Do you have a pack of raisins lying around at your house? But you can’t find anything to use with it? I say brew it!
Yes, it’s possible to brew with raisins.
Now, you might be wondering whether it’s effective brewing with raisins?
Of course, brewing with raisins is effective! But only if you brew it the right way. You must maintain the amount of water and raisins ratio correctly. Usually, I recommend using 2 pounds of raisins for 6 cups of water. Brewed raisin also enhances the taste of wine or any other alcohol that you’re using.
So, if you’re interested to know how to brew with raisins, continue reading. I’ve also added some tips at the end of this article. It’ll help you to create the perfect first batch of brewed raisins.
But first, let me tell you what raisin actually does in brewing.
What Do Raisins Do While Brewing?
Raisins basically bring out a grape flavor in your alcohol.
But hey, do you like grape flavors in wine? I do! Let me tell you how using raisins in brewing. It will surely blow your mind.
Once you taste the alcohol, you’ll get a rich flavor hit in your mouth. It’s because raisins improve the viscosity of alcohol. So, the aftertaste of the raisin brewed alcohol feels nice on the palate.
Raisins are also a great source of nutrients. The antioxidants in it help to create a Carmel effect. This is the main reason your wine punches you with a strong fruity flavor.
That’s why, raisin-brewed wine feels more refined, elegant, and impressive.
But the best thing is you can replace fermentable sugar with brewed raisins in your alcohol. Adding raisins means you’ll need ¼ pound less fermentable sugar. You know natural sugar, natural flavors!
So, I’ll recommend you try raisins in homebrew at least once in your lifetime. You’ll see the magic!
Brewing alcohol with lavender is also another interesting approach. But we’ll save that for another day. Now, let’s brew with raisins!
How to Brew with Raisins?
Brewing with raisins is a simple process. I’ll list all the ingredients below so that you’re fully prepared beforehand.
- Raisins – 2 pounds/1kg. You should try out organic raisins. Sun Maid Organic raisins are a good option here. You can get it from amazon.
- Water – 6 cups/1.5 liter.
- Yeast. You can try out Lalvin Wine Yeast. You can find it on amazon.
- Cheese Cloth. You can try the Olicity Cheese Cloth which is of grade 100. You can find it on amazon.
These are not that hard to find right! So, now let’s get into the details of the brewing process.
There are a lot of ways you can brew with raisins. But, I find the following way to be the easiest and most effective way. Here’s how to do it:
- Firstly, you have to boil the raisins with water. Keep boiling it for 5-10 minutes to sterilize them properly.
- Once you’ve rehydrated the raisins, put them in a blender. Mix them up well to make a puree.
- Then, filter the pulp by using a cheesecloth.
- Next, it’s time to add yeast to the raisin mash. Add a nice wine yeast that produces about 6-7% alcohol. Like the Lalvin Wine Yeast. You can find it on amazon.
You can call it a classic way to brew with raisins. But if you want to control the flavors, making a few changes will come in handy.
Apart from this, many people use a blend of rum and raisin too.
Some New Dimensions to Brewing
Now we’ll tell you some new tricks that you can follow. This might make your brewing much more interesting and easy! So let’s see-
Soaking Raisins in Warm Water:
Instead of boiling, you can mix the raisins with warm water. Let them soften for a few minutes. Then, add them to the blender like before and make a puree.
In this case, you’ll have to boil the raisin for 15 minutes after making the puree.
Chopping up the raisins before boiling is another way to boil the raisins faster. If you feel boiling the whole raisins is time-consuming, you can apply this tactic.
Rehydrating in Carrot Juice:
Some people rehydrate raisins in carrot juice. It takes around 30 minutes to boil in this procedure. This is another interesting approach to adding flavors in brewing.
So, what do you think? Brewing with raisins isn’t that hard, is it?
Try using it in a simple raisin wine recipe. It’ll absolutely blow your mind!
Tips to be Noted while Brewing with Raisins
It’s easy to mess up even the simplest recipes. I messed up a couple of times before. And I don’t want you to suffer as I did.
That’s why I’ll share my secret tips with you for making the perfect batch every time.
Here’s a checklist you can follow:
- Sanitize brewed raisins with a few ounces of vodka before adding them to the alcohol.
- Always make a puree and then add it to the primary fermenter. Or else, you’ll have to stir it for a longer time.
- Don’t put the chopped raisins directly in a flame-out kettle. It’ll change the taste of the brew and ruin your alcohol.
- Lastly, make sure the raisins are free from sulfur dioxide. Using preservatives will limit the yeast you’re using. Also, it’ll add a sulfury aroma which you don’t want in your alcohol.
Save these tips in a notebook or a google doc. These tips will help you with the Chinese raisin wine recipe. It’s basically useful for any raisin wine alcohol content.
Alcohols that Tastes Better with Brewed Raisins
Brewed raisins make any alcohol better. It adds a rich grape flavor to your alcohol. Take a look at the list of alcohols that taste better with raisins.
Personally, I like my wine and beer better with brewed raisins. But I’ll encourage you to experiment with different alcohols. Keep in mind that using flaked oats, flaked wheat, or wheat malt will differentiate the texture.
I hope you find your favorite booze!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many raisins does it take to make a gallon of wine?
It takes approximately 1 pound of raisins to make a gallon of wine. This means it’s a 1:1 ratio of raisins and wine. However, you must use 3 cups of water against 1 pound of raisins. Only then, you’ll be able to produce the perfect one-gallon wine.
Which raisins are suitable for wine?
There are 5 types of raisins suitable for winemaking. These are – Red Raisins, Green Raisins, Muscat Raisins, Black Flame Raisins, and Golden Raisins. Using different types of raisins will give your wine unique colors and tastes. You can experiment with each variety to understand the difference.
Are there any raisin wine benefits?
Yes, there are several benefits of raisin wine. It has a high volume of nutrients. You’ll find vitamin A, polyphenols, lycopene, and β-carotene in raisins. These nutrients help in preventing different types of heart diseases. Also, the antioxidants in raisins help in covering cell and tissue damage.
To sum up, brewing with raisins is quite easy. You just have to maintain the tips I’ve suggested in the above sections. Also, you can use this brewed raisin in different types of alcohol like wine, beer, and hooch.
So, give my recipe a try. Let me know in the comments how it turned out for you.
Till then, happy brewing!