This is a really easy recipe to make and if you have a glut of strawberries making wine will put them to good use!
2kg strawberries (I used frozen)
1.5 kg sugar
2 Campden Tablets
1 teaspoon citric acid
½ teaspoon tannin
1 teaspoon pectolase (instructions on pectolase container)
4.5 litres water
1 teaspoon super wine yeast compound
Make sure that all your equipment is thoroughly sterilised/sanitised before use.
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If your strawberries are fresh, soak them in some water to remove any dirt and insects. I used frozen because I didn’t quite have enough fresh ones.
Crush the strawberries in a sanitised fermenting vessel add the water and if using fresh strawberries add a crushed campden tablet. This will ensure that any wild yeast and bacteria is killed as the tablet releases sulphur dioxide. Leave this for 12 hours.
Then add the pectolase leave this for 24 hours occasionally stirring, there is no need to keep it in a sealed vessel at this point just rest the vessel lid on top. The pectolase breaks down the pectin in the fruit allowing the release of more sugars and juice, this also helps to prevent pectic haze in your finished wine.
After 24 hours add the sugar and stir thoroughly then add the citric acid, tannin and
super wine yeast. Give it another stir then lightly cover with the lid and keep at a temperature of between 18 and 25 degrees. You don’t need to worry about exposure to oxygen at this point as the yeast needs it as energy to aid reproduction, this stage of fermentation is called the ‘open’ stage. Leave it like this for 5 to 7 days after this you will be ready to transfer it to a demijohn for closed fermentation.
Top tip: You can monitor the progress of your brew with a hydrometer which will also give you a good idea when fermentation is complete because the readings will not change.
Transferring it to the demijohn can be a bit fiddly, I used a funnel without the straining disc and a muslin bag which did the trick. You can also gently squeeze the pulp that is left to extract more juice. Be careful not to squeeze too hard as this can cause the transfer of pectin to your finished wine and cause a pectin haze.
Top tip: Once the sediment layer in your demijohn reaches 1 to 2 inches transfer the must to another vessel. Repeat this process whenever necessary. This ensures that the dead yeast does not impart any off flavours to your finished wine. It also helps the wine to clear.
Once in the demijohn fit it with a lid and airlock, this is called the ‘closed’ part of the fermentation . The airlock will allow Co2 out but won’t let any oxygen in which can ruin your wine at this point. Your wine will now ferment away for about six months it could be longer, it could be sooner but you’ll know when it’s finished fermenting as the bubbles will have stopped through the airlock. You can also double check with a hydrometer.
When fermentation is complete you’re ready to bottle add one crushed campden tablet which helps to prevent oxidisation when you syphon your wine into the bottles. You need to do this even if you used frozen rather than fresh fruit. Once in the bottles you will need to leave it to mature for at least six months, the flavours will develop in the bottle during this time and you’ll have a superb tasting wine.