Gooseberry Wine Recipe How to Make Gooseberry Wine

Gooseberry Wine RecipeThis uncomplicated gooseberry wine recipe produces a light, medium dry wine with the sharpness of gooseberry.  Try to use small, green gooseberries from early in the season. If you use later ones, then increase the sugar and turn into a sweeter wine.

Better known as a dessert fruit, gooseberries make a lovely wine nevertheless. They’re not particularly difficult to grow and gluts can be frozen by just bagging and freezing for a few months until you have time to process them.

You can find information on growing gooseberries on the Allotment Garden web site here: How to Grow Gooseberries

Gooseberry Wine Recipe

Ingredients for Gooseberry Wine Recipe:

  • 3 to 4 lb green gooseberries
  • Campden tablets
  • 2½ to 3lb white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pectolase
  • Wine yeast (Champagne types work well with this)
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Water

Method for Gooseberry Wine Recipe:

  1. Top and tail the gooseberries and rinse well.
  2. Put into a fermenting bin and crush well by hand or using a potato masher.
  3. Pour on 4 pints of water. Add 1 Campden tablet, crushed and dissolved in a little warm water to kill off any wild yeasts.
  4. Boil all of the sugar in 3 pints of water for 2 or 3 minutes and, when cool, mix into the pulp.
  5. Add the Pectolase, yeast and yeast nutrient. Cover and allow to ferment for a week, stirring daily.
  6. Strain and press and return to a clean fermenting bin.
  7. Cover again and leave for 3 or 4 days.
  8. Pour carefully into a gallon jar, leaving as much deposit behind as possible.
  9. Fill up the jar with cooled, boiled water to where the neck begins.
  10. Fit a fermentation lock and leave until fermentation has finished.
  11. Rack, as necessary, adding a Campden tablet after the first racking to stop secondary fermentation.
  12. Syphon into bottles.

Makes 1 gallon of gooseberry wine. It is usually best drunk a year after being bottled but can take two years to fully develop.

Posted in Country Wines
31 comments on “Gooseberry Wine Recipe How to Make Gooseberry Wine
  1. Sara says:

    Hi for this recipe you have not told us how much wine yeast or yeast nutrient to add!!! Could you please tell us- thanks

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Sara
      You’ll find it usually says on the pack with nutrient – otherwise a teaspoon.
      With yeast, that usually comes in individual sachets although, with it being a living culture, for 2 gallons of wine say you could use the same amount of yeast and in a day the number of cells would have doubled.

  2. john mcc says:

    hi second stage now ,you say three days then put into jar ,still quite cloudy and lots of bits any suggestions

    • John Harrison says:

      Did you use pectolase? If not add some now, it may well rescue.

      If there are bits floating, strain it again as you put it into the demijohn.

  3. john mcc says:

    I did put pectolase in, I’ll move to the demijohn and filter as I go and let you know the outcome

  4. Kerry Begley says:

    Do you have a recipe that would work for red gooseberries? I have a huge amount of last summers in the freezer and would like to make use of them. Many thanks.

    • John Harrison says:

      Not at the moment – you could always try the above recipe and see how it comes out. That’s the fun of making your own!

  5. Paul says:

    Hi how long will fermentation take place? Mine doesn’t seem to have any bubbles. It’s been in the Demi John for a week!

    • John Harrison says:

      Something is wrong – is it warm enough? Was the yeast very old? Try making a little starter with boiled water and sugar, add the yeast to that and after it is bubbling add that to the demijohn.

  6. Graham says:

    Being a beginner at wine making I have started some gooseberry wine and transferred to a Demi john 10 days ago it appears to have stopped working is this normal and how long do I leave before racking

    • John Harrison says:

      No, it isn’t normal. It’s stalled for some reason. Try warming it a few degrees and giving the demijohn a shake to see if that works – if not add some extra yeast started in water and sugar.

  7. Barry says:

    I might have done it all wrong as I poured boiling water over goosberrys as I used to do thirty odd years ago is this method frowned upon now?

    • John Harrison says:

      Not really – the idea of Campden tablets is to kill off any wild yeasts before you start fermenting with the cultivated yeast.
      Boiling water will do the job so long as the fermenting bin etc is sterile.

  8. Sara says:

    I’ve just done this with red gooseberries and looks amazing

  9. craig frew says:

    going to try this method ,with your sugar ratios mixing 3.5 kg strawberries and 6 kg goose berries i¬ve just dug out bottom of freezer.will let you know how it works out but all being well should be a boozy christmas along with the 4.5ltr sloe gin got going aswell

  10. Greeny says:

    Shouldn’t there be a pause of more than 2-3 minutes between steps 3 and 5? Doing it this way risks killing off the wine yeast with the Campden tablet doesn’t it?

    • John Harrison says:

      It’s going to be a longer gap than 2-3 minutes – boiling up the water & sugar and letting it cool takes at least a good half hour in my experience.
      Basically the effect of Campden tablets goes off quickly (there’s a good technical article on Campden tablets on Wikipedia)and whilst I see the logic of your question, in practice this method works.

      • Greeny says:

        I just saw a couple of comments above about fermentation “stalling”, looked at the instructions and thought that maybe a 24 hour pause between adding the Campden and adding the yeast might help. You can always cover up to prevent wild yeasts getting in during that period.

        Just a thought. Whatever.

        • John Harrison says:

          As I basically said, I can totally see where you’re coming from but I don’t think that’s the reason a couple of people have had stalled ferments. If it was the Campden then it wouldn’t have got going at all.

  11. Ken Freshwater says:

    What you say about adding a Campden tablet to prevent wild yeasts is backed up by many experienced writers on wine making.
    But I have also had problems with stalled fermentation and have long given up pre-sterilizing with sulphite. I use the boiling water method instead and have had no problems with this.

  12. Tony Hodgson says:

    Hi, made this years ago using this method. Tasted it after a year and it was horribly tart but then won a wine competition with same wine a year later as the secondary fermentation (malolactic) had accidentally occurred. Lucky me. So the moral is to lay down the wine for at least 2yrs. Cheers. Tony Hodgson.

  13. Robert Page says:

    I find using a hydrometer just before adding the yeast a very important step as you can determine the level of alchohol that will be achieved before the strength of alcohol kills the yeast and will also you will get a guide on the residual sweetness. If a wine proves stubborn to clear boil 500g of peeled sliced bananas for 20 minutes strain and cool to room temp then add the strained liquor to the wine. This will greatly add to the body of the wine and if left for at least a couple of weeks you should see the wine clearing. I am returning to making wine and beer after a 30 year break.

  14. Arthur Thrasher says:

    Hi John I’m trying the gooseberry wine for the first time I’ve crushed the gooseberry added the water and the Camden tablet how long after do I add the yeast and yeast nutrients.

  15. Carla says:

    Hi John,
    I wonder if this can be made with a non sparkling yeast or if you’d recommend sparkling? I simply don’t want exploding bottles and don’t want to buy proper champagne bottles. Thanks in advance.

  16. John Harrison says:

    Hi Carla – the recipe is for a still wine so you don’t need champagne bottles. It’s the type of yeast that gave a good result being referred to, not the type of wine.

  17. Ian Tarbet says:

    I bought a second hand copy of wine making by a chap called C j Berry, what a great book than answered all my questions. Well worth the read and space on the bookshelf.

  18. Alec says:

    Instead of pectin can I use finings

  19. Heather Mayes says:

    When I ráck the wine I need about a pint of cooled boiling water to top up the wine. Does this weaken the wine? Thanks

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