There are several different genera plants called gooseberries but the gooseberries normally associated with wine-making are in the Ribes genus. This genus has about 150 species and includes the currants that also make good wine. The individual berries should be tasted first because some varieties are bitter even when fully ripe. The following steps will show how to make one gallon of gooseberry wine.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1.36 kg (3 lb) ripe gooseberries
- 1.14 kg (2 1/2 lb) fine sugar
- 3.3 litres (7 pints) water
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
- 1 crushed Campden tablet
- 1 package Champagne wine yeast
Heat the water and sugar to a slow boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Wash the gooseberries and remove the stems. Cull out any berries that are unripe or otherwise unfit. While a standard step for wine-making, it is especially important for gooseberries to be fully ripe to offset their astringent properties.
Put the sorted berries in a nylon straining bag, tie it and mash the berries to a pulp in the primary container. Pour in the boiling sugar water and cover with a clean cloth. When this mixture cools to room temperature, stir in the yeast nutrient and crushed Campden tablet, ensuring they dissolve completely.
Place the cloth back over the container and wait for 12 hours. Stir in the pectic enzyme, re-cover the container and let it stand for another 12 hours before adding the yeast.
Stir daily for seven days. Drip drain the nylon straining bag over the container to get the remaining juice, but do not squeeze it. Allow this mixture to stand overnight.
Rack the juice into the second container, top up if needed and fit the airlock. Repeat this step every 30 days until new sediment no longer forms. This will normally need to be done at least three times.
Stabilize with potassium sorbate and a crushed Campden tablet if desired. Sweeten as much as you want and wait at least 10 days to ensure the wine has stopped fermenting. Rack the wine into bottles and age for at least one year.
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