A mature mulberry tree can drop a multitude of berries. They are sweet, delicious, and have a lovely color (wear gloves!). One great way to preserve the harvest is to make some wine, here is how:
How to make Mulberry Wine (adapted from an elderberry wine recipe in the book, Wild Fermentation).
Amount: 5 gallons
Time: approximately 1 year
– Three gallons of mulberries
– One packet of commercial wine/champagne yeast (champagne yeast gives it a nice bubble).
– 10-12 lbs. sugar
– One five-gallon carboy, glass is preferable to plastic.
– One airlock that fits onto the lid of the carboy. When filled partially with water, it allows gases to be released from the carboy without letting contaminants in.
1. Clean the mulberries. Discard any unripe or moldy berries.
2. Boil two or three gallons of water. Pour it over the berries to submerge them. Cover the bucket with a towel, and leave overnight to steep and cool.
3. Scoop out one cup of the liquid and add a packet of yeast. Allow the yeast to activate and bubble, then add it to the berries and water. Stir with a wooden spoon and cover.
4. Let the mixture sit for two to three days, stirring often. This allows time for the yeast to feed on the sugar of the berries and begin the fermentation process. The mix should begin to get a little frothy.
5. After two to three days, make a simple syrup by pouring 10 lbs. (20 cups) of sugar into a cooking pot and covering with enough water to liquefy. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves into a clear syrup.
6. When the syrup cools, add it to the mulberries.
7. Ferment for three to five days, covered and stirring often. The wine should begin to bubble vigorously.
8. Once the bubbling slows, strain wine into the 5-gallon carboy, using a funnel. It should only fill the carboy part of the way. Place the strained out berries in the bucket and cover with water. Mash the strained berries in water, and strain this water into the carboy. Fill the carboy, but make sure to leave a few inches at the top for foam headroom.
9. Store the carboy at room temp for the first month. Set it in a large pan or place a towel around the bottom to catch any frothy overflow. If overflow occurs, clean the airlock and the mouth of the carboy. Fermentation will slow gradually.
10. Test the sugar content by removing the airlock and sprinkling a little sugar on the surface of the wine. If nothing occurs, the sugar content is good. If it causes a yeast reaction (looks like bubbling and frothing) add another cup of sugar. Wait a few days, and repeat as necessary. Add only one cup of sugar at a time and no more than four additional cups total.
11. After two months, siphon the wine into a clean carboy, leaving the sediment behind. Insert an airlock and relocate the carboy to a cool, dark place. Ferment for at least nine months and periodically check to make sure the water hasn’t completely evaporated out of the airlock. Refill and clean the airlock as necessary.
After nine months, start drinking it!
To find local mulberries, or any other kind of local goodies, check out Pick-A-Pepper.com!
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