Ginger Wine – perfect for that cold winter night..

A wine which soothes the throat and provides for warmth in the cold winter night – Homemade Ginger Wine..!!

Wines have become my latest passion. I enjoy the tedious process of chopping and stirring and waiting for that beautiful end product. I will not say that all my attempts have been very successful. The first time I made grape wine, it turned to vinegar. But I was not too daunted. I could soon make a decent glass of wine.

I have posted a favorite recipe of mine – the ginger wine. I had this wine first in Bangalore (Bengalaru as it is called now). We would buy it for Rs 150 from this aunty. the wine she made was quite spicy and would burn all its way from our tongues to our tummy. But that was what made it unique. This recipe is not quite as intense but worth every moment spent on it.. It is a nice – to – have before meals , as well as soothing for a cold.

GINGER WINE

Ingredients

  • Ginger  - 250gm
  • Oranges – 1
  • Lemons – 2
  • Raisins – 200 gm
  • Dry red chillies - 8 to 10
  • Water – 2.5 L
  • Yeast – 1 tsp
  • Pectic enzyme – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Sugar – 1Kg

Method

  • Wash and dry the ginger. Chop it finely leaving the skin intact.
  • Zest the oranges and lemon. Keep aside. Juice the oranges and lemon and keep aside.
  • Boil the water along with the ginger, orange and lemon zest, sugar, raisins and dry red chillies. Boil this mix for close to an hour or till the mixture is reduced to half.
  • Once reduced, take the pan off the flame. Add the juices and keep aside to cool.
  • When the ginger juice has cooled to a “just warm” stage, add the yeast and pectic enzyme. Cool completely.
  • Pour it into a bharni or any large plastic/ glass/ ceramic container. Keep covered for 10 days, stirring every day.
  • Strain the mixture, discard the solids and keep the wine covered in a dark area for another 20 days.
  • Now bottle the wine by straining it carefully. The sediments at the bottom of the bharni  should be discarded.
  • It might take a while for the haze to disappear. Don’t worry. After a month strain the wine into another bottle. By then the wine should have cleared and ready to drink.
  • Enjoy..!!

Note:

  • Pectins are complex carbohydrates found in the walls of fruits. This helps to regulate the flow of water and keep the cell walls rigid. These are natural thickening agents. These are released abundantly when the fruit is boiled. the presence of this carbohydrate in wines cause a cloudy haze, which is hard to remove no matter how long we let it stand.
  • The best substitute for pectic enzyme is papaya peel. The layer of green immediately under the skin of the papaya contains natural pectic enzyme. I use the peeling from half a papaya as a substitute for one teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Mostly I do without and it works fine for me.

 

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36 comments for “Ginger Wine – perfect for that cold winter night..

  1. Jack
    August 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Awesome post. Just wanted to say thanks for your contribution to winemaking.

  2. amita
    December 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    hi…can u please tell me how much of water has to be used initially for boiling? and how many litres of the wine is formed?

    • December 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      You should use the entire amount of water mentioned to boil the ginger. The flavor of the ginger should come out. You will get about 1.5 to 1.75 L of wine normally. Depends on how long you boil the ginger. The clarity of wine is obtained only after it is kept undisturbed for 3 months almost.

  3. karen
    January 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I love your website! great job :) we are visiting bangalore this week. do you know where I can purchase homemade wine here to take it back with us? your recipe sounds amazing. thank you!

  4. fatima povo
    February 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    when do you incorporate the papaya peel – after the mixture is cooled or while the mixture is boiling?

    Is it really necessary to add pectic enzyme/papaya peel?

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Adding pectic enzyme helps it clear faster. In case you do not add it, you will have to rack it for a long time.Add it to the cooled mix before straining it. You do not have to boil the peel. hope it helps.!

      • fatima povo
        February 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        thanks Anzz. since i could not get pectic enzyme, i added the papaya peel but i boiled it separately to kill any bacteria. i hope it is okay…

        • February 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

          That should be fine dear.

  5. Fatima Povo
    February 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    i dont see much bubbling happening… do you think the yeast is at work?

    • February 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      1 tsp yeast works fine… don’t worry. you do not want to the wine to ferment too fast also.

  6. Valsa
    August 5, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Where can I buy the pectic enzyme?

    • August 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Sorry abt the delay Valsa… I was in the middle of a move across continents… I have never come across pectic enzyme in supermarkets. They are available online though. If you are making the ginger wine, you can do without it or substitute with papaya as mentioned.

  7. ellenfoto
    September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    i’m confused. the list of ingredients says “ginger peeled and chopped”, yet the instructions say, “chop it finely leaving the skin intact”. which is it–peel on or off?

    thanks.

  8. ellenfoto
    September 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    also, wondering about the sugar. are you using jaggery, white sugar, or what?

    thanks.

    • September 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Hi,
      I use white sugar in my wines. Also the ginger does not have to be peeled. Thanx for pointing it out..!

      -Anzz

  9. ellenfoto
    September 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    i’m worried about the fermentation causing an explosion. just to be sure–when you say “covered”, it can be covered tightly with a screw on top? or covered with cheesecloth or an airlock? i plan to use a large glass jar with a screw top, but i could easily cover it with cheesecloth instead of the lid. really looking forward to this!

    • September 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Hi the need to cover the glass jar with a lid is so that impurities do not find their way into the mixture. I normally cover my earthenware with a cheesecloth and then place the lid on it. Do not screw the lid tightly as there should be some way the air produced during fermentation gets out. Cover the mouth if the jar with a cloth and then screw the lid loosely.

  10. ellenfoto
    September 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    thanks!

