Friday, 26 June 2009

Gooseberry wine recipe

By request :) Easy and cheap if you have the gooseberries in the garden, makes a lovely light white wine.

3lbs gooseberries
1 1/4 lbs white sugar
big handful of dried fruit (eg raisins, sultanas or a mixture of whatever you have)
1 gallon boiling water
1 teabag
1 lemon, sliced
1 tbsp dried yeast, activated in warm water

Place gooseberries in brewing bucket and pour over boiling water; when cool enough to handle, squish fruit with hands, wooden spoon or similar. Cover and leave for 24 hours. Add rest of ingredients, then the activated yeast - activate the dried yeast in about 1/2 pint of warm water with a spoonful of sugar. Add to the bucket, give it a good stir, cover it close and leave for 4 - 5 days in a warm place. Strain and put into a demi-john, leave to ferment for 6 weeks or so, then rack it off; leave a fruther 3 - 4 weeks, then bottle and leave at elast 6 months before trying.

This is the way I do it, and the way I do my wines - no fancy equipment or buying in of what I see as unnecessaries. My wines are usually good, very drinkable, quick, cheap and easy to make. I just use ordinary bread yeast, activated, as that's what I always have in. You could ring the changes with special wine yeasts, eg sparkling, etc if you like.
I don't sterilise the bottles and demi-johns, I just make sure they are clean, and give them a thorough rinse in as hot water as they and I can stand. Remember to label well, and be patient before trying them - that's the hard part for me!! LOL


alison young said...

thanks for posting this,off to pick the gooseberries now!

elisa rathje said...

that sounds heavenly. you make it all so easy. do you use an airlock?

Jen W said...

Never tried making wine before, but really impressed by your laid back approach. What part does the tea bag play in the process, please?

Jen W

MrsL said...

Yes, an airlock in each demi-john. If you don;t have one, a cottonwool ball or piece of cotton wool will do the same job - keep any nasties out but let the gasses out.

Jen, the tea bag provides a bit of tannin, which give a bit of depth/'bite' to the wine. You can buy tannin to add in, but there's sufficient in 1 teabag for 1 gallon of wine. I use them for white/light wines - darker and red ones tend not to need them, so anything with light coloured fruit, or flower wines get the teabags. Hope that helps :0


Anonymous said...

Trying your gooseberry wine at the mo, x 2 gallons

Would likes to make rhubarb too

Have you made rhubarb wine? If so it is the same ingredients as such, and if so how do you 'squash' the rhubarb to extract the juices?

Anonymous said...

Loved the simplicity of your recipe and have just checked in to let you know I'm in the process of racking and so far so good so many thanks!

Fiona said...

Hi, thought you might like to know I made this wine. It's turned out nicely - it's quite light and dry.

Thanks for the recipe!

Cath Clark said...

total beginner, what does racking off mean ? I have millions of gooseberrys, so thought id try wine, thank you 119

MrsL said...

Racking off means separating the drinkable wine from the lees or sediment that settles at the bottom of the demi-john. It's done by means of a siphon tube into a clean demijohn, air lock replaced and left for 6 weeks before bottling. Hope that helps :0

Cath Clark said...

thank you for the help,

Mrs H said...

Have you made other fruit wines - do you a similar quantity of fruit or do you use a different recipe ?

MrsL said...

yes, I make all sorts of fruit wines, basically using the same recipe. I just use what fruit comes my way, sometimes mixing fruit to make up the quantity, usually 4 - 6 lbs per gallon.

Mrs H said...

Thank you - I've started a batch of gooseberry ( red and white mixed ) a batch of strawberry and redcurrant and a batch of damson x

Jo said...

Often thought that in the old days people didn't have all these fancy additives/ sterilisers and they produced drinkable wine so thanks for down to earth gooseberry wine recipe. Just racked 3 gallons and picked more goosegogs after bumper harvest. Tasted wine and it's quite sharp so will it mellow as it matures or do I need to add sugar now or is it naturally sharp tasting?

MrsL said...

Sharpness depends on the fruit really; if you like, top up the wine with some sugar syrup, rather than sugar on its own. use 10 oz sugar to a pint of warm water, dissolve, then add to wine.
Hope that helps :)

Cath Clark said...

hi, iv picked my rhubarb, can I just make it with raw or do you blanch it a bit, as its quite thick stems, is it best to mix rhubarb with something else ? or is it ok on its own, many thanks for the help.

Cath Clark said...

hi, using the recipies you have on here iv made a few wines , iv tasted a couple, but they don't seem very alcoholic, am I not using enough fruit, or sugar and I used bread yeast, would I be better trying to find proper wine yeast ? does the alcohol content increase as it matures ? sorry for all the questions, this is my forst year trying this, many thanks for your help,!!!

Graham Sallaway said...

Mr S
Have used your method and have transffered to demi-john it seems to have stopped working after just 10 days is this normal and should i now leave till the 6 weeks have past it has cleared a bit but is still cloudy any advise or ecomendations welcome