Homemade Blueberry Wine Recipe

Last summer, we happened upon an AMAZING deal on fresh blueberries at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. As we looked at the cases upon cases of blueberries that were available at that ridiculous price, Porter and I had the exact same thought: We should buy a TON of these, and make wine!

We had made a batch of blueberry wine from frozen blueberries a few years ago, and that was amazing – fresh could only be better, right?

RIGHT!

We made something like 10 gallons of this, but I’ve pared our recipe to be done “by the gallon”, so you can adjust for how many blueberries you have to work with.

No fresh blueberries? No problem, just substitute an equal weight of frozen blueberries! I would put them through a food processor, rather than squish them by hand – freezing and thawing berries breaks them down well.

As is, this batch ran pretty dry at the end, so we sweetened it up with a bit of sugar at the end. We like our wine pretty sweet, though.

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!

Fresh Blueberry Wine Recipe

Ingredients, per gallon of water
3-4 lbs fresh blueberries
2 lbs white sugar
1 gallon spring water (will use slightly less)
1/2 tsp acid blend
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp wine tannin
1 packet Red Star “Pasteur Red” yeast
Wine stabilizer of choice (optional)

Equipment:
Large pot
Fermenter bucket and lid
1 or 2 lass carboys & stoppers
1 air lock
Siphon, siphon tubing.

Rinse and pick through blueberries, removing any that are moldy, etc. Place in a large pot, along with the sugar. Using a potato masher or VERY clean hands, stir and mash blueberries.

Add water, stir well. Heat to ALMOST boiling, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir in acid blend, enzyme, nutrient, and tannin.

Pour mixture into a freshly sanitized fermenting bucket. 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 long, sanitized spoon, and – using sanitized equipment – take a gravity reading of the liquid (strain out any blueberries). 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!

After a week or so, use your sanitized siphon setup to rack the must into a freshly sanitized carboy. Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or so.

Using sanitized equipment, rack the blueberry wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.

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!).

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Canadian Food Experience Project: Newfoundland Partridgeberry Wine Recipe

A month ago, I joined the Canadian Food Experience Project, writing about my memories of a uniquely Canadian food experience.

The Canadian Food Experience Project began on June 7 2013. Per the project:

“As we share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.”

This month’s topic is “A Regional Canadian Food”.

My mind immediately went to the years I spent living in Newfoundland. Newfoundland has a unique culture – even within the Atlantic Canadian provinces alone! – and that really comes through in their food. I was spoiled on some of the best seafood ANYWHERE, and was always trying new things.. rabbit stew. Flipper pie. Every manner of deep fried seafood imaginable. Unique preparations of fish and shellfish, and the most wonderful game meats.


St. John’s … this was home!

I love moose stew, and I’m proud to say that I make the most insanely amazing moose stew ever. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my hands on any moose in the past 7 years… and I’d be afraid to admit to just what depravity I’d agree to, just to get some at this point!

Part of what makes my moose stew insane is the inclusion of partridgeberry wine – a unique wine that is locally produced and readily available in Newfoundland. The tart, bright flavours of the wine work so beautifully with the gamey flavor of the meat… oh, it’s a work of art. I really, really need to get some moose meat soon. (Sorry, I mean.. “Gotta get me moose, b’y!”).


Yum. These guys are EVERYWHERE, back home. So tasty.

ANYWAY.

Partridgeberries are indigenous to Newfoundland, as well as Scandinavia. They’re tart little red berries that taste like a cross between a cranberry and a blueberry… you may know them as “lingonberries”, if you’re a fan of IKEA!

They are one of a few amazing berries that grow wild in Newfoundland, and they’re very popular in Newfoundland cuisine, appearing in jams, sauces, in candies, on cheesecake… and in wine. You can buy partridgeberry wine in local wine stores back home, as there are several Newfoundland wineries that specialize in it.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy partridgeberry wine here in Minnesota, anywhere I’ve seen. Homesick desperation is one of the mothers of invention in my kitchen, and a few years ago I created a recipe for partridgeberry wine. We were able to buy a case of the berries from a local wholesaler!

This makes a very full bodied, gorgeous wine. It’s a fairly sweet wine, with a great mouth feel .. very delicious, and very luxurious. Definitely worth the effort of finding a case of partridgeberries!

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!

Unable to get your hands on partridgeberries? I actually designed a “faux partridgeberry” wine recipe a while back, click here to go there!

Partridgeberry Wine
Makes about 5 gallons

15 pounds frozen partridgeberries
13 pounds granulated sugar
5 gallons water
2.5 teaspoon acid blend
2.5 teaspoon pectic enzyme
1 teaspoon nutrients
5 pounds golden raisins
1.25 teaspoon tannin
1 package Red Star Montrechet wine yeast

Allow the partridgeberries to partially thaw, then coarsely chop them (A food processor comes in handy!).