  11. Chetan
    September 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Anzz,
    Great website and an interesting recipe for ginger wine. I make a lot of wine from fruit and am comfortable with the whole process. I also have the necessary chemicals required for winemaking. I am planning to make a gallon (as I have a gallon demi-john) of your lovely ginger wine, and I will be tweaking the recipe accordingly. But I had a few questions to ask before I start.
    1) In your recipe, you have mentioned yeast. Do you mean ordinary bread yeast or wine making yeast (I have both). I had tried using ordinary bread yeast once on a pineapple wine, and it had bombed (literally)
    2) I have pectolase, so is it ok to use that instead of a pectine? If pectine is better, I can get some apple pectine in the supermarkets, but I’ll take your advise. I will be using wine finings after the degassing process in any case.
    3) While boiling all the ingredients in sugar water, is it better to tie all the ingredients in a muslin cloth and then boil? Do you think this will help towards the clarity of the wine?
    Apologies for the long email, and tank you for posting such an interesting recipe.
    Cheers
    Chetan

    • September 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Chetan,

      You do sound like a sure wine maker. I have never tried add any chemical products. Am a home wine maker, so my information is limited that way. I have tried making the wine without the pectin and it has come out OK. Similarly. I use the normal yeast.. works perfectly for me. If u have wine making yeast.. then u can use that.
      I do not think tying up the mix in a cloth and boiling it in the sugar syrup will help much. In fact it could maybe stop the ginger pieces inside from releasing its full flavor.
      Am very glad u wrote to me. Very happy to find a fellow homemade wine lover.

      Regards
      Anzz

      • Chetan
        September 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

        Hi Anzz,

        I am a home wine maker as well. Only, the country in which I stay, has a big tradition of home brewing, so I am able to get all ingredients, equipment and chemicals in special stores or online… I have just put my first lot of ginger wine for the primary fermentation… but I think in my case, it will take much longer than the 2 months you are suggesting… I feel the wine will be drinkable in 3-4 months… also, instead of rasins, I used Sultanas, which are basically raisins made out of the sultanina grape… much tastier and works well as a brewing catalyst… the ‘must’ (the fermenting fruit mixture) smells amazing… Also, I have used a mixture of dried red chillies and Kashmiri red chillies… there is a serious punch to this wine now… I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…

        Cheers
        Chetan

  12. ellenfoto
    October 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    hello Anzz, well my ginger wine did not turn out as i expected. i noticed from the beginning, there were no signs of fermentation. i was worried when your recipe specified 1 tsp of yeast–i used wine yeast–when i thought maybe 1 T would have made sense. also, i used papaya peel. i went through all the steps. however, now it is “ready to drink” and it is sicknenly sweet. i do not think any process of conversion existed. it tastes about the same as it did at the beginning, in terms of sweetness. more like syrup than wine.

    do you think i’m correct about the yeast? or might there be another hint? it “seems” like a good recipe, but it didn’t work for me. thanks.

    • November 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Dear Ellen, I have made this wine umpteen times and i have a fresh batch brewing for my sis engagement. Did u add the yeast into hot water or lukewarm water. I use regular yeast and omit the papaya peel due to non availability. The wine does not overly froth. but the kick and the spic is always there. The sweetness can be adjusted wit the amt of sugar u add.. tht is purely personal.
      I ave never had any issues with this recipe. mayb these points might help.

  13. Alzira
    December 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Hey Anzz,
    Good to read Ur version of Ginger wine. My Mum used to make it on Christmas Eve. Didn’t use the red chillies or pectin. Added Cinnamon sticks and cloves. We used to have it warm- after midnight mass. Never used to let it ferment. It’s great for Children with a sore throat. No one used to believe it was absolutely non alcoholic: ) My Dad used to spike his with rum from the Raisins that were soaked for our cakes. Aah.. Christmastime!
    Would U know anything about OT? Don’t even know if a real term.
    Cheers everyone. Compliments of the Season. And Thank U Anzz… Brings back a lot of fond memories… The smell of ginger and spices boiling… And not to forget fingers burning from chopping Ginger

    • December 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      You bet..! The smell is to die for.. I hardly ever use pectin hence i have updated and mentioned that it is optional. Without the extras too the wine works just fine. :) Christmas time is definitely the best..!

      Have a great New Year..!

  14. Kor Hwee Kim
    September 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Hi, can I use bakers ‘ yeast or just yeast?
    What is wine yeast? Where can I get it?

    • September 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      I used simple bakers yeast.Worked fine for me.

  15. Jeff LeSuer
    November 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Just a comment about clearing….i have found the refrigeration will clear any wine in about 3 days. All the sediment will fall to the bottom so i ferment then siphon to 2L soda bottles and refrigerate then siphon to final bottling. Hope this helps!!

    • December 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Thanx for the valuable tip Jeff. Helps a lot.

  16. Sunita
    November 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I have a question- I made the wine just like your recipe said but it turned out bitter. I left it for 2 complete months with the wine cork and all. I am in Canada.

    Any suggestions what could have gone wrong?

    • December 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Did u add any white part of the lime and lemon when u added the peel. The pith makes the wine bitter. May be thats what went wrong? i am sorry that u did not have success with this recipe. Sorry about that.

  17. George D'Souza
    February 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Its looks interesting while reading let me try it and tell you the end results.

    • February 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      SUre, will wait to know,

  18. Valerian
    April 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    For Pictic enzyme, Papaya should be ripe or raw? how thick the peel should be?

    • April 6, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      I do not add pectic in my wines. Go without it and u still have a tasty wine.

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