A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This sloe and raspberry wine recipe is unusual in that it's not a seasonal mix, but I had fresh raspberries from Sparkford and the sloes in the freezer from the previous year. But you ferment together just by crushing them separately in 3 pints of boiling water then add the juices together. Or you can crush all the fruit together in one fermentation bucket. After the primary fermentation you can sieve the stones and seeds out quickly then strain it through a muslin or nylon straining bag for a very clean demijohn ready liquid.

A sloe and raspberry wine recipe is a great early summer wine if you saved some sloes in the freezer from the previous year ... or you can buy some dried in most hop shops. Some raspberries mature in late June and it's a good way to get a deep red wine off early in the wine making year after you've made your white Elderflower Wine.

As always, be careful adding the sugar, according to this record, mine stuck. As a rule of thumb for adding sugar: Use a hydrometer and add sugar only a few Oz at a time stirring well so you can take another reading. Aim for a starting point around 1.085. 1.080 is a perfectly adequate point to end up with a 90 point drop to dryness and a guaranteed 12% wine.

2 lb Sloes (Blackthorn Fruit)
1.5-2 Lb of Raspberries
6 pints of water
1 campden tablet
1 1/2 tsp pectolase
2-3  Lbs of sugar
1 litre of Red Aldi Rio D'Oro grape juice or a pound of Raisins
1 lemon or 1 tsp Citric Acid
2 tsp TronOzymol yeast nutrient
Ritchies Sherry yeast

Damsons and Sloes are notoriously high in pectin so maybe 1 1/2 tsp of pectic enzyme (pectolase) is a good idea to keep the wine clear of haze.

Putting too much sugar in without taking an SG reading is the most common mistake in wine making - A 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%.


In a further attempt to gain space in the freezer, I decided to liberate the Sloes I'd been hiding at the back behind the frozen tikka masala ...

From my notes:

Sunday 26th September 2010
Picked 2 Lbs of Devon Sloes

Tuesday 30th September 2010
Put Sloes in Freezer.

Thursday 30th June 2011

Removed Sloes from Freezer and thawed them.
Poured on 4 pints of boiling water and mashed the flesh off with a potato masher.
Added a crushed campden tablet.

Friday 1st July 2011 7 PM

Added 1/2 tsp of Pectolase


Friday 1st July 2011 1 PM

Found a wonderful PYO farm at Sparkford called the Vale of Camelot. Nice people running it so I bought a tomato plant for the polytunnel along with 1.5 Lbs of perfectly ripe Glen Ample Raspberries.

Gave Katriona a handful to munch on and slapped the rest of the Raspberries into fermentation bucket and mashed them.
Added 4 pints of boiling water and left to cool.

Friday 1st July 2011 10 PM

Added 1 tsp of Pectolase.


Saturday 2nd July 2011 4 PM

Combined the two half gallons


Sunday 3rd July 6 PM

1/2 Lb Raisins
2Lb 4 Oz White Sugar
1/2 tsp Citric Acid
1 tsp yeast nutrient
Ritchie's Sherry Yeast

SG: 1.085


Sunday 10th July 2011

Strained must into demijohn


Monday 1st August

SG: 1.020


Monday 22nd August 2011

SG: 1.020


Tuesday 30th August 2011

Bored of this … Got some high alcohol tolerant Young's Champagne yeast today to see if I can't kickstart this syrup into action. 1 tsp of yeast nutrients later and away we fizzed.


Sunday 11th September 2011

SG: 1.004


Wednesday 19th October 2011

2nd Rack - Added crushed Campden tablet
SG: 1.002
(1085 - 1002) = 83 / 7.4 = 11.2%


Wednesday 26th October 2011

After dealing with the stuck Loganberry and Tayberry and the stuck Red Currant and Cherry I've decided to mix the remnants to see if I can't get this to clip over the edge into dryness!

Blend SG: 1.006


Saturday November 5th

SG: 0.994


Monday 14th November 2011

3rd Rack - Added crushed Campden tablet
SG: 0.994


Now aging in the demijohn