I have been picking raspberries from our garden every few days and freezing them to build up a larger supply to use for my wine. In just two weeks I collected roughly 25 pounds of berries so I will be making up a 5 gallon batch of raspberry wine this year. Quite a haul, and there are still lots of raspberries yet to ripen and be picked. I really liked the Razzle Dazzle Raspberry Wine I made last year, so I will follow the same recipe except increase it to a 5 gallon batch, and maybe cut down on the acidity a bit.
Added the frozen berries and a couple gallons of water to my brewing pot. I then heated this mixture up to about 150 F, as I broke up the raspberries with my spoon and a hand mixer. When I reached 150 F, I turned off the heat, covered the pot, and let it steep for 20 minutes. Then I poured this mixture into my primary bucket.
I added enough water to bring the volume up to 5 ½ gallons, and then I added 12 pounds of sugar (scaling up from last years recipe meant I needed 12.5 pounds). I checked the original gravity and it was 1.111, higher than last years 1.090 which means that the raspberries this year had quite a bit more sugar in them. That is fine, the wine will probably turn out a bit stronger and sweeter which I don’t mind. I also checked the acidity, which turned out to be 0.7% so I didn’t add any acid blend this year.
I added the pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, and crushed Campden tablets to the must. I then sealed up the bucket to let it sterilize for 24 hours.
7-20-11: Put into primary with Campden tablets to sterilize the must. OG measured at 1.111 giving an alcohol potential of 17.0%.
7-22-11: Pitched the yeast.
7-29-11: Racked to a second bucket while filtering the wine through a strainer bag. I then strained the pulp to get the liquid out of that. I ended up with 4 3/4 gallons of wine after removing the raspberry pulp. I then racked this wine into a 5-gallon carboy to let it age for a few months. OG measured at 1.008 giving it a strength of 15 %ABV.
8-8-11: Racked the wine again since there were a couple inches of sediment at the bottom. OG measured at 0.990 giving it a strength of 17 %ABV.
2-3-12: Added some Super Kleer fining agent to help clear the wine out before bottling. My first time using a fining agent in wine, so I’m interested to see what the results will be.
2-4-12: There is a new layer of sediment on the bottom of the carboy around 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick. The Super Kleer did a good job there, but there are also lots of tiny chunks floating around the middle of the carboy still. I did a bit of reading, and it looks like even though the package says it may take up to 48 hours to clear, some people have had to wait up to a couple weeks with certain wines. I guess it also works best at temperatures around 75 F, and my wine is stored in a room around 50 F so that may also affect the fining speed.
2-12-12: The floaters in the wine had pretty much settled out, so it was ready to bottle. Ended up with just under 4 gallons of wine and bottled into 39 12-ounce bottles.