Saturday, 18 August 2012

blackberry wine...

Having now picked about 10lbs of blackberries from our old favourite spot, and now a new favourite spot on the Greensands Way, we've put down our first batch of blackberry wine.

For the recipe we used, you will need:-

  • 4lb of fresh juicy blackberries (you can freeze them first so that when they thaw you get more juice out of them more easily)
  • 3lb of sugar

  • a big bucket to steep them in

  • a packet of wine yeast

  • 4 litres of water

  • juice of a lemon


place the blackberries in the bucket, and mush them with a potato masher

Add a litre of boiling water to the mush to help release the fruit juices from the pulp,

Add the sugar to the mush, the boiling water will help to dissolve the sugar

in a seperate bowl, mix 3 litres of cold water, the yeast, and the juice of the lemon

stir all together, put a lid on (or cover with a clean towel), and leave it to steep for three days in a warm place

On Day 4 - be prepared for the most wonderful alcohol heady aroma to be released from the bucket when you take the lid off!

strain the liquor from the bucket through a sterilised muslin/fine seive and then pour the strained liquor into a 4.5litre demi-john

now...when we did this, we ended up with about 6 litres of juice as the berries were so I guess you could use a bit less water, if you want a stronger wine, or a bit less blackberry if you want a lighter wine.
With the extra juice, I've bottled it in a pressure bottle, to make a side batch of early sparkling blackberry fizz (I'll release the pressure every few days to stop the bottles exploding)
put an airlock/bung on the demi-john, and leave in a dark corner until it stops fermenting - this could be anything from a week to a month.

what you do with it next is yours to decide.

If you want a more complex wine - then leave it "on it's leas" - i.e. in the demijohn with all the yeasty slurry for a few month before syphoning off and bottling.
If you want a quick and fruity wine - then syphon it off into bottles as soon as it stops fermenting
...and don't forget, if you want to add your own fizz to it when you syphon it off and bottle it, then drop half a tea-spoon of sugar into each bottle when bottling (but if you're going to do this, make sure they are swing topped pressure capable bottles....and make sure you release them slowly when you do drink them to release the pressure slowly (like you should with champagne)

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