There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a blueberry bush is 5 years ago. They take a while to come into production, but once they start, crops can be huge.
Once the freezers full and you’ve made your fill of blueberry jam and muffins, there’s often still enough to fill a carboy with homemade blueberry wine.
This recipe is adapted from The Home Winemakers Companion. The author describes it as, “One of the most interesting fruit wines…The basic recipe produces a fruity, easy-drinking, nicely balanced wine. Slightly sweet, it is a match for fruit pies, chocolate cake, ice cream, and soft, creamy cheeses.”
While the recipe has you simply place the blueberries and sugar in the primary fermenter and then top with boiling water, I find it helps to use a wooden spoon or potato masher to muddle the blueberries into the sugar.
I then give them about 6-12 hours to soak in the sugar, which helps to extract their blueberry juice. At the end of this time, you should have a good amount of blueberry syrup already, before adding any boiling water on top.
That’s completely optional of course, and as the recipe is written, the blueberries, sugar and boiling water go right into the fermenter with no delay.
Another option for pulling more flavor out of the blueberries is freezing. Freezing the berries for a day or two before making blueberry wine helps to break open their cells and release their juices.
Homemade Blueberry Wine
Homemade blueberry wine is easy to make and pairs well with sweet, creamy foods.
- 3 lbs blueberries
- 2 1/4 lbs sugar, about 4 1/2 cups
- 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1 tsp acid blend
- 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
- 1/4 tsp grape tannin
- 1/4 package wine yeast, preferably Cotes des Blancs
- water to fill
- 2 tbsp oak chips, optional
- 1 Campden tablet, optional
- Sanitize all equipment.
- Add the berries and sugar to a primary fermentation container. Bring one quart of water to a boil and pour it over the fruit/sugar. Stir to dissolve.
- Let cool to about 70 degrees F.
- Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients (except oak chips & Camden tablet, if using) and add enough water to fill the one-gallon fermentation vessel.
- Stir daily for 5 to 7 days. Once the fermentation calms down a bit, rack into a sanitized glass brewing carboy, add oak chips if using and seal with a rubber bung and water lock.
- Ferment in secondary for 4 to 6 weeks.
- At this point, either rack the wine again to ferment for another 6 to 8 months....or add 1 crushed Campden tablet and rack into a clean fermenter for a few weeks until the wine clears.
- Bottle the wine and allow it to age for 6 months before drinking.
Oak Chips - Oak chips are optional, but they add a wonderful flavor to this blueberry wine. After secondary fermentation, either stabilize the wine before allowing it to clear and then bottle...or allow it to ferment for another 6 to 8 months for a wine without stabilizers.
Yeast - I've had a few people note that they think the initial fermentation is a bit slower than they'd like, that might be a result of very acidic fruit. Blueberries can vary in acidity, and I haven't had that problem. One helpful suggestion I've received is to try Lavin DV10 yeast, which tolerates acidic environments better than other types of yeast. You can also cut down the acid blend to 1/2 tsp. Again, I haven't had this problem, but if you think your blueberries are more acidic than average, try cutting down the acid blend or using a more acid-tolerant yeast strain.
More Easy Country Wine Recipes
Looking for more homemade fruit wine recipes? I’ve got plenty to share…
Can I make this with just the blueberries , sugar and yeast? I do not have the other ingredients
Yes. You can make it with just the blueberries sugar and yeast. It’ll take a bit longer to ferment fully, and might not have a well-rounded taste. For a better option using just stuff you might have at home, also add 1 cup strongly brewed black tea (for tannin), 1/4 cup lemon juice (for acid) and about 1/8 cup raisins (for yeast nutrient). That’d give you a good approximation without having to get specialized ingredients.
Thank you so much for naming the alternative for me! I’m so excited to try this. I love love love your articles
Awesome! Good luck, and watch that first 24 to 48 hours for overflows. In this warm weather, the yeast really get going, and blueberries can stain. Watch where you put it until the fermentation settles down a bit.
how can you know if your blueberry wine has contamination
Should I leave the blueberries in the whole mixture while it ferments or should I strain and wash the berries like in the other fruit wines if I did the sugar and mash method?
Either is fine. If you’re open fermenting this wine in a bucket without a water lock for primary, leaving the fruit in is easier. Just filter them out before the secondary. If you’re putting it right into a carboy with a water lock for primary, then I’d filter out the berries before it goes in, rinsing them to get as much juice out as possible.
One more question. For the primary fermentation, before the wine gets put into a carboy, can I use a glass one gallon jar with a coffee filter as the lid so the gasses can escape?
