Homemade banana wine is a fragrant beverage with honey color, light fruit flavor, and overall quite unique taste. The cooking technology is different from the traditional winemaking because bananas don’t give out juice and other substances that easy. But even newbies will be able to master this banana wine recipe.
You’ll need any ripe bananas to make this wine. You can use fruits with blackened peel but make sure that the pulp is untainted and has no mold. In order to avoid infecting the wine with pathogenic microorganisms, you should sterilize all of the vessels with boiling water and wipe them with a clean dry towel or use cleaning and sanitizing tools and chemicals.
Citric acid is required to increase the acidity and promote glucose breakdown as this, in turn, promotes fermentation, makes it tastier, elongates shelf life, and prevents some wine diseases. To start fermentation you’ll need wine yeast (other types won’t work) or a raisin ferment (you can also use fresh berries).
Banana Wine Recipe
- If you don’t have wine yeast then 3-5 days before treating the bananas you should prepare a ferment from unwashed raisins (or raspberries, currants, cherries, etc.): put raisins or berries into a jar, add 25 grams of sugar and 250 ml of unboiled water, and stir. Then cover with cheesecloth and place in a dark room with a room temperature. The ferment should be ready in 2-3 days–you’ll notice foam forming, light sour odor, and a hissing sound.
- Peel the bananas. Mince the pulp using a meat grinder or a wooden stick until you get a puree.
You shouldn’t make wine with banana peels because they are usually treated with toxic chemicals to elongate shelf life.
- Mix 5 liters of water, 1 kilo of sugar, banana puree and citric acid in an enamel cooking pot. Bring the mixture to a state of homogeneous mass.
- Warm up the must to 55-58°C and maintain this temperature range, simmering it for 60 minutes. Stir from time to time to ensure that the gruel remains homogeneous, and there are no lumps at the bottom.
It’s very important to keep the temperature below 60°C. Otherwise, ferments will break up and fructose will cease to produce. Thus you’ll waste some of your raw materials.
- Cooldown the must to 25-27°C. Add the remaining water and wine yeast and stir. Cover with cheesecloth and leave it for 4 days in a dark room with a room temperature. Stir it with clean hands or a wooden stick every 12 hours. In 3-8 hours you’ll see foam on its surface, and you’ll notice a smell of fermentation.
- After 4 days filter the must through 4-5 layers of cheesecloth, squeeze the pulp, and drain all of the fluids. The husks can be thrown out. Add 500 grams of sugar to the liquid and stir.
- Pour the banana juice into a fermentation vessel. Fill it up to a maximum of 60-65% of the volume. Install an airlock of any design on the neck of the container.
Warning! During the first 6-10 days of fermentation, banana wine produces a lot of foam. That’s why I recommend filling the vessel only to half or less.
- Place the container in a dark place (or cover it) with a stable temperature of 18-27°C and leave it till fermentation ends.
- 5 days after the airlock was installed add the last 500 grams of sugar. For this, pour 250 ml of the must through a tube into another vessel, dissolve sugar in it, and pour the syrup back into the fermentation vessel. Install the airlock again.
- Depending on yeast and temperature homemade banana wine ferments for 30-60 days. You can tell that the fermentation process has stopped when the airlock is no longer emitting gas (or the glove is deflated), and there’s a layer of sediment at the bottom. Gently decant the fermented wine into another container.
If the fermentation process lasts for more than 50 days, the wine should be decanted into another container and then put under the air lock again to ferment at the same temperature in order to avoid letting it become bitter.
- Taste the wine and add more sugar to sweeten the taste (optional). You can also increase ABV by adding vodka or alcohol in amounts of 2-15% of the wine volume. Increasing the ABV prolongs storage life but makes the taste harsher.
- Fill the aging vessels with the wine to the brim, so that there is no contact with oxygen. Seal them tightly. If you added sugar at the previous step keep the vessels under airlocks for the first 7-10 days in case of repeated fermentation.
- Transfer the vessels for aging to a fridge or cellar with a temperature of 5-16°C. Leave them for at least 4 months (preferably 7-8 months). Aging significantly improves the taste.
- Filter the wine by pouring it through a tube from one container to another (first every 10-15 days, then you can do it less often).
- Banana wine is considered ready when there’s no more sediment build-up. Wine can be bottled and corked now. 9-12% ABV. Shelf life is up to 3 years.