Cranberry Wine ** (finally)

Here is the recipe I used for my Cranberry Wine. It’s good and gets better with age.

NOTE: This is for a 3-gallon batch of wine, not the standard 6-gallon batch.

  • 18 bags of cranberries
  • 3 lbs of golden raisins
  • 5 lbs of sugar
  • 2 tsp of Yeast Nutrient
  • Yeast – Pasteur Champagne
  • 2 tsp – Pectic Enzyme

Put the cranberries in a CuisineArt or some other food processor and chop them up. Do the same with the raisins. Put the ingredients into a nylon fermenting bag, top with 3-gallons of water and stir in the sugar. Add the pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient. Let this stand for a day. The raisins supply a large dose of sulfite to the must. Test it if in you can. When I made this, the sulfites read 35 ppm from the raisins. That is about the same amount I use when I’m starting a homemade wine.

Measure the specific gravity, it should be around 1.080 to 1.090. Add the yeast.

Give it plenty of time to clear. I chose not to sweeten the wine, I would suggest you do what you like. It goes great with Thanksgiving dinner.



  1. Bill Downs said,

    Followed your instructions to the letter. I assume the bags of cranberries were 12 oz.. I will use it on next Thanksgiving. Probably let it sit for 4 mos. before 1st racking. My grankids do my bottling Thanks for posting the recipe.

  2. Sabrina said,

    Can this recipe work for partridge berries?

    • Scott said,

      What kind of berry is a Partridge Berry?

      • John said,

        Wintergreen berries if I remember correctly.

  3. Sabrina said,

    I didn’t realize not everyone has these 🙂
    This is what I found on the internet: Internationally known as the lingonberry this relative of the cranberry family is a low mat forming evergreen shrub with tiny rounded leaves. These berries grow in the dry, acidic soils of Newfoundland and Labrador’s barrens and coastal headlands.

    • Scott said,

      I’ve had lingonberry jam at IKEA. Sounds like they are similar to cranberries. Give it a shot and let me know how it turns out. Email me if you have questions as you go.

  4. Sabrina said,

    Can you make wine out of the berries after they have been boiled into a jam (no sugar add though)?

    • Scott said,

      I would guess that would be less than ideal. Anything that steals from the flavor is going to negatively impact the wine.

  5. sarah said,

    This is our first time making cranberry wine. After 3 days I dont see any “cooking” going on. With chokecherry the barrel is foaming and the gasses build up under the plastic cover. Does cranberry not do this or do we have a yeast problem??? Any suggestions appreciated – we are making 30 gallons and theres a lot of money tied up and dont want this going to yuck!!!! Thanks!!!

    • Scott said,

      It should have started by now. When I’m in this situation, I make a starter. Take two cups of the juice and a few tables spoons of sugar, mix it and warm it to about 100 degrees F. Now add a package of yeast and let it sit on top until you start to see some activity. When it’s rolling along pretty good, pour the working yeast into a jar that contains another 2 cups. Give this a few hours to get started and double it again. Once you have a gallon rolling along, you can pour it into the fermenter. Assuming the chemicals are right, you should be good to go.

      There are a few reasons the fermentation didn’t start. First is temperature, you need the juice up around 68 F to begin. If it isn’t, a heating pad can be used to warm it, but don’t go too warm, that is bad also. Also, this recipe uses raisins and they can be covered in sulfites. If they are and you added more, you could have killed off the yeast before it began. You could be lacking yeast nutrients, make sure you added those. I’ve never had a problem with the yeast itself, but that is a possibility. Also, a package is intended for 5 gallons, so if you are making 30 gallons, it would not hurt to either make a starter like I describe above or use several packages of yeast.

      Which do you think it is?

      On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM, Homemade Wine

  6. sarah said,

    Thanks! We are using a slightly different recipe. We used red grape concentrate instead of raisins. (someone suggested the concentrate could have preservatives which would inhibit the yeast – being that we purchased it from a wine making supplies company i dont think thats the problem, but again, welcome any suggestions!) After doing some additional research I suspect my husband used too hot of water for rehydrating the yeast. Our tap water is very hot (we have a wood boiler system) And yes, we did add the nutrients. I am going to add some new yeast, just a fraction of the amount though- checking the temperature before I add it. However I think I will try your suggestion, to get that starter going! Thanks soooooo much!!!!

    • Scott said,

      Good luck, let us know the outcome.

      On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Homemade Wine

  7. sarah said,

    Finally got some yeast – the nearest supplier is an hour away. Anyways, working on some of that starter you recommended, going to add that to 1 of the vats tonight and if/when I see those results tomorrow I will do the other vat. dont want to do them both at once in case for some reason it isnt the solution. I really think he did overheat the yeast, but I want to tread lightly because there is a lot of money tied up in those 2 vats right now!!! Fingers crossed!!!!!!!

  8. Steven Theoharidis said,

    I have a question for Scott. have you ever tried combination of blueberries and cranberries.

    • Scott said,

      No. But if you are thinking of trying it, I would make separate batches of blueberry wine and cranberry wine and then blend it to taste.

      On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 7:36 PM, Homemade Wine

      • Steven Theoharidis said,

        so you woul only ferment one fruit at a time?

      • Scott said,

        Not exactly. I’ve made a mixed fruit wine where I took all the leftovers from the freezer. I had some blueberries, black plums, maybe something else and mixed them together. I think the reason was that my wife wanted the freezer space back and I didn’t have enough of any one thing to make a batch. The key here is that the fruits were similar in body and texture. I tasted the juice before fermenting and it was good. I wouldn’t mix a hard fruit (cranberry) together with a soft fruit. I can’t imagine what the taste would be like, and getting it right would be unlikely. If you do them separately, you can play with the blend. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, I just wouldn’t.

        On Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 11:23 PM, Homemade Wine

  9. Craig said,

    Is there enough sulfites in the raisins so you don’t need Camden?

    • Scott said,

      I used the blonde raisins and there was tons in there. I would strongly recommend purchasing the sulfite test ampules. There is no way to just guess.

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