Instructions / Generic Recipe for Fruit Wine

Making home winemaking fun, easy and inexpensive!

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Making Wine From Winemaking Grapes

The recipe below is for fruit wine and wine made from eating grapes.  If you have winemaking grapes please use these instructions for making wine from winemaking grapes.


Generic Recipe for 5 litres / 1 Gallon of Fruit WIne

This is a generic recipe and will work for fruit wine.  However, you may have a recipe which calls for slightly different timeframes and quantities.  If so, please follow your own recipe.

If you are making wine from citrus fruits or any other acidic fruit, don't add citric acid at primary fermentation.  You can add citirc acid at the end of fermentation if you think you wine needs more acidity.

Day 1 (extraction)

Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).

Use at least 2 kgs of your winemaking fruit. The more you use the fruiter the flavour of your wine.  Wash, cut out any bad bits, and any part of the fruit you would not normally eat (depending on the fruit eg kiwifruit-take the skin off, pears-leave the skin on.)

Freeze and thaw your fruit (not compulsory but often helps with the flavour extraction process).

Chop or mash the fruit and place in your bucket.

Pour over 1 electric jug of boiling water.

Cover with an airtight lid and cool to room temperature. Add 1 teaspoon of 10% potassium metabisulphite solution and 5g of pectolase.

Put the lid on and leave 12-24 hours.


Day 2 (primary fermentation)

Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).

Rehydrate your GO-FERM® Protect (6g) & yeast (5g) and by stirring it gently in to 50mls filtered and/or cooled boiled water and letting it sit for 20 minutes.  Put the GO-FERM in first.  Initially the yeast and nutrient will clump, don't worry about this, it will even out as it rehydrates.

If you are not using GO-FERM® Protect, add your nutrient to your must with the sugar syrup.

Dissolve 800g white sugar, 5g citric acid (if required), ¼ teaspoon tannin in 1.5 litres of boiling water and add to your fruit mixture (must).  If you are using nutrient salts instead of GO-FERM® Protect and Fermaid A, add them now as well.

Cool to room temperature.

Add the rehydrated yeast, don't worry if the yeast mixture is still a little lumpy.  Stir the must and put the lid on. Stir again in about 12 hours, by this time the must should be showing some signs of fermentation ie bubbling and the pulp will be pushed to the top of the liquid as a "fruit cap".


Days 3 & 4 (primary fermentation)

Stir twice daily (keep the lid on in between times).  Use a sterilised spoon.

The primary fermentation will take 3 days in total.


Day 5 (secondary fermentation)

Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).

Strain the must. If you are using muslin or a small bag, put the sterilised muslin inside a sterlised sieve or collander to strain the must through. Try not to squeeze the straining bag, leave it to hang and roll the pulp around to drain the juice. Squeezing the bag may result in cloudy wine.

Leave the pulp to hang for an hour or more so as much of the juice/flavour as possible can be extracted.  Also to allow as much yeast as possible to make its way from the pulp in to the strained must.

If you are using Fermaid A, dissolve 1.5g (1/4 teaspoon) in a small amount of cooled boiled water and stir in to the strained must.

Aerate the must by pouring from container to container or shaking the container.

Put the must in to your carboy (or other fermentation vessel). Top up with cooled boiled water if needed.  Leave a gap of about 10cm between your wine and your bung so there is some "headroom" if the fermentation causes much form.  Once the fermentation has calmed down top the must up so there is no more than a 3cm gap between the bung and the top of the must.

Pour a small amount of potassium metabisulphite solution in your airlock.

Put the airlock in the carboy, ensuring the levels of solution are uneven (this indicates air tightness).

Within less than 24 hours you should see bubbles coming through the airlock.  If you don't see bubbles within 24 hours your ferment is either finished or has stuck.  Follow the troubleshooting process under Stuck Ferments and if you are a customer of you can get replacement products for free if you need them.


Within 1-4 Weeks (racking, storage, bottling)

In 1-4 weeks the bubbles will stop. Your wine should be clear or clearing at this time.  It will be ready to bottle. Or you can leave it to mature at this stage.  If your wine is not clear you can try using finings if you wish.


To mature the wine

Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).

“Rack” it by siphoning into another carboy, leaving behind the lees (sediment).  Add 1 teaspoon of 10% potassium metabisulphite solution before racking to help protect the wine from oxidisation.  Top it up with cooled boiled water after racking so that your wine is no more than 2cm below your bung.

