Raspberry hooch


This year’s batch of homemade brew is complete and I am sure you are full of questions about it. Fear not, curious tipplers. There’s a FAQ just for you.

What’s a brambleberry?
A wild raspberry found in thorny underbrush, basically. In this case the brambleberries were black raspberries, known as Rubus occidentalis.

Why did you make wine from the berries?
Making wine from handpicked fruit has become a bit of a tradition.

What’s the alcohol content?
Very low.

Will this kill me?
Depends on what you do with it. If you ingest it, death is unlikely.

Why do I have to wait until spring to drink it?
Because it will taste better. It’s fine now, but by March it will be much more balanced.

What were the steps involved in making this?
See this photo strip for more details. Or this gallery at Flickr.

Isn’t there lead in the ground where the berries grow?
Yes, there is. Or rather, was. Most of it was mined away. And anyway lead leached into groundwater doesn’t make it through the cellulose membranes of plants.

I’d rather not attempt this unaccompanied. Do you have any recipe suggestions?

Sure. The best one is to pour a bit of the wine into a wheat beer, like you’d do to make a Kir. You can also make a nice punch with it.

Tell me an interesting fact about this wine.
The berries were picked in a single day in Galena, Illinois by John, Nathan, and Andrew Tolva on their property.

OK, tell me another one.
A photo of the “racking” process of the wine is currently the only image on Flickr to be tagged “ohmygoditisinmymouth”.