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How to Make Pear Wine – Easy Homemade Wine Recipe for Ripe Pears

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When life gives you too many overripe pears, it's time to learn how to make pear wine. This wine recipe is dry, with a light pear flavor, and is a good use for very ripe and lightly damaged pears.

homemade pear wine

This recipe is adapted from “How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen” by Mettja C. Roate. “How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen” is old and hard to find, but if you can find a copy, snatch it up.

The recipes use common kitchen ingredients instead of specialized wine making ingredients, which is great for the novice or incidental brewer. I did tweak the recipe a little to include wine making yeast.

You can make homemade wine with wild yeasts, but it's easy to make a mistake and go from homemade wine to homemade vinegar.

If you enjoy making country wines with wide variety of ingredients, “Wild Wine Making” by Richard W. Bender is now available from Storey Publishing. It features pear wine, blueberry-pear wine and pear-black currant wine, along with 142 other fun recipes.

There are fruit & vegetable wines; flower & herb wines; hot pepper wines and cannabis wines. The photos are gorgeous and the author takes the mystery out of successful wine making.

You may also notice that yours truly is also mentioned on the back cover, as I was offered a preview of the book before it released.

Homemade Pear Wine Recipe

Ingredients

Adapted from “How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen“. Makes around one gallon of homemade wine.

  • 4 quarts of chopped, unpeeled ripe pears (approximately five pounds)
  • 3 cups of white raisins, chopped
  • 6 cups of cane sugar
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 1 packet champagne yeast Order champagne yeast
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient (optional) Order yeast nutrient

Directions

Note:  If you do not have a crock, you may ferment your wine in any large, food safe container – just don't use aluminum or anything reactive. Some local hardware stores or home brewing store carry crocks in addition to other fermenting vessels. I use a two gallon crock because the wine foams up during initial fermentation.

Pears should be ripe enough that stems pull out easily. If not, set aside and wait a few more days. (Pears ripen off the tree.) Wash, trim, quarter and finely chop or crush the pears. Skins are fine to include, but keep the seeds out. Pear seeds are bitter and can give the wine an off flavor. Crush pears with a potato masher or well washed hands. Place pears and raisins into crock.

In a medium stockpot, dissolve brown and white sugar in two quarts water over low heat. Bring to a boil, and then set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Add 2 quarts water to fruit mash in crock, then add the sugar water. Stir well to evenly distribute the sugar throughout the mix. Sprinkle yeast and yeast nutrient over top of mash, stir in to mix until completely dissolved and well blended.

pear wine mash

Fermenting the Pear Wine

Cover and keep in a warm location for three weeks, stirring daily and mashing fruit against the side of the crock. I use a flour sack towel secured with an old elastic head band to cover my wines. Fruit flies love fermented foods, so make sure your container is well sealed.

At the end of the initial three week fermentation period, strain mixture through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing very dry. Return liquid to crock. Set in a warm place to ferment for two weeks longer. No stirring is necessary during this second fermentation.

At the end of the second ferment (which makes five weeks in all), strain liquid through several thicknesses of cheesecloth or a flour sack towel. Siphon or ladle into the strainer, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the crock. (You're aiming for a clear product at this point.)

Return the clear wine to the crock or a carboy for two days to allow it to settle again. Put the cloudy wine from the bottom of the crock into a two quart jar to settle for two days and then draw off as much clear liquid as possible. Add to the rest of the wine and allow to sit for another day.

pear wine carboy

Bottling the Pear Wine

Once the pear wine has settled, you can either bottle it directly into bottles or place in a carboy. There may be a little active yeast at this point, so if you put it in bottles, put balloons over the openings so the gasses can escape. When the balloons don't inflate anymore, cork the bottles and age in a cool dark location for at least 6 to 12 months before drinking.