If you don't have an expensive auto-siphon the easiest and most hygienic way to siphon is:

a/ Put your vessel to be siphoned up higher than the other vessel eg on the bench

b/ Put your other vessel on the ground

c/ Fill your syphon tube up with cooled boiled water and hold a [clean] finger or thumb over each end.

d/ Put one end of the siphon tube in your vessel to be drained, being careful to avoid the sediment at the bottom.

e/ Then put the other end of the siphon tube in the vessel to be filled.

f/ Watch while gravity and pressure do their job and siphon your wine from one vessel to the other, keeping the end of the siphon tube away from the sediment, but as close to it as possible so as to avoid getting air in the siphon tube (which will stop the siphoning process).

Over the coming weeks and months you may continue to rack the wine as many times as you like, as you see sediment settling on the bottom of the carboy.  Just be aware each time you rack you will loose a little bit of wine and you will top it up with water; so you will be diluting your wine.  This winemaker prefers to rack as little as possible.


To bottle the wine (still wine)

Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).

Add 1 teaspoon of 10% potassium metabisulphite solution.

Siphon your wine (see instructions above), leaving behind the lees, into sterilised bottles.  Your one gallon / 5 litre vessel should give you 6 bottles of wine.  Each bottle should be about 2.5cm from the lid/cork of the bottle.  You may top up with a little cooled boiled water if needed.

If you find it hard and/or messy to siphon into bottles try siphoning into a carboy or bucket and then tipping the wine using a funnel in to your bottles.  The drawback to doing it this way is your wine has uncessary exposure to oxygen thus increasing the chances of unwanted oxidising.


To bottle the wine (sparkling wine)

Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).

You need to use sparkling wine bottles (they are much thicker and able to withstand the pressure of the bubbles) or PET bottles (used but sterilised softdrink bottles are fine). Don’t use ordinary wine bottles or other glass bottles as they can explode and cause serious injury. If you are using sparkling wine bottles use plastic corks briefly soaked in boiling water and wire cages to hold down the corks.  See our bottling range.

Dissolve 60-90g white sugar in a small amount of boiling water.  Cool to room temperature.

Siphon your wine (see instructions above), leaving behind the lees, into sterilised bottles, leaving a little bit of room for your sugar syrup.

Add 1/6th of the syrup to each bottle.  Each bottle should be about 2cm from the lid/cork of the bottle. You may top up with a little cooled boiled water if needed.

How long do you leave it??

Up to you how long you leave it.  All the books say leave it for months, here at, we don’t have much patience so we’re usually drinking it in 1-4 weeks time.  Some wines will improve and mellow with age.


Instructions for Potassium Metabisulphite

Safety: Don’t inhale the powder or vapour. Use in a well ventilated area. Don’t use it to sterilise metal and don't store in metal containers.

A small proportion of the population are are allergic to metabisulphite.  If you are one of these people you most likely know about it as commercial wine and many commerically available foods eg dried fruits contain sulphites.

Dissolve 50g in 500ml water to make a 10% solution. This will keep for months if you keep it tightly sealed. Use a glass or plastic container.

Use 1 teaspoon of 10% solution to sterilise enough must (your fruit/water/sugar etc mixture) for 1 gallon / 5 litres of wine.

Dilute the 10% solution down further. 1 part 10% solution to 4 parts water (eg 50mls 10% solution and 200mls water) for your sterilising solution for all your equipment.

A small amount goes a long way. Swirl it around all your containers etc so it touches each surface several times. Then leave it for at least 20 minutes (with lid on) to complete sterilisation. Bottles, containers etc can be keep sterilised by storing them with 2cm of solution in the bottom. Tip out solution (which can be reused) and shake them out well before using them.

The solution can continue to be reused until the obvious vapour has gone or if you can see any particles of dirt, dust, foreign objects etc.

Here at we keep all our plastic, glass and fabric equipment (not metal or rubber) when we are not using it (spoons, airlocks, jugs, straining bag etc) in a bucket with sterilising solution, so all our equipment is ready to go at a moment’s notice. The items don’t need to be covered with it as the vapour is what keeps the items sterilised.

Quantities for 10 Litres (Approximately 2 gallons)

Use the same method as above:

Fruit: 4+ kgs
Pectolase: 10g
Yeast: 5g
GO-FERM Protect: 6g
Sugar: 1.6 kgs
Citric Acid: 10g
Tannin: 1/2 teaspoon
Fermaid A: 3g


Quantities for 23 Litres (5 gallons)

Use the same method as above:

Fruit: 10+ kgs
Pectolase: 25g
Yeast: 5g
GO-FERM Protect: 6g
Sugar: 4 kgs
Citric Acid: 25g
Tannin: 1 - 1.25 teaspoon
Fermaid A: 7g


You can purchase ready-made home winemaking ingredients kits from which are great if you've never made wine before.

You can also purchase your home winemaking ingredients in bulk which is very economical if you are making wine regularly.


 © 2011-2013 Karen q Temple