Banana wine is a sweet-smelling homemade beverage with a light fruit flavor, honey color, and a unique taste. The main ingredients needed are ripe bananas. It can be made sweet or dry depending upon the recipe being used and you can blend it with other wines for more body and flavor.
Bananas are packed with sugars and are some of the sweetest fruits on earth. It is this sweetness which makes them perfect for wine-making. With only a few additions to give the acidity a better balance, you will have a full-bodied, very memorable wine. Banana pairs perfectly with lots of other fruits and spices making the possibilities endless when you have a good banana wine recipe.
History/Origins Of Banana Wine
Banana wine comes with a rich cultural significance and long history in the Philippines, South India, East Africa, and Central America. Banana wine is not the same as banana beer, which also has a long history in many parts of East Africa.
One thing you can be sure of is that not many people have experimented with banana wine before because it is only available in small scale home production levels. There is virtually no large scale or industrial production of banana wine. Banana wine in Tanzania, however, is being made commercially.
Is Banana Wine Different From Other Wines?
The technology used in making this type of wine is different from the one used in traditional winemaking. This is because bananas don’t easily give out juice or other vital substances needed for wine-making. However, having said that, the good news is that even newbies will easily master the recipe used in banana wine-making.
Depending on the amount of sugar you add and the strain of yeast, the alcohol and sweetness level in the final wine can vary.
Benefits Of Banana Wine
Bananas are generally a good source of fibers and sugars making them a good energy source. They are known to reduce, among other things, blood pressure, stroke risk, depression, anemia, heartburn, stress, ulcers, constipation, and diarrhea.
Banana wine is an excellent health tonic that also aids in digestion. This unique tasting fruit wine is loaded with vitamins, potassium, and manganese. It is a favorite among health-conscious people.
Making Banana Wine At Home
Perhaps the best thing about making this unique wine is that you don’t have to wait for the main ingredient to be in season. You can make banana wine any time of the year as bananas are available almost throughout the year. Bananas are also relatively cheap.
When making banana wine, patience is a virtue as it takes a comparatively long time to become perfectly clear and ready for drinking. The ingredients you will require include:
- 2 kilograms ripe banana (or depending on how much wine you want to make)
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- Other additions like cinnamon, chilies, cloves, etc (depending on your taste/flavor preferences)
You will need Citric Acid to boost the acidity levels and also promote the breakdown of glucose. In turn, this boosts the fermentation process, makes your wine tastier, prevents wine diseases, and elongates its shelf life.
The Wine Making Process:
- Boil ¼ liter of clean water to about 170° F, then transfer the water to a sterile ceramic jar.
- Add the yeast, mix well and then cover the jar until your yeast has fully proofed.
- Chop the ripe banana roughly to small pieces and transfer them to a 5-liters capacity porcelain jar (you can also use a food grade plastic jar).
- Add sugar, raisins and then gently stir with a wooden spoon.
- Add the proofed yeast, some crushed cloves, chilies, and cinnamon; and stir gently.
- Cover the porcelain jar with a lid and allow it to sit in a warm location for 15 days. Using a sanitized paddle give a quick stir to the mixture every few days
- Depending on the amount/quality of the yeast and the temperature, homemade banana wine will typically ferment for between 30 and 60 days.
- You will know that the process of fermentation has stopped when the airlock on your porcelain jar is no longer emitting gas, and when there are sediments at the bottom of the jar.
- Open the container lid and sieve the contents and set it aside for about 7 days. You can use a muslin cloth or a close-meshed strainer.
- Pour your wine into sterilized bottles using sanitized equipment, tightly close the bottles, and store in a cool/dark and place for an additional 2 months. This allows your banana wine to reach attain a good alcohol volume. During this period, don’t touch the wine bottles.
Aging & Storing Your Banana Wine
Similar to any other wine, your banana wine will get better as it ages. As it does so, you will get a brilliant golden, crystal clear liquid with all finesse. Always remember to keep the bottled wine in a dark, cool place. The shelf life of your banana wine is up to 3-years.