700g Brambles (Blackberry)
1 Tsp ginger
2 tps Pectin Enzyme (pectolase)
2l pure grape juice (I used red and white)
Destalk and wash the elderberries and brambles. (Note random amounts! I used what I had but documented it for the record… you do need somewhere around 2kg of fruit in total – you may prefer it more fruity & less ‘tannic’ in which case put more more blackberries in than elderberries).
Add 2l of water to fruit in a large pan and warm gently, mashing with a metal potato masher.
Remove from heat at about 80 degrees C. Add sugar and mash/stir some more. Once cooled add Pectolase (mix it up in a cup of water) and stir some more. Leave overnight.
Add to fermentation bin, mix in the rest of the water cold, add the yeast (leave it on the surface for 15 mins then mix in) and cover with a tea-towel or other fine material and use an elastic band or similar to hold in place. It should be bubbling away in a few hours after pitching the yeast.
Leave to ferment for 5 or 6 days giving it a mash/stir every day with the sterilised potato masher. Strain out the pulp through a tea-towel – it helps if you have a 2nd bucket/bin as there is a lot of pulp – a jam strainer would also probably be handy. I tried straining directly into some home-made demijohns (5l water bottles with a hole drilled in the lids for the airlock) and was mostly successful 😉
Don’t leave it to ferment on the pulp for too long, the fruit breaks down too much & leaves more particles suspended in your wine requiring more racking or fining.
I divided the liquid into the two DJs and topped up with the grape juice – screwed the lids on and primed the airlocks.
Left it for about 6 weeks and then racked into another couple of fresh water bottles and put the normal lids on. I also syphoned off a glass full to taste. OMG! It’s like – red wine! Proper bouquet, vanilla and berry… can’t wait to bottle it and mature it. My wife is in shock that I didn’t make vinegar.
A definite success considering it was a made up recipe.
EDIT: at second racking I added a crushed camden tablet and some another heaped teaspoon of pectolase – it wasn’t clearing up as much as I would have liked and everyone adds a camden at this stage (helps prevent oxidisation and prevents further fermentation apparently) 🙂