Help!! I am going to try to make cranberry wine from fresh frozen cranberries. What is the best way to get the juice from them. I have tried the blender to break them up… didn’t work…and it would take forever to cut each one— Now I am cooking them as that seems to pop the berry for me. what is the secret???
Name: Ellen Nelsen
When making wine from almost all fresh fruit, you do not what to extract the juice, but rather you want to put the fruit in the fermentation, itself. The fermentation activity is what extracts the juice and flavor from the fruit. It does it for you.
This doesn’t mean that there’s nothing for you to do. You still have to break the fruit up, but not nearly to the degree you where envisioning for extracting the juice. All that is required is that you coarsely chop the cranberries. It is important that you do not mince them or put them in a blender. This would be over-kill and would most likely result in a bitter wine. Only a coarse chopping is required.
During the fermentation, enzymes from the wine yeast will break down the cranberries fiber and release of the fruit’s good flavor. On around the 5th day of fermentation you will want to move the wine must to a new fermenter, leaving the sediment and cranberries behind. This is a process know as racking.
Optionally at this point, you can squeeze the cranberries by hand, or if you have a lager volume to deal with, by wine press. One of the wine making products we offer is a fermentation bag. It makes this process very easy to handle. It is basically a nylon bag with a coarse mesh and drawstring that keeps the fruit collected while in the fermenter. You just put the whole bag of fruit into the fermenter. After a few days of fermentation you simply pull the fermentation bag out and wring the juice out by hand.
Ellen, I hope this information helps you out.
Happy wine making,
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.