I have berry juice under my fingernails as I type this. Last night I began my blackberry wine-making journey (challenge no. 9). Here's how it went down:
1. I gathered my blackberries (4 1/2 pounds). Picked fresh from the Whole Foods tree. Or bush. Whatever.
2. I crushed the berries by hand in a polyurethane pale from my local home brewing store (which I sanitized prior to using) and then poured on one quart of boiled water that had cooled to room temperature. I mixed it well.
3. I crushed one Campden tablet (kills any unwanted yeast), dissolved it in a bit of warm water and added it to the fruit mixture.
4. Leaving the mixture alone for two hours, I took 1 + 2/3 cups of sugar and boiled it for one minute in three pints of water (48 ounces). I allowed this to cool to room temperature.
5. Once it cooled, I emptied a packet of yeast into 4 ounces of warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
6. Finally I added the syrup (sugar water) into the pulp, followed by the dissolved yeast. I covered the bucket with some paper towels (it called for cheesecloth but I didn't have any).
The next step is to let it sit for 7 days in a "warm place." Hopefully the temperature inside my apartment will suffice. I'll post an update in a week with the progress and next steps.
If you want to see the instructions I'm using throughout this whole process, click here.