Yes, that’s fine. Lots of people open ferment their wines in primary and leave them without a water lock at that point. The yeast are so active at that point that the risk of contamination is minimal, with all the CO2 coming off of it there’s a lot of outward pressure and everything’s moving out rather than in. After primary though, once things slow down, filter out the fruit and get it into something with a water lock.
Gotcha. That’s kind of what I thought, I just needed to be sure. I appreciate your time and will share you blog! I love it
Thanks, Grace! I hope it turns out wonderfully for you.
Just wondering about the white wine yeast, have you tried RC-212?
Nope, but if you do, let me know how it goes!
Is the recipe/instructions you provided for a single gallon or more? Thank you.
This is a one-gallon recipe.
I have never made wine of any kind but now I have a very good supply of Blueberries and I thought why not give it a go.
My problem is, what equipment do I need, can you help me?
Sure, happy to help! I take you through the equipment you need in this article here: https://practicalselfreliance.com/small-batch-wine/
But in general, you need two fermentation vessels, usually a narrow neck demijohns, which is basically a gallon guy like those cheap wine jugs (carlo rossi?) you can buy in some grocery stores. Then you need a rubber stopper with a whole in it for a water lock, which is a one-way valve that lets CO2 out but won’t let contaminants in. You put water in it, which creates a seal that the bubbles can escape through.
That’s all that’s strictly required, but I’d also suggest an auto sciphon for racking the wine over to a new container and bottling, a bit of brewing sanitizer to keep things clean, and something for bottling (corks and a corker usually, along with empty wine bottles). So here’s your list:
-two traditional one-gallon demijohns (includes rubber stopper and air lock)
–wine bottles (usually you can just wash out ones you already have really well with the brewing sanitizer, for a one gallon batch you usually need 4)
Great post! First time trying this, any advice on bottling? I think I understand how to use the siphon to get the wine into the bottles but there should be some head space left between the wine and the cork right? I read elsewhere that this small headspace is typically purged with CO2 or N2 gas. Is this required? Will the wine get oxidized if I just leave a bit of headspace and cork the bottle? If purging is necessary any suggestions on equipment? Thanks!
Purging is not necessary at all. Fill the wine bottles up to the base of the neck, right where it narrows down. When you put the cork in there should be an inch or two between the bottom of the cork and the wine, and the total length will depend on the shape of your wine bottle. The main thing is to minimize the surface area, so filling it until the neck narrows does that.
I’ve been meaning to write an article specifically on bottling wine/mead, and there are some pictures of the process in an article I just wrote on making mead.
This looks like a nice, easy recipe! Thanks! I’ve been doing some reading and some say to use Potassium metabisulfite when making fruit wines. What’s your take on this? Some say it’s a harmful chemical, some say its necessary to keep bad bacteria/yeast at bay.
I have never used it, not even once. I get enough additives/preservatives in my diet by accident, I’d rather not put them into stuff I’m making from scratch. Using it will result in a more consistent wine though, as it’ll completely beat back any existing yeast on the fruit so that you’re just culturing the added packet yeast. Personally, I have great results with a small amount of wild yeast in the mix, and to me it seems like they’re quickly outcompeted by the commercial strains anyway.
Good evening, I am from South Georgia where blueberries are taking over the peach state. My question is I am wanting to upsize the recipe to a 6 gallon primary fermentation container and 6 gallon carboy, so can I just multiply all the ingredients by 6 and in theory achieve the same results? I’ve made muscadine wine in the past in 1 gallon containers but I think your recipe for blueberries sounds awesome, plus blueberries are easier to get this time of year versus muscadines.
Yes, you can! For a 6 gallon carboy though, I’d only make 5 to 5 1/2 gallons just so you have some headspace in there to allow for bubbling during fermentation. Also, just use one whole yeast packet for the batch.
We wanted to increase ingredients to fill up a 6 gallon Carboy and decided to multiply your recipe x4, mainly because we didn’t have enough blueberries to do more, I’m glad we didn’t add more because after everything was said and done with primary fermentation we siphoned and added the French oak chips and it was almost slap full, just enough to have a little headspace for the foam. Looking forward to how this will taste! If adding the chips do you recommend aging it longer the 6-8 months? Also I’m fairly new to wine making but I forgot to check the specific gravity before adding the yeast. Is there any way to determine the alcohol content only at Bottling time?
Thanks in advance!
