Winemaking

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Shepherd, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    I've never made wine before, but I have a batch of blackberries that are going sour and wondered if it's possible to make wine out of them instead of having to throw them out.

    Anyone?
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I have not made wine out of straight berries, but I have made melomel, which is mead (honey wine) fermented with fruit. The melomel I made with raspberries turned out to be fantastic after aging it for a good year and a half.

    For mead you use about 1 pound honey to 5 gallons water. After the initial fermentation is done, add 1 pound berries (enclosed in cheese cloth) and let the fermentation go for another couple of weeks. It'll take a couple months of aging before it's drinkable, a good year before it's really good.
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Go for the wine if you already have the equipment, such as large bottles with the bubblers. Any book on winemaking can give you the procedures. If you have to look around (or order) wine yeast, you might freeze the juice and pulp until you have everything ready.
     
  4. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

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    Good idea of freezing the berries until you are ready to start, I have done it many times.
    What do you mean they are going sour?
     
  5. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    I unfortunately forgot and left 2 gallon jugs of blackberries out on the counter when I went to bed; the next morning when I saw them, I put them in the cooler with ice because I have been processing and canning corn and needed to finish that first. A day later, I went to pull a jug out and you could tell they were starting to turn (foaming a little on top and when I smelled them, they smelled like they were starting to ferment).

    At first I thought I'd have to throw them out to the chickens, but then I started wondering if I could make wine out of them.
     
  6. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

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    You have several options.
    1. Freeze ands restart at a later date.
    2. Continue the curent fermentation adding the needed ingredients.
    3. Stop the fermentation via camdon tablets or the like and start over or freeze and start at a later date at your leasure.
     
  7. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jen,
    Can you really make mead with 1 pound of honey per 5 gallons water? I have been thinking about making some, but all the recipes I have found need 10-15 pounds honey per 5 gallons of water.....thats a little expensive :(. Especially if you mess it up!

    Shane
     
  8. makizoo

    makizoo Well-Known Member

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    A true Mead is just honey and water with a final end product of 12-18% alcohol. To reach this endpoint you need at least 2 lbs of honey per gallon usually three. A mellomel or mead with fruit can be any alcohol strength and you get some of the sugar from fruit so you can use less honey. You can also scale down your batch size to use less. I often make 1 or 3 gallon batches, especially with new recipes to save cost.
    Freezing the fruit is a good thing because the ice that forms inside the fruit pierces the skin and allows the juices to come out better, same reason that you don't freeze berries before making muffins or breads.