3 Reasons Freezing Wine Making Fruit Should Be On Your Radar

Frozen Wine Making FruitQuestion, is it better to make wine with fruit that has been frozen?

Hello Gerald,

Thanks for the great question and bringing up a great wine making subject. Freezing wine making fruit is a great tactic for the home winemaker. It’s one of the wine making tips I share with people quite often.

Just like you said, freezing the fruit breaks down the fiber that is holding it together. When it comes time to actually using the wine making fruit, just thaw it out and process as you normally would. You will find that the color and flavors will release from the fruit into the wine must more readily. This means you are getting more out of your wine making fruit.

Not only does freezing the wine making fruit have this subtle advantage, but there are a couple of more-obvious advantages as well. Freezing the fruit affords you the luxury of being able to make the wine when you are ready to make the wine. If the strawberries are ready, but your not… freeze ’em!

Another advantage is sometimes you don’t have enough fruit to make an entire batch of of a particular fruit wine recipe. Not all fruits come in evenly. The solution is to freeze the fruit as it comes in. Freezing the wine making fruit allows you to hoard until you do have enough to make a full batch of wine.

Shop Wine Making KitsThere’s really not much to know about freezing the fruit. Its okay to chop up your larger fruit. But for berries, you are better off leaving them whole. I strongly suggest sanitizing all wine making fruits in a bath of sodium metabisulfite and water solution before freezing. Drain the fruit thoroughly. Also, common sense would dictate that the “bad ones” be pick out and discarded.

If you plan on freezing the fruit for a longer period of time, say six months or more, you may want to consider packing the fruit in sugar syrup. This will help to eliminate any negative effects from freezer-burn. Just like it sounds, you use just enough sugar syrup to cover/submerge the fruit before freezing.

If you do decide to pack your fruits in sugar syrup you will want to add less sugar then your wine recipes calls for. This is to allow for the additional sugar that will be incorporated into the wine must along with the fruit.

A simple way of handling this adjustment is to rely on your wine hydrometer. Use the hydrometer to tell you how much sugar is needed in the recipe instead of adding the amount called for in the wine recipe. Just add sugar until the desired alcohol level is reached the the hydrometer’s potential alcohol scale.

Shop Wine PressFreezing wine making fruit is not a necessity to making wine. You can make incredible wines without freezing the fruit at all. Freezing fruit is just one more method you can use to help the fruit keep while waiting from more.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

12 thoughts on “3 Reasons Freezing Wine Making Fruit Should Be On Your Radar

  1. I started freezing fruit because when it comes in season there is just so much of it. By freezing the fruit, I can start new wines all winter long.

  2. I have a pinot grigio that was place into two seperate containers one large 100ml ,one smaller . The small one is fine, the larger one is slightly sweeter and has a little fizz . Does it need more time?

  3. We make a large supply of rhubarb wine each year – it is our favorite white wine – some years ago we had masses of rhubarb and no time to use it; So we put it into the freezer. When we did thaw it and make it we found the freezing had released masses of acid, so much that the wine was pretty much undrinkable.

  4. In addition to freezing fruit (I like to rupture the cells in the fruit when making wine) I have also used grocery store fruit juices. As long as the juice does not have any preservatives in it you are good to go. Two of my very best wines have been Watermelon and Blueberry, made from grocery store bought juice. I have two recipes for juice wine: 3 gallons juice + 2 gallons sugar water or simply 5 gallons juice. I’ve had people who do not like wine ask me for bottles of my Blueberry wine. 🙂

  5. Best way to break up or crush fruit is to freeze the berries. Freezing the berries will help to release the berries flavor during fermentation..

  6. I would like to make some wine with nanking cherries by extracting the juice using the freezing method, but am not sure its a good thing to do. Can stone fruits be frozen without removing the stone? Or would there be a chance of the stone cracking and releasing bitter stone flavors? We have a lot of nanking cherries, which are very small cherries. It would be a big chore to remove the stones for even a small batch. Would like to make some wine with the cherries by extracting the juice using the freezing method, but am not sure its a good thing to do. Any thoughts on that? Has anyone had experience with freezing stone fruits without removing the stone first?

    • John, out of caution we would recommend removing the stones prior to freezing. As you mention, I would not want to take the chance of having the stones break while frozen.

  7. John, I have a batch of cherry wine in a 6 gallon carboy made with fruit I froze with the pits in. I started to pit them but it was such a task and I thought they make red wine with the seeds in the must. Why not cherries. I did not notice any broken pits in when I process the thawed cherries but it will be at least another 6 months to a year before we taste the wine so the jury is still out.

  8. Just a remark in consideration for using fruit containing pits. It is wise to check with your State Agricultural Dept., University Ag School, or Agricultural Extension Service for information regarding arsenic content in the pits (seeds) of certain plants. I have made a beverage using Loquats incorporating the infusion method.The seeds in the pits contained arsenic and had to be removed prior to use. By the way, the cordial turned out extremely well and safe to consume.

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