Making Blackberry Wine: One Week Later

It has been a week since I have started the blackberry wine. During this whole week on a daily basis I have been stirring the wine, pressing the blackberry pulp with my spoon, and checking the hydrometer reading. When the hydrometer reads 1.030 I will strain and move the wine to a carboy.

Today it is time for me to move the wine from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter. I know it is time to move the wine because today’s specific gravity reading that I did with my hydrometer has reached 1.030.

This part does require a second pair of hands to do the job. My husband held the straining bag that contains the blackberries over the primary fermenter as he did this I squeezed the bag with both hands to get out all of the juice. Notice that I used food handler gloves as I did this to ensure the sanitation of the wine.

Now I will siphon the wine from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter.  My secondary fermenter is a glass carboy. This is called racking the wine. To siphon or rack the wine you need to let gravity help you to do the work. I put the primary fermenter on top of my kitchen counter and the secondary glass carboy on the kitchen floor right below. I used a siphon hose. The end where the wine will come out of goes into the glass carboy and the other end that has the siphon pump is submerged into the wine in the primary fermenter. I hold this end a little from the bottom of the fermenter. I then pump it about two times and then gravity takes over and moves the wine from the top container to the glass carboy container on the floor. I want to pump as little as possible because I do not want to get oxygen into my wine.

Once I rack the wine. I filled up to about within 2 inches of the airlock rubber bung with water. This is the rest of the water I needed to make the wine that could not fit into my primary fermenter because there was not enough room. I filled the rubber bung halfway with water. I then attach the airlock rubber bung to the top of the carboy.

I am attaching a brew hauler so that I can move the wine. A brew hauler is a sturdy polypropylene material that creates handles for the carboy. Once that the wine, 6 gallons of it, is in a glass carboy it can be quite heavy to lift. The brew hauler gives you a good grip on the carboy to let you more easily move it, but it is still pretty heavy.
The wine needs to ferment more. Fermentation is complete once the specific gravity has reached 1.000, which should take about another 3 weeks. At that point I will add stabilizer to the wine. In the meantime the wine needs to continue to ferment. The temperature for fermentation can vary. Some ferment at 55 or as high as 78 degrees. The lower the temperature the longer it takes to ferment. What is more important than the temperature is the temperature fluctuations. The temperature needs to be constant because the yeast really cannot handle much swane in the temperature; hot one day cold the next. If this happens the yeast will go dormant. So I will store my wine in a refrigerator in the butcher shop. Well it is the butcher shop in the winter and in the summer it is a wine cellar. The temperature is lower in the fridge so it will take longer to ferment there. I will put the temperature in the fridge on the highest setting possible. In about 3 weeks I will add the stabilizer and siphon off the sediment again.


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