Bramble Tip Wine - I'm Going For It!

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BigDaveK

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I haven't done anything unusual for a while and it's certainly the right time of year for bramble tips. Had a couple surprises along the way as well.

Wild blackberries are invasive on my property. Certainly can't get rid of them. Control them? Barely.

Bramble 1.jpg

Picking a gallon+ of tips didn't take long. The 3-5 inches of new growth snaps off easily and the thorns aren't developed yet. In other words, no pain.

Bramble 2.jpg

There are many recipes out there and the main difference is in the preparation of the tips. Some boiled for 15 minutes, some an hour. Some strain immediately, some steep a bit. I went with CJJ Berry's version - boiled water poured over tips, steep overnight, simmer for 15ish minutes the next day, let it cool a bit and strain.
Which brings me to Surprise #1 - the first ingredient I added, once cooled and strained, was sugar. And it foamed instantly! Never had that happen before. Hey @Rice_Guy, any idea why?

Bramble 3.jpg

Transferred to secondary this morning which leads to Surprise #2 - the color. I wasn't expecting such a vibrant color.

Bramble 4.jpg

The aroma was a nice generic wine. There was a bit of bitterness which I attribute to the long processing time. I had enough left over to sweeten and the bitterness vanished.
When I started this I was curious - last year I made a vine wine with leaves and tendrils from a Catawba grape vine and it astonishingly tasted as though it were made with Catawba grapes. Would this have any blackberry flavor, I wondered.
Which leads to Surprise #3 - YES! And sweetening made the blackberry flavor really pop!
Happy so far!
 
The release of gas is caused by nucleation on a crystalline object, ,,,sugar,, lots of lab chemicals or even broken glass could do this. The presence of gas suggests CO2 which would imply that some fermentation had been happening. All in all this sounds weird. I don’t think of berry shoots as high sugar. Next, pouring boiling water on a food should pasteurize the tips. Boiling the water should force any gas there out of solution.
Interesting ,,, I should try my domestic raspberry.
 
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The release of gas is caused by nucleation on a crystalline object, ,,, lots of lab chemicals or even broken glass could do this. The presence of gas suggests CO2 which would imply that some fermentation had been happening. All in all this sounds weird. I don’t think of berry shoots as high sugar. Next, pouring boiling water on a food should pasteurize the tips. Boiling the water should force any gas there out of solution.
Interesting ,,, I should try my domestic raspberry.
Yeah it's weird! And the foam was very stable. I had more than enough time to go upstairs to get my phone for a picture.

Raspberry tips sounds interesting. I knew I could get a couple gallons of blackberry tips if I wanted. Raspberry tips is iffy.
 
I have lots of wild blackberries on my property. I've got to try this. @BigDaveK, once again you are an inspiration!

In a quick search on line, I could find only one recipe for blackberry tip wine: BLACKBERRY TIP WINE RECIPE
Wow that was a rabbit hole. I'm trying to suppress my urges for unusual country wines but BigDaveK keeps drawing me in. They are my favourite but my family seems to prefer traditional grape wines. This is on my bucket list.
 
I have lots of wild blackberries on my property. I've got to try this. @BigDaveK, once again you are an inspiration!

In a quick search on line, I could find only one recipe for blackberry tip wine: BLACKBERRY TIP WINE RECIPE
I had to do a search to see. Sure enough, almost nothing. My only concern about that recipe is the boiling. Personal preference, I don't boil any ingredients. Simmer? Sure.

I'm old fashioned, I like books, and have collected a number of vintage copies dealing with wine making. They're a lot of fun. The oldest reference to Bramble Tip Wine I've found so far is from the 40's in a book by that giant of home wine making, Peggy Hutchinson. She has a lot of great advice. For example, quoting:
Q: What happens when corks fly out?
A: You put them in again, and if the annoyance is frequent - move the bottle to a cooler place.

20230726_183754.jpg

She's definitely a hard core wine maker - I think she's wearing elderflowers.
And every time I see her picture an Aerosmith song starts in my head. 😂
 
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Wow that was a rabbit hole. I'm trying to suppress my urges for unusual country wines but BigDaveK keeps drawing me in. They are my favourite but my family seems to prefer traditional grape wines. This is on my bucket list.
Well, obviously you need a new family. 🤣
I've made some unusual wines, all good, some outstanding. If you have access to grape vines I would try Vine Wine. They'll be shocked and pleased and maybe it will pique their interest.
 
Wow! Now I’m wondering if vines from other fruits will produce fruit flavors? Watermelon, cantaloupe?

And oh, just popped up your post on corn cob wine from last year, how is that tasting?
Jeeze, I'm embarrassed! It's so obvious I didn't think of it. I'm wondering the same thing now.

I'm trying to catch up with my wine work. Bottled both of last years black walnut today, delicious, and corn cob, potato, and barley are on deck. I have to limit myself to 2 bottlings per day. With all the tasting it's too easy to approach a blotto state.
 
In a quick search on line, I could find only one recipe for blackberry tip wine: BLACKBERRY TIP WINE RECIPE
The purpose of boiling is to extract tannin/ bitter compounds off of the bramble. Extraction is greater with high temperature. Think of boiling as really just making tea.

A give away is “The flavor is delicate”. Translation: I would call this a raisin/ lemon flavor Wine. ,,, You might try some gum arabic for “body” / viscosity, and skip the raisin for a real bramble wine. ,,, I’m not going to rush to put one in a carboy.
 
