Blackberry Wine Questions

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Jan 30, 2009
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hello all,
starting my second batch of wine. I have my recipe below. Just wanted to get opinions on ingrediants and questions below the recipe. I am making a 5 gallon batch from 1 can of Vitner’s Harvest Blackberry and 2 liters WinExpert Red Grape Concentrate.

thanks for any suggestions.

Blackberry Wine
(To make 5 Gallons)


1 96 oz can Vitner’s Harvest Blackberry
2 liters WinExpert Red Grape Concentrate
Water to make 5 gallons of must
10 lbs Sugar
6 tsp Acid Blend
? tsp Tannin – dissolve this before adding to must
2 ½ tsp Pectic Enzyme
4 tsp Nutrient
5 Campden tablets, crushed
1 pkg wine yeast (Red Star-Montrachet)

Starting S.G. (1.080-1.090)


Pour 96oz can in nylon straining bag and place in primary. Add 3 to 4 gallons warm water and 2 bottles of the red grape concentrate. Take S.G reading. Add enough sugar to get target S.G. Add acid blend, tannin (dissovled), and nutrient to must. Stir well and cover with cloth. After two hours, add crushed and dissolved Campden tablets. Check S.G. and add additional sugar to a starting S.G. between (1.080-1.090). After an additional ten hours add pectic enzyme, start yeast solution (recipe below), and twelve hours later add yeast solution Recover primary with cloth. Stir and press pulp lightly for about five days or until S.G. gets to 1.030. Once S.G. of 1.030 is reached, remove/drain bag over primary. Stir then siphon off wine into secondary. Attach airlock. When ferment reaches 1.000 or about three weeks, siphon wine into another secondary. Attach airlock. Rack every six weeks (4 rackings) for next 6 months.

Yeast Solution

Add a cup of warm water to yeast, cover with cheescloth and wait four hours then add ¼ cup of must in yeast solution. After an additional four hours add ½ cup of must, let this stand for four more hours. Add yeast to primary. (Yeast solution should be bubbly throughout this process)

Clearing/Stabilizing/Sweetening Wine/Bottling

Before last racking, use clearing agent to clear wine. Wait around three days for particles and dead yeast cells to settle at bottom. Rack wine off sediment into bucket. Stabalize the wine by adding ½ tsp of potassium sorbate (dissolved) per gallon and one Campden (crushed and dissolved) per gallon. Then add simple syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water) to desired sweetness. Bottle wine.

My questions for the forum:

I am following the recipe on the Vintner’s Harvest can and I have a few questions. The recipe calls for no tannin. Should I include this, if so, how much, I am making a five gallon batch.

Is Red Star-Montrachet yeast OK to use with this recipe?

I have heard that the can’s recipe calls for too much water/suger. I want to get to an S.G of 1.080, so do I need to add enough water first to make 5 gallons and then check S.G, and add sugar…..I have to consider the extra red grape concentrate that I am adding.

Don't have all of the answers...

1. Most of the recipes I have seen for Blackberry include Grape Tannin as Blackberries don't have enough natural tannins , particularly if you want to age the wine. I would estimate 2 teaspoons of liquid tannin for 5 gallons given your recipe. Check "Winemaking" by Stanley F. Anderson & Dorothy Anderson (1989 Harcourt Brace and Company) for a similar recipe to what you are working with.

2. Montrachet is a good general purpose yeast for red wines, both grape and fruit. It does have an unfortunate tendency to develop more hydrogen sulfide with fresh and frozen fruit that has been exposed to sulfates though, but this shouldn't be a problem with Vintners Harvest.

3. Not sure here. When I use Vintners Harvest, I add the sugar in stages and check the SG until I get a desired SG reading. But than, I like to have more than 5 gallons when I make 5 gallons, if you know what I mean.

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