James hiked up the mountain a few days ago and picked 5 gallons of wineberries and, even though he doesn't drink wine, gave me 18 lbs of berries so I could make some. He will probably go pick a few more times even though he put lots of them in the freezer already. I think he hates not taking advantage of this free fruit so close to home. It's no easy task reaching these berries. You have to hike uphill through tall grass wearing long sleeves and pants in 90+ degree weather. The berries grow high up on banks but you have to step over a ditch to reach up to these thorny vines. It's kind of tricky. I appreciate all he goes through so I can make my wineberry wine.
It's very simple to make. I place the berries in a fine mesh bag I have placed in a 5 gallon bucket and add water, sugar, campden tablets, yeast nutrient, an acid blend and pectic enzyme then squish it all up. Tomorrow I'll add the yeast and it will begin to ferment. After fermentation begins it will sit in the 5 gallon bucket for about 5 days, or till my hydrometer shows a specific gravity (S.G.) of 1.030. I'll remove the fruit then put the juice in a glass carboy where it will eventually become wine. Over the next few months I will siphon the wine off the lees (sediment) into another carboy. I'll do this until the wine is clear and nothing settles to the bottom. Then it's time to bottle it.
In about 2 more weeks the blackberries will be ready and we have access to lots of them. I may need more carboys this year.
Last night we made vanilla ice cream. Tonight I want to make wineberry milkshakes.