Blackberry Wine Recipe

Blackberry Wine

Blackberry photo plantThere is no shortage of wild blackberries growing in parks, backyards, along streets, and just about everywhere else.  Local wild blackberries are among the most environmentally friendly foods that the typical urban and suburban eats; therefore wild homemade blackberry wine is one of the most environmentally friendly alcoholic drink available.  Blackberry wine is cheap and easy to make, and tastes similar to grape wine.

 

Picking blackberries:

Picking blackberries on a sunny summers’ day is fun for the whole family.  In Metro Vancouver, blackberries normally ripen in mid August to mid September.  However, just because the berries are black and does not mean that they are ripe enough for wine, because you want the berries with the highest possible sugar content.  100 grams of blackberries will normally have 4.9 gram of sugar, whereas grapes will have about 16 to 20 grams of sugar.  The best blackberries for wine making start to burst in your hand as you gently pick them, although you can still make good wine from less ripe berries.   To get the highest yield from a single berry patch, you can pick and freeze the best berries and then return when more have ripened.

 

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  1. Mash the blackberries with a potato masher or anything else you have on hand to break the skins, but don’t use a food processor or a blender, because you might extract bitterness from the seeds and skins.
  2. Pour the crushed berries in a straining bag inside a clean and sanitized fermenting pail.
  3. Heat about 4 litres of water on the stove and slowly add the sugar to the warm water while continuously stirring. Be careful not to let the sugar burn on the bottom of the pot.
  4. When the sugar is dissolved, add the sugar-water mix to the fermenting pail. Top off the fermenter with cold water to the 23 litre point.
  5. Take and record a hydrometer reading.
  6. Add the yeast nutrient, acid blend, pectic enzyme, and stir in 5 crushed campden tablets. Let the fermenter sit covered for 24 hours.
  7. Add the yeast and place the fermenter in a cool, dark place with a stable temperature between 21 – 24 °C.
  8. Stir the wine every day.
  9. After 5 to 7 days, lift out the bag of blackberries and allow the remaining wine to drip back into the fermented juice.
  10. Siphon the wine from the pail into a clean and sanitized carboy, leaving behind the sediment and pulp.
  11. Top the carboy off with water, or displace the extra carboy head-space by adding sanitized marbles.
  12. Insert the airlock into the top of the carboy, and fill the airlock halfway with water.
  13. Allow the wine to ferment and clear for at least 6 weeks.
  14. Take a hydrometer reading; the wine should finish at 0.990 to 0.998 gravity points.
  15. Siphon the wine into a clean and sanitized carboy, then repeat steps 11 to 13 at least two more times or until the wine is clear.
  16. Mix in 5 crushed campden tablets and siphon the wine into clean and sanitized wine bottles.
  17. Age the wine in the bottles for 3 months.
  18. Enjoy with friends.

 

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