Country Winemaking Recipes

Equipment needed

1 Gallon, clear & dark demijohns
Airlocks & rubber bungs
1m clear siphon tube
Plastic funnel(s)
1 Gallon+ Plastic buckets or containers
1 Gallon+ Metal pans
Wooden kitchen spoons / stirrers
Teaspoon & Tablespoon
Tea Towel

Common ingredients needed

All purpose wine yeast
Wine yeast nutrient
Citric Acid (Fresh lemons will sometimes do)
Granulated white sugar
White or red grape concentrate (Pure supermarket grape juice could be used as an alternative)
Campden tablets

Birch Sap Wine (spring)

4 Litres birch sap
250 ml grape concentrate
1 tsp citric acid
Winemaking Yeast
Yeast nutrient
1kg sugar

Collect birch sap ideally in March, when the sap is rising in the tree. Ideally a hole drilled just under the bark,
where the tree becomes softer, with the hole facing upwards. Minimum of 2 foot of clear plastic tubing is ideal
for collecting the sap, which can be the same size as the hole or use a rubber bung to get a tighter fit in the
drilled hole, therefore use a smaller diameter tubing.


Collect into a plastic container (ideally 5 litre) which should then be transferred at home into a clean and
sterilised demi-john. The sap does give a sweet drink which can be drunk without being used in the winemaking
process and remember that the hole should be plugged, either with a removable bung for future collection or
with a snug fitting permanent 'repair' such as a stopper also made of birch.

Hawthorn Berry Wine (September, October, November)

0.5 Gallon Freshly collected hawthorn berries
0.5 Pint White grape juice concentrate
2.5lb White sugar
1 tsp Pectolase
1 tbs Citric Acid
1 Gallon Water
1 Campden Tablet
Yeast Nutrient

Rinse the freshly collected Hawthorn Berries (ideally september onwards) then place them
in a large bowl and pour over 6 pints of boiling water. When they have cooled, mash them well and
stir in the pectolase, crushed campden tablet and citric acid.

Leave this for 24 hours then add the grape juice, sugar, yeast & nutrient. Now leave covered in the
bowl for 5 days (in a warm place) and strain the lquid into a 1 gallon demijohn, top up to the base of
the neck with cold water and fit an airlock.


Elderberry Wine (September, October, November)

3lb freshly collected elderberries
3.5lb White sugar
1 tsp Citric Acid
1 Gallon Water
Yeast Nutrient

Collect the required quantity of elderberries, get a large container or two and, using a fork, carefully
strip the berries off the stalks into one of the containers (Use the other for the waste to compost or
put on an open fire - very therapeutic!)

Weigh them until the required amount is reached then mash them to a pulp. Pour on approx 0.75 gallon
of boiling water and let it cool before you add the citric acid, the yeast and the nutrient.

Leave it covered in a warm place for three days, stirring every day, then put the sugar in a bucket or container
and strain the liquid on to the sugar and stir vigorously until the sugar is dissolved.

Now pour this into a dark coloured demijohn, as this helps to retain the colour which may be lost if a clear
jar is used. Fit an airlock and leave in a warm place.

At first, elderberry wine can be quite vigorous when fermentation starts so use the 0.75 of a gallon
of water that was boiled originally, only top up when fermentation has subsided slightly.

Elderberry wine can take quite a while for fermentation to slow. It is recommended to keep the bottled wine
for at least six months before drinking.


Apple Wine (August, September, October)

6lb freshly collected apples (or windfall)
2.5lb White sugar
0.25 pint white grape concentrate
1 tsp Citric Acid
1 Gallon Water
Yeast Nutrient

Perfect for using up that heavy crop of apples! Weigh out the required quantity of apples. Fill a large pan
with one gallon of water and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat to simmer, then attack the apples!
Wash them then cut up and use everything, do not peel, use skins & brown patches (though good to
remove the pips). Simmer the apples for about quarter of an hour, then strain the resulting liquid onto the
sugar in another container and add the rind of the lemon, together with the grape juice, yeast and nutrient.

