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I picked some garden grown red currants a good while ago and threw them straight in the freezer without washing them. I'm planning on making wine with them soon. Most recipes I've read recommend rinsing them before crushing, but how should I go about doing this?

Should I let the berries thaw first or just rinse them while frozen? Is rinsing even necessary if I'm scalding them with hot water?

  • Define scalding? Hot tap water may kill some bugs, but probably not enough. Pouring boiling water over the berries may be better in this regard but it’s not a fool proof way to heat everything up to high enough temp. Putting the berries in water and bringing the temp up to 170 for 10 minutes will do the trick. – Escoce Oct 10 at 15:01
  • By scalding I meant boiling water. I will consider heating up the berries in water on the stove as you suggested. Would doing so have a considerable effect on the taste? – Coffeeman Oct 10 at 15:52
  • I can’t say for sure because every fruit is different. But I don’t think it would. It WILL help setup the pectins, so be sure to use pectinase in your must after it’s cooled when you are mixing in your other ingredients and let it sit overnight before pitching the yeast so the pectinase can do its job before alcohol production begins. – Escoce Oct 10 at 15:55
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Too late to rinse them now. When ready to use, after thawing them out, I would suggest adding K-meta or one crushed Campden tablet to them per pound, let that sit for a day or two. This will kill any bad yeast and bacteria that might be on the fruit. Then make your wine and pitch plenty of good wine yeast. The good yeast will overcome both the K-meta/Campden and whatever wild contaminants might have been in the fruit.

  • By "plenty of good wine yeast", do you mean I should use more than usual (one packet, I suppose). – Coffeeman Oct 9 at 11:12
  • One pack is probably enough for up to 5-6 gallons (21-23 liters), and two packs would be plenty. But I don't know how much you're making... some people make 10-15 gallons of wine at a time, or more. Just use a reasonable amount so that it overtakes any wild organisms, that is the key point. – dmtaylor Oct 9 at 20:22
  • I should've mentioned it, but I'm making 15-20L of wine. One pack it is then. Thank you very much for the help! – Coffeeman Oct 9 at 20:32

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