If using a carboy, siphon wine into carboy, keeping your siphon hose off the bottom of the crock to leave the wine dregs behind. Place airlock and age in carboy for 6 months before bottling. When bottling, siphon into bottles, leaving dregs in the bottom of the carboy for a clearer wine. We demonstrate in the video below.

Using a carboy gives a clearer wine, since you leave behind the sediment one extra time.

Give Your Homemade Pear Wine Some Extra Kick

“How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen” notes…

If you desire more character in your wine, add 1/4 pound of candied ginger, finely chopped, at the same time as the raisins. If you desire heat along with the spicy taste, also add ten or twelve black peppercorns.

There was an attempt to market pear wine commercially in this country at one time. However, due to its blandness, winemakers found it had to be fortified up to 20% with pear brandy. Homemade wine can be fortified, too, for better results. I find that using a good grade of grape brandy gives a wonderful flavor. I add this just before the two-day settling period, using about 2 cups of brandy to a gallon.

In France and Germany there is a pear champagne which is made in much the same manner; however, it is bottled and corked tightly, while in the fermenting stage, giving it effervescence when opened.

More Homemade Wine Recipes

Winemaking makes the kitchen smells a bit like hooch at times, but it's pretty tasty hooch. Homemade wine is great way to use up an abundance of produce that might otherwise go to waste. It's safe to give the leftover pear wine mash to the chickens, too, or use it to make fruitcake. Just make sure not to give them so much that they get drunk. 🙂

Other homemade wine recipes on the site include:

Need more pear ideas? Check out 9 Ways to Preserve Pears, Plus Tips to Prevent Browning.

pear wine bottles

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Homemade Pear wine

5 bottles of homemade pear wine

This easy homemade pear wine recipe combines just a few simple ingredients to turn an abundance of ripe pears into delicious homemade wine.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Yield: 1 gallon 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 quarts of chopped, unpeeled ripe pears (approximately five pounds)
  • 3 cups of white raisins, chopped
  • 6 cups of cane sugar
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 1 packet champagne yeast
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient (optional)

Instructions

Pears should be ripe enough that stems pull out easily. If not, set aside and wait a few more days. (Pears ripen off the tree.) Wash, trim, quarter and finely chop or crush the pears. Skins are fine to include, but keep the seeds out. Pear seeds are bitter and can give the wine an off flavor. Crush pears with a potato masher or well washed hands. Place pears and raisins into crock.

In a medium stockpot, dissolve brown and white sugar in two quarts water over low heat. Bring to a boil, and then set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Add 2 quarts water to fruit mash in crock, then add the sugar water. Stir well to evenly distribute the sugar throughout the mix. Sprinkle yeast and yeast nutrient over top of mash, stir in to mix until completely dissolved and well blended.

Fermenting the Pear Wine

Cover and keep in a warm location for three weeks, stirring daily and mashing fruit against the side of the crock. I use a flour sack towel secured with an old elastic head band to cover my wines. Fruit flies love fermented foods, so make sure your container is well sealed.

At the end of the initial three week fermentation period, strain mixture through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing very dry. Return liquid to crock. Set in a warm place to ferment for two weeks longer. No stirring is necessary during this second fermentation.

At the end of the second ferment (which makes five weeks in all), strain liquid through several thicknesses of cheesecloth or a flour sack towel. Siphon or ladle into the strainer, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the crock. (You're aiming for a clear product at this point.)

Return the clear wine to the crock or a carboy for two days to allow it to settle again. Put the cloudy wine from the bottom of the crock into a two quart jar to settle for two days and then draw off as much clear liquid as possible. Add to the rest of the wine and allow to sit for another day.

Bottling the Pear Wine

Once the pear wine has settled, you can either bottle it directly into bottles or place in a carboy. There may be a little active yeast at this point, so if you put it in bottles, put balloons over the openings so the gasses can escape. When the balloons don't inflate anymore, cork the bottles and age in a cool dark location for at least 6 to 12 months before drinking.

