should see your specific gravity has dropped to around 1.0. Gently squeeze the bag to extract the wine from the mesh bag. Try not to let strawberry pulp get into the wine. Alternatively, you can put the mesh bag in a cleaned colander to drip the wine over a few hours.
The next step in the Strawberry Wine Recipe is called secondary fermentation. It is time to transfer the wine to a cleaned and sanitized carboy or jug. The process of transferring the wine is called Racking in wine maker lingo. After you rack your strawberry wine, affix a bung and airlock. Be sure to fill the airlock properly and put your homemade strawberry wine in a dark place to finish fermentation.
A few weeks later, your strawberry wine should be completely dry. Take another specific gravity reading with our hydrometer. You should be around .9 something. You are ready to degas your homemade strawberry wine.
Degas your wine by either stirring it, using a degassing device attached to a drill or any method you like. Make sure to get all of the bubbles out of your strawberry wine. Crush another one campden tablet per gallon and add it to the strawberry wine. Stir the wine well for several minutes.
This is where I choose to use a fining agent. Fining is where a wine maker adds a clarifying agent to the wine to help it to clear. I like to use sparkolloid. It works great. I have a video on using it here.
This is optional. You could let your wine sit for several months and rack it a few more times. I like to use the sparkolloid. If you choose to use it, stir it into your strawberry wine and set it aside for about 10 days.
It is time to rack again 10 days later. This is where I usually choose to filter my wine. Filtering is optional, but I highly recommend it with clear wines and wines that you intend to back sweeten. If you look at my strawberry wine recipe making video, you will see that I am using a Harris Wine Filter. This is an inexpensive filter that works great. I filter back into a bucket and get ready for bottling.
Taste your strawberry wine! If you like it, you are ready for bottling. I tend to like to backsweeten this strawberry wine recipe just a little to bring some of the fruit forward a little. The key to back sweetening is to add just enough sweetening to bring out the flavor. Less is more. The wine will tend to taste sweeter as it ages, so don’t overdo it. If you do intend to backsweeten your strawberry wine, you will need some Sorbate to protect the wine from re-fermenting on the new sugar you are adding.
I highly recommend you read my post on backsweetening wine if you intend to sweeten your strawberry wine. You will see my method that works for me every single time. For this strawberry wine recipe, I chose to back sweeten to 1.0 SG. Just a little off dry.
Bottle your wine and keep the bottles upright for a week. Then, store your bottles of strawberry wine on their sides. I like to dress the bottles with a red capsule and use clear bottles. Taste a bottle in 3 to 6 months. Nice, huh? Can you believe you made that? Pretty cool! Great Job!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post of how to make this homemade strawberry wine recipe. Please let me know if you make it and what you think about it. I found that the Premier Cuvee yeast was superior to the Cote Des Blanc in this particular strawberry wine recipe. There was better aroma, flavor extraction and color.