Cover the bucket with a tea towel or similar and leave in a warm place for 24 hours.

Pour into a clear demijohn and fit an airlock.

*** Apple wine can be very vigorous at the start of fermenting, so do not fill the jar beyond the base of the
neck or you could end up with an airlock full of mashed apple liquid and need to pour some out! ***

Leave this to ferment for 4 weeks before siphoning this into another clean demijohn and airlock to continue
fermenting. Best left for 6 months before bottling and even thinking about drinking!


Oak Leaf Wine (May, June is best)

1 Gallon freshly collected oak leaves
3lb White sugar
1 tsp Citric Acid
1 Gallon Water
Yeast Nutrient

Place up to 6 pints of water in a large pan and bring to the boil, dissolving the sugar in it. When this clears, pour
the boiling water over the oak leaves and leave this to infuse overnight. Then strain in to a demijohn, adding the
citric acid, yeast and nutrient and give it a good shake! (with your hand over the top of the jar!) Top up the demijohn
to the bottom of the neck with cold water, fit an airlock and leave in a warm place to ferment. Oak leaf wine benefits
racking again, after it has cleared the first time.


Sloe Gin (September, October)

1L Kilner preserving jar, half filled with sloe berries
125g castor sugar
Almond essence (optional)
1-2 Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Dry gin

Ideally pick the sloes after the first frost and prick each berry 2 or 3 times before adding or returning to the
jar. (Old folklore suggests it is bad luck to prick them with a fork and a thorn from the blackthorn should be used)
A skewer or carefully with a knife should suffice.

Add the castor sugar then top up with dry gin (no need to use expensive gin!!)

Shake the jar well, daily, until the sugar is dissolved.

After a week or two, or at the start if you prefer, add a few drops of almond essence or a couple of cinnamon sticks,
broken in half. It is useful to strain the liquid before final bottling. Sloe gin made mid September to mid October should
be fine for Christmas.


Rowan Berry Wine (September, October)

3lb freshly collected rowan berries
3lb White sugar
1 tbs Citric Acid
0.5 pint Concentrated red grape juice
0.5lb Wheat
1 Gallon Water
Yeast Nutrient

Rinse the rowan berries and then pour 1 gallon of boiling water over them and leave to stand for four days,
covered with a cloth or tea towel. Then add the grape concentrate, wheat, citric acid and sugar, stirring well
until all the sugar is dissolved. Then you can add the yeast and nutrient. Leave this for a further 16 days! and
allow it to ferment, closely covered before straining the liquid into a fermenting jar and fitting an airlock.

Elderflower Cordial (June, July)

20 elderflower flowerheads
1 lemon (sliced)
1.5 kg (3.5 lbs) of sugar
2 tsp of citric acid
1.2 ltr (2.5 pints) boiling water

Boil 1.2 ltr (2.5 pints) of water

Fill a suitable large bowl with the other ingredients.

Pour the water over the ingredients, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

You may have to skim the surface of the water to remove any scum that forms
Ideally cover the bowl with something like a tea towel.

Stir the mixture twice a day for five days.

After five days, strain the mixture though a fine sieve or muslin and then strain into sterile screw topped bottles.
Refrigerate. (alternatively, use plastic screw top bottles and freeze immediately.

Dilute with 5 parts water to serve.

The following extremely comprehensive and invaluable list was compiled by James Smith and contains all you need to produce
a wonderful varied range of harvest wines.

General Fresh Fruit Wine Making Procedure
These are general procedures and the method may vary for certain types of wines, but generally you won't go wrong if you follow these procedures.
The first step is to decide what type of wine you are going to make. Once this has been established look at least 2 or 3 different recipes, or follow one that you had success with in the past. The purpose of looking at 2 or 3 different recipes is to see what the various wine makers change in the recipe and by how much.
Some wine makers may add additional fruit, or variations of the principle acids in winemaking for example.
Based on this research you can decide what ingredients make most sense for your recipe.
Once you have decided upon a recipe to follow, write it down. Record your recipe, this will provide a record of how you made your batch of wine.


