Strawberry wine is simple to make at home with minimal equipment. After you’ve canned your fill of strawberry jam, a small batch country wine is a great way to preserve strawberries for year round use.
Growing up, my mom was a huge country music fan. Our local station had a pretty limited mix, and I must have heard the song “Strawberry Wine” hundreds of times in my youth. I can still hear the corus as I type,
“Like Strawberry Wine, seventeen, the hot July moon saw everything. My first taste of love, oh bittersweet, and green on the vine, like strawberry wine…”
Now that I’ve made my own strawberry wine, I can tell you that it’s in no way bittersweet and there’s nothing green on the vine about it. The song’s romantic, but a more accurate chorus would have been something along the lines of,
“Like strawberry wine, innocent and sweet. A kiss on the lips, with a taste so complete. Gentle at first, but then the flavors seep, into my heart, like strawberry wine…real strawberry wine.”
See, I’m no songwriter. I’m a winemaker, and I won’t quit my day job.
We started this batch of strawberry wine with some of the first everbearing strawberries of the year. The first spring berries are a bit on the small side as the plants wake up, but those same plants keep producing all summer. We harvest the last berries in November, and those last few are the beauties sitting right next to the mason jar fermenter above right before bottling.
I love making wine in a mason jar because it means I can just put the chunky fruit right in the jar and allow the sugar to do the juicing. Since strawberries are so soft, there’s no need to even chop them.
It’s going to look a bit strange, but once the strawberries are in the mason jar, just add the sugar. The sugar is going to completely cover the berries and you’ll be thinking “this can’t possibly be right…”
Wait a few hours and you’ll see. The sugar will completely dissolve the strawberries and extract their juice for the wine. Putting strawberries through a juicer just purees them, so this is a much more efficient method.
Here they are a few hours later, all the sugar dissolved and the strawberry juice extracted. Use a wooden spoon to muddle it down a bit to break up the last bits of strawberries and then you’re ready for the next step.
If you don’t have a mason jar fermenter, you can just do this juice extraction step in a bowl and then pour the whole mass into a traditional fermenter.
After juicing the strawberries with sugar, it’s time to add in the rest of the ingredients and a bit of water to fill the jar completely. Be sure to dissolve the yeast in a bit of water and allow it to bloom for at least 5 minutes before adding it into the strawberry wine because going straight from dehydrated to a high sugar solution can shock the yeast. Be nice, give them a minute to wake up before putting them to work.
At this point, it’s time to seal up the airlock and let the yeast do their work. Leave the strawberries in for the primary fermentation for about 2-3 weeks, and then they’ll be filtered out as you rack the strawberry wine into a secondary fermenter for another 4-6 weeks.
There are a lot of different airlocks that fit on a mason jar, most designed for making sauerkraut and vegetable ferments. There’s no reason you can’t use those same kits to make strawberry wine or any other fruit wine, mead or beer. There are a number of brands to choose from. Try this one. Or this one.
I use a kit by Fermentools that looks a lot like a homebrew setup, and if you choose to do bigger batches later you’ll need the rubber stopper and water lock that are included in the kit.
I recently tried out these new silicone fermentation lids from Mason Tops and loved them because they’re super easy to clean. Since there’s no airlock at the top you have to watch for tiny bubbles within the fermenter to determine when the fermentation is complete, which can be a bit tricky.
I also have a wide mouth one-gallon jar equipped with a waterlock which is handy for making full one-gallon batches without worrying about cleaning out the narrow neck on a traditional fermenter.
Since most people will be making a one gallon batch of strawberry wine, I’ve written this recipe for a full gallon. If you want to make a micro-batch in a quart jar, just divide by 4. Similarly, divide by 2 for a half gallon batch. Or you know, go crazy and multiply by 5 for a full five gallons of strawberry wine, and enjoy 20 bottles of tasty bliss.
For more details on the process of winemaking, read this guide to making small batch wine.
