Remember that song by Deana Carter years back?
Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love, oh bittersweet
The green on the vine
Like strawberry wine
Well, I have been singing the Blackberry version of that. Probably because we have picked more than 52 lbs of the darn things in the last 10 days. We have had pies, juice, and even blackberry pancakes.
So now it is time to make…
Now, I like a somewhat Light Bodied Sweet Wine. I do drink a dry wine some, but prefer sweet. When I make wine I use a 5 gal jug. I do this because wine is easy to mix, but takes some time to ferment and rack before it is ready to bottle. The fact is the longer the process the better the wine. That goes for after you bottle it as well. I have a bottle of Raspberry that will hit 2 years since bottled in a month. Can’t wait to open that one. So here is my 5 gallon recipe (you can cut it down by fifths to make a gallon).
- about 12 lb blackberries (or any fruit – Fresh is best)
- 10 – 12 lb. granulated sugar
- 2 pkgs yeast
Pick ripe berries. Wash thoroughly. Then crush berries in bowl, and transfer to fermenting jug. Next add a couple gallons of water, mixing thoroughly with sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar and add yeast and rest of water to fill jug to 2 inches below the neck. Cover mouth of jug securely with large balloon (or as we do, a rubber works very well), and set in warm (about 75 degrees) place for 10 to 14 days, stirring (shaking) daily (Balloon/rubber will expand as wine is fermenting). Pour thru sieve to remove berries and place into secondary fermenting jug and fit with new balloon/rubber. You can test taste at this time! Place in cool dark place for two to three months when all foaming has stopped (balloon/rubber will flatten). Yes! You can test taste at this time, too . Rack, allow another couple of months to finish, then rack and bottle. Allow 6 months to age, a year to mature.
As you can tell, this is a process that takes some time. We usually make wine a couple times a year so we have some ready to drink. I will tell you that you can bottle after 3 months, but understand there will be sediment that collects in bottom of bottle. Since it has been a few years of NO blackberry wine, we will pull a bottle after each rack just to have in fridge chilled. The rest will be put up to age!
I will keep you updated…
Good Wine Takes Time!