-Primary fermentor - Sterilised food bucket with lid & airlock.
-Secondary fermentor - Sterilised 5 litre glass or plastic demijohn and airlock
-Pillow case / muslin
-500ml to 1 litre bottles for bottling
-Heat pad if room below 20'C
-Weighing Scales
-Hydrometer for SG (Standard Gravity) Readings & 250ml measuring cylinder
-(Optional) pH indicator paper


-Pectic enzyme: when using liquid use 5 to 10 drops in fruit wines instead of teaspoon measure listed in most recipes.
The teaspoon measures in recipes are for powered pectic enzyme.
-Campden Tablets: 5 campden tablets are the same as 1/4 teaspoon of metabisulphite.
Add to ingredients and allow 24 hours prior to adding yeast. The tablet kills off any natural yeasts present in the ingredients.
-Stabiliser: A common wine stabilizer to stop continued fermentation is Potassium Sorbate - do not over use it - recommended dosage is 1/2 teaspoon per 5 litres.

Optional Ingredients

-White or red grape concentrate: 140ml to 280ml per 5 litres to add body and bouquet to the wine.
-Raisins: 250g per 5 litres to add body and sweetness. Sultanas for white or rose wines and raisins for red wines.
-Bananas: 1.3kg fresh bananas to add body to wines or add banana wine to wine lacking body.
-Acid: 1 tsp acid blend or citric acid (or use the juice of lemon)
-Tannin / Tea: A dry tea wine is useful for blending with other wines that may seem a little flat or dull, due to low tannin content. Alternatively tannin powder or 250ml of tea can be added with ingredients prior to fermentation.

With apples, unless varieties are specified, the more acid and sour varieties are preferred and the sweeter eating varieties are to be avoided. Delicious apples should be avoided. Many fresh fruit wines lack body and could use one or more of the above ingredients to improve the quality and flavour.
Most fruit wines need a touch of sweetness in them. Sweeten wines at bottling time.


1 Wash fruit, remove stones, pips, seeds and bruised parts.
2 Freeze & thaw / chop / smash / chop and simmer fruit and put into primary fermentor.
3 Add 2 litres of cool boiled water, 1 crushed campden tablet, and all ingredients apart from yeast and yeast nutrient.
4 (Optional step - Acid pH should be 3 to 4, add more acid to lower pH if needed)
5 SG reading should be 1.080 to 1.090, adjust with sugar, fruit and water
6 Leave for 24 hours for the campden tablet to breakdown and then add the yeast and nutrient
7 Stir daily to agitate pulp
8 After 5 days, strain through a pillow case (when small particle must) or muslin (for more coarse must) to remove pulp, then pour into secondary fermentor
9 Top off to neck with cool boiled water and leave to ferment for 3 weeks,
10 Taste and take SG reading
11 If greater than 1.000 or if still too sweet, leave for further fermentation
12 If too dry / sour, or not sweet enough, add 100g to 300g sugar (to taste or required SG) and potassium sorbate (to stop further fermentation), and siphon from yeast.
13 If struggling to clear, add fining agent. Should have an SG of about 1.000 at time of bottling.
14 Siphon from yeast into bottles.
Specific Gravity & Alcohol Content
Original Gravity (OG) - Measurement before adding yeast.
Terminal Gravity (TG) - Measurement after fermentation is complete.
% Alcohol = (((1.05 x (OG - TG)) / TG) / 0.79)

