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

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

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!


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"

58 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

    • Rosa
      March 1, 2016 at 10:55 am #

      mine went cloudy after bottling. i’ve made wine since the 80’s and am confused as to why this has happened? Any Ideas please?

      • October 4, 2016 at 11:19 am #

        … No idea. Haven’t seen that happen, or heard it happen from anyone else. Maybe some bacteria got introduced at some point?

  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!


  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?

  22. olly
    December 29, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    try adding 6lb`s of coconut too,either the shop bought flakes or fresh……makes a beautiful full bodied wine,with exquisite flavour…takes 7 months to mature in the bottle,but i am sure it would be even better after a year or so….

    • December 30, 2014 at 8:34 am #

      Ooh, that sounds amazing! We’ll have to try it next time we put a batch on!

  23. Brent Atkinson
    January 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    I find this recipe intriguing but would like to know if this is a sweet or dry wine. Before breaking down your ingredients measurements to fill a 55 litre carboy I’d like to know how it should taste.

  24. Andy
    February 14, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    Hi Marie, I have just started two batches of your banana wine. I generally make crab apple. Have been excited to start this batch. Just stumbled across your recipe and it sounded very good. Thank you for sharing it and I will let you know how it comes out.

    • February 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      Awesome! I look forward to hearing about it!

  25. Rila
    February 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    I doubt this wine came out anywhere near 20%! Red Star Champagne yeast only has an alcohol tolerance of 13-15%.

    • March 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

      *shrug* doubt all you want, but it comes out consistently right around 20%. Why not try it and see for yourself?

      • Rila
        May 12, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

        OK, I believe you. I just can’t figure out how it can come out higher than the tolerance of the yeast ;).

        • May 20, 2015 at 6:03 am #

          I’m guessing the tolerances aren’t *super* accurate, and probably under-promise due to variability in batches?

  26. All Home Brew Supplies
    April 14, 2015 at 1:20 am #

    Banana wine is one of my favorite flavors. I’d never tried a formulation for this at home yet, and Im yearning to brew some.

  27. Isaac Agyare
    July 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    I am excited about this blog. I have a farm 100 acre farm with mangoes, coconut and bananas. My intention is to go into commercial tropical fruit wine making, how do I start?
    where do I get my supplies, equipment and ingredients. Any short course or books needed?

    • July 22, 2015 at 7:53 am #

      I have no real experience with commercial wine making, so I am the wrong person to ask. Have you tried contacting a winery to see if they’d be willing to give you some pointers?

  28. September 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    Wow! That is a clever idea. Banana wine is very interesting, plus the tutorial on how to make it makes it more appealing. A must try recipe!

  29. mike
    October 2, 2015 at 4:04 am #

    recipe I saw for banana beer involved the village women chewing up and spitting out the bananas into gourds , and leaving those hanging up over the goat hut !

  30. Chris
    March 19, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

    Hey, trying banana recipe, just racked after fermentation, looking just over 20%, taste so far is a little on the acidy side, doesn’t taste harsh al
    At all, I’m sure will sweeten after next racking, just worried about the balance.

  31. Jim
    March 24, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    So you leave the peel on the banana when you slice it and boil the peel too?

  32. April 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    It looks like so much fun! I hope my batch comes out as good as yours did.

  33. Chris
    April 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    Help, after about 2 weeks after first raking, looks like something from aliens, clear in spots, but has formations in in????

  34. bev
    June 11, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    I made a beautiful batch of banana wine accidentally, just by leaving the bananas in a closed container . I drained and strained then added sugar to the juice, sealed and left foe about three monts to see what would happen. Result, a most delicious tasting licgour. Now I am looking on new ways to compare

  35. Bob
    January 24, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    I found a 5 gal. oak barrel at an estate sale and was wondering if I could ferment this wine in it or rack into it at some point for an oak flavor. I’ve never used a oak barrel with wine any input would be appreciated

    • February 6, 2017 at 6:32 am #

      I honestly don’t know anything about barrel aging. I would personally be hesitant to use an oak barrel purchased through an estate sale, because I have no idea where it’s been, how it’s been used, or if it’s even watertight.

  36. January 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    Wow, never realized you could make banana wine. Waiting a year or two to drink it could pose a problem. I assume you could do this with most fruit? Thanks for the recipe, my next mission.

    • February 6, 2017 at 6:31 am #

      You can, but the sugar amount and preparation will vary. I have a few fruit wine recipes on this blog!

  37. February 23, 2017 at 6:29 am #

    This looks AMAZING! We tried banana wine once… but must have missed a crucial straining step because ours was a bit cloudy. Will have to give your method a try!

  38. Stuart G
    May 22, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    Do we leave peels o when mashing?


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