If using a carboy, siphon wine into carboy, keeping your siphon hose off the bottom of the crock to leave the wine dregs behind. Place airlock and age in carboy for 6 months before bottling. When bottling, siphon into bottles, leaving dregs in the bottom of the carboy for a clearer wine.

Using a carboy gives a clearer wine, since you leave behind the sediment one extra time.

Notes

Note:  If you do not have a crock, you may ferment your wine in any large, food safe container – just don't use aluminum or anything reactive. Some local hardware stores or home brewing store carry crocks in addition to other fermenting vessels. I use a two gallon crock because the wine foams up during initial fermentation.

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Originally published in 2011, last updated in 2018.

5 bottles of homemade pear wine

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68 Comments

  1. Wow cool thanks for sharing! i might have to try this out since i have pears coming out the wazoo at the moment!

      1. Late entry for commenting on this recipe but thought I should mention this today after finding your post for pear wine. Years ago (decades actually) people used to make sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) in crocks. These were later deemed to be poor for health since they actually have lead in them. They are no longer safe for anything to do with foods and especially alcohol; mostly just decorative today. Use ONLY food grade plastic or glass, brew stores all carry such things. Also note: crock pots have ceramic glazed liners, at 80 degrees F. at least 15-20% starts to “leach” off and it’s what you’ll consume in the foods you have made. There’s also a reason today that more and more people have brain deficiencies-Parkinson’s, Alzheimers etc and coincidentally, our parents or grand parents probably pickled cabbage, crock pots used to be all the rage. Today, some manufacturers make slow cookers with metal liners. DO NOT use anything but what I suggest above for making wine or beer-FOOD GRADE containers only!

        1. I’m stunned. Another entire industry built on a lethal technology. Hopping down to the hardware store for my lead test kit asap!

        2. Older crocks may have a risk of containing lead. If you have an older crock and are unsure, simple lead test kits are available at most hardware stores. You can see the testing process demonstrated at http://www.crockandjar.com/testing-your-old-crock-for-lead/.

          Ohio Stoneware crocks, the type I use and recommend in the post, are lead free and recommended for food storage. Specifically, from their amazon.com description:

          Made of reliable Stoneware
          For preserving and storing vegetables
          Lead-free and contains no harmful chemicals

          I’d be far more concerned about chemicals leeching from plastic over time, especially when the plastic is in contact with acid and alcohol. Some glass containers may also contain lead – especially those manufactured overseas.

          As for lead in crocks and crockpots contributing to Alzheimer’s and other brain health issues, it’s far more likely that the current Standard American Diet is to blame, along with demonizing of cholesterol and poor gut health linked to antibiotic overuse and other lifestyle factors. I suggest reading The Alzheimer’s Antidote for a breakdown of the latest research on cognitive decline.

  2. I haven't yet. Maybe next year. I'm pretty new to the whole winemaking thing, so I'm a little cautious. I guess the worse that could happen is that I end up with pear vinegar.

  3. I love the Wine from the Kitchen book and have been using that –avoiding the sulfa tabs and the extra cost… Pear can be a very nice sparkling wine if you like that too.

    1. I enjoy winemaking. It’s so easy! If we drank more, I’d make more. I love the yeasty, fruity smell the crocks make on the counter during the initial ferment. I bet your peach wine will be lovely!

    2. I wish I could trade you 20 lbs of pears for 20 lbs of peaches! I have so many Williams/Bartlett pears right now that my dehydrator (and the wine crock) are running 24/7…let us know how it goes!

  4. I am making some pear wine and can’t find corks that will go in the wine bottles. All the corks that I have seen are to big to fit a wine bottle and I don’t have a thing that will push the cork in the bottle. What can I do?

  5. Thanks for the great idea for pear wine. I made pear wine last year and i think it turned out pretty good. Most of it is buried in back yard right now. You seemed to work your recipe in stages….the raisons and pears sit, then add the shredded wheat 40 hours in, and then add the water and sugar water (not sure when you did this.), and finally the champagne yeast (now sure timing on this one either). Is this timing important or can I add all ingredients from go and let it sit for the three weeks?

