(makes one gallon)
5 lbs frozen blackberries, crushed and partially thawed
2½ lbs white granulated sugar
3¾ quarts good quality tap or bottled drinking water
½ tsp yeast nutrient
½ tsp pectic enzyme powder
1 gal. hot water
1 packet Premier Cuvee wine yeast
- Bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Put the blackberries into a nylon straining bag, tie the bag closed and place into your primary fermenter (a food grade plastic bucket works well; be sure it has some extra head space). Since the berries have been frozen, they have already begun to break down, which is what we want. You can also mash them lightly with a potato masher if you like.
- Carefully add the hot (not boiling) sugar/water mixture to the fermenter. Stir and check the temperature.
- Add the yeast nutrient and one Campden tablet (crushed) to a little water in a cup and stir until dissolved. Pour this mixture to the fermenter and stir. Let this soak overnight.
- The next morning, add the pectic enzyme and stir. Take a hydrometer reading and write it down on a piece of paper along with the date.
- Sprinkle the yeast onto the surface of the must in the fermenter – DO NOT STIR.
- Cover the fermenter.
- After the first 24 hours, stir twice a day using a sanitized spoon. The fermentation should begin within 24-48 hours.
- Ferment for the next 8-14 days at room temperature. Do not be afraid to give the bag a good poke or two each time you stir, as this will increase the flow of liquid through the bag, which is what you want.
- Once you see the fermentation activity slow down, take a hydrometer reading and write this information on your paper along with the date. Repeat this process every day or two until the hydrometer reads approximately 0º Brix/Balling or 0.995 Specific Gravity. This is your indication that the primary fermentation is complete.
- Using sanitized rubber gloves, remove the bag carefully and suspend over the fermenter, letting most of the juice drip out of the bag. Very gently press the bag to remove a little more juice but do not press too hard. Discard contents and rinse the bag in hot water if you intend to re-use it.
- Cover the fermenter and let the wine settle overnight.