Wild Himalayan Blackberry Wine

The last few years my dad has gotten into making wine from local fresh fruit. He has made rhubarb, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, plum, and apple wine. My husband loves the rhubarb, but my favorite is the blackberry.

Each batch he makes starts with fresh fruit he picks himself. Sometimes he goes to the u-pick farm or he grows it himself, but mostly he likes to go harvesting the wild fruit around town. Free is the best price, he says.

The blackberries are finally becoming ripe around town so I invited him to go picking to make some more wine, knowing I will reap the benefits. Oh, and to spend time with him, of course.

We needed to pick twenty pounds of berries to make one batch of wine, so we started early in the morning to collect enough before it got too hot to comfortably pick. First we headed to his secret location near the hospital. He came prepared with buckets, long pants, heavy boots, and a ladder. Smart because the biggest, sweetest berries are always too high to get to without a ladder.

Once the bushes were fully picked, we were off to the second secret location. The berries there were even bigger and juicier than the previous! But the bushes started to get the better of us, thorns tearing at the flesh of our hands, his head and my sandaled feet. A check to the amount of berries in the buckets told us we had plenty enough, maybe even enough extra for a pie or just for snacking. We headed home, content and excited to start making the wine.

I am leaving town soon so he will have to finish without me, but promised to keep me updated with pictures of the process. And I will in turn update this page with the pics he sends.

Here is what he sent me:

Pail on the left is Blackberry started 3 days ago.

Bucket in middle is new start of blackberry wine -20 # berries, 3 Gal. water, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, acid blend and camdin, to kill the wild yeasts, for the first 24 hours. Montrachet yeast will be the yeast, which will be added tomorrow to start the primary fermentation.

The Must will have a cover on it at all times except when it is stirred, two times a day, to get oxygen into the yeast. After about two weeks, the must will be strained and put in a carboy, with a air seal/vent to keep the oxygen out.

The carboy on the right is rhubarb wine started 1 month ago

Here are sum pics of wine as it is stirred to feed oxygen to the yeast. A thick cake of floating berries are pushed down into the must & then stirred up. Evidence of the yeast working are the bubbles that form during the stir.
When the specific gravity gets to about 1.02 the berries will be strained & juice will be racked into the 5 gallon carboy to settle out the sediment thus clarifying the wine.

I just strained the 1st batch yesterday but in 1 day the SG got away from me. The # was 1.020 on thursday & down to 1.015 friday. This is the 1st time I am doing it the rite way checking S.G.

Berries have been strained and future wine is now in carboy bubbling away gassing off I think CO2. In a couple weeks when definite settling is visible I will rack clarified wine into another carboy and remove sediment from carboy to use it for next racking. In about 3-4 months when bubbling stops (all sugar has turned to alcohol) bottling will be done
1st pic is straining, 2nd is small bucket of pulp that is left of that 20 lbs of berries

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Categories: travel

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