    Thanks for the help! My pears are not ripe enough to “mash” at this point so guess I best let them sit a little longer. Last year I didn’t “mash” the pears….just cut them in and added the ingredients. Think that would be OK?

    Patricia

    1. Taking the process in steps gives time for different flavors to develop. Wine (from what I’ve experimented with so far) is pretty forgiving, so you could try it and see if you like the results. Mashing the pears gives more surface area for all the little microorganisms to work their mojo and releases the juices. I’ve always been a masher, so I can’t compare the flavors myself. Again, wine is pretty forgiving. If it ferments, you can make some sort of wine.

  6. I noticed you say in recipe white raisins, in my town white raisins are not available, and I just have golden raisins. Would there be a difference in color and taste? I have some pears, that I have to do something with immediately.

    1. White raisins = golden raisins, because they come from white grapes. That was the term used by the author I referenced. Sorry for any confusion! Even dark raisins would work, the flavor would just be a little different and the color would be darker.

  7. Your “wine is good” update is dated September 7, 2013. Your basic post is dated September 22, 2011. Do I understand that it took over 2 years for the wine to be “good”? If that’s what it takes, so be it. But it’s a little daunting to start a project like this if it doesn’t pay off for 2 years. Thanks for any response.

    1. Wine should generally age at least a year, and, yes, two is generally better. The date just happens to be what it is because I was updating old posts and also happened to drinking some of the wine.

  8. hi, trying your pear wine recipe now and wow smells so good, and just in the 2nd part of the fermentation, so a couple weeks to go yet. Was wondering if the recipe allows for different fruits? We have a lot of apples left over and want to try to change the fruit but keep the rest of the recipe…maybe even a banana or orange wine. curious anyways thanks for any reply

    Bill

    1. I would expect apples to ferment most similarly to pears, but bananas and citrus would likely merit a different approach. If it has sugar, it will ferment, but working with a recipe should help create a more reliably tasty product.

  9. Rice wine is lot easier,cook the rice when its ready,spread it over a large clean plastic to let it cool.
    Then add yeast and fill back into a container.let it ferment for a week keep the lids loose so co2produced may not explode your container. And its ready by a week. With a good muslin cloth seperate the solid from liquid. And allow for settling and you have it.

  10. Great website !

    Working on our first batch of pear wine

    Have a question on the sugar per gallon – Your ‘Pear Wine Recipe’ calls for 7 cups (3.5 pounds) of sugar per gallon. Have checked several other recipes and most call for 2 pounds sugar per gallon.

    Do not want overly strong wine

    Why 3.5 pounds sugar per gallon ?

    Wayne

    1. Go ahead and use two pounds if you like. This has 3.5 pounds because that’s what the recipe I based it on used. I didn’t find it to be overly sweet, but it’s not a dry wine, that’s for sure.

  11. In the initial fermenting phase did you have to vent the bucket. I am using a 5 gallon bucket and can’t tell if it needs to be vented. A friend of my husband said no. But I don’t want an explosion.

    1. Yes, while the yeast is active, ventilation is required, either via primitive methods like the tea towel cover, or via airlock on your fermenting vessel. As long as the yeast is active, carbon dioxide will be produced and will need a place to go.

  12. Thank you for sharing, starting the first batch tonight with the ginger and peppercorns, Christmas is coming and Spiced Pear Wine has a nice ring to it.

    1. High can you tell me how much ginger you added
      Iv got some dried ginger
      Do you just put it in grate or chopp it
      Thanks

      1. The recipe I researched suggested candied ginger, specifically, ” If you desire more character in your wine, add 1/4 pound of candied ginger, finely chopped, at the same time as the raisins. If you desire heat along with the spicy taste, also add ten or twelve black peppercorns.”

