Blueberry wine is one of the easiest to make for DIY home enthusiasts. It is a great starting point for beginners, and it is a wine with great flavor that even wine connoisseurs will enjoy.
One factor that makes blueberries excellent for winemaking is their small shape that looks like a grape with lots of flavor and color.
We have outlined our easy step-by-step guide to help you make your blueberry wine and enjoy it at your convenience.
How to Make Burberry Wine With Yeast?
- 4kg Blueberries, thoroughly clean and prepared, could be fresh or frozen
- 1-1.2kg sugar
- 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
- 2 – 4.5 liters of water
- ½ tsp Pectic Enzyme
- 2 tsp Citric Acid
- 1 Campden Tablet
- 1/8 tsp Tannin
- 1 Sachet Wine Yeast
There are winemaking kits that are pre-packed with everything you will need to make blueberry wine. A typical wine kit contains the following:
- Shrink caps
- 2 Gallon Fermenter
- Three yeast packs
- 1 Gallon Glass Jug
- Yeast Nutrients
- Recipe Book with Instructions
- Acid Blend
- Bottle filler
- 5” of siphon hose
- 2 Airlocks
- Yeast Energizer
- Bung & Screw Cap
- Hydrometer & Test Tube
- Straining Bag
- Glass Wine Thief
- 4oz Oxygen Wash
- 50 Campden Tablets
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Blueberry Wine
- Step 1: Sanitize everything. This is the first and most crucial part of any wine preparation process. Clean all the equipment that is going to come in contact with your wine. At periodic instances throughout the process, remember to sanitize if any need be.
- Step 2: Dissolve the sugar content in water and ensure it dissolves entirely before moving on to other steps. This step would require some time and patience, so you should boil the water while dissolving the sucrose to hasten the process. Remember to turn off the heat once the sugar has entirely dissolved in the mixture.
- Step 3: Rinse your blueberries under running water and pick through them. Pick out the leaves and identify any frit that is moldy or spoilt so you can set it aside.
- Step 4: Use a potato masher to squeeze the blueberries to break them out and let the juices flow. Ensure that you only mash the blueberries and not puree the fruits, as this might affect the taste of your wine.
- Step 5: Separate the sugar-water mixture into two portions. Pour the first portion as it is hot into the blueberry mixture and stir properly. Allow the second portion of the sugar-water mixture to cool so you can use it later on in wine preparation.
- Step 6: Mix the wine nutrient, tannin, and citric acid thoroughly with a long, sanitized spoon before adding to the blueberry mixture you just made. Take a gravity reading of the liquid, record the value and strain out any remaining blueberries. Allow it to cool for 12 hours or leave till the next day.
- Step 7: Pound the Campden tablet until it is powder form and add to the mixture.
- Step 8: Add the pectic enzyme and sprinkle yeast to your mixture before leaving it to ferment. Cover with a sanitized lid and airlock. Fermentation lets the flavors come out as tactfully planned and makes your wine have a taste.
- Step 9: Leave the mixture to ferment at room temperature if you live in a place that allows you. If not, you have to modulate the temperature and make it around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit which is the optimum temperature for valid fermentation of Blueberry wine.
- Confirm after two days if you notice fermentation activity like swirling in the wine, bubbles in the airlock, or carbonation. This is a sign that your process is going accordingly.
- Drain the pulp as best as you can with the siphon setup without squeezing the straining bag. Rack the must into a properly sanitized carboy and keep it capped with sanitized airlock. It is paramount that you leave the mixture as it is for a minimum of a week.
- Use a hydrometer to test it and ensure a specific range of specific gravity of around 1.001 to 1.013, so the wine has a good consistency. After that, keep the mixture in an airlock for the best results.
- Keep the wine stored safely for about two months before racking it safely off the sediment.
- Rack the wine again and leave it for about three months and keep racking until there are no more fermentation signs in your wine for a month.
- You can use your wine stabilizer to stop fermentation and keep your wine stable or wait until you have bottled your wine. If you decide to use a stabilizer like potassium sorbate, it should be at least 2-3 days before bottling your wine.