Place berries and sugar into a large (7+ gallon) pot, stir until well combined. Add water, stir well to dissolve sugar. Heat to ALMOST boiling – stirring constantly – then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in acid blend, enzyme, nutrient, and raisins.

Pour mixture into a freshly sanitized 1.5 gallon fermenting bucket. 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 long, sanitized spoon, 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!

After a week or so, use your sanitized siphon setup to rack the must into a freshly sanitized 6- 6.5 gallon carboy. Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or so.

Using sanitized equipment, rack the partridgeberry wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized 5 or 6 gallon carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.

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!).

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Homemade Cranberry-Cuties “Christmas Wine”

I’ve mentioned our holiday homebrewing tradition before. Rather than deal with crowds, traffic, people, and the kind of over-stimulation that drives us both nuts, we use holidays as a bit of quiet time at home, enjoying each others’ company… while brewing up something tasty.

A few days before the holiday, my husband clears space in the brew room, while I design our recipe. For our Christmas day brew, we try to do something holiday themed, both to remind us of our “holiday”, and so that the final wine will be something appropriately themed for future holiday consumption. You know, being labeled as “Christmas wine”!

The first year of this tradition was when we designed the recipe for “Cuties” Mead, which has since gone on to become a favorite not only with us, but with other homebrewers. Cheers, guys!

As I’d mentioned last Christmas, our 2010 Christmas Wine was a cranberry-Cuties wine. Oh MAN, did it ever turn out amazing! 1 year to the day we brewed it, we were serving this up at a friend’s “orphan’s Christmas” Dr Who marathon. (Having moved our traditional holiday brew day up 1 day to accommodate such a worthy event!).

home brew cranberry orange wine recipe

This turns out a gorgeous light red, fruity wine. The Cuties oranges work beautifully with the cranberries, and the result is a smooth, festive libation. We really love the use of “crack oranges” to flavor our holiday brews… and they certainly didn’t disappoint in this recipe. Don’t wait til next Christmas to put a batch of this on – those Cuties oranges are at peak season for another month or so!

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!

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Faux Lingonberry Wine Recipe

Ah, Lingonberry wine. Love it!

Back home in Canada, I remember my first taste of it – though it’s called Partridgeberry Wine there. Ah, beautiful. Though I’d never been a fan of red GRAPE wines, Lingonberry wine became a fast favorite for me. Not only was it great for drinking, it was a favorite ingredient for cooking wild game. It was one of 2 secret ingredients in my moose stew. Oh, yum. It’s been far too long…

Anyway, I digress. For those not in the know – or not living near an IKEA – Lingonberries/partridgeberries are a small berry that grows in boreal and tundra areas of Canada, Europe, and Asia. Tiny, round, ruby-red berries, they taste like a cross between a cranberry and a blueberry. They make fantastic muffins, cheesecake, jams, etc… when you can get them. You know, aside from the preserved products at IKEA.

A couple of years ago, I was inspired by lingonberry fudge offered at a local retailer – and I went on a search for wholesale lingonberries. I found em, bought a 25 lb case, and made MAGIC. Together, my husband and I made a 5 gallon batch of the most amazing lingonberry wine I’ve ever tasted. Most amazing wine that either of us has had, for that matter.

Though our supply of wine was dwindling last year, we didn’t end up buying a case of lingonberries, before it was too late. This year, we planned ahead… only to have those plans thwarted by mother nature. A bad crop meant NO lingonberry wine for us this year!

Luckily, we’d been notified that this may be the case, so I started a “Plan B” – I created a “faux lingonberry” wine! (more…)

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!

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Homemade Hard Apple Cider

After a long, overly hot summer… man, did it ever feel good to wake up to 44 degrees!

At this point, we lost our entire summer to the tornado – it happened May 22, and we’ve been busting our butts ever since. Any outdoor activities have been long hours of removing debris, hauling bricks, or construction. Sunburns all around, a heat stroke… Yeah, I’m about ready to commit the summer 0f 2011 to the books – complete write off.

I love fall. I love the smell of the air, the feel of it against my skin, the colors… everything. I love being able to go outside without worrying about the possibility of overheating. I love that fall means that winter is right around the corner. It’s like this perfect, happy, and drawn-out reward for surviving summer.

You know what else autumn brings? Apples.

It was actually an abundance of apples at our last home, that led to our home brewing hobby. (Read all about our first homebrewing attempt!).

We’re probably not going to have time to put on a batch this year, because… really. We still haven’t racked our wines that were due for it back in early June! It sucks, but by posting our recipe, we can live vicariously through you, my awesome readers!

If you haven’t attempted making hard cider or 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!

