Blueberry wine season…Yay!

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Books and home made wine on a rainy afternoon; who could ask for more.

It’s blueberry season again (almost over in fact) and I’m making wine. I picked up a batch of about five kilos of blueberries, we ate a kilo between the humans and fruit eating animals in the humpy. Four kilos became must (the mush of fruit, water and yeast that is pre-wine) for a batch of wine.

My recipe is really simple;

First I take four kilos of blueberries and put them into a sterilized (by Campden tablets) fermenting tub. I put six litres of water in a pot and added two kilos of sugar slowly as I bring it to the boil. I used three types of sugar in this one; (what I could find in the cupboard) raw sugar, brewing sugar and brown sugar.

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When the sugar solution has cooled down a little bit I add some of it to my fermenting tub with the blueberries and mash them up with a potato masher. I try to split as many berries as I can but not turn it into jam. Then I add the rest of the sugar solution to the tub with a crushed Campden tablet. This sterilizes the must (that’s what the fruit and sugar water mix is called at this point of the process) ready for yeast to be introduced at a later date. I also take a specific gravity reading with my handy hydrometer at this point; this batch sits firmly in the table wine range (my hydrometer has numbers to read, but I usually just look at the wine type listed beside it).

I seal the fermenting tub and add an airlock for a day or two.

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After about a day, I add the activated yeast. I tip the yeast into a bowl of warm water with about half a teaspoon of sugar stirred into it. After a few minutes the yeast begins to foam, after twenty minutes or so I add it to the must and seal it back up.

20171104_192502Then I just wait until the bubbling starts. During this time I stir the must every day with a sterilised long spoon, this adds a bit of air and lets me see how much activity there is in the yeast.  Eventually the bubbling settles down and I know the must is ready to decant into demijohns for the second ferment. The wine usually bubbles up again when decanted into the demijohns; it settles down after a few days.

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The froth build up from the yeast partying in all that sugar.

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I threw on a batch of apple wine while I was sterilising. This lot is just made from supermarket juice…I think it is commonly known as ‘panty dropper wine’ as it has a hydrometer reading above desert wine (meaning more alcohol)…I’ll let you know.

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For some reason this demijohn has very little activity, I may have to intervene and add more yeast or a raisin or two.

After I am sure the yeast has done it’s job and all the available sugars are now alcohol, it is ready to bottle and eventually to drink.

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This is some of last years batch of blueberry wine, it’s a strong table wine…maybe a desert wine, but certainly not in the ‘panty dropper’ range.

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