If you forgot to check the specific gravity at bottling, I don’t know of a good way to know the finished alcohol content unfortunately. I’ve found though, that fruit wines are deceptive in alcohol content, and they hit you really fast, even if they measure lower in alcohol. The peach wine we make made was incredibly potent, enough to sit you down after one glass (but it wasn’t that alcoholic). The percentage is just a number in my opinion, and it’s not all that helpful in telling true impact/impairment.
If you do the oak, I would personally age it longer, but that’s totally up to you.
I love your blog….just love it.
You have 2 1/2 pounds of sugar is 4 1/2 cups?
mmmm.I have figures its closer to 8 cups? Please clarify for me so I don’t add to much or not enough.
Thank you so much
You are wonderful
I did a quick internet search and most sources indicate that 1 pound of sugar would be equal to about 2 cups so I would go with the 4 1/2 cups.
Can frozen blueberries be used?
Yes, they can!
If using frozen, any idea of amounts or weights? I just found your recipe and it’s November. I have tons of frozen blueberries.
The fruit doesn’t change weight when frozen so you can just use the same weight.
Last summer I had already gotten my blueberry wine started when I realized I forgot the yeast. Living about 45 minutes from the closest store I used yeast rolls in a pinch and added extra sugar (about 2 cups for a 5 gallon bucket’s worth). I didn’t have a lid so I just lowered the bucket down into an extra strength clear(ish) garbage bag, put it in the closet for 2 weeks then strained it & started burping it every other day. The whole process was 6 weeks. I could’ve let it go another week or two but I couldn’t resist anymore. It was amazing! So amazing that I did the same thing with blackberries and had even better results! I DO NOT recommend doing this recipe with peaches – it was a horrible, stinky, sticky mess. Have you ever used any unusual or uncommon ingredients in a pinch & have awesome, unexpected results? Please share!
I am unable to find the Grape tannin, can I use the regular tannin, or do I need to use grape?
Just tannin powder for winemaking is what you’re looking for, not a particular grape tannin. They have it at winemaking and brewing stores, or online.
Is grape tannin the same a wine tannin? Having difficulty finding grape tannin.
Yes, same thing.
Hi Ashley, your website really inspires me! I am making this recipe tomorrow! I have read to use a full yeast packet even if only for one gallon, do you always use just some of the yeast packet when making smaller batches? Ever use whole thing? Thanks much!
I think she sometimes uses the whole thing if she isn’t going to be making wine for a while.
I was thinking about introducing lemon, lavender, and maybe some vanilla to my wine. Based on your recipe above, aside from personal preferences, do you see any issues with combining these flavors and if so, at what point in the process should these ingredients be added?
I would probably make the blueberry wine as it is first and then infuse the other flavors in after aging, that way you can experiment with different ratios.
Ashley I am in the middle of my first fermentation. I have the wine in a plastic bucket with a tight lid and an air lock. Then I will transfer to a glass jug within an air lock. I am not seeing much activity in the air lock during this first fermentation. Is there something I should do different, or should I be ok.
Thank you for your help
After 48 to 72 hours it should be vigorously bubbling. Check the seal, the air can force out through even the smallest opening, and in the past when I’ve had water locks without activity it was because there was a crack in the lid. If it is good and sealed, and you’re seeing low (but not no) activity, then I’d say maybe your yeast is weak or old. Maybe try adding in another packet if it’s still not really going after 3-4 days.
Hey, trying this at home today.
Just a note. Your recipe says to add ALL the ingredients but later states to use the campaden tablet at the end. I just think this should be clarified, as a first time wine maker, because I combined all the dry ingredients but removed the tablet once I saw that final step. Partially my own fault for not reading to the end before beginning, but if it says “all the ingredients” I assumed all of them.
Thanks for catching that. I’ll make an update to the recipe!
When you say 1/4 package of wine yeast are you talking about 1/4 of the little Red Star packet?
Yes, you only need a quarter of a package.
Thank you. If I wanted the wine to be sweeter, when would you suggest adding more sugar? I’ve read where people add more sugar after the first 7 days of primary fermentation and let it sit another 7 before racking into carboy with airlock.
You can find more information on back sweetening and adjusting flavors at bottling time in this article on homemade apple wine https://practicalselfreliance.com/apple-wine/
Thank you. If I wanted the wine to be sweeter, when would you suggest adding more sugar? I’ve read where people add more sugar after the first 7 days of primary fermentation and let it sit another 7 before racking into carboy with airlock.
Yes, you could back sweeten your wine. Here’s a great post on how to do that:
I have two questions.
1. For the primary or 1st fermentation (the first 5-7 days), you can leave the blueberry in, but the secondary fermentation you need to filter the blueberry out before putting into a fermentation container with airlock, is it right? What kind filter to be used? Can I use a Grade 90 Cheesecloth?
