This Blackberry Port recipe was written and contributed by David Knoll.
Where I live in Oregon, Blackberries grow as weeds. In July when Blackberries are ripe, I can walk across the road to my neighbor’s property and pick 5 gallons of Blackberries along his pasture in about 2 hrs. They are big and juicy.
Blackberry Port was one of my first wines I ever made because of the abundance of available free fruit. If blackberries are not available where you live, growing wild, you can purchase frozen blackberries at the store. I usually make 6 gal. at a time, but will give the recipe for 1 gal.
Things you will need:
- 15 lbs of blackberries (6.8 kg)
- 3 lbs of sugar (0.9 kg)
- ½ tsp Pectic Enzyme
- 1 tsp yeast Nutrient
- 1 pkg Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast
- 1 campden tablet
After the wine is finished you’ll also need:
- Potassium sorbate
- sugar to taste
Making Blackberry Port
Start by taking frozen blackberries out of their package and placing them in your primary fermenter or food grade bucket to unthaw. Usually takes 24 hrs.
When the blackberries are unfrozen stir in 1 tsp of pectic enzyme per gal and yeast nutrient. Place a loose cover or cloth over the fermenter top.
I do not add acid blend, because I don’t add water to my blackberries. Undiluted they have enough acid in them already.
Take yeast out of its packet and place it in ¼ cup of warm water for ½ hr to bloom. Gently pour yeast over your blackberry must. Then replace a loose cover. Within 24 hours you should have an active fermentation. Stir in yeast. As your must pushes up a cap each day punch it down and mix liquid with solids twice a day. Fermentation should last 7-10 days. After about 1 week you will notice a slowing of the cap build up each day. When you can easily mix the solids with the liquid without any effort, it is time to separate the liquids from the pulp and seeds. Pour off the free run liquid from the solids and place in a sanitized bucket. Place the pulp in a press bag and squeeze out all liquids into your bucket.
Put all the liquids in a carboy or glass container about ⅘ full and put a sanitized air lock on the top. You will probably notice a small amount of burping as the last of the fermentation takes place. This may take as long as a month. At this point it is easy to get a liquid sample to test with your triple scale hydrometer. We are looking for a reading of 1.000 that indicates all sugar is gone. Once the sugar is gone and the yeast has nothing to eat, it will slowly die. The best indication that this is happening is that lees (sediment) will form a pink layer in the bottom of your carboys. And the liquid above will turn dark black.
Rack off all clear dark liquid into a clean carboy, while leaving the sediment at the bottom. Discard the sediment and rinse out the carboy. At this point you need to top off your glass container. Since we have never added water, if the air space is not too large you can top off your carboy with water and not risk watering down your wine. IF the air space is larger than ⅕ you may need to purchase a store bought blackberry wine.
Be aware that your purchased wine may have a small amount of sugar in it and your wine may continue to burp a small amount until that sugar is gone. Place a clean air lock on top once no burping is observed. Now your wine is finished and needs to clear. There should be very little space between your wine and the top of the carboy.
Let your wine stand for a month and rack again. Each time the wine should be getting clearer and clearer. After the 4th racking, it is time to bottle.
For bottling I always invite several friends to help. I add potassium sorbate (manufacturers recommended dose/gal) and then add sugar stirring to dissolve the sugar to taste. It is at this point that my friends and I try to come to a consensus as to the desired sweetness. Be careful, each time you sample to see it you have added enough sugar your judgment can become impaired, as well as your friends’. Once you agree on sweetness then add brandy. Lastly add 1 pint of brandy per gal to raise the alcohol content to about 20%. Bottle it. You now have Blackberry Port. Enjoy.
About the Author
To learn more about my homemade wine techniques, please visit me at www.howtomakehomemadewine.net.
The recipe presented on this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.