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How to Make Homemade Banana Wine

Homemade banana wine is an interesting thing, in a few ways.

For one, by the time you’re ready to add the yeast to get the product started… well, you’re working with a liquid that just looks revolting. Muddy brown-grey dishwater looking stuff. You add the yeast, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

Then, the yeast starts acting on it. Oh BOY does it ever! I’ve never seen such violent fermentation before! It really was a sight to behold.

One day, you walk by your carboys, and you think “Hrm. My orange mead looks really yellow for some reason”… and then you realize that you’re looking at your banana wine. All of a sudden, that ugly, milky looking mixture clarified at some point. It left you with a gorgeous, brilliantly golden yellow and crystal clear wine.

… and it tastes like heavily banana-flavored Everclear! Yes, we’ve termed our banana wine “Banana Jet Fuel” for good reason – it comes in at a whopping 20% ABV!

No worries though – let your finished wine age for about a year after bottling, and you’ll be rewarded with a smooth, flavorful wine that packs a punch! The harsh “Everclear” flavor will age right out.

Banana wine is very easy – and very CHEAP – to make. Also, it finishes a unique color, which will make a beautiful addition to your wine rack – or gift.

If you haven’t attempted making wine before, don’t be intimidated! Check out our primer to home brewing, it starts here, with parts 2 and 3 here and here. Just a small handful of entries, and you’ll be good to go!


Homemade Banana Wine Recipe

Ingredients:
21 lbs of RIPE bananas, sliced into thin rings
5 gallons water (You won’t use it all)
15-20 lbs white and/or brown sugar (We used white)
6 tsp acid blend
5 tsp pectinase
1.25 tsp wine tannin
6 tsp yeast nutrient
4 lbs golden raisins
1 packets of wine yeast (We like Red Star “Champagne” for this recipe)
Potassium sorbate or other wine stabilizer

Equipment:
7.5 gallon pot (or bigger)
1 6.5 gallon fermenter bucket and lid
1 or 2 6.5 gallon glass carboys & stoppers
1 air lock
Siphon, siphon tubing.


In large stock pot – we used a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer – combine bananas, sugar, and about 4 gallons of water. Heat to almost boiling, mashing and stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to heat for about 45 minutes – never allowing it to come to a boil – stirring every few minutes. Remove from heat, add acid blend, pectinase, tannin, and yeast nutrient. Stir well.


Place raisins in a freshly sanitized 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket. Carefully strain hot banana liquid into the fermenting bucket, over top of the raisins. Top with water to 6 gallons, and add a few scoops of the banana mush. Cover with sanitized lid and air lock, allow to cool to room temperature (overnight).

The next morning, give the mixture a quick stir with a sanitized paddle, and – using sanitized equipment – take a gravity reading. Keep track of the number! (This is an optional step, but will allow you to calculate your final ABV %)

Sprinkle yeast into fermenter, cover with sanitized cover and air lock. Within 48 hours, you should notice fermentation activity – bubbles in the airlock, carbonation and /or swirling in the wine must. This means you’re good to go!

Let sit for about a week, stirring (sanitized paddle!) Every couple of days or so. It will get black on top. It’ll look awful… and your whole brewing area / basement / garage will smell like banana bread!

After a week or so, use your sanitized siphon setup to rack the must into a freshly sanitized 6.5 gallon carboy. (At this point, we ran the raisins and remaining pulp through a juicer and added it to the carboy, but that’s entirely optional. Will give the wine extra body if you do it!)

Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or so.

Using sanitized equipment, rack the banana wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized 6.5 gallon carboy. (At this point, we added 4 lbs sugar for added sweetness. It probably also upped the final ABV!). Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.

By this point, you’ll find that your wine has clarified, and looks NOTHING like it did when it started. Enjoy your handiwork. Rack one more time, leave it for another 3 months or so.

When your wine has been racked a few times and shows NO more fermenting activity for a month or so (no bubbles in the airlock, no more sediment being produced, you can move on to bottling.

