Basic Recipe (or the way I do it.)
For each gallon of wine at least 4 lbs of Blackberries
Sugar Brown or White. up to about 3lbs, start with 2lbs and adjust during fermentation.
Yeast Nutrient 1 teaspoon per gallon
Pectolase 1 teaspoon per gallon
Yeast as per quantity 1 tsp per gallon or use a starter .
Tannin 1 teaspoon per gallon .
Water and Juice of one lemon
Taste the must at all stages.
Freeze fruit as you collect until you have sufficient to make the quantity of wine. Freezing will preserve the freshness release the juices and flavours more easily when defrosting.
I do this for all fresh fruit. Do not be tempted to use old or bruised fruit. ( unless you are making Cider.)
Defrost in the fermentation container. when defrosted mash or crush with a potato masher or use whatever you have, make sure the tool is clean and sterile. Add one Camden tablet per gallon to the must. If making five gallons use only two tablets. Allow time for the Sulphite to dissipate which can be two or three days. You can add yeast at any time but remember to allow the sulphites to disperse.
Melt sugar by boiling in water and, add to crushed fruit.
when cool add pectolase to assist in breaking down fruit.
Add the yeast dry, or a starter you made earlier.
Leave it to ferment for at least two weeks in a covered food quality container, stirring daily to break up the cap. This is important. I stir twice a day.
Taste the must after two weeks, if too sweet leave until sugar is consumed by yeast.
Strain the fruit and juice through sterile cloth into another clean container, press out the remaining fruit until dry as possible with a press or whatever you have available.
Place in demijohns or 5 gallon kegs with airlocks.
Taste again. Add sugar to the must if too dry.
Eventually the must will clear and rack off the wine to clean containers, demijohns or kegs.
Blackberry wine is one of the easiest home wines to make. It clears quickly and easily and does not normally need any clearing agents. It can be drunk early.
The addition of fresh Elderberries will give it a more robust body but will need time to mature.
Add Camden Tablets 1 per gallon to maintain a clean wine free from bacteria when racking.
Measuring the SG is useful as guide to sugar content as I rule I do not bother, preferring to use my taste buds as a guide.
Keep all your equipment clean using a sterilizer such as VWP. do not be tempted to use bleach or any other household detergent. Do not even allow it near your brews.
Bottle it when fermentation has ceased or bubbles no longer rise. Again taste it!
Use a crushed Camden tablet per gallon before bottling.
Sometimes you might get a malolactic fermentation in the bottle. Makes the wine fizzy, I like this.