Wines Fruit Grape* Sugar Pectolase Acid blend / citric acid / juice of 1 lemon Tannin (or 250ml tea)
Apricot Wine 2kg stoned apricots 250ml white grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp ¼ tsp
Apricot Wine 2 2kg stoned apricots 250g sultanas 800g 1 tsp Juice of 2 lemons ¼ tsp
Apricot Wine 3 1 kg Dried Chopped Apricots 250g Sultanas 800g brown 1 tsp 1 tsp ¼ tsp or tea
Apricot & Date Wine 1 kg Chopped Dates, 500g Chopped Dried Apricots, 250g barley   800g brown 1 tsp Juice - 2 lemons & 2 oranges ¼ tsp or tea
Apricot, Raspberry & Elderberry Rose Wine 500g Chopped Dried Apricots, 170g raspberries, 85g dried elderberries, 250ml rose petals 250ml white grape concentrate 800g brown 1 tsp   ¼ tsp or tea
Apple Wine
(Light bodied)
2.5kg apples, mixed varieties 225g Sultanas 800g 1/2 tsp 1 lemon zest & juice  
Apple Wine (Medium bodied) 5.5kg apples, mixed varieties   800g 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp. acid blend + 1 tsp. ascorbic acid ¼ tsp
Apple Wine (Spiced) 5.5kg mixed Fuji and Gala apples, 2g cloves, 2 x 3 inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces, 14g shredded ginger root 250g chopped golden raisins 400g brown 3 tsp    
Apple Wine 3kg Crushed Apples 250ml white grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp Yes
Apple Wine 5 Litres Juice   300g 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp. acid blend + 1 tsp. ascorbic acid ¼ tsp
Apple & Raspberry Cider 5 Litres Apple & Raspberry Juice   300g      
Barley Wine 500g Barley 350g Raisins 1kg 1 tsp Juice of 2 Lemons  
Blackberry, Loganberry,
Dewberry / Raspberry Wine

1.5kg Fruit 250ml red grape concentrate 700g 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp  
Banana Wine 2 kg Fresh Bananas / 400g dried (boil 30mins, strain & discard pulp) 350g Sultanas /
250ml white grape concentrate
800g 1 tsp 2 tsp acid blend / citric acid ¼ tsp
Banana Wine (medium bodied) 400g dried Bananas (boil 30mins, strain & discard pulp) 250g chopped raisins 1kg brown sugar ½ tsp 2 tsp citric acid  
Banana Wine (medium bodied 2) 1.5 kg Fresh Bananas (boil 30mins, strain & discard pulp) 250g chopped sultanas 900g
½ tsp 1 lemon &
1 orange (juice only)
Banana Wine (heavy bodied) 2 kg Fresh Bananas (boil 30mins, strain & discard pulp) 250g chopped sultanas 1kg
1 tsp 1 lemon &
1 orange
(juice only)
Banana Wine (heavy bodied 2) 1.5 kg Fresh Bananas (boil 30mins, strain & discard pulp) 500g chopped sultanas 900g 1 tsp 1&1/4 tsp. acid blend ¼ tsp
Blackcurrant Wine 1.5 kg Blackcurrants 250ml red grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp Yes
Blueberries 2kg Blueberries 250ml red grape concentrate or 300g raisins 800g 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp  
Cherry Wine 2 Kg Stoned Cherries 250ml red grape concentrate 825g 1 tsp 2 tsp ¼ tsp
Cranberry Wine 1.5kg Cranberries 250ml red grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp Yes
Cranberry & Raisin Wine (Add 50:50 Fizzy Water to Wine)
1.5kg Cranberries or
5 Litres of Juice
500g Raisins 800g 1/2 tsp    
Date Wine 1kg Stoned Dates 250g Raisins        
Elderberry Wine (Fresh Berries) 1.5kg of Fresh Elderberries & 7g Oak Chips   700g 1 tsp 1 tsp  
Elderberry Wine (Dried Berries) 300g Dried Elderberries & 7g Oak Chips 300g Raisins 700g 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp  
Fig Wine 1 kg Dried Figs 250g Raisins 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp  
Gooseberry Wine 1.5kg of Gooseberries 250ml white grape concentrate 700g 1 tsp    
Grape Wine   7kg squashed grapes! 500g 1 tsp 1 tsp Yes
Jalapeno Wine 12 fresh Jalapenos (Pureed) 500g Raisins 800g 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp  
Peach Wine 2 kg Stoned Peaches 250ml white grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp ¼ tsp
Parsnip Wine 1.8 kg parsnips (boiled) & 1 ripe banana 250ml white grape concentrate 1kg 1 tsp 2 lemons, zest & juice 1/2 tsp
Mixed Berry Wine (Frozen) 1kg Blueberries, 200g Raspberries, 800g Summer Fruits 250ml red grape concentrate 700g 1 tsp    
Pear Cider 2 Kg Pears & 2 Litres Apple Juice   300g 3 tsp    
Pear Cider 4 Kg Pears   400g 4 tsp    
Pear Wine 2 Kg Pears 250 ml white grape concentrate 800g 4 tsp 1 tsp Yes
Plum Wine 2kg Stoned Plumbs 250 ml red grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp   ¼ tsp
Pineapple 1.5 litres pineapple juice   600g 1 tsp   ¼ tsp
Redcurrant Wine 1.5 2kg Redcurrants 250 ml red grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp  
Rhubarb Wine 1 kg Chopped Rhubarb (15 Stalks) (+ the sugar only for 3 days) 250ml white grape concentrate 1kg Sugar      
Rosehip Wine 1 kg Rosehips   800g to 1kg 1 tsp Yes & Lemon Zest Tea
Strawberry Wine 2 Kg Strawberries 250 ml red grape concentrate 800g 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 1/8 tsp
Tea Wine 1 litre of tea (no milk)! PG tip or Fruit tea! 250ml white grape concentrate 800g 1 tsp 1 tsp Yes