Strawberries brew up nicely into a sweet and flavorful strawberry wine. All you need is a tiny bit of equipment and patience.
- 4-5 lbs strawberries
- 2 lbs sugar
- 1 tsp acid blend
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp tannin
- 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
- water to fill
- 1 packet wine yeast
- Place the strawberries and sugar into a large bowl or directly into your fermentation vessel. Allow the sugar to pull the juice from the strawberries for a few hours.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except wine yeast) and fill with water to within a few inches of the top of the fermentation vessel. Give it a stir or shake to combine the ingredients.
- Dissolve a packet of wine yeast in about 1/4 cup of water and allow it to rehydrate for at least 5 minutes. Add the dissolved yeast into the wine base and cap the mixture with a water lock.
- Allow the mixture to ferment for about 2 weeks and then use a siphon to rack the wine into a new fermenter. Filter through a fine mesh strainer as you go to remove any strawberry chunks and leave any sediment behind.
- Cap with an airlock and allow the strawberry wine to ferment in secondary for about 6 weeks, or until fermentation is complete, before bottling.
- Bottle the wine, leaving behind the sediment. Cork bottles and allow it to age for at least a month, preferably 3-6 months before drinking.
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
More ways to use strawberries:
More wine recipes:
I love the sound of this! I’m wondering if it is possible for a non alcoholic version? Maybe don’t leave it in as long? I’m just think for it looks so lovely my kids would love it too 😉
Yes, you can definitely make this non-alcoholic, and there are a few different ways. If you want to use yeast, it’ll always have a tiny bit of alcohol, but this traditional Finnish fermented lemonade is basically a quick fermented lemon wine/mead that’s only allowed to culture until it starts to bubble, so it has a negligible amount of alcohol. Some estimate 0.05%, and you could do that with strawberries.
For a completely alcohol-free version, you can make it with either Keifer grains or whey. Here are instructions for making a whey based blackberry soda, and it’d work the same for strawberries.
Thank you so much! I’ll give it a go 😉
I have made water kefir and add strawberries at the 2nd fermentation. It makes a wonderful and refreshing carbionated drink.
This doesn’t seem very sterile… as a home brewer you always here sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize sterilize !! LOL I know that is repetitive but that is how often it is mentioned anytime anyone talks about home brewing.. Have you never run into infections this way?
i’am new at this.what is acid blend.tannin and pectic enzyme and where do I get all of this.thanks
Hi there. You can find pectic enzyme, acid blend, and tannin for winemaking on Amazon. The brand, LD Carlson is what you want to look for.
Anne E. Goodman
Any advice on adapting this for making
blackberry wine? This seems highly adaptable, but I’m a novice, and would appreciate some counsel. Summer is coming!
You could definitely just make this with blackberries, but I also have a blackberry wine recipe posted.
This is an awesome recipe. I am two weeks in and just racked to my secondary fermenter. The wine is still young, obviously but the stolen sip I had was excellent. I can’t wait to bottle it (and steal another sip 😉 )
Awesome! Glad you’re enjoying it. I always steal sips whenever I can get them =)
Anna McCaghren Wilson
I just racked to a second fermenter after 2 weeks. I too stole a sip. It was very sour/bitter. Is this normal?
What yeast did you use?
Red Star Premier Blanc because that’s what I happened to have on hand, but take your pick of wine yeasts.
I misread these directions and let it all ferment for 6 weeks with the strawberries in it. I didn’t strain the strawberries out after a couple of weeks and then do a secondary ferment for 6 more weeks. It seems like it’s done fermenting. Will it still be good if I just strain out the strawberries now, bottle, and age it ya think? Oops…
Honestly, not straining the strawberries out is totally fine assuming they didn’t clog the water lock (or start to mold if they were above the water line). It doesn’t sound like they did, so I’d just keep on going and bottle it when it’s done fermenting. Sounds like you’re on the right track!
