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Just harvested some green gooseberries from the allotment, and as I don't like eating them, i thought i'd make some wine.

Is there any tips anyone can offer me, or any good methods to follow? This will be the first time i've brewed anything and i'm really looking forward to it :)

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I would:

  • first freeze the gooseberries to break the cell walls.
  • Then I would quickly boil them up with some sugar to steralise them.
  • Then I would let it cool in a covered pan.
  • once cool, place into demijon
  • then add paectin and yeast to the mixture.
  • Wait 2 weeks
  • rack into a secondary
  • wait one week and then bottle.

I'd also get a copy of this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Steps-Winemaking-C-Berry/dp/1854861395

  • Brilliant, i'd heard that it was best to freeze them first which is what i've already done. I've just brought that book too, so waiting for that to arrive! – Ben Andrews Jul 15 '15 at 7:50
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Things to buy, obtainable from your local homebrew shop for pretty cheap:

  • Wine yeast
  • Sanitizing agent (I use Potassium metabisulfites)
  • A tube for siphoning

About actually making the wine, the process is the following:

  • Sanitize everything that touches the soon-to-be wine

  • Wash the berries. If you want to be extra cautious, you can boil them in just enough water to cover them.

  • Put the berries in a container with as much water as you want wine. Put a little bit more water if you want to be precise, because you might lose some when separating the yeast from the good wine.
  • Add sugar. The quantity depends on how much fruit and water you used. Look it up on the internet, see if people have done the same recipe before you, and how good it was.
  • Cover the whole thing. You want air to be able to escape but not enter. One trick for this if you don't have equipement is to use an air baloon in which you poke a hole with a needle. wrap it around the lip of your bottle.
  • If possible, hide the solution from sunlight.
  • Add wine yeast.
  • Wait a few weeks. The solution should bubble.
  • Once it stops bubbling, siphon the solution to another (secondary) container, leaving the dead yeast and fruits at the bottom. It may or not start bubbling again.
  • Wait for the solution to clear some more. At this time, you can optionally add a clearing agent. I use the same potassium metabisulfites that I use for sanitizing, in smaller quantities. This is not possible with every sanitizing agent, watch out before poisoning yourself!
  • Siphon again into your final bottle once the solution is all clear.
  • Enjoy or keep for ageing!

I've made fruit wine before, some advice I would give you is to make sure no branches go into the wine, it gives bad taste and I think it's toxic.

  • Thank you so much, this has already helped clarify what i need to do. Do i need to mash the fruit up before i add the water or just leave them whole? – Ben Andrews Jul 15 '15 at 7:49
  • Yes, but how much depends on what you want to do. I would suggest mashing enough so that the peel doesnt prevent the water from getting any flavor, but not making juice with the fruit. But that is only a suggestion! (not mashing will prevent your fruit from having any effect on your wine, it will get a peel taste at best) Some kinds of fruit do not require mashing because they are already permeable to water. Figs are an example. – M__ Jul 16 '15 at 12:16

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