Strawberry Wine Recipe
Made right - IE as a sweet, NOT dry wine - homemade strawberry wine is fantastic!
It's also a great way to use up large amounts of strawberries. I'm sure we're not alone in having had those times when our desire to go berry picking resulted in WAY more strawberries than we'd be able to eat before they go bad!
As wines go, this one is pretty basic - you get some fruit and some sugar. Add some water and yeast, and let it do it's thing for a while, before you move the wine off the fruit and let it continue doing its thing. Repeat a few times, put it in bottles, and let it age.
Aging is important - the wine you get when it first starts resembling wine is only technically potable. Aging makes it smooth out and turn into something you'll actually LIKE drinking!
Strawberry Wine Recipe Ingredients
This homemade strawberry wine recipe uses few ingredients, but it's important to make them the right ones. Most importantly:
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, there are just a few differences in how to use them, and things to keep in mind:
Use ripe strawberries, picking through to remove anything that's not ripe, is moldy, etc. Hull them and discard the leaves/stems. I like to chop the strawberries and let them sit in sugar for a couple hours before starting on the wine making, as it - maceration - draws the juices out of the berries
Choose frozen strawberries that do NOT have added sugar, as that will affect the recipe. If you MUST use strawberries with added sugar, cut the recipe sugar by about 2 cups and cross your fingers! You'll likely have to adjust sweetening after the fact anyway.
When using frozen strawberries - with or without sugar - you can skip the maceration process. Freezing and thawing strawberries breaks them down in a way that ends up with a result similar to maceration.
Type of Sugar
Use plain white granulated sugar, as brown sugar will overpower the delicate taste of the strawberries.
Strawberry wine really needs to be a sweet wine, or it doesn't taste like much of anything. Depending on how your yeast progresses, you will likely need to back sweeten it.
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 peaches 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 than making the same wine without sugar added. 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 6-8% 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.
I know firsthand how frustrating this can be, so ask your local homebrew supply shop for recommendations based on what you’re looking for.
As a general idea of what you should consider:
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 Strawberry Wine Recipe
Sometimes - usually, even - you’ll find that the yeast went a bit too far with their smorgasbord, and you end up with a peach 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.
Scaling this Strawberry Wine Recipe
As a note, you can easily scale this wine recipe up - in fact, there's a function inside the recipe card itself to do the math for you!
One note, though: You don't need to multiply the yeast, but the software doesn't know that. We will use one pouch of yeast for anything from 1-5x batches, and then 1 pouch for every 5x batches beyond that.
As a related note: The recipe software is definitely geared towards cooking, not wine making. Therefore, you can pretty much ignore all of the info it gives you: The nutritional info is calculated on everything that goes into the wine.
It does not take into account how much sugar will be fermented out, how much volume is lost to racking, the fact that the fruit pulp is removed before the final product, etc.
How to Make this Strawberry Wine Recipe
Now that I've gone into one of the late-stage aspects of wine making, let me backtrack and address the basics!
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!
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
Blueberry 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
Ube Wine Recipe
Watermelon Wine Recipe
Cider & Miscellaneous Homebrew Recipes
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- Rinse and pick through strawberries, removing any that are moldy, etc. Remove stems, chop them up.
- Place in a large pot, along with the sugar. Using a potato masher or VERY clean hands, stir and mash strawberries. Let sit for an hour.
- 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 strawberries). 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 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. **
- If stabilizing, 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.