Quick Tip – Using Raisins in Homemade Wine

February 5, 2008 at 8:07 pm (Quick Tips, Winemaking, Winemaking Tips) (, , , , , , )

There are a number of recipes that call for using raisins to give a homemade fruit wine more body. You pick up the sugars from the raisins and the results are definitely better. I seem to think I used raisins in my Cranberry wine. (I just checked and realized I never posted my cranberry wine recipe. I’ll get that posted soon, I promise.)

Here’s the caution, and I never saw this printed anywhere. The raisins are preserved with SO2. That’s not a bad thing, but you don’t have any way of knowing just how much is in there unless you use a test ampule. When I made the Cranberry wine, there was so much SO2 in my must just from the raisins, that if I had added any on my own, the yeast might not have been able to start fermenting.  I knew this because I used a test ampule to give me a reading on my sulfite levels.  I strongly recommend picking up a pack or two if you are going to be making wine from scratch.

SO2 Titrets
These are available from http://www.piwine.com

The image above is the SO2 titrets, they are a one time use ampule that costs about a buck a piece. I purchased a couple of packages way back, but I don’t use them very often. It would be easy to use two or three per batch of wine. If you are planning on testing your SO2 frequently, look into titration using a starch solution. Again, http://www.piwine.com can help.



  1. hazel redding said,

    am trying to make my first batch of home made wine and do not want to fail but do get confused with all the do,s and don,ts. Anyway I suppose that is how one learns..

    • Scott said,

      Here’s a thought. The equipment to get started is really only about $100 and you reuse it. It then costs anywhere from $60 to $120 for a wine kit that makes about 30 bottles. You are looking at a cost of $3-$4 a bottle for some really good wine. So if you go out and spend $50 on fruit to make a batch of wine and it goes bad, you really aren’t out that much. On the other hand, if it’s good, you just made your own wine for $3 a bottle.

      If you make enough wine, you will eventually have to throw out a batch or two. You won’t mess up a kit if you can follow the simplest instructions. When you get adventurous and start creating your own recipes, you might have a dud. Just do it and have fun.

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