Crush the Raspberries and Blackberries into a pre-sanitised fermenting bucket. Pour the water over the contents together with the rest of the ingredients. Stir thoroughly. Cover the bucket with a cloth and leave to ferment in a warm place for 5 days. Stir the contents of the bucket daily. Then strain into a 1-gallon demijohn through a muslin or nylon straining bag. Press as much as possible and discard the pulp. It may be necessary to top up with cooled boiled water to 4½litres. Fit a bung and airlock and leave in a warm place to continue to ferment out completely.
Fermentation should be complete in 2-4 weeks. When no bubbles are emerging from the airlock check the specific gravity on a hydrometer. A reading of 0.996 indicates that fermentation is complete and all sugar has been converted to alcohol, After clearing your wine may be sweetened with Wine Sweetener or Glycerol (which smoothens the wine) to your preferred taste. These are non-fermentable so will not increase the risk of post-fermentation which could occur if sweetening with sugar. Add sweetener in small quantities until the desired taste is achieved.
Your hydrometer will indicate the remaining sugar level and a guide to finishing levels are:
- DRY = 0.990 – 0.996
- MEDIUM = 0.996 – 1.009
- SWEET = 1.009 – 1.018
Finishing the Wine
At the end of fermentation add 1 crushed Campden tablet and half a teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon. Leave in a warm place for 3 days to kill off the yeast. Then the wine should be left to clear in a cool place (15C) before siphoning from the sediment.
Country wines can be difficult to clear on their own and it is recommended to add finings. Winefine finings are very effective. When clear you should then pass the wine through a Vinbrite filter to obtain a professional finish before bottling.
The wine should now be bottled and stored in a cool dark place to mature for at least 6 months. During this time any rough tastes will be smoothed out and the final taste of the wine will improve.