Saturday, June 4, 2011

Strawberry Wine

This is our first time trying strawberry wine. After doing a little reading about this particular wine, we've become very excited. E. C. Kraus at Home Wine says that strawberry wine has as much complexity and aroma as any popular grape wine. Not only that, it's hard to ruin. Strawberry wine is very forgiving to the amateur winemaker. He went so far as to say, he's never tasted bad strawberry wine. That's a good thing for us, so today we took a shot at it. We're so looking forward to a new variety of great tasting table wine.

We're brewing five gallons and the whole process will take about a year. The process has several steps. Today we're taking the first step. We thought about saving this post for the end of the year when we drink the wine, but decided a play-by-play posting strategy would be funner.

The first step has three parts. One, cut and quarter 10 quarts of strawberries for the "must". Two, prepare the must for yeast. Must is a combination of strawberries, water and sugar to make 5 gallons. Three, begin the yeast starter. Wait 24 hours then add it to the must. Each of these steps are represented by the picture set below.

Step #1: Preparing the berries. Thanks Bel for picking this morning. Our patch at home is slowing down, but there was plenty at the local farm this morning!
Step #2 preparing the must. C. James up to his elbows in delightful redness pressing out the berries.
The finished must is 10 quarts of strawberries (2 gallons), 23 cups sugar and 3 gallons of water.
Step # 3 yeast starter. We mixed one package of champagne yeast with about a cup of must. The frothy delight in the dish tells us that the yeast is active and doing it's job! We'll add it to the 5 gallon must tomorrow at 8:00 (24 hours later).


  1. Your kids must had a really fun time pressing and crushing those strawberries.

  2. This is one I have been wanting to try. I just dont know where I can get my hands on 10 quarts of organic strawberries. I guess I am going to have to figure that out, or plant way more strawberries. Cant wait to hear how it tastes.

  3. Oh I am so excited that you are doing this! I am going picking this week and it is on the list of things to do! :) Love that ya can't Ruin It!!

  4. It sure looks delicious! As fast as I wash and cut them up..the sour cream is waiting for them...I don't think I'd make it to 10 quarts for wine :o)

  5. Wow, I didn't realize until now that I hadn't responded to your comments. How rude of me!

    Malay-Kadazan, The kids have been having a great time with it. Every time I open the bucket to stir they both come running to help. They're a little messy; things get a little sticky, but they're worth it!

    Jane, I wish these were organic strawberries, but sadly they're not. Around here, we shoot for a percentage and accept that. Our peach wine this August will be organic. We're using our own peaches. We didn't spray so we have lots of worms. But nothing will go to waste. We'll just cut out the worm rot before we throw them into the wine vat.

    Apple Pie Gal, Did you begin a batch? I hope you have tons of success. Thanks for following our blog. I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.

    Ginny, we're the same way with our own berries. We could never save 10 quarts for wine; they're to precious for other uses. We had to go to a U-pick farm for these.

  6. I am so going to try this! Our berries are just starting to come on.

  7. I think you should go for it. You can find a recipe just about anywhere you look. Thanks for following our blog. I look forward to getting to know you and yours.

  8. hey! great work on this - i've been wanting to try also.. i'll be watching with interest.

  9. Ohiiofarmgirl, it's definitely worth trying -lots of fun and very rewarding. Since we first gave it a try we've not been able to stop.