How to Make Cranberry Wine - With An Awesome But Simple Recipe!

How to Make Cranberry Wine

This post was updated on: September 1, 2019

Cranberry Wine Recipe

If you are looking for something to try at home and want a change from the usual wine and beer, why not follow this cranberry wine recipe and have a nice tasty treat?

Cranberry-wine-recipe

Introduction

If you are interested in pushing the boat out a little and want to try something a bit different to your usual Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, you might want to consider Cranberry wine.

When executed to perfection it can be a balanced, fruity and decidedly warm drink with that much-needed tartness to make the hairs on the back of your hands stand up. 

Rather than spending a fortune on sourcing a good quality cranberry wine, you could have a little bit of fun with some kitchen-based science and learn how to make cranberry wine. After all, wine involves the rather simple process of adding fruit and sugar together with yeast to turn all those sugars into alcohol. 

But grapes are just the fruit that most rely on because of their high sugar content. Basically, any fruit with a high enough sugar content will hold up well during the fermentation process and leave you with a delicious homemade drink.

We’d be cruel to suggest all this without showing you how it’s done, so we’re happy to share with you an easy cranberry wine recipe! Have Fun!


Ingredients

The following are the ingredients you need when making cranberry wine.

  • 2 x 12oz cans of Frozen Cranberry Juice or 2 x 640z bottles of Cranberry Juice
  • 1 ½ cups of Sugar (Remember if using bottled juice, reduce the amount of sugar somewhat as the juice normally has sweetener added)
  • ¼ teaspoon of Yeast
  • ¾ cup of Warm Water
cranberries

Tools

The following are the tools you will need when making cranberry wine.

  • 1 x 1-gallon Glass Jug (For fermentation)
  • 1 x Rubber Stopper with a glass tube (to be used with the jug)
  • 12 to 18-inches of Plastic Tubing
  • 1 x Funnel


Recipe

Step One – Cleaning and Sterilizing the Glass Jug

The first step in the process of making this homemade cranberry wine is to make sure that the glass jug that you are going to use for fermenting the fruit in, is clean and sterile. To do this, you need to wash it using your hands and soapy warm water. Clean it thoroughly and then also rinse it thoroughly, because who enjoys wine with a soapy after taste? That’s right, no-one!

Step Two – Put the Jug and the other Tools in the Dishwasher

It may seem like overkill just a little but trust us. Even though the thorough washing process will be more than enough to ensure you are using clean tools and containers, it is still a good idea to put everything into the dishwasher. This will sterilize it all with its heat. For obvious reasons, don’t put the plastic tubing into the dishwasher. 

Sterilization is important because you don’t want any contaminates or bacteria forming and growing in your wine and ruining it. That would be a waste of both your time and money.

Step Three – Thaw the Frozen Cranberry Juice Concentrate (If that’s what you are using)

Simply take the frozen cranberry juice concentrate from the freezer and thaw it out and mix with water. Just follow the directions outlined on the side or back of the can and use a clean container, that has also been washed recently in the dishwasher. So, that too is sterile. About mixing water with the concentrate, you can obviously use either distilled water or juice.

Although tap water is most convenient, distilled water can help you to avoid any unwanted tastes from the faucets making its way into your cranberry wine and spoil it.

Step Four – Mix the Water and Yeast

Next, if you are using frozen cranberry juice you need to add the sugar to the cranberry juice and then stir it until it is fully incorporated and dissolved. If you are using just regular bottled juice, instead of the concentrate, you can add it into a clean container and start adding sugar and stirring until it is dissolved. 

Step Five – Make the Starter

Now take a tablespoon of the sugar and mix it with the yeast in ¾ of a cup of warm water. Now add this sugar into the juice and stir it until it is fully dissolved. 

Step Six – If Using Bottled Cranberry Juice 

Take the cranberry juice and add it to a clean and sterile container, add the sugar and mix it until it is fully dissolved. Follow the same directions as above to make the starter as directed for making cranberry wine with frozen juice. 

Step Seven – Start the Fermentation Process

Take the container and place a cover over it to make sure that no contaminates or airborne bacteria can get into the solution and ruin it. Put it to the side and leave it to stand for a few hours for the fermentation process to begin.

Step Eight – Transfer it to the Jug

Take the juice and pour it into the jug. Use the funnel to avoid spilling any, not only to avoid making a mess, but also to avoid wasting it and insert the rubber stopper. Now take the plastic tubing to secure it over the glass tube’s end. 

Step Nine – Store Away to Ferment 

Take the jug and put it onto a shelf in a warm area, such as the basement (roughly around 21.1-degrees Celsius to 70-degrees Fahrenheit.) Now take a container with water and place it next to the jug with the end of the plastic tubing into the water. Always ensure that the level of water is enough that the tube ending stays under the water. 

The purpose of this is to ensure that the carbon dioxide gas made from the process of fermentation. To ensure this water escapes safely and is prevented from contaminating the jug, placing the tubing in the water will feed the gas into there.

Step 10 – Bottling and Future Aging

Leave the mixture for around a month and you will be able to see if there are any air bubbles still entering the water container from the jug, and the juice being clear. You will find sediment at the bottom of the wine jug. If all looks well, it’s time to transfer it into another jug.

Take around two to three-foot lengths of clear tubing and remove the rubber stopper from the jug and siphon the fermented juice into the new (sterilized) jar, being careful not to transfer or disturb any of the sediment. 

Pour the sediment away and then use the cork stopper or screw-on cap into the wine jug and store it into a cool basement or area of your home. (You will need a room where the temperature is a constant of around 21-degrees Celsius or 70-degrees Fahrenheit). 

Now, store the liquid again for between six and twelve months while your cranberry wine ages and is ready to drink. If you keep your wine stored with a tight cap and it’s not allowed to be exposed to the air, it will remain drinkable for around two to three years. 

About the Author

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love of wine and interest in anything related to it ever since he was a little kid. Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it and has been addicted ever since. Having traveled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa and tasted a large selection of their wines, it is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here and take you along on the journey.

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