Hot off the back of making Sloe Gin, I started to get into brewing proper. Sloe Gin is just a long cocktail. Whereas making blackberry wine is going to be a bona fide attempt at homebrew.
My first dilemma was the recipe to use. My friend who gave me a fermenting bucket sent me this recipe. It’s a good recipe, I’m sure it works fine. While pondering this, I joined The Homebrew Forum. A brilliant place to read up on and ask questions about anything to do with home brewing. It is there my eyes were opened to many, many different Country Wine recipes. So after reading their recipes, and asking a few questions, I settled on the following recipe:
- 850g Blackberries
- 1 Litre apple juice
- 750g Sugar
- Yeast nutrient
- Red wine yeast
Note about the sugar – I have since found out that I should have probably added double the sugar. This will be rectified by adding syrup (750g sugar in water) to the demijohns before adding the strained juice.
So, having crushed the blackberries in the bucket, I added 1 gallon of boiling water and stirred. I then added the apple juice. While all this was going on, I melted my sugar in 2 litres of water to make a syrup which was added to the mixture. Add sterilised water (I boiled a large pot of water for 15 minutes covered and left to cool overnight) to bring the mixture up to 2 gallons (about 10 litres).
Finally add on crushed campden tablet to kill off any unwanted yeasts in the mixture . Cover and leave overnight.
The next day mix in your pectolase to so that the pectin in the fruit gets broken down ready for the yeast. Cover again and leave for 24 hours.
The next day is when the yeast gets added. From then on it will no longer be glorified blackberry juice.
First of all sterilise everything. You then need to take the temperature of the liquid as well as the starting gravity. This is not entirely necessary, but will help with determining the final alcohol content of your wine. My blackberry juice had a temperature of 19 degrees Celsius and a starting gravity of 1.040.
All that needs to be done once you have taken those reading is to add the yeast, cover, and place somewhere to ferment for five days. Mine is on top of the fridge, in a bin bag in case the yeast gets a bit overzealous.
Make sure you give the whole thing a stir every day (some say twice a day). Nothing vigorous, just enough to push the yeast cap into the juice.
That’s is the end of part 1. Part two will be the straining of the pulp, and setting it to ferment in demijohns.