2. During fermentation, is it possible some methanol and formaldehyde can be produced? Have you ever monitored the level of Methanol and Formaldehyde during fermentation process? Any kit can be used to detect the Methanol and Formaldehyde level.
Yes, you want to remove the blueberry sediment for the second fermentation. It’s better to use a siphon for this. If you just pour it and filter it, you will most likely end up with sediment left in your secondary ferment. I have not personally done much research on the methanol and formaldehyde question but I did find this article that you might find interesting. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/methanol
How can I make a 20 lt. Carboy of blueberry wine?do a × all ingredients?
Yes, You can make any size batch that you want.
I started a batch of this wine two days ago but forgot to add the acid. Will it hurt the batch to add it now?
Nope, you can add it in after a few days if you forgot it initially.
Hi it was all tasting fine and got to 8 months now and just tasted it and it seems a bit dusty and a bit of! Will this be ok after I bottle it and leave it for a few more months?
Wine can go through different flavors as things settle out in the process, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. I’d go ahead and bottle and give it a few months to bottle condition before trying it again. Good luck!
can i mix blueberries and peaches if I don’t have 3# of one or the other?
I don’t see why not. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
Hi. Just came across your wine recipes and they seem easy to follow. Couple questions on temperature. 1) Is there a specific temperature range for the fermentation stage? What about when the wine is in the carboy? Lastly are these temperature ranges the same for the Blueberry and the Rhubarb wine making?
Thanks so much.
I ferment my wines at room temperature in my house, which is usually somewhere between 65 and 70 for primary. If I’m doing a long secondary, I put it in the basement mostly to get things out of the way and that’s around 50 degrees (which just slows things down). Most people suggest doing everything at around 68 degrees, or a cool room temperature like a back closet in your house.
Thank you That helps
Other recipes say to add yeast energizer and I saw this one does not have it. Was wondering what it would do with or without that ingredient
Honestly, I’ve never used yeast energizer in any of my wines (I just use yeast nutrient) without issues. Yeast energizer is not at all required (and honestly, yeast nutrient isn’t strictly required either, but it really does help make for a better wine and a more complete fermentation).
Here’s a primer on the two in case anyone else is wondering: https://www.northernbrewer.com/blogs/brewing-techniques/nutrient-vs-energizer-which-should-i-use-and-when
This was my first attempt to make this wine. And after I racked it on the 7 the day into a by mistake…a glass jug that I had just purchased from someone and with out cleaning… Might just throw it away..this just has been sitting outside in a box…however. it looked very clean and the previous use of the jug was to store moonshine. So I’d like to think it’s not that dirty or whatever. My problem is after I racked into this jug on day seven…it seems to have stopped fermentation completely. There is no activity what’s so ever. Did I do something wrong.
Sometimes they just ferment hard and fast, and it’s possible it’s pretty well done already (though I’ve never had any finish quite that fast). Try reading this to see if it helps: https://www.midwestsupplies.com/blogs/bottled-knowledge/how-do-i-fix-a-stuck-fermentation
Yes, just regular granular cane sugar.
I made this and it’s excellent! Thank you for posting it!
Wonderful, so glad you enjoyed it!
I have 12 lbs of blueberries. Wanting to do all at once. Do I just multiply all other ingredients x4 ?
Yes, that’s exactly right. Enjoy!
Ok. Great. Thats what I figured. I just wasn’t sure if amount of water and sugar wound need x4. Thanks again
Hi this is my first time making wine. Well I have a few different flavours going on right now, but on this blueberry wine, after I removed the blueberries and transferred the liquid to my carboy, I noticed that the level of the wine is fairly low. Can I add a cup or two of water to bring the level back up?
I should also note that this is after the 5 to 7 days of stirring the mix each day. So I’m in secondary fermentation.
This article recommends topping up after the fermentation is completed. https://www.homebrewing.org/Wine-Making-Topping-Up-Your-Homemade-Wines_ep_135-1.html
After I rack, I end up with ~60% of the volume I had before, the remaining 40% being blueberries. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong? This happens with the other fruit wines I’ve made from your wonderful website as well.
It makes sense that it would happen, from an object permanence point of view, but two things give me hesitation. (1) For the small-batch quart-jar recipes, you often have filled jars in pictures; if this is just an aesthetic choice, I’ll feel less crazy. (2) The result, at least for the blueberry wine, is incredibly sweet, almost like a syrup, so we split the batch and added more water.
