Dog Snot Diaries

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blackberry Wine

Even though I’m not a wine guy, I still give it a shot now and then. The other day I visited a local vineyard that had not only the standard grape choices – but apple, pear, as well as several berry wines. Surprisingly, of all the samples, blackberry wine was my drink of choice. I have a glass beside me now and for the first time in my life, I’m genuinely enjoying a glass and not just being polite.

That lead me to thinking about the homemade wine I always hear people speak of. My kids and I filled the freezer this summer with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries we all picked either in the wild or at farms and I wouldn’t mind giving it a go.

Anyone out there know how to make homemade wine?

posted by Gordon at 11:52 pm  


  1. Well…I’m not a wine person either but did you say BLACKBERRY? hehehe..

    1 gallon blackberries
    1 quart boiling water
    2 pounds sugar

    Place the berries in a large bowl and bruise slightly by pressing. Pour the boiling water over. Let that stand for 24 hours, stirring every once in a while. Strain off the liquid into a cask or jug. Add the sugar, stir and cork. Let that stand for 3 months, then bottle and cork!


    Comment by Sandy — September 13, 2006 @ 1:21 am

  2. Here’s one my Aunt Mildred used to make..she called it Blackberry Cordial and it packs a kick too.

    2 quarts blackberries
    1 pound sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground mace
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    6 whole cloves
    3 sticks cinnamon
    1 cup brandy or bourbon

    Puree the blackberries and strain to obtain 1 quart of juice. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and spices and bring to a boil. Skim and let cool. Add the brandy or bourbon. Bottle and seal.

    Comment by Sandy — September 13, 2006 @ 1:23 am

  3. * 2 qts dandelion flowers
    * 3 lbs granulated sugar
    * 4 oranges
    * 1 gallon water
    * yeast and nutrient

    This is the traditional “Midday Dandelion Wine” of old, named because the flowers must be picked at midday when they are fully open. Pick the flowers and bring into the kitchen. Set one gallon of water to boil. While it heats up to a boil, remove as much of the green material from the flower heads as possible (the original recipe calls for two quarts of petals only, but this will work as long as you end up with two quarts of prepared flowers). Pour the boiling water over the flowers, cover with cloth, and leave to steep for two days. Do not exceed two days. Pour the mixture back into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the peelings from the four oranges (again, no white pith) and boil for ten minutes. Strain through a muslin cloth or bag onto a crock or plastic pail containing the sugar, stirring to dissolve. When cool, add the juice of the oranges, the yeast and yeast nutrient. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit fermentation trap, and allow to ferment completely. Rack and bottle when wine clears and again when no more lees form for 60 days. Allow it to age six months in the bottle before tasting, but a year will improve it vastly. This wine has less body than the first recipe produces, but every bit as much flavor (some say more!).

    I’ve made this before. YOu gotta make it in the spring though.

    Comment by lip — September 13, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

  4. I am an avid homebrewer and I dabble here and there in mead and winemaking

    I would stay away from any recipes that use too much sugar. In addition you want to stay away from cane sugar (regular table sugar) and if you must use corn sugar (Dextrose or D-glucose). Table sugar is a mixture of disaccharides that when fermented by yeast give a cider-like after taste.

    In addition corn sugar should not exceed 20% of the fermentable sugars in the recipe, otherwise you will get an off flavor reminiscent of cooked corn.

    Obtain your blackberries, crush them, personally I blend them in a blender myself when making raspberry beer, wine or mead.

    NEVER EVER boil fruit based products, since this will set the pectin and leave you with super permanently hazy wine and/beer.

    You can pasteurize your blackberry puree either by adding some camden tablets to it (Sodium or potassium metabisulfite, hence why wine says contains sulfites). And leaving this overnight in a sealed very clean container or heat it at about 140 degrees farenheit for 20 minutes.

    You will need approximately 2-3lbs of blackberries per gallon of final product. This is to achieve an alcohol level in the wine range, of course more or less can be used, but most wine yeasts will not tolerate ABV% greater than 15-18%. If you want, you can add honey or wine grape puree to boost the alcohol or change the flavor.

    When cool and treated, simply add some wine yeast, red star from the grocery store WILL NOT work well.

    If you want any more specifics, I’d be happy to share recipes and other info, and if you are in the US i can send some yeast your way.

    Comment by ChicagoMan — September 19, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

  5. One more thing.

    After the yeast is added, you will need to swirl around your container and then let it ferment. I usually have the container sealed to the outside and have a rubber tube with a rubber stopper ejecting CO2 gas out through the tube and into a container of water, this keeps it sterile.

    Remember sanitation is key.

    After two weeks transfer everything but the sediment at the bottom to a new container and let it finishing fermenting till the bubbles stop.

    For sweeter wine use a yeast that ferments a lower % of sugars

    Dryer wines need a yeast that ferments a higher % of sugars.

    Bottle when bubbling stops (2 weeks for regular things all the way up to 1 year for 18-20% alcohol meads), boy did that mead taste good…

    Comment by ChicagoMan — September 19, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

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