The perfect house wine for this season! Do you have a spare pumpkin? Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go!
As the evenings get longer, the leaves turn red and air cooler is an increasingly common ingredient in the home kitchen.
But what about using this fruit (yes – technically pumpkins are not vegetables!) for wine production?
We tend to think that pumpkins are a delight with pumpkin herbs, which are best mixed with spices – especially cinnamon and ginger, as in a café au lait with pumpkin herbs.
Our Pumpkin Spiced Wine recipe makes perfect use of these herbs and creates a unique taste that is sure to remind you of everything that falls.
Thanks to our simple pumpkin recipe, even inexperienced winemakers can enjoy this spicy homemade drink with a minimum of effort.
Pumpkin wine requires the same equipment as most other fruit wines.
Although it is not necessary to have highly specialised equipment, there are a few wine-making items you should collect. You need this pumpkin wine recipe at home to try:
- 1 primary fermentation tank – this may be a grape bucket, a large husk or another non-irradiating food container that is leaking For this purpose non-reactive means stainless steel, glass or enamelled dishes. The container must contain at least 2 litres.
- 2 glasses of Demijohns with integrated airlock and syndrome (1 gallon) – during racking we move the wine between the Demijohns to leave the fermentation sludge and help clear the wine. If you only have one glass of wicker bottle, you can still do this – you have to pump the liquid into the sterilized container, clean the glass of the wicker bottle and refill the liquid.
- a funnel covered with a clean cloth to deform the liquid
- Siphon pipe for fluid transfer between containers (racks).
- Glass bottles for storing pumpkin wine.
For a litre of homemade pumpkin wine:
- 2 pounds pumpkin (pulp only)
- 1 pound of golden raisins
- 2 ½ pounds Sandy sugar
- 1 inch ginger root
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 packet of wine yeast
- 1 teaspoon nutritious yeast
- 3 teaspoons of acid mixture
- 1 campdent tablet
- 1 gallon of water
How to make pumpkin wine
1. Mixture of components
Start preparing the pumpkin by cutting the flesh into small pieces. To speed up this process, you can crush (or mash) the fruit.
Place it in a main container – a pot, bowl or other suitable container – and add cinnamon and ginger (peeled and crushed or grated). If you don’t like any of these herbs, you can safely leave them out. They are not the main ingredient in this pumpkin wine recipe – they are simply added to taste.
Grind or chop the raisins and add them to the mixture. Raisins are needed because they feed and support the yeast in the fermentation process.
Pumpkins don’t have enough natural sugar to feed their own yeast. If you use golden raisins, this will not have much effect on the light orange colour of the finished pumpkin wine.
Pour filtered water and sugar into a gallon, stir and mix the ingredients. Add the nutrients from the yeast, the sour mixture and a Campden tablet.
Yeast nutrients, as the name suggests, feed the yeast, while the acid mixture is needed because the pumpkin lacks the acids needed for an efficient fermentation process. In the meantime, the Campden tablet effectively sterilizes the ingredients by eliminating bacteria and wild yeasts that can interfere with the fermentation process.
After adding all the ingredients, close the container and leave the mixture for 12 hours to allow the campden tablet to take effect.
It’s recommended: Try our recipe for delicious ginger wine, which has its own taste as well as health benefits.
2. Primary fermentation
After 12 hours, your future domestic pumpkin wine will be ready for main fermentation. Mix the yeast and cover the container, making sure it is not airtight. If you do not have a suitable cover, cover it with a weighted cloth or attach it with an elastic band.
The first fermentation should last up to five days, stirring the wine once a day. You will learn that the mixture is ready for the next step when the fermentation process seems to slow down and fewer bubbles are formed.
3. Secondary fermentation and racking
The next step is to deform the mixture to hold only the liquid. Pumpkin decomposes into cellulose that looks like pure cellulose, so the use of a sieve is out of the question. Instead, use a sterilized funnel, covered with a clean cloth, to separate the fine dust. Make sure you squeeze all the liquid out of the raisins and pulp.
Before filling the Demijohn with the liquid, make sure that you have sterilised the tube and the container. Sterilization is necessary at every step, for every container and every tool, because they can contain bacteria that can spoil pumpkin wine.
You can simply use boiling water to disinfect the Demijohn. Some people prefer a weak bleaching solution.
As soon as the basket is completely clean, pour the liquid into the basket, fill it with water (boiled and cooled) and place it in the airlock.
After three weeks, the pumpkin wine must be broken down for a second, the basket must be cleaned and care must be taken not to break down the remains. Repeat this procedure every three months for one year. The wine is then purified, stabilized and ready to be bottled!
If you prefer a sweeter wine, add a small amount of sugar – about half a glass – to the first statement (for 3 weeks). Place sugar in the rack every six weeks and add sugar each time until you notice that the fermentation is not resumed by adding sugar. From now on, a pendant every three months for a year.
It’s recommended: Did you know mead has been around for over 5,000 years? If you want to know why this wine keeps so long, read our recipe here and try to make it yourself.
After a year of secondary fermentation, the wine should finally be ready to be bottled. Sterilize the bottles before use and distribute the pumpkin wine over the bottles. Place a cap (or capsule) and allow to soak in for a few months.
Ideally, the homemade pumpkin wine should be bottled for at least a year before it is consumed. This gives the wine the optimal time to mature and develop its body, resulting in a stronger and more defined taste.
And that’s it – now you know how to make your own pumpkin spiced wine. If you liked this pumpkin wine recipe, there’s plenty more where that came from – check out our other homemade fruit wine recipes and tell us what your favourites are!
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