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How to Make Mint Wine – Mint Wine Recipe

The other day, I posted our recipe for Homemade Watermelon Wine.. While this is an excellent wine to make – and drink! – in the summertime, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share our other big favorite summer wine recipe.

Mint Wine.

I’m not kidding. It sounds a bit odd, and you’ll question the outcome at various stages along the way. Looking at our notes, we actually wrote “Don’t bother making again” in the notes! A year after starting the wine, however, we’re really glad we made it. This is a light, sweet, unique wine.. great served chilled. If you have some patience, you’ll be glad you stuck it out. This wine ferments lightly and sloooowly.

Other than that, mint is easy to make, and SUPER cheap if you – like a lot of people I know – have a patch of mint that’s bent on taking over your yard. A great summer project!

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!

Ready?

Homemade Mint Wine Recipe

5 cups mint, washed and packed
1 gallon water
3 lbs granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp wine tannin
1 tsp acid blend
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet Red Star “Champagne” brewing/wine yeast

Place mint in a large pot, add as much water as will fit in the pot (while still allowing for mashing!). Bring to a boil, remove from heat, steep for an hour.

Strain out mint leaves, pressing well. Reserve leaves. Add sugar to mint water, bring to a boil once again, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover with sanitized pot lid.

Once mixture has cooled to room temperature, add wine tanning, acid blend and yeast nutrient. Using a sanitized funnel, transfer cooled mixture to a sanitized 1 gallon carboy.

If you weren’t able to get a full gallon of mint “tea” out of the first batch, cover reserved mint leaves (or fresh ones, if you have plenty to spare!) with more water, and repeat – without adding any more sugar or additives. Use fresh mint/water mixture to top up the liquid in the carboy, until it’s almost full.

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 (fully cooled!) carboy, cover with sanitized air lock. Let sit, undisturbed, overnight.

Within 48 hours, you should notice a little fermentation activity – bubbles in the airlock, carbonation and /or swirling in the wine must. This means you’re good to go! Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or two.

Using sanitized equipment, rack the clarified wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized 1 gallon carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.

Repeat racking process every few months. By 1 year in, your wine should be very clear, and VERY tasty!

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:

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!).

Serve chilled.

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Homemade Watermelon Wine

Apparently today is “National Watermelon Day”. I had today’s recipe all ready to publish, but I have the *perfect* recipe for watermelon day, so…

You know, one of these days, I’m gonna make a calendar of all of these “days”, and keep them in mind ahead of time. Sounds like a much better plan than ending up distracted at the last minute!

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a homemade wine recipe. Watermelon wine is not only tasty, it’s easy to make and a unique choice for summer imbibing. Also, we’re a little overdue on putting on this summer’s batch. What can I say, the tornado screwed with our summer brewing schedule when it turned our lives upside down!

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!

This recipe uses few ingredients, but it’s important to make them the right ones. Most importantly: (more…)

Homemade “Cuties” Orange Mead Recipe

This is the first mead that we ever made, and it turned out so amazing… everything else has pretty much paled in comparison. Definitely one of our top 3 favorite homemade wine recipes!

If you’re going to make a batch of this, act fast – we used peels from “Cuties” oranges, which are only in season for a few months each year. Love them… I can snarf a crate by myself, in a sitting, if left to my own devices. Yum. Anyway, I think their season end is coming up, so stock up! This starts out incredibly fragrant – almost like a delicious, fruity tea – but don’t drink much of it before fermenting! The finished product is even better!

Another nice thing about this wine is that it is very good when fairly “young”, compared to many meads – At only 6 months old, this tasted amazing. Age it if you like – we haven’t been able to keep any long enough to see how it ages. Our first 5 gallon batch was almost all gone LONG before the next Cuties season had started!

The ABV on this came out to about 8%. If you haven’t read our primer to home brewing, it starts here, with parts 2 and 3 here and here.

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Homemade Mango Wine Recipe

Here we are: finally posting an actual wine recipe!

When we first started making wine, the first few batches had to rely on recipes we found online. It didn’t take long before we figured things out on our own, and started coming up with our very own recipes. This wine is not only one of the very first recipes we created, it’s one of our absolute favorite wines to drink, and also one of the cheapest/easiest to make. In other words, a damn fine foot to start out on!

This wine starts out very orange, thick, and pulpy. It won’t look anything like wine for a few months, as the pulp and yeast slowly settle. When all is said and done, you will be left with a crystal clear, pale, straw colored wine. Sweet, fruity, delicious wine that goes down a little too well… and costs only $1-2/bottle!

Another nice thing about this wine is that it is very good when “young”. Unlike many recipes, this one is tasty and ready to drink in only about 4-5 months! Age it if you like – we haven’t been able to keep any long enough to see how it ages!

The ABV on this comes out to about 15-16%.

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