Have you ever wondered if you could brew wine with jam? Jam is often relatively inexpensive, frequently goes on sale, and it’s a great way to brew with fruit that might not be in season or might not be available in your region.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of making wine from jam, from start to finish.
For this jam wine, you will need:
- 5 pounds of jam
- 1 full gallon of water
- 1 tablespoon of pectinase
- EC1118 yeast
- 10 grams of Fermaid O wine nutrient
- Prepare the Jam: We’re going to use a few jars of marmalade and a few jars of berry and cherry preserves. Use a Dutch oven to melt all of these jams and preserves down so that you can mix them evenly throughout your brewing water. This may require the use of a microwave or a hot water bath to heat them up just enough that you can get them out of the jars.
- Boil the Mixture: Put in one full gallon of filtered water into the Dutch oven with the jam. Bring it up just to the point that it hits a rolling boil. This ensures that it’s been pasteurized of anything that may have gotten on there from your hands and that it definitely got hot enough to liquefy all of the jam.
- Cool Down and Transfer: Let the mixture cool down closer to room temperature. Once it’s cooled down quite a bit, transfer it into your brew bucket so it can cool down the rest of the way to room temperature.
- Take a Hydrometer Reading: The next morning, take a hydrometer reading so you can know your potential alcohol by volume. The hydrometer should read just over 1.1. If for whatever reason it falls low or if it falls lower than you’d like, feel free to supplement in some table sugar to make up the difference and bring that ABV up.
- Add Pectic Enzyme and Yeast: Add one tablespoon of pectic enzyme or pectinase. In wine making, we’re typically trying to get the pectin out of whatever it is we’re brewing because pectin can cause a haze that is really persistent. Then add one full five gram packet of EC1118 wine yeast, a very aggressive and well flocculating wine yeast.
- Add Nutrients: The next day after your yeast had gotten a little bit established, it’s time to add your nutrients. Use 10 grams of Fermaid O, an organically derived nitrogen source for nutrient in this jam wine. Stir it in with a sanitized chopstick and then let it sit for two weeks to ferment.
- Rack into a Carboy: After two weeks, it’s time to rack it into a clean and sanitized carboy. Don’t leave the fruit in there longer than a couple of weeks. At the two-week mark, it’s okay to go ahead and rack it off to secondary and then you can just start tracking your hydrometer readings from there to find out when it’s done.
- Bottle the Wine: Once the wine has dropped crystal clear, it’s ready to go into bottles. Use a bottling wand to fill the bottles from the bottom which minimizes air contact with your wine. Then cork all these bottles with sanitized corks.
And there you have it, a very simple and quick clearing wine ready to go on the wine shelf.
Every batch of jam wine turns out differently, but it’s a really fun exercise in playing with a simple grocery store ingredient that’s packed with sugar and fruit and can give you a nice crystal clear wine with just a few best practices put in place.
One of the things that I really appreciate about this batch of jam wine is that with that big hit of pectic enzyme and that really aggressive EC1118 yeast, it cleared really well.
The yeast flocculated well, pulling all that pectin down with it. No fining agents, no clarifiers, nothing. Just really beautiful and crystal clear all on its own.
This wine is still a bit young yet, so there’s a little booze on the nose, just some light sweetness from that little bit of residual sugar left in there. The pithiness from the oranges leads to a really nice tannin profile that really hangs around, really clings around the palate.
And then right down the middle of the tongue, you get that big burst of fermented berry flavor. It’s light, it’s grippy, the balance is already presenting itself really nicely.
Jam wines and country fruit wines really, in general, are often a little bit better with a little bit of sweetness in there to kind of help elevate those fruity flavors.
Additionally, just like country fruit wines, a little bit of age can help. Generally, that’s going to look like a minimum of six months and kind of peaking around 18 months to two years.
So, don’t be intimidated – making wine, cider, mead, and beer at home is simple and fun.
Happy brewing and cheers!
Here are a few more wine recipes using various fruits:
- The Perfect Pear Wine Recipe for the Summer
- Pineapple Wine Recipe – Fast, Easy, Exciting
- Peach Wine Recipe: A Taste of Summer
- Blackberry Wine Recipe
- Apple Wine Recipe For Beginners
- Best Blueberry Wine Recipe For Beginners
- Easy Elderberry Wine Recipe for Beginners
- How to Make Plum Wine
- Lemonade Wine Recipe (Skeeter Pee)
- How to Make Raspberry Wine
- How to Make Wine from Jam
- Making Hibiscus Wine: A One-Gallon Easy Recipe
- Making Mango Wine: A Simple and Easy Recipe
- Making Sweet Potato Wine: A One-Gallon Recipe
- Making Banana Wine: A Simple One-Gallon Recipe
*See also: Gifts for Wine Lovers