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Instructions / Generic Recipe for Fruit Wine

Berry and plum wine during fermentation
Berry and plum wine in progress

Making home winemaking fun, easy and inexpensive!

Here at makewine.co.nz we hope you will love making and drinking your own homemade wine as much as we do!

We also think the only silly question is one you don't ask; so if you've bought your products from us please email us at info at makewine dot co dot nz.  We will get back to you within 24 hours (usually sooner).

Assemble your home winemaking equipment


Printable Downloadable Instructions

    BASIC fruit wine 5 litres

    DELUXE fruit wine 5 litres

    BASIC fruit wine 11 litres

    DELUXE fruit wine 11 litres

    BASIC fruit wine 23 litres

    DELUXE fruit wine 23 litres


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 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)

  1. Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).
  2. 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.)
  3. Freeze and thaw your fruit (not compulsory but often helps with the flavour extraction process).
  4. Chop or mash the fruit and place in your bucket.
  5. Pour over 1 electric jug of boiling water.
  6. Cover with an airtight lid and cool to room temperature. Add 1 teaspoon of 10% potassium metabisulphite liquid solution (see instructions below) and 1 teaspoon (5g) of pectolase.
  7. Put the lid on and leave 24 hours. (This mixture is called MUST).


Day 2 (primary fermentation)

  1. Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).
  2. Rehydrate your yeast.
              Optional:  Add 1/2 tablespoon (6g) GO-FERM® Protect to 50mls cooled boiled water before the yeast.  Stir gently.
              Compulsory:  Add 1 teaspoon/5g yeast to 50ml cooled boiled water.  Stir gently. 
    Rehydrate for 20 minutes.
  3. Dissolve in 1.75L boiling water and add to your must:
              Compulsory:  800g white sugar
              Optional: 1 teaspoon (5g) citric acid (if required)
              Optional:  1/4 teaspoon tannin 
              Optional:   Oak
  4. Cool to room temperature.
  5. If you have a hydrometer you can take a reading now (& adjust the sugar if you wish).
  6. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon fermaid A nutrient (or 1 teaspoon of Diammonium Phosphate)
  7. Stir in the rehydrated yeast. 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".  Try to keep your fermenter in 20-25C.


Days 3+ (primary fermentation)

  1. Within 24 hours your must should be actively fermenting.  If not, email info at makewine dot co dot nz for advice (if you have purchased your products from us) with a photo.  Or purchase homewinemaking advice if you have bought your products elsewhere and they can't help.
  2. Stir twice daily (keep the lid on in between times).  Use a sterilised spoon.
  3. Day 5 (about 2 days into your active fermentation), add the other 1/8 teaspoon fermaid.  If you have a hydrometer you can check your sugar has depleted by 1/3 before adding your fermaid


When your must stops bubbling:

  1. In 4-14 days, your wine will have finished fermenting.  There will be no bubbles and your fruit will sink.
  2. Strain your must into your secondary fermentation vessel through your muslin or small straining bag inside a sieve, colander or funnel for ease of use.  A large straining bag can go straight into a bucket or other wide-mouth vessel.
  3. Top up as close to your bung as possible with cooled boiled water, or wine or juice if needed.
  4. Pour a small amount of PMS solution or water in your airlock.
  5. Insert the airlock in the bung or grommet.


In the carboy

  1. Your wine will start to clear and sediment will form
  2. If your wine is not clearing as fast as you would like you can decide if you would like to add finings.
  3. You can decide whether you would like to pour it directly from the carboy, bottle it now or allow it to mature.
  4. You can also decide if you would like any other additives like oak, tannin, vanilla, acid, fruit peel etc.



"Racking"means to siphon the wine off the sediment.

Racking will not help your wine clear.

Racking should not [usually] be undertaken whilst your wine is still fermenting.

Racking is best done sparingly.  Every time you rack, you will lose wine, your wine will be exposed to oxygen (usually not advantageous), and may be exposed to unwanted micro-organisms.


