I made raspberry wine last year. I haven’t talked about it before because I made it and racked it before I started blogging. I also made it before I owned a pH meter or an acid test kit, so I was really flying blind. How do you make raspberry wine without measuring the acidity? I measured what I could, then I consulted Ben Rotter’s table of fruit data. It’s a goldmine of data about sugar, acid, and tannins in fruit as well as juice yield.
Raspberry Wine Recipe
My 10.75 lb (4.9 kg) of raspberries yielded 3 quarts (2.8 liters) of SG 1.050 juice. My notes show that I expected a TA of 14-18 g/L, though when I look at the table now that seems low. I picked the fruit at a U-pick farm after some unusually hot weather. My notes don’t say, but maybe I was expecting the hot weather to lower the acid. At any rate, I dissolved 3 lb (1.4 kg) sugar in 3.3 quarts (3.1 liters) of water. I treated with sulfite, pectic enzyme, and nutrient then pitched the yeast. It fermented to dryness in less than two weeks.
More on raspberry wine
- Raspberry Wine: How the pros do it – How commercial raspberry wine is made, and what home winemakers can learn from it.
- Raspberry Wine: A look at existing recipes – Home winemakers do it differently. The hows and whys of homemade raspberry wine.
- Know Your Ingredients: Raspberries – what home winemakers need to know about raspberries
Promising, but too acidic
I did some measurements recently:
SG = 0.992
TA = 14 g/L
pH = 2.96
volume = 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters)
It tasted tart, but it wasn’t the undrinkable firewater you might expect. There was a very nice flavor in there, and it complemented the raspberry aroma very well. I decided to use potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3), to take down the acid a notch, at a 1.5 tsp/Gallon (2.4 g/L) rate. I’m hoping to reduce the acid by 2-3 g/L. I’ve set it aside, with the cherry wine, and intend to taste them both in a few months. Maybe that’s all the raspberry wine needs, or maybe the acidity will still be too much. If so, it’ll be time to sweeten it a little.
Do as I say, not as I do!
I think this is going to have a happy ending, but you really should do your own measurements. Bookmark Ben’s site, and not just for the fruit data, and use it to help make your own recipes, but make final decisions about acid and fruit proportions based on accurate measurements of the fruit you are using.
Update 12/9/2008 – It needed sweetening
It’s still too tart, even after neutralizing some of the acid, so I sweetened my raspberry wine.
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