Homemade Blueberry Wine
Originally published September 5, 2013, Updated on 10/29/20
Last summer, we happened upon an AMAZING deal on fresh blueberries at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. As we looked at the cases upon cases of blueberries that were available at that ridiculous price, Porter and I had the exact same thought: We should buy a TON of these, and make wine!
We had made a batch of wine from frozen blueberries a few years ago, and that was amazing - fresh could only be better, right?
We made something like 10 gallons of this, but I've pared our recipe to be done "by the gallon", so you can adjust for how many blueberries you have to work with.
No fresh blueberries? No problem, just substitute an equal weight of frozen blueberries! .
As is, this wine batch ran pretty dry at the end, so we sweetened it up with a bit of sugar at the end. We like our wine pretty sweet, though.
How to Make Blueberry Wine
If you haven't attempted making wine before, don't be intimidated! Check out our primer to home brewing:
Just a small handful of entries, and you'll be good to go!
Blueberry Wine Ingredients
This wine recipe requires only a few ingredients to make - super simple! Here is some information about those base ingredients that you may find helpful.
You can use fresh or frozen blueberries to make this wine. There are just a few differences in how to use them, and things to keep in mind:
When using fresh blueberries, be sure to use ripe berries, and pick through to remove anything that's not ripe, is moldy, etc.
I like to whirl the blueberries in the food processor to break them up a bit, and let them sit in the sugar for a couple hours before starting on the wine making, as it - maceration - draws the juices out of the berries... but this isn’t totally necessary.
When using frozen blueberries, you can skip the maceration process. Freezing and thawing blueberries breaks them down in a way that ends up with a result similar to maceration.
While sugar is technically optional when making wine, NOT adding any sugar will result in an INCREDIBLY dry wine.
Sweet tooth aside, I find that pretty much any fermented fruit /fruit juice beverage (wine, mead, cider) just tastes better when there’s some degree of sweetness there. It really brings out the fruit flavour.
Type of Sugar
In terms of type of sugar, we prefer to use plain white granulated sugar for this blueberry wine. Sometimes we’ll use brown sugar for part of the sugar content to shake things up a bit - it gives it a richer flavour.
Feel free to use either type, raw cane sugar, or a mixture of any/all of these.
Aside from flavour, there’s the matter of alcohol content.
Your wine’s final ABV will vary wildly dependent on a few things: The initial sugar content of the berries you use, how much sugar you add, and what kind of yeast you use (more on that in a bit)
Any amount of sugar will result in a higher alcohol content. Sugar - both in the base wine itself, and from the added sugars - is what feeds the yeast, the yeast eats up the sugars and gives off alcohol as the byproduct of that process.
More sugar = more food = more alcohol... to a point, anyway. About that...
The type of yeast you use will impact the alcohol content of the final product.
Yeast organisms don’t have an *unlimited* capacity to process sugar into alcohol. At some point, the environment they’re living in - the brewing wine - becomes too high in alcohol for the yeast to survive. They die off, the fermentation stops.
Different types of yeast have different tolerances for alcohol in the environment. That is, some yeast will be able to survive higher amounts of alcohol in the wine, so they’ll continue producing it longer than some other types.
Some types of yeast will bring you to something like an 8% ABV, while others will let things run wild until close to 20% ABV.
It’s good to know what you have in mind, when you choose your yeast.
If you want a sweet wine with a low-ish ABV - without having to back sweeten it (more on that in a bit) - choose a yeast with a lower tolerance for alcohol.
If you’re looking for a dry wine with a low ABV, choose a yeast with a lower tolerance for alcohol, and don’t use a ton of sugar.
If you want a sweet wine with a high ABV, use a bunch of sugar with a high-tolerance yeast... and be prepared to backsweeten it.
If you want a dry wine with a high ABV, use a fair amount of sugar and a high tolerance yeast.
Back Sweetening Your Homemade Blueberry Wine
Sometimes, you’ll find that the yeast went a bit too far with their smorgasbord, and you end up with a Blueberry wine that’s not as sweet as you’d like it.
... and that’s when you back sweeten it! You can read my How to Stabilize and Back Sweeten Wine post for information on how to back sweeten it.
More Home Brewing Recipes!
While you've got your current homebrew fermenting away, why not consider putting a batch of something else on, to occupy your wait time? Here are a few of my other wine, cider, and mead recipes:
Banana Wine Recipe
Blackberry Wine Recipe
Blackcurrant Wine Recipe
Cherry Wine Recipe
Cranberry Clementine Christmas Wine Recipe
Cranberry Wine Recipe
Faux Lingonberry Wine
Lychee Wine Recipe
Mango Strawberry Wine Recipe
Mango Wine Recipe
Mint Wine Recipe
Lychee Wine Recipe
Partridgeberry Wine Recipe
Passionfruit Wine Recipe
Peach Wine Recipe
Stone Fruit Wine Recipe
Strawberry Wine Recipe
Ube Wine Recipe
Watermelon Wine Recipe
Cider & Miscellaneous Homebrew Recipes
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Anyway, on to that Blueberry Wine Recipe!
Homemade Blueberry Wine
- Rinse and pick through blueberries, removing any that are moldy, etc. Place in a large pot, along with the sugar. Using a potato masher or VERY clean hands, stir and mash blueberries. Allow to sit for an hour or so, if you'd like.
- Add water, stir well. Heat to ALMOST boiling, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir in acid blend, enzyme, nutrient, and tannin.
- Pour mixture into a freshly sanitized fermenting bucket. Cover with sanitized lid and air lock, allow to cool to room temperature (overnight).
- The next morning, give the mixture a quick stir with a long, sanitized spoon, and – using sanitized equipment – take a gravity reading of the liquid (strain out any blueberries). Keep track of the number! (This is an optional step, but will allow you to calculate your final ABV %)
- Sprinkle yeast into fermenter, cover with sanitized cover and air lock. Within 48 hours, you should notice fermentation activity – bubbles in the airlock, carbonation and /or swirling in the wine must. This means you’re good to go!
- After a week or so, use your sanitized siphon setup to rack the must into a freshly sanitized carboy. Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or so.
- Using sanitized equipment, rack the blueberry wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.
- Rack one more time, leave it for another 3 months or so.
- When your wine has been racked a few times and shows NO more fermenting activity for a month or so (no bubbles in the airlock, no more sediment being produced, you can move on to bottling.
- Follow the instructions on your selected type of wine stabilizer to stop fermentation. For potassium sorbate, this needs to be done 2-3 days before bottling.
- Using sanitized equipment, take a gravity reading, then rack the wine into clean, sanitized bottles. Cork.