Follow the instructions on your selected type of wine stabilizer to stop fermentation. For potassium sorbate, this needs to be done 2-3 days before bottling.

Using sanitized equipment, take a gravity reading, then rack the wine into clean, sanitized bottles. Cork. (We like to use these for corking our homemade wine. Easy to use – no special equipment needed! – easy to uncork, and – should you have any wine left in your bottle after serving (pfft!), the “cork” is easily replaced for temporary storage!).

I’m not going to lie – the wine you bottle is going to be pretty harsh. Drinkable, but definitely banana flavored fire water. Put the bottles into the cases they came in and forget about them for a year (or two!) – you’ll have a much tastier wine at the end of the wait!

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Author:Marie Porter

Marie is an award winning cake artist based in Minnesota's Twin Cities. Known as much for her delicious and diverse flavor menu as for her sugar artistry, Marie's work has graced magazines and blogs around the world. Having baked and designed for brides, celebrities, and even Klingons, Marie was proud to share her wealth of baking knowledge in her two cookbooks: "The Spirited Baker" and “Evil Cake Overlord”. Marie has also authored a book about her experiences surrounding the 2011 Minneapolis tornado: "Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir"

27 Responses to “How to Make Homemade Banana Wine”

  1. October 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Perhaps I will just cross my fingers that I will get a gift of some banana wine, which sounds DELICIOUS…but we don’t have the space (and if I’m honest, probably not the inclination) to make it ourselves. My mother-in-law likes this kind of thing, though…

  2. Julie
    October 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    I’d be interested in seeing a recipe converted for smaller batches. At the moment I only have 5 gallon equipment and as much as I like banana, I would prefer to try it first as a much smaller amount, say a growler or so. Though I suppose my lazy ass can do the conversions myself.

  3. Jeff
    June 20, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    I made my banana wine in my champion jucier. I removed stem and cut in half and put them through jucier then put in water with sugar on stove for 45 min low tempure and stired alot then I put the thick mess through jucier and poof I had great clean stuff beats the muslin all to heck

  4. mike
    August 25, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    i make this wine frequently i buy up ripe bananas in the super markets its an easy wine to do, good flavor, plenty of body, a very usfull wine

  5. mike
    August 25, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    never got to finish above post , a very useful wine for blending to other white wines needing more body,

  6. Laurie
    September 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    I was given a case of bananas, so I put the whole thing into the deep freeze for a week, then peeled the bananas and have followed your recipe, it smells good right now!

  7. robert
    September 28, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Followed the recipe to the letter only thing is, (needing bifocals), I didn’t think to look when I was weighing my bananas and instead of lbs, I had kg on the scale, so my 21 pound batch ended up being 40lbs. The supermarket was singing, “Yes, we have no bananas, because robb can’t follow a recipe today”. Anyhow, since I was using a sankey key to cook in, I just doubled everything else and now I have two fermenters full of banana wine! Christmas presents, yeah, Christmas presents! The sankey keg was great, it was free from a neighbor complete with 12 year old aged beer in it when I cut the top off. 15 gallons of stainless steel with handles. Works better than a turkey pot.

  8. robert
    September 28, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    What the? I’ll try again. accidently doubled the recipe using kg instead of lbs so now I have 13 gallons!

  9. Gerald J
    November 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I am deffenatly going to make the Banana wine useing your recipe I have often wondered if one could make banana wine and how would it tast ! So I am going for it THX FOR THE RECIPY AND DIRECTIONS

  10. Steve
    December 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I like the idea of a banana wine, and am definitely going to ferment a batch up. A friend just told me he started one.

    Just have a couple questions:

    How ripe is too ripe (or is it, it can only be too green)? In your pics you posted, the bananas skin is just getting spotty.
    One poster said she put bananas in freezer, no doubt this turns these suckers black & are then super ripe. Also she peeled the bananas.