- Take your final gravity reading and rack your wine into clean and adequately sanitized bottles. Cork your wine and make sure it is airtight.
- Keep your wine bottled and store for about six months before consuming it to stabilize if you didn’t use a wine stabilizer.
Making Blueberry Wine Without Yeast
You can prepare your blueberry wine without yeast – this means not using any prepared or industrial yeast to ferment but instead relying on the natural yeast from the fruit. Making a blueberry wine without yeast is called natural wine, and the process is called wild fermentation. Yeast is tiny, and you can’t see them with your naked eye, so it might be hard for some people to understand yeast is still involved in the process. For a long time in history, this has been the only way to make wine, and it is still going to produce results with a fresh and excellent taste.
How to Make Blueberry Wine Without Yeast?
Blueberries ripe for harvest have adequate sugar for wild yeast to finish the process of wild fermentation, and it is sufficient enough to make the liquid alcoholic. The natural yeast in the fruits also provides an adequate amount of acidity to ensure the wine stays fresh and keeps it preserved. So the process we are about to explain is backed up by the theory, and it is a pretty straightforward process that has worked for a long time.
Wild yeast, which is part of the non-Saccharomyces species, is already there on the exterior covering of the blueberry fruits, so when you crush them, fermentation begins. After crushing the fruits, wild fermentation starts as the yeast will start to work on the sugar that naturally exists in blueberries. Sugar is their food source, and when they digest it, the two main waste products released are carbon dioxide and alcohol. You will see this physically when bubbles start fizzling to the liquid top. It is through this process that yeast also develops the wine’s texture and flavor component.
Wild fermentation will naturally stop as the alcohol content in the wine increases. Yeast cannot tolerate high alcohol content and would eventually die off, effectively halting the fermentation process. If you were using artificial yeast for fermentation, this would continue the fermentation process a little longer before eventually dying off too.
Benefits of Making Blueberry Wine Without Yeast
Making your blueberry wine naturally will ensure there are no additives or other ingredients present in conventional wine. Fermented blueberry uses naturally occurring wild yeast to ferment and develop natural flavors over time. Some studies also show that wild yeast is unique to your geographical location, so using it to make wines produces alcoholic wines that are regional. These wines have the unique flavor of the soil and nutrients and atmosphere that make the location unique.
Challenges of Making Blueberry Wine Without Yeast
The natural winemaking process is wild because it is uncontrolled, so there might be some complications. Since you are using natural yeast from the fruit, you will not know the strain being used to convert the sugar into alcohol during fermentation. If you do not follow our step-by-step process carefully, the result might be a wine with weird flavors because of the yeast or bacteria that converts some alcohol into vinegar to make an awful flavor.
Also, if your berries are too ripe or aren’t mature enough, it might result in inappropriate sugar content, and the yeast will not have enough to consume and release alcohol. Your wine will start fermenting but only for a little while, and it could turn out tasteless or bitter. If you also washed your berries or they do not have natural yeast because they were wet, this is another reason why the fermentation might not be successful. Washing the berries will make it lose most of the yeast needed in fermentation.
You can prevent this by adding wine preservatives such as sulfur dioxide and ensure the berries are fresh, organic, and do not have any pesticides or harmful chemicals that might affect the wine’s flavor, smell, and taste.
Ingredient and Equipment Needed
- Well ripe blueberries
- Large carboy or jug with a small mouth to fit airlock
- Wine bottles
- Large ceramic or glass jar
Step by Step Guide to Making Blueberry Wine Without Yeast
- Step 1: Sanitize all the equipment you want to use for the wine production, including your bottles. This is necessary to ensure no bacteria could spoil your wine and make it taste bad.
- Step 2: Put your blueberries inside a large glass or ceramic container for crushing.
- Step 3: Crush the blueberries with a potato masher or your hands. You can use any method you like as long as it gets the sugary juices flowing out properly and the blueberries do not turn into a puree.
- Step 4: If you prefer to have sugar or honey to help fermentation in your wine, you should add it now. A few teaspoons should be sufficient to kick off the process.
- Step 5: Use a cloth to cover up your glass/ceramic container and secure it inside with a rubber band or something similar.
