Raisins for body in fruit wine

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Oct 4, 2009
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I'm going to make a wine out of the Old Orchard Premium Pomegranate/Blueberry juice. My understanding is that fruit wines can be somewhat lacking in body, and that adding raisins can help with this. I've got a few questions about this:

1) Is there a general rule of thumb for raisin additions to fruit wine for body? e.g. "about a half pound per gallon." I realize that this is going to vary depending on the particular fruits/recipes, and that experimentation is required to find what works best in every case, but a starting point would be helpful.

2) Since the raisins will add sugar, should I presoak them for a day or two so that my SG readings will be more accurate? Or chop them up and boil them? Or both? :D

3) What happens if I over-raisin it? Will it be too thick tasting? Will it pump up the alcohol levels to jet fuel? :d

Thanks for any insight that you guys have!
Make sure the Raisins are preservative free. A good place to look is the organic aisle.
A couple of pounds will go a long way. Remember raisins are basically concentrated grapes.
Keep us updated.
Raisins will work for adding body. If you make a Banana soup that will also help. (search for that thread)
Make sure there is no OIL and SORBATE in the raisin ingredients. I usually add at least 2# for 6 gallons.
The sugar will add a little % but not enough to throw it out of profile.
I throw them in whole.

BTW Welcome to your new OBSESSION ! :dg
If buying raisins lots of them will contain sulfites so I usually back off my initial sulfite addition some or give it a little more time and a few good stirs before adding the yeast.
Thanks for the quick replies! I've got a 2 pound bag of Sun Maid raisins from Sam's Club; the only ingredient is raisins. I'll use it for a 5-6 gallon batch.

The sediment after racking from primary to secondary should also make an interesting starter for Skeeter Pee!

I've made a few batches of stuff so far. Nothing has really been ready for drinking except the Ancient Orange mead. Two big batches of wine from grapes are coming along remarkably well, but aren't ready yet. After dealing with bottling a couple of 1 gallon batches of experiments, I decided all new batches need to be at least 5 gallons. One gallon is just a waste of time.

This is a great hobby - I just got the "You're making MORE???" from my wife :D

Sams is where I get my raisins. Nice $.
I also get my FROZEN Strawberries and Mixed Fruit for my wine.
Soaking the raisins over night will allow them to rehydrate and dissipate some of the sulfites. Run them through a food processor after they're hydrated and add to your batch.
I use Luc's method to prep the raisins,


Using raisins will increase the sugar content of your must so you will need to compensate for their addition by reducing the amount of sugar you use. I have seen the conversion rate on this site somewhere but I can't find it at the moment. I think raisins contain about 50% of their weight in sugar so that will give you a rough starting point.

Anyone have a link to a better calculation for using raisins as a sugar substitue?
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"you're making MORE!?" Gotta love that Marc. That is a verifiable sign you are on your way to becoming tottally obsessed like the rest of us. LMAO.
raisins are nice thing to use. i think you can over do them, but it would take alot. i think we typically use about 1/2-1 box per gallon depending on wine. not sure of the weight as we use the same brand. i think it's 1 lb though. so 1/2-1 lb to a gallon depending on how much fruit is used initially.

wines like blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, eldeberry (see a similarity here?) don't usually need any raisins if you use enough fruit. typically these types need about 3.5~5#/gal. i'm not sure about pom, but i think you'll be fine on this one without them. just my opinion.

it's nice to see a beginner ready to learn. there's alot, but mostly experience is the better teacher here, once you learn the basics. you'll get your own style/procedure eventually and make unique wine. what makes it so fun is that you can experiment and make wine to your own taste. everyone is different and even using the same recipe, 2 wine makers will still have different tasting wine.
Make sure the Raisins are preservative free. A good place to look is the organic aisle.
A couple of pounds will go a long way. Remember raisins are basically concentrated grapes.
Keep us updated.


Raisins should not be preservative and should be natural that is organic there are most of the shops where you will find raisins that are actually stored in preservative and it is probably not a good choice to make.

So I ended up using a 2lb bag for a 10 gallon batch. I soaked them in really hot water for a couple of hours to soften them up, then squished them up really good with my hands (food processor would have been too much work). Threw the raisins plus juice into the primary (no preservatives). Add juice concentrate + water + ~24 cups sugar (dissolved over heat w/ 12 cups water into syrup) made the SG 1.088. I figure the raisins might add a little more sugars. Also added K-meta, nutrient, energizer, pectic enzyme. Let it sit a day, made a starter of Pasteur Red and put it in a couple of hours ago.
I've got a couple more cans of concentrate if I want to use an F-pack later on some/all of it.
I think the lees should also make a good base for more Skeeter Pee.
sounds like you headed in the right direction.

only 10 posts and you are making wine from juice, making starters, talking about f-packs and making good ole skeeter pee. lol nice. how many batches have you made???? looks like you've been doing your homework. should be a good batch.