“Pumpkin wine?” I hear you say. Yes… it’s a thing! Whether you have a glut of Pumpkin that needs using up or you want to impress your friends and family at this years Halloween party, then this is the recipe for you.
This recipe is not only cheap but the step by step instructions are so easy to follow that it is suitable for a beginner brewer to have a go.
Don’t forget to share photos of your Pumpkin Wine with me on Facebook Instagram Twitter Youtube!
- 2 large Saucepans
- 1 Muslin Cloth (Pillowcase or Tea Towel)
- 1 Potato Masher
- 1 Ladle
- 1 Funnel
- 1 Sieve
- 1 4.5ltr Demijohn (or fermenting bucket)
- 1 Airlock
- All of the equipment must be sterilised apart from the saucepans
- 1.7 Kilograms Pumpkin (or Squash of your choice) (thinly sliced)
- 1.3 Kilograms Sugar
- 1 Lemon (juice of)
- 2 Teabags (black tea)
- Wine Yeast
- Pectolase (optional)
- Add 4 Litres of Water to you saucepan.
- Add your thinly sliced pumpkin to the water and slowly bring it to the boil, once the water has come to the boil, turn it down and let it simmer.
- While the Pumpkin is simmering boil the kettle and add the 2 teabags to a mug, add the boiling water to the mug and leave the teabags to brew in the water until needed.
- Once the Pumpkin has been simmering for about 5 minutes you can start using the masher to gently mash the pumpkin in the water, this will help the Pumpkin juices infuse with the water. Continue doing this until you can no longer feel any chunks in the water, this should take about 5 minutes or so depending on the size of your chunks. (Be careful with this step, the water is boiling and over enthusiastic mashing will cause splashes of hot liquid!)
- Turn off the heat from the saucepan.
- Remove the teabags that have been brewing in the mug and add the liquid to the the Pumpkin in the saucepan, this will add tannin which helps to give body and a balanced flavour to the wine.
- Squeeze your lemon and add the juice to the saucepan.
- Once the liquid has cooled for a few minutes you can start filtering it into a clean saucepan using the sieve, muslin and ladle. (Be careful not to squash the juice through the cloth, this will cause unwanted particles to be pushed through and take much longer for your wine to clear.)
- Once all of the liquid has been strained from the pulp you can add the liquid back into the original (cleaned) pan.
- Bring the liquid back to the boil quickly, then carefully add the sugar to the pan while gently mixing it. Once the sugar has dissolved you can turn the heat off. This process just ensures that that all liquid is completely sterile when going into your Demijohn.
- If your saucepan has a lid, put it on and leave the pan to cool for about an hour, if it doesn't you can cool the pan down in a a sink full of cold water.
- Once the liquid has cooled enough for you to able to easily handle it without gloves, you can add the liquid to you Demijohn using your sterilised funnel. Once filled put your sterilised Airlock on straight away. (Don't try and add boiling water to the Demijohn as this can cause it to smash.)
- Once the Demijohn is at room temperature (between 20-25°c) you can now add your yeast! (Some yeast needs to be activated prior to adding so please read the instructions carefully before adding!)
- If you are using Pectolase you can add this now. (Pectolase will help your wine clear slightly quicker, I don't find any real benefit from using it personally.
- Now your wine can start fermenting! For best results keep it in a warm dark place without fluctuating temperatures like an airing cupboard.
- I found this wine was full of sediment and cleared quite quickly, I racked it after 1 week, at 3 weeks, again at 6 weeks and then I did one final rack once it had stopped fermenting.
- You can bottle the wine once it has cleared and finished fermenting, usually after at least 3 months. I like to wait to between 6 and 12 months personally. If you bottle before it has finished fermenting then it can explode in the bottles so if you are new to winemaking I would suggest you use a stabiliser which will kill off any active yeast.If the wine still has a lot of sediment in it at the bottling stage you may find it can make an off flavour in your wine. I found this wine wants at least 1 year in the bottle to allow the flavours to properly develop.