With the heat of summer coming in and making it harder for me to make cheeses I am going to switch over to make a couple of fruit/berry wines. These will be at a lower alcohol level and then carbonated to make a sparkling drink. They will all be around 8%-10% alchohol which is close to what my hard apple ciders usually come out at. The first I am going to make is a batch of blueberry sparkling wine. I havent made this one before so this will be an experiment for me on how much blueberries and sugar I will need.
things you need for winemaking:
- Bucket with sealed lid and airlock. Always use a bucket that is 30% bigger then the amount of total wine you are making. The wine as it ferments will leave a thick layer of bubbly foam on the surface.
- yeast. I am using an eight gallon bucket.
- 1 T yeast nutrient
- 1 T acid blend
- 1 T pectic enzyme (breaks down the pectin in the berries. you get cloudy wine if you dont add it)
- 10 lbs of juiced blueberries
- 8 lbs sugar
- 1 campdon tablet per gallon of mix (called a must)
Freeze the berries first to break down the cell walls. This makes it easier for the yeast to extract the sugars out of them. Then put the berries into mesh nylon bags and add them to the bucket. Next heat up 3 gallons of water and dissolve the sugar into it. Add the heated mix to the bucket with the blueberries in it. Add another 2 gallons of water to the bucket to bring your total up to 5 gallons. Finally add everything but the yeast to the mix. If you add the yeast at this point the campdon tablets will kill your yeast. They are used to kill any wild yeasts and molds that are on the berries. Since it is non-selective it will kill your yeast also. Wait 24 hrs and then add your yeast in. it will take 24-48 hours normally before you see any change other than a occasional bubble in the air lock.
Take a reading with a hydrometer after the bubbling has mostly stopped. If the remaining is under 1.000 then most of the sugar has been converted into alcohol and you can rack it into a carboy to let it continue to age. When you start the syphon you will be glad the blueberries are in bags instead of loose in the bucket. It always clogs my hose if I leave them loose.Age for 3-4 months and bottle. this one will come out at around 10% when finished. might do half sparkling and half sweet depending on how it tastes.