Blackberry Wine Recipe!
Two wine recipes in as many weeks! Well, get used to it for the next while - I've been digging through all of my wine notes, and pulled out a bunch to blog!
Until recently, we haven't really done any wine making in several years. We sold off most of our equipment - and gave away our huge collection of homemade wine - before we moved back to Canada a couple years ago.
Also, as we'd known we would be moving, we stopped making wine a few years before the move. As it takes a year or so to make, it didn't make a lot of sense to keep increasing the size of our collection, after all!
Before we moved, however, we made a TON of wine. Far more than we would have ever been able to drink, but hey - it was a fun activity to do together, and it makes a great gift!
Some of the recipes we'd developed back then have been some of the most popular recipes on this blog. Watermelon Wine and Banana Wine in particular are usually in our top 3 posts, with Mango Wine being not far behind!
Anyway, we recently re-purchased some equipment to go back to making SMALL batches of wine. We don't know enough people here to justify making 5-6 gallon batches anymore, and - frankly - the pandemic situation is not making us want to expand our meager social circle!
But hey, at least we'll have wine on hand, right?
Anyway, you can expect a new wine recipe every week for the next couple of months, at the very least. That'll get me past the bulk of the backlog, and give you a ton of variety to play with!
How to Make Blackberry Wine
If you haven't attempted making wine before, don't be intimidated! Check out our 3 part primer to home brewing:
Just a small handful of entries, and you'll be good to go!
Blackberry Wine Ingredients
This wine recipe requires only a few ingredients to make - super simple! Here is some information about those base ingredients that you may find helpful.
You can use fresh or frozen blackberries to make this wine. There are just a few differences in how to use them, and things to keep in mind:
When using fresh blackberries, be sure to use ripe berries, and pick through to remove anything that's not ripe, is moldy, etc.
I like to whirl the blackberries in the food processor to break them up a bit, and let them sit in the sugar for a bit before starting on the wine making, as this process - maceration - draws the juices out of the berries.
It isn’t totally necessary, but I enjoy it. There’s something satisfying about seeing the juices pool around the fruit early on, rather than waiting for the brewing process to draw them out!
When using frozen blackberries, you can skip the maceration process. Freezing and thawing the berries breaks them down in a way that ends up with a result similar to maceration.
While sugar is technically optional when making wine, NOT adding any sugar will result in an INCREDIBLY dry wine.
Sweet tooth aside, I find that pretty much any fermented fruit /fruit juice beverage (wine, mead, cider) just tastes better when there’s some degree of sweetness there. It really brings out the fruit flavour.
When it comes to the darker fruit wines - this, my blueberry wine, etc - it IS ok to let them go dry, if that’s more to your taste.
As a general rule of thumb, the lighter coloured wines (Mango, watermelon, strawberry, etc) don’t really taste like anything if they aren’t sweet.
Type of Sugar
In terms of type of sugar, we prefer to use plain white granulated sugar for this wine.
If you’d like to substitute honey for the sugar (we usually just swap it out 1:1 by weight), you will brew a nice blackberry mead
When it comes to sugar, flavour isn’t the only consideration - there’s the matter of alcohol content.
Your wine’s final ABV will vary wildly dependent on a few things: The initial sugar content of the blackberries you use (which can vary!), how much sugar you add, and what kind of yeast you use (more on that in a bit)
Any amount of sugar will result in a higher alcohol content. Sugar - both in the base wine itself, and from the added sugars - is what feeds the yeast, the yeast eats up the sugars and gives off alcohol as the byproduct of that process.
More sugar = more food = more alcohol... to a point, anyway. About that...
The type of yeast you use will impact the alcohol content of the final product.
Yeast organisms don’t have an *unlimited* capacity to process sugar into alcohol. At some point, the environment they’re living in - the brewing wine - becomes too high in alcohol for the yeast to survive. They die off, the fermentation stops.
Different types of yeast have different tolerances for alcohol in the environment. That is, some yeast will be able to survive higher amounts of alcohol in the wine, so they’ll continue producing it longer than some other types.
Some types of yeast will bring you to something like an 8% ABV, while others will let things run wild until close to 20% ABV.
It’s good to know what you have in mind, when you choose your yeast.
If you want a sweet wine with a low-ish ABV - without having to back sweeten it (more on that in a bit) - choose a yeast with a lower tolerance for alcohol.
If you’re looking for a dry wine with a low ABV, choose a yeast with a lower tolerance for alcohol, and don’t use a ton of sugar.
If you want a sweet wine with a high ABV, use a bunch of sugar with a high-tolerance yeast... and be prepared to backsweeten it.
If you want a dry wine with a high ABV, use a fair amount of sugar and a high tolerance yeast.
Back Sweetening Your Homemade Blackberry Wine
Sometimes, you’ll find that the yeast went a bit too far, and you end up with a Blackberry wine that’s not as sweet as you’d like it.
... and that’s when you back sweeten it! You can read my How to Stabilize and Back Sweeten Wine post for information on how to back sweeten it.
More Home Brewing Recipes!
While you've got your current homebrew fermenting away, why not consider putting a batch of something else on, to occupy your wait time? Here are a few of my other wine, cider, and mead recipes:
Banana Wine Recipe
Blackcurrant Wine Recipe
Blueberry Wine Recipe
Cherry Wine Recipe
Cranberry Clementine Christmas Wine Recipe
Cranberry Wine Recipe
Faux Lingonberry Wine
Lychee Wine Recipe
Mango Strawberry Wine Recipe
Mango Wine Recipe
Mint Wine Recipe
Lychee Wine Recipe
Partridgeberry Wine Recipe
Passionfruit Wine Recipe
Peach Wine Recipe
Stone Fruit Wine Recipe
Strawberry Wine Recipe
Ube Wine Recipe
Watermelon Wine Recipe
Cider & Miscellaneous Homebrew Recipes
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ANYWAY. Let's get to that recipe, shall we? The sooner you get on it, the sooner you'll be able to enjoy some Homemade Blackberry Wine of your own!
Homemade Blackberry Wine
- Rinse and pick through blackberries, removing any that are moldy, etc.
- Place in a large pot, along with the sugar. Using a potato masher or VERY clean hands, stir and mash blackberries.
- Add water, stir well. Heat to ALMOST boiling, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir in acid blend, enzyme, & nutrient.
- Pour mixture into a freshly sanitized fermenting bucket. Cover with sanitized lid and air lock, allow to cool to room temperature (overnight).
- The next morning, give the mixture a quick stir with a long, sanitized spoon, and – using sanitized equipment – take a gravity reading of the liquid (strain out any blackberry pulp). Keep track of the number! (This is an optional step, but will allow you to calculate your final ABV %)
- Sprinkle yeast into fermenter, cover with sanitized cover and air lock. Within 48 hours, you should notice fermentation activity – bubbles in the airlock, carbonation and /or swirling in the wine must. This means you’re good to go!
- After a week or so, use your sanitized siphon setup to rack the must into a freshly sanitized carboy. Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or so.
- Using sanitized equipment, rack the wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.
- Rack one more time, leave it for another 3 months or so.
- When your wine has been racked a few times and shows NO more fermenting activity for a month or so (no bubbles in the airlock, no more sediment being produced, you can move on to bottling. **
- If stabilizing, follow the instructions on your selected type of wine stabilizer to stop fermentation. For potassium sorbate, this needs to be done 2-3 days before bottling.
- Using sanitized equipment, take a gravity reading, then rack the wine into clean, sanitized bottles. Cork.
Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.
To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.