Making Country Wine (Sloe Berry)

We made another country wine a couple of weeks ago in this season of plenty. This time it’s a sloe berry wine, which is one of the most delicate of wines you can make and up there with the elderberry and even raspberry wines. This recipe will work for any autumn berries and stone fruit. We opened an old bottle we made in 2010 for occasion, turned out excellent!

You can either use fresh sloes directly off the tree from mid September to end of October, alternatively you can freeze them to use any time of the year or buy them dried from brew shops.

Recipe per gallon (4.5 liters or 6 bottles):

4 liters of good quality water (spring or well)
1.3 kg of berries or fruit
1 kg of sugar
1 tea spoon (5 grams) of brewing yeast (sufficient for up to 6 gallons)
1 tea spoon (5 grams) of yeast nutrient salt

Basic instructions:

  1. Gather sloes and wash.
  2. Put in a large container and freeze.
  3. Take out of freezer, add half of the water and leave to thaw at room temperature for 24 hours.
  4. Mash berries with your hands.
  5. Heat the other half of the water and add the sugar. Stir until all sugar is dissolved and to main brewing vessel.
  6. Add yeast and nutrient salt and DO NOT stir giving yeast time to saturate and adapt. After 10 minutes stir.
  7. Close with lid or cork with airlock.
  8. Pour back into brewing vessel and ferment in a warm place (16-24C).
  9. Stir once daily for 3 days and pulp (sieve) using muslin cloth and put back in warm place for approximately 3-4 weeks.
  10. Wrack (siphon) carefully into another vessel without disturbing sediment.
  11. Sterilize bottles and corks or caps using boiling water.
  12. Fill bottles with finished wine using either a sterilized jar or hose.
  13. Label bottles.
  14. All done! Enjoy – extra flavor develops with time.


Another Recipe: Elderberry Cordial / Syrup – Homemade!

Another Recipe: Making Country Wine (Elderflower)