You can definitely add more water. This article recommends topping up once the fermentation is complete. https://www.homebrewing.org/Wine-Making-Topping-Up-Your-Homemade-Wines_ep_135-1.html
Can you add water in during or before the second fermentation?
This article here recommends that if you are going to top up that you do it after the fermentation has completed. https://www.homebrewing.org/Wine-Making-Topping-Up-Your-Homemade-Wines_ep_135-1.html
Jimmy R Gowan III
What is the amount per ounces or gallons that this recipe makes? I picked 4.9 pounds of blueberries today!
The recipe is for a one-gallon batch and calls for 3 pounds of blueberries.
Do you think this recipe would work if I substitute wild huckleberries for the blueberries? Any recommended changes?
Absolutely. Blueberries and huckleberries are very similar and can generally be used interchangeably. The only suggestion I would have is to check the sweetness of the huckleberries to be sure that they are sweet.
Is Pectic enzyme absolutely necessary? I think that’s the only thing I’m missing.
Nope. That’s optional, and it improves the clarity of the wine. It causes pectin in the fruits to drop to the bottom so that the wine is clear instead of cloudy. You can skip it altogether and not worry about it, leaving the wine cloudy if it ends up that way (it may not). You can also just keep racking the wine to a new container every few weeks until it clears, which is what they used to do before the enzyme was readily available.
I love your recipe but I want to know do I need a specific kind of oak chip or can I use the ones offered in the grocery store or Walmart or can I use oak from the trees I have on my place. We have a verity of different types of oak trees down here in Mississippi. Also can I make wine from crabapples my crabapple tree is loaded this year. This is my first time trying to make wine so any help will be appreciated.
The oak chips are completely optional. You can use any kind you like. If you decide to get the kind from the grocery store I would be sure to check that they haven’t been processed with any chemicals or additives. If you have access to oak trees on your property then I would just use those. Yes, you can definitely make wine or hard cider from crab apples.
Not clear on how to test the a!cool content of my wine. I bought a hydrometer but when I got it it says it’s only for distilled products. Suggestions?
I would suggest contacting the manufacturer of your particular hydrometer. They should be able to help.
I’m currently on day 2 of the primary where I stir daily…my husband keeps saying I’m going to make vinegar cause I open up the top of my gallon to stir it with a spoon…am I doing this wrong? I don’t want to make vinegar 😅 and the wine is fermenting STRONG. I just have it in a gallon screw on jar as primary and we hear CO2 gassing out of it all day and night…I’ve read some comments that using a coffee filer at the primary is ok but that conflicts with the thought that it couldn’t be in contact with air. Maybe I’m making this over complicated…any help is appreciated
It’s ok during this stage for the wine to be exposed to the air because the fermentation at this stage is so strong. Once you get ready to rack the wine into your secondary vessel you will want to have some kind of waterlock device to keep any potential contaminants out of the wine while allowing any gasses to release from the jar or bottle.
I made this wine once and everyone loveddddd it. I am going to make it again and this time use some Oak chips. Do you recommend leaving the Oak chips for a certain length of time so as not to overpower? Or would I just leave them in for 6 months if I leave in carboy that long? Thanks!
You want to put the oak chips in for the secondary ferment and then you leave the oak chips behind after racking.
Why am I Experiencing so much diarrhea after tasting my delicious home Made blueberry wine. Is there a way to save it?
I add a blue berry flavor enhancer that took the bitter out of it.
I did not boil it but I will if necessary.
If the wine is upsetting your stomach I definitely wouldn’t drink anymore. I am not familiar with using a flavor enhancer so I am not sure how that may have affected the recipe. Can you tell us exactly how you made the recipe?
Adding blueberry flavoring to your diarrhea sounds terrible
I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. We made this wine 2 years ago and it was just as good as if not better than the blueberry wine we like from our local winery. We’ve really enjoyed the wine and love that it didn’t cost $25 a bottle. We’re starting a new double batch today!
That’s awesome. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Hey, so for step #7 you don’t bottle it yet right? It literally means to ferment in a carboy for 6 more months and THEN bottle it? Just wondering cause the only other wine I made was dandelion and it was to secondary ferment till bubbles stop and then bottle it straight from the secondary.
Thanks I’m advanced!
That’s correct, you’re going to rack it and ferment it for 6 to 8 months, then bottle and age for another 6 months.
Well thanks 😊 I’ll have to give this recipe a try!
How much will this recipe yield in terms of bottles?
The yield on this recipe is 1 gallon or about 4 bottles. You can usually find the yield of any recipe in the picture right above the recipe.