2 litres watermelon juice   450g 1 tsp 2 ½ tsp 1/8 tsp

Tea Bag Wine (To add to flat / dull wines lacking tannin)

A dry tea wine is useful for blending with other wines that may seem a little flat or dull, due to low tannin content.

Group A:
10 teabags, depending on the strength desired. If flavouring/aroma is desired, add additional 4 herbal or fruit flavoured tea bags of your choice.
250g chopped raisins or sultanas
1 medium orange, well washed and chopped in a food processor
1 lemon, well washed and chopped in a food processor
50ml Steen's Pure Cane Syrup OR 100ml pure maple syrup
1kg. white sugar

Group B:
1/2 tsp. acid blend
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 tsp. pectic enzyme
1 campden tablets, crushed

Dissolve all of group B in 50ml warm water.
Day 1: Make 2 litres of tea with ingredients from group A. First bring water to a rolling boil and then add the tea bags. Allow to steep for about an hour or until water has cooled to around 30'C. Remove the tea bags. Add remaining Group A and all of group B ingredients. Stir mixture until everything is dissolved. Transfer all of this mixture, including fruit pulp, into a primary fermenter and top up with boiled cooled water. Cover fermenter with plastic lid or Saran Wrap and allow to rest overnight in a dark place.

Group C:
50ml warm (not hot) tap water. Add 1 packet of wine yeast to water. Allow yeast to rehydrate for 30 minutes in just water. Then add a small pinch of yeast nutrient.
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
Leave it alone for a few hours to start working.

Day 2: Prepare group C. Give this about 4 hours to come alive and pitch into primary fermenter. Gently stir the mixture and cover.

Days 3 to 6: Punch down must and very gently stir mixture daily.

Day 7: Strain the must into a demijohn or demijohn; top up to the shoulder with cooled boiled water.

Beyond: Ferment to dry. Rack when necessary and add a crushed campden tablet at each racking. Make all required SG, and pH checks throughout the entire process. Leave to clear before bottling. Sparkalloid works well for clearing. Add potassium sorbate / campden tablet prior to finishing.