I have a 5 gallon jug that I use to start my wines and then I rack them into a 3 gallon glass container. So all my wines are 3 gallons or less. But since I am starting it in the 5 gallon I cant just fill the container to the top with water. Is it safe to assume to just add 3 gallons or a little less of water?
Can you make this wine without the acid blend and tannin?
If it needed acid..would a little lemon or lime juice work?
I’m wanting to learn the old ways of making wine..what I have on hand..can you please help?
You don’t have to add the tannin powder, but I would recommend adding acid because they yeast function better with it. Yes, you can definitely use lemon juice instead. You need one Tablespoon of lemon juice in place of every teaspoon of acid blend (basically, 3x as much by volume because lemon juice isn’t as acidic as acid blend).
For more information on substitutions, check out this article on making small-batch wine which covers all the additives.
What about using citric acid powder like you can get for canning?
Yes you can use citric acid.
I am four days into my strawberry wine 5 gallon the gravity is on 1060 what does it need
very good idea,
I followed your recipe to a tee (it smells great so far!), but I forgot to take an OG to calculate ABV after fermentation. Would you have a general reference of an OG for this recipe?
I followed the recipe but tripled it (15 lb of strawberries and 7lb of sugar) and had an OG of 1.17. I just moved it to secondary with a “FG” of 1.05…clocking in around 15.75% for now. I used champagne yeast.
Do you ever use campden tablets to kill off any wild yeast for a day before adding the wine yeast? Would love to know why or why not? Thanks! Love your site btw!
I actually generally don’t use Campden tablets, because the wild yeasts present are quickly overwhelmed by the pitched yeast (and are usually less vigorous anyway). I haven’t had a problem, except when making watermelon wine. That one, for whatever reason, is especially vulnerable to contamination and issues (that recipe’s coming soon). But to your question, nope, I don’t generally sterilize the juice with chemicals before making the wine.
After primary fermentation on my strawberry wine it tasted sour. Is this normal? If not is there anything I can do ?
I would allow it to finish the fermentation process and if it still tastes sour after that you can always back sweeten it. There is some information on that in this apple wine post. https://practicalselfreliance.com/apple-wine/
Do you use the whole packet of wine yeast when making just one gallon? Had heard that amount was meant for 5 gallons, but not sure if it matters? Thanks
The yeast multiply quickly, so you can use as little as 1/5th of the packet, or the whole packet, either way is fine. A packet is good for anywhere between 1 and 5 gallons. I’ll often use a half packet for 1 gallon batches, and save the second half for another batch if I’m doing one in the next week or two. If I don’t have any others planned, I’ll just use the whole thing.
When you rack into the secondary ferment, do you worry about the level? It seems like leaving all those strawberries and sediment behind would drop the wine/juice level to about 2/3 of the secondary ferment jar. Does this need to be topped off with water? Or just leave the level wherever it is? Thanks!
Everyone seems to have a different answer to this…some make up an extra batch of juice and keep it in the fridge to add after the primary. Others add a neutral wine (in this case, topping it off with a sweet white wine). Others add water, or sugar water. And some just leave it a bit low in the secondary fermenter. What I do depends on what I have on hand, and how much volume is left. Often mine are only a little low, and then I leave them.
can i change my lock on the 2nd day? its pulling wine, and making a lil mess…:/
Yup. If it gets messy, pull it off and clean it out. You can actually leave the lock off for the primary if it continually gets mess, just cover with a towel. Lots of people use a no water lock primary, especially with vigorous fermentations and/or warmer temps. After you rack it, or once things calm down (at 7-10 days), just make sure you get the water lock back on. It’s most necessary during secondary, to prevent the alcohol created from turning into vinegar.
I just started the first stage last night and had an overflow into the water lock this morning? Is it ruined? I thought I gave it enough space with the couple inches but what can I do to remedy if it happens again?
It should be fine. It just means you have a very active ferment. I would give it more space next time and just keep an eye on your current batch.
Is a water lock and an airlock the same thing? Thx!
