Sunday, October 6, 2013

Making berry vinegars and wine - Guest Post

by Coni
To make any of the berry vinegars warm some white wine vinegar and add berries, whatever amount you want.  Then you can put it in a mason jar and keep in a cool dark place for about 3 weeks.  Shake it a little, maybe twice .  After about 3 weeks it will be a beautiful color and full of the berry flavor.  At this point put it through a strainer and bottle for storage.  It is great for salads.  Enjoy!
Raspberry wine is fun.  The first time we made it I entered it in the fair and to my surprise we got Best in Show.  It is so simple and fun to do  The recipe is as follows:
10 pounds of Raspberries
10 pounds sugar
2 1/2 Tsp acid blend
5 tsp yeast nutrient
1 1/4 tsp grape tannin
3 tsp pectic enzymes
3 gallons water
5 campden tablets
2 packages wine yeast
Put your raspberries,  fresh or frozen, in a food grade 5-gallon plastic bucket.  Add water, sugar,and chemicals, but NOT THE YEAST.  Stir all well, to blend the sugar.  Cover with a tight lid.  You  will need to make a hole in the lid to attach a bubbler.  Let sit over night.  Next day stir again.  Add the yeast and mix well, cover tightly with lid add bubbler, which is a plastic tube that you put a little water in and put on it's cover.  This allows the gas that forms while fermenting to escape, but nothing else can get in. 
Stir at least once each day for about 5 days.  This helps the fruit to break down.  Keep in mind this is not rocket science so if you miss a day...oh well, not a problem.  We want to have fun with this, not to worry it will be just fine.
After about 5 days you will see the fruit is now pink mush.  Take a strainer and strain off all of the fruit.  The liquid that is left you will put into a 5-gallon glass bottle called a carboy.  This is the same thing as a 5-gallon water bottle.  Attach your bubbler on the top again.  You want the gas to escape but nothing to get in.  Now just watch it bubble away. 
 In about 2 weeks you will notice that there are solids on the bottom of the bottle.  This is the wild yeast and fruit solids.  At this time put your carboy on a table.  You will need a 2nd bottle.  Put it on the floor and siphon the wine from the top bottle to the bottom bottle, leaving the solids in the top bottle.  This will be thrown away. 
Now your wine will start to get clearer.  This is called racking off your wine.   Do this process maybe 2 or 3 more times over the next 6 weeks or so.   Time is not critical.  Do this when you have time or when you remember.  Each time you rack it, taste it and see if it is to your liking.
At first you will taste the yeast, so don't be alarmed.  It will get better as you go.  If it is too sweet let it go for awhile.  If it is too sour, or dry as they say, add a little sugar.  Remember this is your wine and you want it the way you like it, not the way someone else tells you to like it! 
When the bubbling has stopped and you have racked it off so that it is clear you will add 3/3/4 tsp potasium sorbate, this will stop any further fermentation.  Wait 3 days and you are ready to bottle and enjoy.  Start to finish it takes about 3 months for fruit wine.
All the chemicals ,bubblers and etc can be purchased at your local brewing shop, or purchased online:
It sounds hard at first but once you do it you will making all kinds of flavors.  The sky is the limit.  The amount of fruit can be more if you like.  It will intensify the flavor.  Have fun and enjoy.  If I can be of any help just let me know I will be happy to do what I can.
Thank you, Coni, for this information.  It sounds delicious!  Making vinegar and/or wine is a useful task for a prepper or homesteader to know how to do.  They have many uses.
Please leave comments or questions below, or email them to:
Thank you!


  1. I have read that you cannot have too much sugar (or salt) in your food preps. 10 lbs. of sugar is a lot, but for people who brew and distill and make wine, they will use lots of sugar and can prep appropriately. Thanks.

    1. Good point, Rita. People who plan to do these things should include extra sugar in their food storage.