Pineapple wine is a sweet tropical treat that’s perfect for summertime sipping. It takes a few months of patience to make fresh pineapple wine, but it’s worth the wait!
If you’re not familiar with winemaking, I’d suggest reading this beginner’s guide to small batch wine before beginning. This recipe can also be made as a pineapple mead, by substituting honey for the sugar in the recipe. Here’s a tutorial on how to make mead of all kinds.
Pineapple Wine Recipes
I have at least a dozen winemaking books and I consulted them all to come up with this recipe for pineapple wine. It’s closest to the Hawaiian Pineapple Wine Recipe from The Joy of Home Winemaking by Terry Garey.
Most of the recipes were pretty similar, recommending that you start with fresh pineapple (instead of canned juice). Canned juice has a “tinned” taste that’s noticeable in the finished wine, and it’s pretty unappealing. If you must use juice, opt for pineapple juice that’s bottled in glass or plastic instead.
Langers has 100% pineapple juice bottled in plastic, and Lakewood organics has a version bottled in glass.
Sometimes all you’ll be able to find is a pineapple juice blend, and that’s fine too. Just be sure it doesn’t contain any preservatives (which will prevent fermentation).
For a pineapple wine made with juice, substitute 2 quarts of pineapple juice in place of the fresh pineapple (and fill with water).
At the very end, I’ll also walk you through a recipe for a low input pineapple wine made without winemaking chemicals, if you’re trying to make it quickly with just what you have in your kitchen. First though, here’s a basic pineapple wine recipe that follows the traditional route including winemaking additives to ensure a consistent result.
Ingredients for Fresh Pineapple Wine
Note that the pineapple here is weighed after chopping, so you’ll need 5 to 6 pounds of whole pineapple. They vary considerably in size, but that’s about 2 to 3 pineapples.
- 3 to 4 pounds pineapple (7 to 10 cups, chopped)
- 2 lbs sugar (or 2 lbs honey for pineapple mead)
- 1/2 tsp. Acid Blend
- 1/4 tsp. Wine Tannin
- 1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
- 1/2 tsp. Pectic Enzyme (optional, but recommended)
- 1 Campden tablet, crushed (optional)
- 1 packet wine yeast
How to Make Pineapple Wine
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Prepare the pineapple by removing the skin and top, then chopping it into small pieces. Do your best to reserve any juice that flows out during chopping. Place the chopped pineapple in a nylon brewing bag at the bottom of a primary fermentation bucket.
All my nylon bags were in use dry hopping homemade beer, and I was fresh out of brewing buckets too. I just opted to use my wide mouth glass jar fermenter jar, which is a little small for the task. Ideally, your primary fermenter would be at least 2 gallons to accommodate a vigorous fermentation.
I used 3 pineapples average-sized pineapples, which would have yielded around 10 cups…but I included the pineapple cores. Most of the recipes have you remove those, but that’s not really necessary.
I use the cores as a source of juice when I’m canning pineapple, and I know they taste great. They’re tough and fibrous but have great flavor and they’ll be filtered out of the finished wine so the texture isn’t really an issue.
It mostly filled the 1-gallon wide mouth carboy.
Next, fill a pot with about 3 quarts of water and bring it to a boil on the stove. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then remove from heat.
Allow the mixture to cool, then pour it over the chopped pineapple in the primary fermenter.
Add the remaining ingredients except the yeast, including yeast nutrient, tannin, acid, and the crushed Camden tablet (if using). The Camden tablet is used to sterilize the ingredients, though it won’t kill everything or make up for bad sanitation. It’s basically to beat back anything that may already be living in the pineapple so the yeast can take hold first.
If you’re using a Camden tablet, allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours before adding the yeast. (If not using a Camden tablet, then simply wait until everything’s cooled to room temperature before adding the yeast.)
Cover the fermenter with a towel or loosely with a lid, but don’t put on a water lock yet. The yeast should begin vigorously fermenting within 24 to 48 hours, and a water lock would just get clogged and messy at this point.
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Allow the pineapple wine to ferment in primary for about a week to 10 days. After that, remove the pineapple, either by lifting the nylon bag or filtering everything through a fine-mesh strainer.
Siphon the strained mixture to a narrow neck glass carboy, leaving any sediment behind. Fill to within a few inches of the top with clean unchlorinated water and cap with a water lock.
At this point, the fermentation should still be going pretty strong, especially invigorated by all the added oxygen as it’s moved from primary to secondary.
Allow the mixture to ferment in secondary for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
Pineapple wine tends to be cloudy, which is one reason the pectic enzyme is used to help break down the cells of the fruit and clarify the wine. Still, it’ll likely need to be racked several times to help it clear.
Rack the wine after 2 months in secondary, then again at 4 months. At 6 months, either bottle or rack one final time.
Bottling Pineapple Wine
At bottling time, taste the pineapple wine. If it’s sweet enough for your liking, feel free to just bottle it as is. (That’s what I did, but I don’t like my wine overly sweet.)
Most of my winemaking guides suggest stabilizing at bottling time and then adding 2 to 4 ounces of sugar dissolved in a bit of water. This back sweetening will help bring out the tropical flavors, and obviously sweeten the finished wine.
You’ll need additional winemaking additives if you choose to stabilize the wine and back sweeten, and you can find detailed instructions on stabilizing wines here.
Allow the pineapple wine to bottle condition for at least 2 months, preferably longer, before drinking.
No Additive Pineapple Wine with Juice
This recipe comes from Artisanal Small Batch Brewing written by my friend Amber Shehan.
She avoids using winemaking chemicals in her recipes (tannin, yeast nutrient, etc) and instead uses natural things you’d otherwise already have in your kitchen like black tea and raisins.
I really love her book, and the “low input” approach to making wine, mead, and beer. I’ve made many of her recipes and they always turn out spectacular. (Check out her recipe for lemon balm mead, it’s a winner!)
This is an easy way to make pineapple wine without spending a lot of money on specialty ingredients:
- 2 quarts pineapple juice
- 1 lb sugar
- 1/8 cup raisins, chopped
- 1 cup strongly brewed black tea
- 1 packet Lavin K1-V116 Wine Yeast
- Water to fill
- 1 cup simple syrup (for secondary)
She starts by having you warm everything (except the yeast) to dissolve the sugar, then allows it to cool completely. It’s then poured into a carboy, filled to within 2 inches of the top with water and the yeast is pitched.
It’s then fermented in primary for 10-14 days (with a water lock, or just covered with a towel). She notes that if you do use a water lock, you’ll need to clean it frequently as this is a vigorous fermenter.
After fermentation slows down, she racks it over into a clean carboy onto 1 cup of simple syrup. (Made from 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, boiled the cooled completely.) Cap with a water lock and allow to ferment to completion (roughly 6 to 8 weeks at room temperature or slightly cooler).
Fruit Wine Recipes
Looking for more fruit wine recipes? Read on…
- Peach Wine
- Apple Wine
- Blackberry Wine
- Mango Wine
- Cherry Wine