    Are there no off flavors produced with the skin on?
    And some of you run the skins through the food processor or juicer along with the fruit??
    Seems like eliminating the peelings would be the correct thing to do to eliminate the bitters of the peel?? Am I missing something here. Or I guess the other half of that question is: Do the peelings impart favorable things to this wine (fermentables, flavor, what)?

    Has anybody done this recipe EXCLUDING the golden raisins& if so how does it alter the final products flavor or what? It seems like the only reason for them is to punch up the alcohol content.. is that a correct assumption?

    Also for the yeast, I’m leery of the champagne yeast, from my memory that yeast rocks out the fermentation super fast and maybe that’s where your getting your higher alcohols that take so long to age out?

    I like the Lalvin & use D-47 for most of my fruit wines & have used Lalvin EC-1118 for an apple butter cyser, due to the higher alcohol content & that yeast handles that quantity of fermentables nicely. EC-1118 processes comfortably to 18% alcohol content, if I kill the raisins, that would probably drop 4 % off the final ABV content & work for this.

    I’d really appreciate any and all feedback on these questions, I’m seriously anxious to get a batch of this started!

    Steve

  11. godfrey
    January 22, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    am happy to read this information am interested to start producing banana wine for business can you give me ratios to produce wine in lager volume

    • January 22, 2013 at 6:55 am #

      Hi there! Thanks for your interest in Celebration Generation!

      I do make myself available for business consultations in situations like yours, please contact me by email to discuss!

      Blog at celebrationgeneration dot com

  12. Donovan
    January 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Great! Cant wait to start this this weekend!

  13. Poppington
    July 7, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I basically added about 6 hands of bananas maybe about 50 bananas and a kilo of sugar foolishly I over filled the bucket. I instead of boiling them I used a liquidiser boy did that foam up I had 3 over flows and had to split it between two buckets. The only thing I added extra was about half a bottle of lemon juice. I will let ya know how it went.

  14. Dan
    July 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Has anyone tried this mixing half and half with strawberries? I’m boiling bananas as I type. Will follow the recipe till somewhat cooled, then add mashed strawberries. Strawberries don’t get boiled. Strawberry wine comes in as one of my favorite wines to make. I,ve never tried banana or any wine or that has to be cooked. But I love strawberries and bananas together, so we’ll see.

    • July 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Hi Dan… I’d make the banana and strawberry wines separately, and then mix them later on – would be easier to achieve a desired flavour balance.

  15. August 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    ok, I have just syphoned the must into my carboy and in one month syphon from the sediment. At that point you added 4lbs of sugar. If we normally like Chardonnay, how much sugar should i add at that point.

  16. hawaiianbrian
    December 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Actually brandy is made from raisins. Also, I freeze my bananas and they don’t turn dark. Simmer with the sugar and no yeast. Maybe takes longer. For me it doesn’t have to be clear to drink, like apple cider. But I have tasted 20-30 year old banana wine home made. World Class Stuff. hawaiianbrian

  17. linuxfueled
    April 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    great recipe,

    Worked flawless and the smell is great after 2 months. Let you all know in a year or so how the taste is:)

  18. July 20, 2014 at 2:15 am #

    Actually following this recipe right now. Going to bring it out of the fermentation bucket right now. I just wanted to thank you for the recipe! Been having fun doing it!

  19. August 6, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    good looking lady making great wine !

  20. phil
    October 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    This recipe I followed to the t. Finished, bottled wine is amazing, liquid gold. Thank you!

  21. Tom
    November 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    How about making a hard Apple cider using bananas? How would I do this? I assume using frozen bananas as mentioned above but would I still need to add sugar etc? Any ideas would be appreciated. Cider us in carboy waiting Instructuring.

    • November 4, 2014 at 9:47 am #

      I’d probably add a fairly small amount of fresh bananas in with the primary cook/fermentation – not sure how it would go if you’ve already got the apple fermenting?

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