- Step 6: Stir your mixture about 4-5 times a day for the first period. After you start seeing bubbles form in the mix, it means the natural fermentation process has taken off, so you can reduce your stirring to only a few times per day.
- Step 7: Keep checking your mixture and observing the reaction. Once the bubbling starts to slow down, it means the fermentation will soon be over.
- Step 8: Move your mixture to the carboy you picked out. Some choose to sieve their berry skins from the mix at this stage, but we recommend doing this just before you bottle, as it could change the flavor and color of the wine.
- Step 9: Set your airlock in your carboy opening. This airlock will let carbon dioxide escape and ensure that oxygen does not enter your mixture, as this could cause oxidation and ruin your wine.
- Let your mixture sit and leave it for at least a week. When it is the second week, take a sample and taste it if it is to your liking, and if it is not, you should leave the mixture for a few more days.
- After a few more days, the wine should be ready, and then you can pour it into the bottles you have chosen out and cork them.
- Sieve the skins from the wine at this step and do it carefully so you can get all the lovely wine with the flavor out.
- Let the wine age for a minimum of a couple of weeks and no less than three months to allow it to stabilize and let the flavors come out. It would be best to store the bottles in a dark, cold place with no sunlight for the best results.
Blueberry Wine Alcohol Percentage
If you follow our step-by-step process, blueberry wine should have an alcohol content of anywhere between 10% – 15%. This could vary drastically based on the following conditions:
The initial sugar content of the berries: If your berries have more sugar content, it will only mean more alcohol for yeast to produce. Some berries naturally have more sugar than others, depending on the region and climate.
Use of natural yeast/artificial yeast: The addition of synthetic yeast will impact their capacity to process sugar into alcohol. Different types of yeast have varying alcohol tolerances, so some will survive higher amounts of alcohol than others. Adding yeast to your blueberry wine lets it continue producing alcohol for a long time while the natural yeast has died.
How much sugar/honey you add to the mixture: Adding more sugar/honey to the base sugar from the berries will result in higher alcohol content. This sugar will feed the yeast and give off alcohol as a by-product throughout the process.
What Does Blueberry Wine Taste Like?
Blueberry wine has a lot of similarities with red wine, including nutrient composition. However, some studies suggest that blueberry wine is more potent than red wine with regards to polyphenols. When it comes to taste, blueberry wine has a deep sited and intense flavor that stands out. It has both sweet and dry varieties. One of the most notable things Blueberries are known for is their sickly-sweet taste that doesn’t feel syrupy or watered down.
In your preparation method, a couple of things you can do to nudge the taste in the direction you want include:
- For a sweet wine with a bit of alcohol content, you should use yeast with lower alcohol tolerance.
- You should choose a common alcohol tolerance yeast for a dry wine with low alcohol content and only uses a little sugar.
- For a sweet wine with high alcohol content, use yeast with a high tolerance for alcohol and a lot of sugar in your preparation.
- For a dry wine with high alcohol content, use yeast with a high tolerance and a fair sugar amount.
FAQs About DIY Wine Making
Is Making My Wine More Expensive Than Buying From a Store?
Yes, it is – only initially, because of costs involved with equipment, learning, and experimentation. In the long run, you will save more money making your wine.
What is the Difference Between Sterilizing and Sanitizing?
Sterilizing is a cleaning process that eliminates all the microorganisms, while in the sanitization, some organisms will remain. Depending on the wine you’re making, sometimes you will need to sterilize and other times sanitize.
Can I Use Bread Yeast for Wine Making?
While this is possible theoretically and might work, the results won’t be impressive. Wine yeasts aid the fermentation process, so it’s best to use them.
What are the Ideal Storage Conditions for my Wine?
Wine should be kept in temperatures around 40oF, especially if you’re keeping it for the long term. Also, keep light away from your wine because UV reacts with the wine by oxidization and changes the color.
There you have it! If you continue trying out our step-by-step process, you’ll become an expert in winemaking in no time. You can try out different concentrations and alcohol contents to see how they will affect the flavor of your wine.
Remember to store all of your wine bottles in a dark room at room temperature to keep them in good condition.