        If you wanted to try some fresh ginger, I would shred or finely dice it, and start with no more than 1/4 cup. I wouldn’t use dried ginger, personally, because I believe the flavor would be inferior, but if you did use it i would finely chop or grate it and use a 1-3 teaspoons.

  13. My wine is more like shine & cloudy. I strained it & now in 8 qts mason jars, lids have sealed on their own. It all new so I’m going to let it set for 2 days to settle. I’m not even sure that right. But after do I have to refrigerate it? I will keep it in mason jars.

    1. The alcohol content should preserve it, so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

      What you’re missing is racking your wine, which removes the sediment. Too much sediment will add off flavors to the wine as it ages. I’d advise putting your wine back into one large container, letting it settle, and then racking it, leaving the sediment behind and giving you a clear product. Here’s a video on racking wine:

      Technically, you could leave it in mason jars, but I bet you could round up used wine bottles from friends. A corker will cost a little up front, but corks are cheap.

  14. Sounds like something I want to try grow our our fruit ( pears, grapes, kumquat, and several other exotic ) love the post.

  15. When I make pear wine I can the pears and make wine with the peelings and cores,It takes 4 lbs. of peelings and cores to make 1 gallon of wine and 2.5 lbs.of sugar.This way I eat the pears and drink the peelings and cores.

  16. it is very good to see this article but i wanted to know have you used any substances to clear the pears wine. Clarity of the wine was excellent. What did you do for clarity of wine? Can you share it to me.

      1. Hi Laurie – Question!

        Above you say that one packet of yeast will ferment up to 5 gallons of wine. I think one gallon usually fills about 5 bottles (like in your photo) – is that right? When I look at your recipe and click the “2x” option to double it, it says it makes 2 gallons of wine, but it also calls for 2 packets of the champagne yeast. Is it safe to assume 1 packet of yeast will work here, or is 2 what I should go with? Thanks again!

        1. The 2X and 3X options for the recipes automatically double everything and I don’t have any way to change that, unfortunately.

          One packet of yeast will get the job done for 1-5 gallons of wine.

          One gallon of wine should fill around 5 bottles, as you noted.

  17. If you are still monitoring this post, I have a question about Seckel Pears. If I were to use them for wine do I make any changes to the sugar? These are super sweet sugar pears.

    1. If you’re concerned about the wine being too sweet, it’s okay to reduce the sugar, but I don’t have a specific suggestion about exactly how much to reduce it, since I haven’t had the opportunity to try seckel pears.

    1. The article “Why Does A Wine Recipe Call For Raisins?” explains:

      “Raisins may be called for because they are an abundant source of body. They can improve the mouth-feel of the wine by increasing its viscosity. This gives the wine a heartier, overall impression. It also causes the fruit flavors to linger on the tongue longer, producing a fruitier impression.

      Raisins also add a caramel element to the wine. This is an effect that is caused by the browning, oxidative effects of sun-drying the raisins. This is the same characteristic found in Ports or Sherrys. This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the type of wine and preference of the wine drinker. You can reduce this characteristic by using Muscat, or white raisins instead.”

      Some people substitute grapes instead, especially when they’d prefer to avoid the caramel flavor element. You don’t need to add either for the wine to ferment, but adding them adds different flavor elements to the wine.

      1. Gotcha. I just meant after the “wash, trim, and quarter” part. Do you think it would be ok to put the remaining pear chunks in the blender instead of finely chopping or crushing them. Thanks 🙂

  18. Hi there! I remember seeing your site last year after having canned a ton of pears, so I pinned it for wine making this year and am now not seeing the recipe! Has it been removed, or can you show me where your recipe for this pear wine might be? Am I just missing it?!

    1. Thank you for asking! The blasted new editing system we are now forced to use (Gutenberg) ate most of the post because there was a small error in one of the “blocks”. I think we have the issue resolved and it should be showing up now.

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