DIY STRAWBERRY WINE!
By: Patricia Kamara
In my Food Microbiology class, for one of our lab assignments, we had to make strawberry wine. Surprisingly, it was actually very good and very easy to do.
Here is how you can save yourself a trip to the SAQ and make yourself some strawberry wine!
Follow this link for a fun DIY poem that takes you through the process:
3.5 pounds of fresh or frozen strawberries
3.5 litres of water
2 pounds of white sugar
1tsp of acid blend (200g is $15 on Amazon)
¼ tsp of tannins (you can hot concentrated black tea if you do not have any)
½ tsp of pectic enzyme
½ tsp of yeast nutrient (55g is $7 on Amazon)
1 Campden crush (100 tablets are $13 on Amazon)
1 package of yeast
EQUIPMENT (make sure to clean everything with soap and water)
Large glass bottle with a tight seal/cap or airlock
Syphoning pipe (not necessary but yields a clearer wine)
TLDR? Here is the method:
1. Wash and drain your defrosted strawberries
2. Blend your strawberries
3. Using your straining bag, mash and strain your strawberry juice into the large bucket. Keep all the pulp in the straining bag, tie the top and place it into the bucket.
4. Stir in all the other ingredients EXCEPT for the yeast
5. After 24hours add yeast and cover the bucket
6. Stir and press the pulp to aid extraction
7. After 5days, syphon off the wine into the large glass bottle (if you don’t have a syphon just ladle the wine into the bucket)
8. Seal your glass bottle
9. After 3 weeks, your wine should be ready!!!
CAUTION: Do not consume your wine if it smells/tastes like vinegar or rotten eggs. Do not consume your wine if it appears slimy and/or ropey.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE METHOD:
How does yeast work?
Yeast ferments simple carbohydrates (like sucrose found in table sugar) into a 2-carbon alcohol called ethanol. This can only happen in a no-oxygen environment. That is why we need to make sure that the solution is well covered after adding yeast.
Why do we add the acid blend?
The acid blend contains acids that are commonly found in fruits like citric. Malic and tartaric acid. Adding acid ensures that the wine has a nice sharp and tart taste.
Why do we add tannins and yeast nutrient?
Tannins act as natural preservatives that help in the ageing of the wine.
Yeast nutrient is composed of Yeast Available Nitrogen in the form of Diammonium phosphate. It boosts the health of the yeast so that no off flavours are formed.
Why do we add pectic enzyme?
The pectic enzyme breaks down pectin, a component of the strawberry cell wall, to make a clearer wine. This allows the cell wall components to settle at the bottom of the bucket so that you can syphon off clear wine.
Why do we add the Campden Tablet?
The Campden tablet contains sodium metabisulfite that is used to sterilize the solution. This makes sure that competing molds and bacteria do not contaminate your solution and take up all the nutrients that the yeast requires. Campden tablets also act as antioxidants. This means that it traps the oxygen that enters the wine to prevent it from harming the yeast.
Why do we wait for 24hrs before adding the Yeast?
We wait so that the Campden Tablet can finish killing off all the bacteria introduced from the strawberries. If we add the yeast before, the residual Campden crush may kill your yeast.
Note that slimy and smelly wine is a sign that you have unwanted bacteria and/or mold in your solution. Safely dispose the wine and refrain from consuming it. Consumption of smelly or slimy wine may lead to sickness.
Recipe adapted from: Winemaker's Recipe Handbook, Raymond Massaccesi (c) 1976
Video written by: Patricia Kamara
Video graphics by: Gabrielle Megan Hardi
Video narrated by: Sharvani Ram