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Brazos Blackberries

"It tastes as good as it looks!"

The humble blackberry has always been a favorite for making wine. Blackberry wine is good, and throughout Texas the native blackberry is the "Brazos," Rubus spp.. Other Texas varieties include the "Womack" and the "Rosborough," but the "Brazos" is found from the Red River to the Rio Grande. In the alkaline soils of the south central Texas Hill Country, the canes produce less fruit than elsewhere, but even there one can still find enough to make a gallon or two of wine.

Blackberry wine has a deep rich color, but the color bleaches rapidly in light. For that reason, the must should be fermented in dark glass or clear glass wrapped in heavy brown butcher paper. When bottled, age and store it in a dark place. I age and store my wine in cardboard wine cases my local liquor store saves for me, so my colors always remain fresh and pure.


Pick only the deep black ripe ones, and don't be too concerned about gathering those which are a few days past ripe. Wash the berries carefully but thoroughly in a colander. Crush them in a bowl, trasnfer the must to a primary fermentation vessel, and pour 7 pts. boiling water over must. Allow to seep for two days, then strain through nylon sieve onto the sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar, add pectic enzyme, cover well, and set aside for 24 hours. Add yeast and nutrient, cover, and set aside 5-6 days, stirring daily. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel of dark glass (or wrap clear glass with brown paper), adding water bring to shoulder, and fit airlock. Place in cool (60-65 degrees F.) dark place for three months. Rack, allow another two months to finish, then rack again and bottle in dark glass and store in a dark place. Allow 6 months to age, a year to mature. [Author's own recipe]

Last update was November 2nd, 2000.

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