Ingredients (Makes 4.5 litres/1 gallon):
Top tip: Make sure any equipment you use is thoroughly sanitised. Our Brew Safe no rinse steriliser is perfect for the job.
Prepare your raspberries by removing any stalks then soak them in some water to remove dirt and insects.
Make sure all your brewing equipment is sanitised then crush the raspberries a vessel and add the water and a crushed campden tablet, cover and leave to stand for 12 hours. This releases sulphur dioxide which will kill any bacteria and wild yeast in the fruit that may disrupt fermentation.
After 12 hours add the pectolase (see instructions on pectolase container) and leave in a covered vessel for 24 hours, stirring occasionally, there is no need to seal the lid at this point. The pectolase will break the fruit down further which releases more flavour and sugars. It also reduces pectin haze in the finished wine.
After 24 hours add the sugar and stir thoroughly, then add super wine yeast compound and stir again. Leave to ferment for 5 to 7 days between 18 and 24 degrees in a covered vessel, again it doesn’t have to be sealed just loosely cover to prevent any dust from falling in. This stage of fermentation is the ‘open’ phase and you don’t need to worry about exposure to oxygen as it aids the yeast and helps it to multiply and take over the must.
After 5 to 7 days transfer the mixture known as ‘must’ to your demijohn using a funnel and a muslin bag to filter out any fruit pulp, this part can be a bit fiddly but it’s worth it in the end. Extract as much juice as you can by gently squeezing the remaining juice from the pulp and then if necessary top the demijohn up with water to a couple of inches below the lid. Fill your airlock just below half full and fit to your demijohn. The airlock allows Co2 out but doesn’t let oxygen in. This is now a ‘closed’ fermentation as oxygen at this stage can ruin your wine, this also forces the yeast to turn it’s attention to producing alcohol. Over the next few months you’ll see the airlock bubbling away, however if there isn’t any vigorous activity don’t worry, fermentation can vary and sometimes gives off very little sign of activity.
Top tip: You can use your hydrometer to monitor the progress of your brew. Transfer a little to your trial jar (provided with the hydrometer) and take your reading. Take a reading before you add the yeast so you know your starting point (start gravity). The hydrometer readings will also give you a good indication as to when the fermentation has ended along with the cessation of bubbles through the airlock.
Leave to ferment and transfer, known as ‘racking off’, when the sediment at the bottom reaches 1 to 2 inches. This may need to be repeated several times as the fermentation progresses. Leaving your brew to stand on the sediment for too long can cause off flavours in the finished wine and as fermentation can be anything from 1 to 3 months it is best to rack off when necessary. This will also help to clear the wine. When racking off keep exposure to oxygen at a minimum. After racking top up with clean water to a couple of inches below the top of the demijohn, if necessary.
Once the airlock has stopped bubbling it’s time to bottle, add a crushed campden tablet to your demijohn. This will act as an antioxidant during bottling. Use the syphon tube to bottle and avoid splashing as much as you can which will help to limit oxygen exposure.
Once bottled leave to mature, this can vary but we would recommend leaving for at least six months. You can use either glass or plastic bottles.
Top tip: If the wine is not sharp enough to the taste, citric acid can be added, just add a small amount and gently stir to ensure the acid is fully blended and then taste until you have achieved the required flavour. You may not need to do this as most fruit wines will have enough acidity already. If your finished wine is a little too astringent this could mean an excess of tannin, adding a little sugar often softens this, add a bit at a time and then keep tasting until you are happy with it. It is important that this is done once fermentation is complete. Likewise tannin can be added for increased astringency add a small amount at a time tasting the wine as you go along. It is worth noting that although some wines will require additions like the ones above most will mature over time in the bottle.
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