Lori N Herring
I forgot to ad the acid and I have completed the first fermentation. Should I leave it out or put it in with the racking?
You can do either, but personally I’d add it, it’ll improve the finished flavor.
Hi Ashley, do you stir your strawberries around during the fermentation? The less I have to fuss over this the happier I will be.
I don’t =)
What would you say the alcohol % is of this? I wanna learn how to make my own wine but I don’t want to make something that equates to the same ALC% as a beer, lol. I’m super in love with this recipe!
Honestly, I never measure the alcohol content of my wines, but I’d guess most come out between 12 and 18%.
After about two weeks .I think my wine needs a little more strawberrys.is that possible
Can you use champagne yeast? It’s what I have on hand from making sweet mead
Yup, champagne yeast is great. I always have that one on hand, and it is a good neutral substitute for most any wine.
This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it! I have a tree full of apricots right now, would this recipe work for apricots as well? Thank you!
You might try substituting apricots in this peach wine recipe instead. https://practicalselfreliance.com/peach-wine/
Thank you for helping me start my wine making journey! Your directions and links made your recipes so doable! I have started aging longer in carboys to allow more sediment fall out before bottling, but for those “beginner’s” bottles I pour the wine through a coffee filter before drinking and they’re fine. The color and taste are superb! I’ve been sharing this site with others. Thank you so much!
You’re very welcome. So glad you’re enjoying making wine. Thanks for sharing.
Do i need to sweeten it back after fermentation or will there still be sugar left?
It should be sweet enough as is, but everyone’s tastes are different so if you’d like it sweeter, go ahead and add more.
How would i multiply the ingredients for a 5l Carboy like used in the blueberry wine?
Thanks for this recipe! How do you strain the strawberries when moving to secondary fermentation? You keep the must for primary right?
If in a pinch or say, during off season, can you use frozen strawberries?
Yes, frozen strawberries would still get the job done.
Judith C Dutruch
How much water to add to this recipe? You said add water but not how much? What size batch are you making? 1 gall, 2 or 3….? Thanks.
The recipe is for one full gallon batch. Fill water a few inches from the top of your one gallon fermentation vessel.
After racking my wine turned out a little dry and bitter. How much sugar should I add to sweetener a one gallon batch.
You can find some information on back sweetening in this post on apple wine. https://practicalselfreliance.com/apple-wine/
Hey Ashley! Just put a batch in primary. I’ll let ya know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing some great recipes!
You’re welcome. We can’t wait to hear how it turns out.
I have citric acid in my cupboard. Can I use that as the acid mix?
The acid blend is a mix of several different acids including citric acid. You could try it out and see but you may not get the same results.
I m making ur strawberry wine , was confuse about water so I m making with 10 lbs strawberry nd used 3 gallon water , is that will b ok ?
For 3 gallons of liquid, you’re looking at more like 12 to 15 pounds of strawberries. It will still work but the strawberry flavor most likely won’t be as strong.
My first batch started last night so far all is well can not wait untill done . Also do you have a recipe for dandelion wine
That’s great! Keep us updated on it. We sure do have a dandelion wine recipe. https://practicalselfreliance.com/dandelion-wine-recipe/
I have read s may of your wine recipes I want to make them all! My question is about bottling. It said to leave behind sediment, I get that but, how do you bottle? Do you syphon in to the bottles? Thank you.
Yes, you will want to siphon the wine into the new fermentation vessel leaving the sediment behind in the first.
Hi Ashley. I just put my first batch together and marked the calendar for 2 weeks. It smells wonderful. Where should I store this while it’s doing its thing? 🙂
You can store it anywhere that’s convenient for you. It just needs to sit at room temperature.
I usually make wine from grapes without adding any yeast, will strawberries ferment the same way without yeast as well or do i need to add it?
Wine can be made without using wine yeast. The benefit of the wine yeast is that you can control the flavor a little better. If you allow wild yeasts into your wine then you have no control over the types of yeast that are incorporated into the wine.