With more raspberries than I can ever remember having at one time, I decided to make up a batch of raspberry wine before letting all the berries go to waste. After an hour of picking I ended up with six pounds of fresh raspberries from our garden. I looked up a few recipes for a good raspberry wine and here is the recipe I decided to go with, making what I think should turn out to be a two-gallon batch:
Heated about 1.5 gallons of water to about 150F. Rinsed all of the berries to remove stems and other debris, then added them to the heated water on the stove. Steeped the berries for about 20 minutes, stirring and mashing the berries with a spoon frequently. I also added the sugar at this point to start dissolving in the heated must.
Once the 20 minutes of steeping was over, I decided to pour all of the berry and berry pulp into my primary bucket instead of filtering like some of the recipes I had looked at said. I figure that I will leave the pulp in to get some of the flavor and sugars still in it during primary fermentation, and then will filter the wine well when I rack to secondary carboys to make sure all of the seeds are removed.
With the must in the primary bucket, I checked the Original Gravity and it measured out to be a perfect 1.090, which is exactly what I was aiming for with this wine (12 %ABV potential). After verifying the specific gravity, I added the yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, and crushed Campden tablets to the bucket. I then sealed the bucket and put it in the brew room to sit for a day. I will add the yeast tomorrow after the Campden tablets have had 24 hours to sterilize the must.
Put into primary 6-28-10. Original Gravity measured at 1.090 (12% potential alcohol). Will let this primary ferment for about a week before racking to the secondary one-gallon carboys.
Added yeast pack on 6-29-10.
Racked to two one-gallon carboys on 7-7-10. Final Gravity measured at 0.991, giving a final alcohol content of 13.7% ABV.
Racked again on 7-26-10. I also added 1/4 cup of sugar for each gallon to start fermentation again and to make a sweet wine. The color is a deep red and the wine has settled a lot already.
Bottled on 12-11-10 into 20 12-ounce bottles. Still a nice deep red color, very clear though. Tasting it revealed a very nice raspberry flavor that finished just slightly tart, very nice overall. Will let the wine continue aging in the bottles.