A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This green gooseberry wine recipe is simple, but as is often the case, even if you do everything else right, putting in too much sugar, or it failing to clear are occasional, but not insurmountable problems ... as can be read below and in the other gooseberry wine recipe blend post.

3.5 Lbs of Green Gooseberries
7 pints of boiling water
1 crushed campden tablet
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1 litre of White Aldi grape juice, or 1 Lb of Sultanas or 1 pint of strong tea.
1 tsp citric acid or 1 lemon's juice
2-3 Lbs of sugar
2 tsp of yeast nutrients
An all purpose white yeast

Gooseberry wine differs from most wine making methods in that you spend a week stirring the skins to release the flavour. Then once you've strained the pulp out, you're then warming the sugar in your gooseberry juice until it dissolves - Don't use too much sugar immediately, 2.5 Lbs is enough at this stage. My rule is of thumb is as always, only add as much sugar as you need to reach an SG of say 1.080 - 1.085 and that will almost guarantee a dry ferment at 12%.

When the mix is in the demijohn, you can always top up with sugar syrup or even honey to get up to 1.085 if the SG is low.

From my notes:

Tues 6th July 2010

Picked 3.5 Lb of gooseberries from the lower bush and left them in the bucket while I messed about with some other concoctions - This is a great wine, 10 days of just sitting around before you do anything once they're in the bucket - Like apple wines but without any early fermentation.

Wed 7th July 2010

Topped & tailed them by hand, well by nail actually, and brushed some of the furry texture off ... after all, a gooseberry is only a white grape with fur.

Fri 9th July 2010 4 PM

Crushed 3.5 Lbs of goosberries with my fingers, an onerous task, but builds up digit strength and/or gives you cramp, stinging eyes or seeds everywhere.
Added a gallon of boiling water to the skins, juice and seeds
1 campden tablet
1 teaspoon of Pectolase

Left to stew for 10 days with some occasional stirring.

Saturday 17th July 2010

All the skins have risen to the surface, so I'm gonna start the fermentation off.

9-11 AM Strained the pulp off through muslin and boiled the liquid ... I like that part, 10 days stewing in warm weather and you're gonna just add sugar and yeast?
11 AM Poured over 3Lb of sugar into the Wok ... The Wok is an almost universal tool, from digging an irrigation ditch to a sugar inverter you just can't beat it for versatility.

3 PM
1 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon Yeast nutrient and sprinkled Young's all purpose wine yeast over the must and stood back to admire the luminescent greenness of the liquid.

22nd July 2010

I'm straining the liquid into a demijohn, hydrometer reading suggests very little fermentation has happened, yet there was a froth on the surface. I added a touch of yeast and a touch of yeast nutrient to the demijohn, just in case it's been the last 5 days cold spell that's slowed everything down.


1 Gallon of Green Gooseberry wine.
SG: 1.110

30th July 2010

1st Rack
Topped up from reserved bottle from fridge.
SG: 1.020

25th August 2010
No change in SG. It's way too sweet.

SG: 1.020

I've decided to restart the fermentation with 1 tsp of TronOzymol yeast nutrient. Fingers crossed.

1st September, check SG again.

SG: 1.020 (1.020 is at least 12.2% alcohol)

This one is finished until I can get some more Gooseberries from someone else ...


Solution: I will mix the two gooseberry wines together and continue their ferment.
4 pints of Gooseberry I + 4 pints of Gooseberry II


1 Gallon of Green Gooseberry I wine.
SG: 1.020

Sunday 10th October 2010

1st Rack
SG: 0.990


31st January 2011

This wine is still cloudy ... gonna have to use some finings.
1st lot of finings seemed to work, it'll need a 2nd pass of Bentonite and it cleared perfectly.


Clearing & Maturation: 1st April 2011

Bottled: ? 6 Bottles