Summertime Saskatoon Berry Wine

Summertime Saskatoon Berry Wine




Makes 19 L (5 gallons)

4.5 - 6.8 kg (10 - 15 lbs)

Saskatoon berries

4 kg (9 lbs)

cane or white sugar

500 - 750 ml (2 – 3 cups)

grape concentrate (optional, will add fruitiness)

12 ml (2.5 tsp)

acid blend

3 g (1/2 tsp)

citric acid (optional)

12 ml (2.5 tsp)

pectinase (aka pectic enzyme)

15 ml (3 tsp)

yeast nutrient (or one small tin tomato paste)

10 ml (2 tsp)

potassium sorbate (optional. Use if you don't
have a hydrometer)

5 ml (1 tsp)


5 g (one packet)

wine yeast (e.g. Lalvin EC1118 or 71B-1122)

Campden tablets


This recipe was originally for blueberry wine but it works really well for Saskatoon Berries too. Your wine should end up with an alcohol content of 11 – 12%.


I recommend that you use the larger amount of berries for a wine with good body and mouthfeel. If you prefer a lighter wine with a less intense flavour then use the smaller amount of Saskatoon berries.


Carboys and wine bottles should be cleaned very well and if possible, sanitized before use. If your water has chlorine or chloramine in it, you should add one crushed Campden tablet to water and then let the water sit for one hour before using. Alternately you can boil your water (only removes chlorine).


Winemaking supplies can be found at your local wine or beer making store. Or from Amazon.



1. Crush the Saskatoon berries. If you do not have a crusher or a press, berries can be crushed with a muddler or even a two-by-four in a large pail. Resist the temptation to use a blender or food processor which will make your wine bitter and astringent.

2. Start with 8 liters (2 gallons) of hot water. Add 3 g (half tsp) citric acid if you have it followed by 4 kg (9 lb) sugar. Citric acid will help the sugar dissolve and adds to the finish of the wine.

3. When the sugar is dissolved and has cooled to room temperature, add the sugared water to your crushed berries in a large pot or pail. Add grape concentrate and add more water, if necessary, to make 19 L (5 gallons). Add 5 crushed Campden tablets, cover and let sit for 24 hours.

4. If you have a hydrometer or refractometer, your starting (OG) gravity should be 1.090 (21° Brix). You may have to add more sugar to reach this point.

Add tannin, acid blend, pectinase and yeast nutrient. Do not add excessive yeast nutrient. Use the suggested amount on the package if it differs from the amount in this recipe. Stir vigourously to blend and add oxygen (air) to the mix.

5. Add yeast, stir so that yeast are incorporated and keep at a temperature of 21 - 24°C (70 - 75°F) during fermentation. Keep covered and either use a container with a wine airlock or cover with clean towels. Your pail should not be airtight but we do want to keep out wild yeast, fruit flies and the like.

6. Stir the floating cap of fruit pulp into the fermenting must twice a day during fermentation.

7. Fermentation will continue for approximately 14 to 21 days. Take notice if the bubbles in the airlock have gotten very slow — that is a good sign that the fermentation is coming to an end. When your hydrometer reading does not change for three days, fermentation is complete.

If you don't have a hydrometer, add 10 ml (2 tsp) potassium sorbate to wine to stop fermentation.

8. Use a nylon mesh bag or cheese cloth to filter out the berries from the juice. Rack (transfer) the remaining juice to a carboy, leaving the sediment (lees) behind. Place an airlock on the carboy. Racking should be done with a siphon if possible rather than pouring the juice as you don't want to introduce extra oxygen into the juice at this point. If possible, move the wine to a cooler place, like a basement, to clarify.

Rack the wine a second time after one week. Rack a third time when there is 13 mm (half inch) of sediment in the bottom of the carboy or two months, whichever occurs first. Add a crushed Campden tablet to the wine after each racking.

Bottle when it seems like there is very little additional sediment accumulating. The wine should age at least three months.

Saskatoon berry wine is best enjoyed when young. It doesn't gain much benefit from additional bottle aging.

Enjoy in good company