Pumpkin Wine Recipe
Wine is known to be made from grapes, but it can actually be produced from nearly any fruit or vegetable that has high sugar content, including pumpkins. Fall is officially pumpkin season, although apple cider makes a strong case for being the quintessential autumnal food, and the best way to enjoy this seasonal gourd is by fermenting it and having a drink when it’s ready. Like picking apple, pumpkins also provide a fun fall activity. In addition to carving them, you can use pumpkins to create your own pumpkin wine if you have the right tools.
8 cups pumpkin
1 lb. golden raisins
1 cinnamon stick (or a couple, totaling 4 inches)
1 in. fresh ginger root
1 whole nutmeg
1 gallon of boiled water
5 cups sugar
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
3 tsp. acid blend
1 package wine yeast
To get the flesh out of the pumpkin, wash, trim, peel, and chop the pumpkin and place it in a primary fermentor along with the raisins, spices, and boiling water. Let it sit overnight in the fermentor.
The next day, add all of the remaining ingredients except yeast. Stir the mixture thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. When this is done, sprinkle in the yeast and stir well, daily, for three to five days until the gravity reaches 1.040. (The original gravity should fall between 1.090 to 1.095).
During this time, your pumpkin wine mixture will get bubbly and emit a mild yeast smell. The pumpkin will become mushy pulp and the grapes will swell and plump up. Strain the bits out and squeeze as much juice out of the pumpkin flesh as possible.
Siphon the pumpkin wine mixture into a secondary fermentor, fill the remaining volume with water, and secure the airlock. The pumpkin wine will not look particularly attractive in this stage; it will be cloudy and yellow.
There are two ways you can go about the next steps and it will alter the final result you drink. To get a dry wine, rack in three weeks and then again every three months for an entire year before bottling. For a sweet wine, rack at the three-week mark and add a half-cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of wine. Stir the mixture gently before putting it back into the secondary fermentor. You will have to repeat this every six weeks or so until the fermentation does not restart every time you add sugar. Rack every three months for a year before bottling.