To mature the wine

  1. Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of 10% potassium metabisulphite liquid solution before racking to help protect the wine from oxidisation.
  3. “Rack” it by siphoning into another carboy, leaving behind the lees (sediment).   
  4. Top it up with cooled boiled water, wine or juice so your wine is as close as possible to your bung.
  5. You may add flavourings like oak, spices, vanilla bean, peel etc now.  Taste regularly and remove the flavourants when the desired flavour has been obtained.


How to siphon

You can use an auto-siphon or siphon manually:

  1. Put your vessel to be siphoned on the bench
  2. Put your other vessel on the ground
  3. Fill your syphon tube up with cooled boiled water and hold a [clean] finger or thumb over each end. (or you can start the siphon by sucking on the free end).
  4. Put one end of the siphon tube in your vessel to be drained, being careful to avoid the sediment at the bottom.
  5. Then put the other end of the siphon tube in the vessel to be filled.
  6. 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).



To bottle the wine (still wine)

  1. Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of 10% potassium metabisulphite liquid solution to your wine.  
  3. Siphon your wine (see instructions above), leaving behind the lees, into sterilised bottles.  Your 5 litre vessel should give you 6 bottles of wine. 
  4. Each bottle should be about 2.5cm from the lid/cork of the bottle.  You may top up with a little cooled boiled water or wine if needed.
  5. 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 unnecessary exposure to oxygen.


To bottle the wine (sparkling wine)

  1. Ensure you have fermented your wine with champagne yeast.
  2. Sterilise all your equipment thoroughly (see Potassium Metabisulphite instructions below).
  3. Use sparkling wine bottles (they are much thicker and able to withstand the pressure of the bubbles). Don’t use ordinary wine bottles or other glass bottles as they can explode and cause serious injury. Use plastic corks briefly soaked in boiling water and wire cages to hold down the corks.  See our bottling range.
  4. Dissolve 60-90g white sugar in a small amount of boiling water.  Cool to room temperature.  Either add to your carboy and mix through or add 1/6th of the syrup to each bottle.
  5. Siphon your wine (see instructions above), leaving behind the lees, into sterilised bottles.
  6. Each bottle should be about 2cm from the lid/cork of the bottle. You may top up with a little cooled boiled water or wine if needed.

How long do you leave it??

Up to you how long you leave it.  Many books say leave it for months, here at makewine.co.nz, 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, many fruit wines are better drunk young when they still have their fruity characteristics.


Instructions for Potassium Metabisulphite (PMS)


  • 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.


To make a 10% solution

  1. Dissolve 1/8 cup (about 40g) in 400ml water to make a 10% solution.
  2. Use a glass or plastic container with lid.
  3. Will keep for months if you keep it tightly sealed.  Label it well.


Use 10% solution to sterlise must

  • Use 1 teaspoon of 10% solution to sterilise enough must (your fruit/water/sugar etc mixture) for 5 litres of wine.
  • The PMS will help avoid wild yeast fermentation and any bacterial growth and will reduce oxidisation.  


Use 2% solution to sterlise equipment

  • Dilute the 10% solution down further.
  • 1 part 10% solution to 4 parts water (eg 100mls 10% solution and 400mls water)
  • 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 makewine.co.nz 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.



Making more than 5L wine?

Quantities for 11 Litres 

Use the same method as above:

Fruit: 4+ kgs
Pectolase: 1 tbsp (about 11g)
Yeast: 5g
GO-FERM Protect: 6g (optional)
Sugar: 1.8 kgs
Citric Acid: 2 tsp (about 11g) (optional)
Tannin: 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Fermaid A: 1/2 tsp (about 4g) (or Diammonium Phosphate 10g)


Quantities for 23 Litres (5 gallons)

Use the same method as above:

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


You can purchase ready-made home winemaking ingredients kits from makewine.co.nz 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.


 © 2011-2021 makewine.co.nz

Berry and plum wine during fermentation
Berry and plum wine in progress