Making Sweet Potato Wine: A Simple One-Gallon Recipe from Start to Finish

In this episode, we’re making Jack Keller’s sweet potato wine. As the fall season is upon us, it’s the perfect time to try out this unique recipe.

However, bear in mind that Jack’s recipes typically don’t end up as a one-gallon volume by the time you get to secondary.

So, if you’re going to brew any of the recipes in this series, you’ll either want to scale up by 20 to 30 percent or have a smaller vessel to rack to in secondary.


For Jack Keller’s sweet potato wine, you will need:

  • 6 pounds of sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound of golden raisins
  • 2 pounds of light brown sugar
  • Water to one gallon
  • 1.5 teaspoons of tartaric acid
  • 1 teaspoon of pectic enzyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon of tannin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient
  • Lalvin EC118 yeast


  1. Begin by cubing the sweet potatoes and placing them into a Dutch oven. Cover them with water and bring it to a boil. After a 25-minute simmer, remove the sweet potatoes. You can use these for dinner or turn them into a sweet potato pie. We only need the sweet potato liquid for the fermentation process.
  2. Next, start building your wine base. Add the brown sugar and raisins to the Dutch oven. Pour in the sweet potato water to cover and dissolve the sugar and raisins.
  3. Once that’s dissolved, add the tannin, tartaric acid, and yeast nutrient. Stir well, then pour in cold water to bring the mixture up to one gallon.
  4. Cover the Dutch oven and let it come down to room temperature. Once it’s at room temperature, add in the pectic enzyme and yeast. Jack recommends using EC118 yeast, a relatively aggressive yeast.
  5. Cover the Dutch oven again and let it ferment. It’ll take about two to three weeks to complete fermentation. Every few days, you’ll want to open it up and stir it around just to keep the raisins wet.
  6. After a few weeks, rack the mixture to secondary. After a week or two of cold crashing, bottle up your sweet potato wine.


In this instance, the wine stalled out and ended up being quite sweet. This happened despite using EC118, a very aggressive yeast, and adding nutrient. However, in the spirit of the series, the wine was bottled as is.

The sweet potato wine has a nice amber-gold color and a clear appearance due to cold crashing. There is a noticeable alcohol scent on the nose, and it smells quite sweet. The taste is also quite sweet, with a classic cidery flavor that you sometimes get with country fruit wines.

This flavor should dissipate with age, leaving you with the remaining fermented flavors. The wine doesn’t taste like sweet potatoes, but it does have an earthy undertone.

If you decide to try this recipe, your wine may end up going dry and may require back sweetening. However, this sweet potato wine, despite being a bit too sweet for some palates, is an interesting product and a fun experiment nonetheless.

Happy brewing!

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