Makes one Gallon
- 6 pounds of Blackberries
- 3 pounds of sugar
I still don’t like this procedure. Surely, there is a more convenient way to add the sugar. To me it would make way more sense to dissolve the sugar in boiling water and then add the sweetened water to the mash rather than waiting until the very end to add the sugar.
By waiting to the end, when everything has already cooled, you are forced to stir the sugar in. This adds an opportunity to put a non-sanitized stirring device into the mash. If the procedure added the sugar into the mash at the very beginning, it would already be mixed into sanitized boiling water. This would remove a point of contamination.
An alternative would be to not add the water, at the beginning, but boil some sugar water up and pour that in when putting the mash into the primary. This runs the risk of adding boiling water to the yeast, killing it. You would have to ensure that the water was sufficiently cool before doing anything.
Unfortunately, the acidity of Blackberries is very high. The mash needs to be watered down to reduce the acidity to a level that the yeast can take. Therefore if you were going to add the boiling water mixture you could not add the yeast until the water was added. This would mean not adding the sugar-water until the berries had already been strained into a juice.
Unfortunately, this leave the opportunity for another organism to begin reproducing while the yeast is not present to compete with it. Maybe adding the boiling water would be enough to kill it off after the fact, as long as it was kept at reasonable levels during the juicing process.
Based on the above reasoning, I am wondering about this process. I have never used it… use at your own risk.
- Mash up berries
- Strain into Primary
- Boil up the sugar in some water. Just barely enough to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, and then let sit for 1 minute off the heat. Throw it into the primary.
- Bring more water to a rolling boil. Let sit for 1 minute off the heat. Add to primary to top off the water.
I don’t know if this is perfect, it introduces some problems of its own, but I think it may work better and offer less chance of introducing problems. This order seems to put the bulk of the work on one day rather than over the course of a week.