Blackberry wine recipe
Mighty Fine Homemade Blackberry Wine Recipe
I live in the Pacific Northwest, land of berries. My favorite summer preserve to make is Blackberry Wine. So many people who have sampled my wine have asked me how to make blackberry wine, that I now want to share my homemade blackberry wine recipe. I call it my “Mighty Fine Blackberry Wine.”
You know I like to make it simple for you.
There was a time when fermented beverage making was simple and widespread. Brewing was a sacred job in the household, often done by women. Did you know that except for Australian aborigines and some native North Americans, that practically every human indigenous group brewed fermented beverages?
For the history of brewing, I HIGHLY recommend Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, by Stephen Buhner. An enlightening read with amazing recipes.
In recent years, wine making has become a male, techy thing. Guys love those home brew stores with all the gadgets. I think that whole aspect turns women away from it. So, I will show you that this does not have to be complicated and you need no special techy equipment.
What about yeast?
In a nutshell, to make wine, you need to make a sugary environment. Then you add yeast. The yeast eat the sugar and the “waste” is carbon dioxide and alcohol. Yes folks, you’re drinking yeast excrement. But hey, at least it tastes good.
So, let’s get started using blackberry juice as our sugar water.
The recipe I am giving you is to make ONE GALLON of wine. However, what you see in my pictures is making five gallons.
What you’ll need:
• 4 1⁄2 pounds of blackberries. That takes about an hour or less to pick.
• 2 1⁄2 lbs. of regular old sugar, the white kind.
• 7 pints of water
• a red wine yeast (regular yeast will work too, but not as good)
• Polyurethane pale from a home brewing store (OR A CLEAN BUCKET)
• A glass carboy from a brewing store (Or a gallon glass jug that apple juice is often packaged in. The organic juice form my co-op is anyways)
• An airlock from a brewing store (or a balloon or some cotton wool.)
• A siphon from a brewing store (or five feet of clear plastic tubing from a hardware store)
Later: wine bottles, corks, a hand corker
Optional: Campden tablets and Star San Sanitizer
So, the stuff from the home brew store is ideal, and doesn’t cost that much. BUT if you have no brew supply store, then just use the alternatives I gave.
I would at least try to order a red wine yeast by Red Star if you can. Just Google “homebrew supplies’ and you can come up with lots of options should you want to get stuff from a brew supply store and have none near you.
PART 1 of the blackberry wine recipe: Here’s what to do: (Read these directions all the way through first)
1. Gather your blackberries
2. Crush the berries by hand in your bucket or pale and then pour on one quart of boiled water that has cooled. Mix it well.
3. Campden tablets kill any unwanted yeast. I made this wine for years successfully without them. Other wines I have had problems not using them. So, it’s your call. If you want them, crush one tablet and dissolve the powder in a little bit of warm water. Mix this with the fruit.
A note on cleaning equipment… For years I just poured boiling water in my equipment to clean it off. It worked just fine. I did have a batch of elderberry wine go bad two years ago on me on the early stage. Was it a wild yeast? Well, whatever it was, it was unwanted.
The wine store guy said it might have been because I did not use campden tablets? Did I not properly sterilize my equipment? Well, I don’t know. And it’s up to you. Clean things out with boiling water or use the Star San Sanitizer that you can get from that Homebrew shop I mentioned.
You can certainly do fine with out it. However, in the future, if you make a bad batch, you might want to consider it.
4. Leave the mixture alone for a couple hours. No worries if bleaching takes place.
5. WHILE you are waiting for those 2 hours to pass… take one third of the sugar and boil it for one minute in 3 pints of water (that’s 48 ounces). Allow this to cool to room temperature.
6. WHEN IT HAS COOLED… take a packet of the yeast and empty it into 4 ounces of warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
7. Pour the syrup (sugar water) into the pulp.
8. Pour in the yeast. If you do not wait for the syrup to cool first, you will KILL the yeast. It is ALIVE.
9. Cover this with a clean cloth.
10. Let it sit for 7 days in a warm place.
Part 2 of how to make blackberry wine: AFTER SEVEN DAYS…
1. Strain the pulp though a fine muslin or other material and wring it out dry.
2. Compost the pulp.
3. Put the strained wine into your gallon jug.
4. Boil another 1/3 of the sugar in ONE PINT (16 oz.) of water. LET IT COOL.
5. When it cools, add it to the rest. If you do not wait for it to cool, then you’ll KILL your yeast.
6. Plug the top of the jug with an airlock or some cotton wool. I like the airlocks. They are cheap and clean. Just put a bit of water in it so the bobber thingie can go up an down. You can also put a balloon in it. It will trap all the CO2 in the balloon. The airlock lets it out. If you use an airlock, you should see the wine bubble, bubble, bubble!
7. Let this sit for 10 days…
Part 3 of the balckberrry wine recipe: AFTER TEN DAYS
I will post photos for this section later. When you get to this stage, check back.
1. Siphon out your wine into a spare jar or pot. Make sure you are keeping your equipment clean. To siphon, put you spare jar LOWER than your wine. Put the siphon on the wine and direct the bottom to the jar. With your head lower than the wine, suck hard on the tube making sure you do not drink the wine. The wine will flow into the tube and into your jar. Let the wine flow and leave the sediment in your jug. It should be obvious what to do.
2. Clean out your jug you used. Sterilize it, then return your wine to the jug you used before.
3. Boil the remaining one third of the sugar in the remaining pint of water. LET IT COOL.
4. Add it to the wine, plug the jug back up like you did before.
5. Leave it in a warm place until FERMENTATION STOPS! You’ll know cuz it will stop bubbling.
Part 4 of the blackberry wine recipe: AFTER IT’S DONE BUBBLING…
1. Siphon into another spare jar leaving sediment behind.
2. Get your bottles, clean them and sanitize them. Wine can still go bad if put in tainted bottles.
3. Put a funnel in the bottle, and fill each bottle to the neck.
4. Cork each bottle.
CONCLUSION of how to make blackberry wine…
The wine will get better with age, but I hear berry wine only is good for a couple to few years. I have no idea. I drink all mine within the year.
Now, that was easy! Now you don’t need any fancy books either..
BUT..if you want to check out a couple books on how to make blackberry wine...
The number one best wine book is an OLD out of print wee little handbook called Successful Wine Making at Home, by H.E. Bravery. Maybe ABE.com will have it. It has a GREAT blackberry wine recipe in it.
Another book I recently discovered was Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz . This book covers all sorts of fermented foods, and has a simple wine section with an elderberry wine recipe. Good stuff.
Also remember to check out Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, by Stephen Buhner.
That was a fun herbal adventure eh??? Why use a tincture when you can make wine! Taste better! :)
I hope you enjoyed my favorite blackberry wine recipe. now you know how to make blackberry wine... Have a Berry Fine Week!