Prickly Pear Wine Recipe For Tammy

Prickly PearI am about to make my first batch of Prickly Pear Wine. One of the lovely people at your company e-mailed some information and a wine recipe, but I seem to have misplaced it. I have five gallons of prickly pear juice in my freezer that I will use for the wine and other wine recipes this year.

The five gallons of juice I have in the freezer came from approximately 105 pounds of fresh fruit from the Sonoran Desert area in Arizona over a three year period.

Can you please send me the prickly pear wine recipe again and a guideline about using the juice versus the fresh fruit? I have everything but the additives like wine yeast, sulfites, etc.

mrs. “t”

Name: Tammy T.
State: Arizona
Hello Tammy,

Sounds like you’ve got things lined up and ready to go except for the prickly pear wine recipe, itself. Sorry to hear you lost it, but that’s no big deal. I’ll just give it to you again, down below.

Any of the wine recipes you run across will list the fruit or produce in pounds or chopped volume. That’s just the way it is, and so it goes with the wine recipe below. It calls for 3 quarts of prickly pear, chopped.

You mentioned that 105 pounds of prickly pear resulted in 5 gallons of juice. Now all you need to know is how much 3 quarts of chopped prickly pears weighs and divide that into the 105 pounds to calculate how much of the juice you need to use.

Prickly Pear Wine Recipe
(1 Gallon)

3 Quarts – Prickly Pear (Chopped)Shop Strainers
1-1/4 Cup – Raisins (Chopped)
2 Pints – Water
2 Pounds – Cane Sugar
2 Teaspoons – Acid Blend
1/4 Teaspoon – Pectic Enzymes
3/4 Teaspoon – Yeast Energizer
1 – Campden Tablet (Crushed)
1 Packet – Wine Yeast (Premier Classique)

You can follow the directions at the following link to our website: How To Make Homemade Wine

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

32 thoughts on “Prickly Pear Wine Recipe For Tammy

  1. Thanks EC Kraus! Here goes! One batch of Prickly Pear Wine coming up! I appreciate your assistance. I will let you know how it turns out when it’s ready to drink!
    "mrs. t"

  2. How much does 3 qts weigh or how much juice for one batch. Thank you. Trying it for the first time this year.

  3. Linda, unfortunately we do not have this information. Does anyone else have any ideas?…

    • From another site I saw them using 5-6 pounds prickly pears for a 1 gallon batch. I used that weight. of fruit cut up with some lemon juice then barely covered with boiling water & simmered for about 20 min. Then mashed the fruit & strained. I added 2 pounds of sugar which is 4 cups & that brought our SG to 1.092 .

  4. Need help ! Need recipe for a 5gal batch of prickly pear wine . I have 2 gal of juice . Thanks clueless in texas

  5. I make wine from prickly pears i find growing in abandoned lots in the autumn in east sandiego. I just fill two big trash cans with good ripe fruit. Ones opened by birds with ants on them are the best. Be careful, wear gloves! Fill the cans and take home.
    Dump out on lawn. Spray off the ants, etc.
    Then re fill one trash can with water.
    Use to rinse the pears. Just rinse, smash in your hand, throw in a clean bucket, repeat…once all pears are smashed an in a clean bucket, pour just enough water to almost cover the fruit. Mix in some metabusulfite.
    Wait a day, with bucket covered with good porous cloth to keep out bugs but to let the sulfer gas leave after it sterilizes the pear fruit. Add good yeast, i like red star champagne yeast. also add copious amounts of pectic enzyme. Let it ferment. I add sugar and or honey at this time to make it stronger. When its quiet, about 1 to 2 weeks, rack into secondary fermentors and let it settle. One can use clarifying agents. I use knox gelatin. Let settle out and bottle. Delicious. Mine is usually tangy with a bit of a fizz like a purple champagne.

  6. Hi jon,
    So you do not remove the prickly pear skin? Just smash it open?
    Interesting since we got loads of them in Malta!

  7. I still have not been able to bottle my prickly pear as the texture is still rather slimy. Anyone else have this problem? It tastes good….

    • Jodi, I just started a batch last week and mine is really slimy too! It smells amazing but I don’t know how I could have avoided the slime… Any changes in yours?

  8. Hello:
    I live it Tucson many years and had cactus on our property. I was taught a recipe from a moonshiner in Tennessee so I tried it on the cactus fruit. Pulling the fruit off the plant with salad tongs and squashing it in a colander I then strained it through cheesecloth. With this complete I then took 1 gallon of juice, 2 cups of sugar and 1 packet of brewers yeast. Mix this and set it in a dark area, which was a closet for 1 month with cheesecloth over the top. This is not a refined as some wine makers but the wine is delicious. I had my wife try it and she agreed it was wine.

    • Mike, this was an OUTSTANDING Method and Recipe, with simple steps and Excellent results ! Kudos to you and Thanks for THIS Post 🙂
      I live in a Wine area of Southern California and we have have Prickly Pear Cactus ALL around us, so this will give my wife and I another
      way to use our Pears (Tunas) besides just the Tea and Jelly we’ve been enjoying! Take care my friend and Semper Fi

      Bob in Temecula,CA

    • So you don’t boil the fruit at all like most recipies tell you to?
      I have 2 gal of juice got it pretty much the way you did, strained.

    • My neighbor just gave me 3.5 liters of prickly pear juice that she had made for me to ferment into wine. I was looking for some guidance on doing so and ran across your recipe. I will definitely try this. I was just concerned about how much sugar I would need to add as I have no clue what the sugar content of prickly pears is. Thanks for the clarity!

      • I would strongly urge you to get a hydrometer that has a “potential alcohol” scale on it. It will tell you how much alcohol can be made with the sugars that are currently in the wine must. Then for every pound of sugar you add to 5 gallons, you will raise the potential alcohol by 1%.

    • Gerald, unfortunately we did not even know there were different types of prickly pears so we do not have an answer for you.

    • Theodoros, making wine with baking yeast is something that we do not recommend. There are several reasons why we do not suggest using bread yeast. Bread yeast can only ferment up to 8-10 percent alcohol, it does not clear well and it can produce off flavors. For more information on this subject, please see the article link posted below.

      Making Wine with Bread Yeast

  9. Ed and all,
    How long do you suggest letting Prickly Pear wine age in the carboy? Also how long in the bottle?

    • Ralph, whether aging in a carboy or in the bottle, I would recommend at least 3 months for any wine. You can test a bottle every once in a while to see how it is progressing.

  10. Ed and all,
    I am seeing a lot of differing views on one question I have. I have frozen prickly pear fruits should I boil and peel the prickly pear fruit or just chop them? I know when I brew I just thaw fruit and mash em a bit.. is the theory the same here?

    • If you leave the whole fruit in there, you may need extra pectic enzyme to prevent overly thick liquid, but I think the taste is better with the skin on for primary fermentation. Just make it like a red wine!

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