1 Gallon Black Berry Wine
The season has just ended for wild black berries here in east Texas but, Some wal-mart are still caring them in their produce sections. At first I thought, Free black berries. Hell yeah I'm going to make a 5 gallon batch. The truth is it takes a lot of black berries just to make a 1 gallon batch. What I did was, went out and picked the wild black berries and when I got home I washed the fruit and picked out the extra leaves and stuff like that. Then I put the fruit into a sauce pan and added enough water to cover it. I let the come to a boil then turned down to simmer. Using a potato masher I mashed the berries to get out all of the juice and flavor that I could. After a few minutes of mashing and squeezing the fruit turn off the stove and let cool down with a lid over the pan to keep it sanitized. Once this cools down use a fine stainless strainer and funnel and poured it into a 1 gallon glass fermenter. Let the liquid pour through discarding the pulp. Next it is time to add our sugar, I add enough sugar to get mine to sp.gr 1.90. If you don't have a hydrometer I believe it was about 2 lbs of sugar. Top up your carboy with water to where it starts to taper careful not to fill it past this point. Now hold your hand over the top of the jug and shake well to help dissolve the sugar. Then Add about 1/2 a pack of yeast. Then put an air lock on your carboy, If your using a balloon be sure to poke a couple holes in the top of it with a tooth pick so that the co2 can escape. Now let it set in a cool dark place for the next 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks you will see sediment on the bottom of the bottle, thats the yeast and bits of fruit we have to get out. You will need a small hose "Like a fish aquarium hose works the best" careful not to get a bigger hose cause you will stir up the sediment. just siphon the wine from the middle of your carboy into another container. When you get close to the bottom try not to suck up trube. You wont end up with a full gallon of wine in the end so don't try to get all of it. Now wash out your carboy the best you can with hot water. Once its clean pour your wine back into the carboy. That step is called racking and is very important. Put your air lock back on and give it another week or two.
Now, repeat that last step by racking your wine again. I hope you like this step because your going to be doing it quite a bit. Now thats done, get a bowl and add one egg white, throwing away the yoke. Then add one cup of water and a tbsp of salt mixing well with a wisp. Once its all mixed pour it into your wine. This is called fining. This will make your wine start to clear up even more with in 24 hours. They sell chemicals that do this but I choose not to use them. Now put your air lock back on and let it set for another week or more.
Its been one more week right? Ok, At this point you need to decide what type of wine you are making, dry or table wine. If you want your wine to be sweet then you will need to stop the fermentation by adding a crushed campden tablet. I usually just take 2 spoons place the campden tablet between them and grind it. Put your air lock back on and give it another day to kill the yeast. When thats done rack your wine into a bucket and add your conditioner. I use "Global vintners inc" brand conditioner and it says to add 2 oz per 1 gallon. If you don't want to go through that process then you can rack the wine into your bottles at this point. This wine isn't going to be ready to drink yet. The longer this wine sets up the better it will be. I wouldn't open a bottle for at least 3 months.
Be sure to leave me some feedback in the message board if this helped you. This tutorial was written by Eric Richards.