Berry Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Wild Mixed Berry Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 12 lbs ripe berries
  • 5-1/2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp acid blend
  • 1-1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 3 crushed Campden tablets
  • water to 3 gallons
  • 3 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet wine yeast

Put 1˝ gallons of water on high heat. Add sugar and stir well to dissolve. As soon as sugar is dissolved, remove water from heat. Meanwhile, clean the berries and discard any that are unripe as they will make the wine astringent. Put berries in two or three nylon straining bags (if possible, put raspberries, salmonberries and thimbleberries in one bag and remaining berries in others), tie closed and put in primary. Crush berries well and pour sugar-water onto them. Add acid blend and yeast nutrient stir well. Add another gallon of water and cover primary. When cool, stir in crushed Campden, recover and set aside 12 hours. Stir in pectic enzyme, recover and set aside additional 12 hours. Add activated yeast and recover primary. Squeeze bags twice daily to extract juice. If berries were divided into tart and others, remove tart berries after 3 days and remainder after 7 days total. Otherwise, remove all berries after 5 days. Drip drain bags squeezing gently to firmly (but not hard enough to drive pulp through mesh) to coax additional juice from bag. Add drained juice to primary and allow to settle overnight. Rack into secondary and fit airlock without topping up. After 7 days top up and refit airlock. Rack after one month, top up and refit airlock. Wait two months and rack, top up and refit airlock. Set aside for three months of aging. Rack, top up and refit airlock. After additional three months, if no sediments at bottom of secondary, stabilize, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days, and rack into bottles. If sediment, rack, stabilize, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days, and bottle. [Author’s own recipe]

Mixed Berry Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 1 qt. blackberries
  • 1 qt. blueberries
  • 1 qt. red raspberries
  • 1 qt. Boysenberries
  • 1 qt. strawberries
  • 1 qt. elderberries
  • 1 qt. Ison muscadine grapes
  • 1 lb. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 1 tsp. citric acid
  • 1-1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 pkt general purpose wine yeast

Put all berries in nylon straining bags (I used two), tie closed, place in primary, and squash berries (hint:
wear rubber gloves to prevent staining of the hands). Add all remaining ingredients except yeast and stir well to
dissolve sugar. Cover primary and set aside 12 hours. Add activated yeast starter. Cover with sanitized cloth
and set aside in warm place to ferment. When vigorous fermentation slows (7-10 days), check specific gravity.
If at or under 1.010, transfer to secondary and fix airlock. If wine does not clear in 60 days, add additional
teaspoon pectic enzyme while racking wine. If clear, simply rack. Reattach airlock and wait additional 30 days or
until clear. Rack, add one crushed and dissolved Campden tablet and 1/2 tsp dissolved potassium sorbate. Wait 10
days, sweeten to taste and set aside an additional 30 days. Rack into bottles and age 1 year. [Author’s own recipe.]