A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

I wrote this blackberry and plum wine recipe after I'd made them as separate half gallons, but there's nothing stopping anyone from doing it in one fermentation bucket with some late season plums. Or better still some frozen plums so the stones squeeze out easily.

2 Lbs of Blackberries
2 Lbs of Plums
6 pints of water
1/2 pound of Raisins or 1 litre of Aldi red grape juice
1 crushed campden tablet
1 tsp Pectolase
1 tsp citric acid
1 tsp pectic enzyme
2.5 Lbs of sugar
1 tsp of yeast nutrients
Good Red Wine Yeast

As with any wine making, the easiest way to mess it up is by putting too much sugar in so that the alcohol kills the yeast before it's finished fermenting. So, only add as much sugar as you need to reach an SG of say 1.080 - 1.085 and that will almost guarantee a dry ferment at 12% when the hydrometer reads dry (0.990 - 0.995).

This was a fun one, I'd stopped making deliberate mistakes, Katriona's birthday holiday was coming up and we've booked rooms on St Mary's in the Scilly Isles, so we'll be away for a week, eating great food and walking it off every day. I'm sure I'll mention some more about it later.

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Tuesday 31st August 2010

I'm really enjoying these morning walks, I picked 4 Lb's of Blackberries in other fields not far away. I've struck it big. A veritable motherlode behind a patch of nettles in the rich waterlogged reddish earth. On these foraging expeditions I'm always on the lookout for a hidden stand of Blackthorn or Elderberry bushes, maybe a lone Bullace or wild Crab Apple or Damson and when I find them, I make mental notes so I can return. But with all mental notes, a map and pencil would have been more efficacious as my kind of retraced steps usually lead anywhere and everywhere.

Crushed the Blackberries gently and poured 7 pints of boiling water over them and added a crushed Campden tablet.
I threw in the 2 Oz Elderberries I'd pulled from a solitary bush and placed in my bag lined pocket.

5 PM
Added 1 tsp Pectolase
Added 2 Lbs of sugar
1 tsp citric acid
Add Bordeaux Yeast and TronOzymol yeast nutrient

2nd September 2010

Going to the Isles of Scilly. Strain into demijohn a little early SG: 1.030 (usually wait til 1.020)

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1 Gallon of Blackberry wine.
SG: 1.030

Friday 10th September 2010

1st Rack
Topped up from reserved Blackberry wine.
SG: 0.995

17th September 2010

2nd Rack
OMG! Yup, I'd stopped making deliberate mistakes and now natures little plagues started in on me ... Some freakin fly was sucked into the funnel and into the wine while I was pouring it back into the Demijohn!!!!
I added a dose of fermentation stopper, threw in a crushed Campden tablet and had a moment of anger at the bad luck I'm having with Blackberry wines … The only saving grace is that at least I can pick more :)

The risk is that whatever the fly dragged into the wine wasn't killed by the Campden tablet and the Fermentation stopper didn't kill all the yeast ... I'm also uncertain that the alcohol content has reached 12% so I'll have to do something.
SG: 0.996

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We had a visit from our friend Taff. He loves the garden, he doesn't drink, but brought a placcy bag full of his own Victoria plums for me to scour for rotting flesh, soil or lurking invertebrates.

Thursday 16th September 2010

5 Lbs of ripe, stoned, chopped plums and removed any maggots/dirt/bruises.
Poured over 8 pints of boiling water and mixed pulp.
Added 1 Lb Raisins
Added 1 crushed campden tablet

Friday 17th September 2010
1 tsp Pectolase

21st September 2010

Added
1 tsp citric acid
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
Burgundy Yeast

Strained onto 2 Lbs of sugar and mix until dissolved.
Made SG up to 1.090 with 12 Oz of sugar.

Strain into Demijohn

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1 Gallon of Plum III
SG: 1.090

Saturday 9th October 2010

1st Rack
SG: 0.995
(1090-996) / 7.4 = 94 / 7.4 = 12.7%
Topped up with Plum III reserve
SG:0.996

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So, the blend was 4 Pints of Blackberry III & 4 Pints of Plum III and topped up with 1 pint of Gooseberry II
SG: 0.996

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Clearing & Maturing: 1st Feb 2011

Stabilized: 15th February 2011

Bottled: 17th February 2011 - 6 x bottles

Drinkable: February 2012

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