How to Make Pumpkin Wine
Pumpkin wine - the ideal beverage for Halloween or Thanksgiving!
Learn how to make your very own homemade pumpkin wine, for a delicious Samhain toast or autumnal tipple.
This lens contains everything you need to know about how to begin making your own wine, as well as where to find all the basics you'll need for your home wine-making kit.
I'll share with you the pumpkin wine recipe I use, along with links to some other pumpkin wine recipes too.
Intrigued? Read on, and raise a glass to good old pumpkin wine!
Homemade Pumpkin Wine
Equipment you will need to make Pumpkin Wine
- Brewing bin or plastic bucket
Purpose-made brewing bins have tight-fitting lids, but you can make wine just as well with a plastic bucket that is tightly sealed with cling film as well
- Glass fermentation jar or demi-jon
Demi-jons are quite reasonable to purchase and are used to keep the wine in until fermentation is complete
This is part-filled with water and fitted on top of the demi-jon to prevent bacteria entering, by allowing fermentation gasses to escape from the jar. You can use a plug or cling-film but airlocks are so cheap (literally a few pence) it is worth doing it properly
- Muslin or muslin bag
This closely woven material is the ideal way to strain the pulp
- Siphon tube
This allows for removal of the wine from the jar without disturbing sediment and stops unnecessary spillage (very important, you wouldn't want to waste any!)
- Bottles and corks
Bottles can be reused providing they are washed thoroughly, but new corks need to be used each time
My Pumpkin Wine ingredients include ginger, cloves and raisins
How to Make Your Own Wine
Wine can be made from anything that is edible - from vegetables and fruit, to flowers and leaves! Oak leaf wine? No problem. Hawthorn blossom or apple wine? Go ahead!
Pumpkin, believe it or not, is actually a fruit, because it comes from a flower and contains seeds inside.
To make wine from fruit, the general method is outlined below, along with the wine-making basics you will need to know. The pumpkin wine recipe is slightly different, however, and is outlined further down the page.
Making your own wine or beer is a long process and can take a year or two. So initially, it can seem a long time before you get any results. But the excitement of making your own alcohol and discovering the different tastes, coupled with the fact that you have a natural and homemade drink at the end of it, make it worthwhile. Once you start making these on a regular basis you will have plenty of wine for many years to come!
- Use washed and good quality fruit, and cut up into pieces if the fruit is large
- Always sterilize your equipment before use. This is very important as bacteria can cause mould or spoil the wine or turn it to vinegar. Sodium metabisulphate tablets can be used to clean equipment, and can be added to the wine in the form of Campden tablets at the fermentation stage, and each time the wine is transferred to a new vessel
- Place the fruit in a brewing bin or large plastic bucket and pour boiling water over it. Stir and cover. When cooled to lukewarm, crush the fruit and stir in half of the sugar until dissolved
- Add the yeast and yeast nutrient, before covering and standing somewhere warm for three days, stirring daily
- The liquor is strained off the pulp into a demi-jon, the remaining sugar added and the airlock fitted. The jar should be placed somewhere warm to aid fermentation
- Fermentation generally takes a few weeks, or even months. After the allotted time, the wine is "racked off", which means it is siphoned into a clean jar, and left to clear. This usually takes several months as the wine needs to mature before drinking
- When the wine is ready, it is siphoned off into bottles and corked
is an acquired taste. If you're not too sure about the flavour, you can make it more palatable by adding honey or spices to the recipe.
Pumpkin Wine Ingredients
To make pumpkin wine you will need the following:
- 7lb pumpkin
- 2lb sugar - refined white sugar is the norm for wine-making. You can substitute brown sugar, but it will alter the taste of the wine
- A piece of bruised root ginger
- Juice and rind of 2 lemons
- 1lb raisins
- 10 cloves
- 1 gallon of water
- Yeast and yeast nutrient - you can now buy yeasts specific for wine-making, which give a better result, but you can use bread yeast (either fresh or dried) and still get a successful result. You need to keep it at the right temperature as it is a living organism. Low temperatures mean it is not active and high temperatures will kill it. You should activate it just before adding to the wine at around 21-22 degrees C (lukewarm). A yeast nutrient is added at the same time - you don't have to use one, but it keeps the yeast working and converts more of the sugar to alcohol
- 1 tsp malic acid - wine needs a little acid to work, so if none is present in the raw ingredients, then some needs to be added
- 1 cup black tea - forms of acid that can be added to wine are usually either citric acid or tannin. Tannins are present in tea, so a cup of cold black tea can be used when a recipe asks for tannin. It helps preserve the wine
- Pectic enzyme - if the fruit used in the wine contains a lot of pectin, then this is required. Pectin causes things to jellify, as you will know if you make jam. This enzyme breaks down the pectin and gets all the juice out of the fruit, and it also helps to clear the wine
Homemade Pumpkin Wine Recipe
After washing the pumpkin thoroughly, cut into cubes (leave the skin and seeds intact),
Put the pumpkin into a brewing bin with the lemons, raisins, black tea, ginger, cloves, malic acid and pectic enzyme.
Add the water to the bin, before covering and standing somewhere warm for 24 hours.
When 24 hours have passed, activate the wine yeast and add to the bin.
Stand in a warm place for four days before straining into a demi-jon.
Add the sugar, fit an airlock and leave to ferment for a month.
After one month, rack the wine (siphon into a clean jar) and return to stand in the warm spot. For best results, do this again at four months, and again at eight months.
After one year has passed, bottle the wine. For the best taste, allow to stand for up to one further year.
You can, of course, bottle the wine sooner if you wish. However, this is the length of time advised for the best tasting result.
This Pumpkin Wine Recipe - Was adapted from the original recipe in Pagan Feasts
Food is very much a part of Pagan festivals. This book commences with an introduction to the Wheel of the Year, the cycles of growth and the ritual relevance of the feast. This is followed by chapters on each festival, discussing the themes of each celebration together with recipes for food, wine, beer and incense. The ritual importance and significance of the ingredients is also covered in depth.
How do I know when my Pumpkin Wine is ready?
Have you ever made your own wine?
Have you ever had a go at home brewing, pumpkin or otherwise?
Have you ever made homemade wine?
More Pumpkin Wine Recipes
How to Make Homemade Fruit Wine Video Tutorials
Wine-making for the first time can be daunting. Often it is easier when you can actually SEE how to do things, especially if you are a visual learner like me.
This series of videos covers each step in the wine-making process. Click each video to view.
Pumpkin Wine VS Pumpkin Ale
Some people like pumpkin wine. Others find it an acquired taste! Many like pumpkin ale too. So...
Which is better, pumpkin wine or pumpkin ale?
Wine-Making Equipment on Amazon
Wine Bottling & Storage
Homemade or otherwise, have you sampled pumpkin wine?
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