Jostaberry is a successful hybrid of blackcurrant and gooseberry, which was invented by a German plant breeder Rudolf Bauer in the 70s. This good-yielding plant is frost-resistant, and its berries are larger than blackcurrants. It’s also immune to gemmaceous mites and doubling, its branches are prickle free, unlike infamous gooseberry. Homemade jostaberry wine turns out red and has a racy blackcurrant flavor but weak aroma. Let’s get down to the winemaking technology.
First, you should steam all of the tools and vessels that are going to be used in order to sterilize and then wipe dry with a clean dry piece of fabric. This is required to prevent wine molding –fungus can spoil whole wine lots.
- Jostaberries – 3 kilos
- Water – 3 liters
- Sugar – 1.2 kilos
- Wine yeast or ferment – per 7 liters of must (optional)
Jostaberry Wine Recipe
- Sort out the jostaberries, get rid of the stems, spoiled, unripe, and moldy berries.
It’s better to do without washing the berries to save wild yeast on the peels as it will start fermentation. If you washed the berries, you should add a ferment or store bought wine yeast just to be safe.
- Crush the jostaberries with your hands or a wooden rolling pin, making sure that every berry is crushed.
- Put the resulting paste in a metal container with a wide neck.
- Dissolve 50% of sugar (600 grams) in water. Then pour the resulting syrup into crushed berries, add wine yeast or ferment (if desired). Mix.
- Cover the neck of the container with gauze and tie it to the neck to protect it from insects. Leave the must in a dark room at a room temperature of 18-28°C for 4 days.
8-12 hours after this you’ll start noticing the main signs implying that fermentation has begun: light hissing sounds, foaming, and a sour smell.
Mix the must with a clean hand or a wooden stick 2-3 times a day, sinking all of the peels and particles of pulp in the juice. Without stirring the berry mass might turn a little sour or moldy.
- Filter the must through several layers of gauze. Squeeze the pulp well as it’s no longer required.
- Add 300 grams of sugar to the liquid portion. Mix it.
- Pour the must into a fermentation vessel, filling up to 75% of the volume, leaving enough free space for foam and carbon dioxide. Install an air lock on the neck or attach a medical glove with a small hole in one finger.
The most simple air lock with a tube
It’s important to attach the medical glove correctly
- Leave the fermentation vessel with future wine in a dark place with a stable temperature of 18-28°C. Cover it with a thick layer fabric.
- After 5-6 days from the air lock installation add the last 300 grams of sugar. Prior to that detach the air lock and pour separately about 150 ml of must, add sugar, and stir. Pour the obtained syrup back into the must and seal the vessel with the air lock once again.
- Regardless of the yeast activity and temperature jostaberry wine fermentation lasts about 30-55 days. After that, the water seal stops bubbling (emitting gas) or the glove deflates, there’s a layer of unconsolidated sediment at the bottom, and the wine itself becomes noticeably lighter. When all of these signs are visible you can move on to the next step.
If fermentation does not seem to stop after 60 days from the date of must laying you should pour the wine from the sediment and set it for further fermentation under the air lock at the same temperature.
- After the young wine has stopped fermenting gently pour it through a tube or hose into another vessel without touching the sediment at the bottom. Optionally you can sweeten the beverage with sugar to taste or increase ABV with alcohol (vodka).
- Bottle the wine for aging and try to fill the bottles to the brim in order to minimize the contact with oxygen. Hermetically seal the bottles afterward. If you added sugar at the previous step you should keep the bottles with air locks for the first 7-10 days in case the wine starts fermenting again.
- Place the young jostaberry wine into a fridge, cellar or basement with a temperature of 3-16°C. Leave it for at least 60 days. Preferable aging time is 5-6 months.
- As long as there’s a 4-5 cm layer of sediment forming (at first every 10 days and then less frequent) filter the wine by pouring it through a tube from one vessel into another without touching the sediment.
- The beverage is considered ready when sediment is no longer forming for a couple of months. You can bottle the homemade jostaberry wine for storing and hermetically seal it.
9-12% ABV. If stored in a refrigerator or basement the shelf life is up to 5 years.