And oh, just popped up your post on corn cob wine from last year, how is that tasting?
Completely forgot I bottled it a couple months ago. Drinking some now.
It's actually quite good. Not complex but I'm very happy with it - considering it was made with ingredients that would have been composted. I back sweetened just a tiny bit and sorry I didn't sweeten more. A very good simple wine worth making at least once. And no, no corn aroma or flavor.
 
I had to do a search to see. Sure enough, almost nothing. My only concern about that recipe is the boiling. Personal preference, I don't boil any ingredients. Simmer? Sure.

I'm old fashioned, I like books, and have collected a number of vintage copies dealing with wine making. They're a lot of fun. The oldest reference to Bramble Tip Wine I've found so far is from the 40's in a book by that giant of home wine making, Peggy Hutchinson. She has a lot of great advice. For example, quoting:
Q: What happens when corks fly out?
A: You put them in again, and if the annoyance is frequent - move the bottle to a cooler place.

View attachment 103826

She's definitely a hard core wine maker - I think she's wearing elderflowers.
And every time I see her picture an Aerosmith song starts in my head. 😂
Peggy said in one of her books -to make your wine sparkle, add 1/2 tspn of vinegar in each bottle at bottling time, and tie the cork down with string. It could work I suppose, but I've never been brave enough to try it.
😄
 
Peggy said in one of her books -to make your wine sparkle, add 1/2 tspn of vinegar in each bottle at bottling time, and tie the cork down with string. It could work I suppose, but I've never been brave enough to try it.
😄
I have two of her books. VERY entertaining! They're always good for an "Oh My God!" or a dropped jaw with eyes popping.
 
My only concern about that recipe is the boiling. Personal preference, I don't boil any ingredients. Simmer? Sure
According to a cooking site, "boil" maens 212 degrees F. "Simmer" means 180-190 degrees. Still way too hot for most fruits.

I don't simmer or even heat fruit that I use to make wine. I even avoid the practice of pouring boiiling water over the fruit. For those who have found old recipies that call for simmering the fruit, the question is whether you want your wine to taste like fresh fruit or cooked fruit? I know how I would answer that question.

The one exception for fruit is that when adding bananas to my peach wine for flavor and body, I simmer the banannas for 10 min. to make "bananna water." It helps to extract the flavors and sugars, and doesn't seem to hurt the flavor.

Herb or spice wine is a different story. Often you need to make a "tea" using hot water to extract the flavors. I pour boiling water over my fresh peppermint and let steep until cool. With many types of herbal tea, hot brewed tea tasted better than cold brew or sun tea. Of course you should taste everything before you use it to make wine.
 
According to a cooking site, "boil" maens 212 degrees F. "Simmer" means 180-190 degrees. Still way too hot for most fruits.

I don't simmer or even heat fruit that I use to make wine. I even avoid the practice of pouring boiiling water over the fruit. For those who have found old recipies that call for simmering the fruit, the question is whether you want your wine to taste like fresh fruit or cooked fruit? I know how I would answer that question.

The one exception for fruit is that when adding bananas to my peach wine for flavor and body, I simmer the banannas for 10 min. to make "bananna water." It helps to extract the flavors and sugars, and doesn't seem to hurt the flavor.

Herb or spice wine is a different story. Often you need to make a "tea" using hot water to extract the flavors. I pour boiling water over my fresh peppermint and let steep until cool. With many types of herbal tea, hot brewed tea tasted better than cold brew or sun tea. Of course you should taste everything before you use it to make wine.
I use banana water or gravy regularly in my wines. It adds a bit of body and the wine seems to clear easier.
 
I don't simmer or even heat fruit that I use to make wine. I even avoid the practice of pouring boiiling water over the fruit. For those who have found old recipies that call for simmering the fruit, the question is whether you want your wine to taste like fresh fruit or cooked fruit? I know how I would answer that question.
I do the pour very hot water over fruit and simmer my vegetables. I AM curious about a cold soak for fruit and I'll try it some day to compare.
And water over 160F should kill anything so I don't normally use kmeta at the beginning.

Some ingredients, though, have antifungal qualities and should to be simmered, like garlic, onions, and ginger. Will using them raw affect the fermentation? Maybe, maybe not, haven't tested.
 
Ginger seems to slow fermentation, even if you simmer it. My hard ginger ale poked around for week after week before fermentation was finished. Now it is clear and ready for bottling and carbonation. When fermenting things that tend to inhibit fermentation, I make a vigorous starte to get it going.

Regarding fruits, I think that 160 F is way too hot if you want to retain the healthy antioxidants, etc. in the fruit I would rather use Kmeta than heat my fruit.
 
@Raptor99 I never even considered antioxidants. After some quick and admittedly incomplete searching it appears it's not as simple as heat or no heat. Some antioxidants and vitamins are only released by heat and survive. Others are degraded by heat. I guess if it's a concern then a bit of research is needed and then proceed accordingly. For me, it's now on my radar.
 
I never even considered antioxidants.
Fresh blueberries and cranberries are especially rich in antioxicants. Since we try to eat healthy food, I want to avoid destroying those helpful compounds in my procedure. I want a wine that is enjoyable to drink and retains as much as possible of the health benefits of the fruit. Otherwise how could I argue that my fruit wines are health drinks? :p
 

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