Salmonberry Wine


Posted by Nate

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Last Update: July 29, 2011

My mom found a spot with lots of salmonberries along the Soos Creek Trail so I headed out there and did some picking. After 4 hours I came away with 6.5 pounds of fresh salmonberries, quite a haul. I decided that after making the raspberry wine yesterday, salmonberries would be just as easy and would have a slightly different flavor. I looked for a salmonberry wine recipe but did not find one, so I modified my raspberry wine recipe and had some input from the people at my LHBS, Larry’s Brewing Supply. Here is the final recipe (again, making a 2 gallon batch):

Salmonberry Wine

2 Gallon
6.5 lbFresh Salmonberries
3 lbSugar
1 packageMontrachet Wine Yeast
1.5 tspPectic Enzyme
2 tspYeast Nutrient
3Campden Tablets


Rinsed all of the berries to remove stems and other debris, then added them to my cooking pot. I then used a hand mixer to mash the berries really well before adding 1.5 gallons of water to the pot. I heated up the mash to about 120 F, then I added and dissolved the sugar into the hot must. I continued to stir and keep the pot heated for 15 minutes.

After heating the must, I decided to do the same thing I did with my raspberry wine and leave all the pulp and seeds in the primary fermenter for now. I will filter them out when racking to the secondary.

I checked the Original Gravity and it measured out to be  1.085, which is going to yield about 11.1 %ABV. I added the yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, and crushed Campden tablets to the bucket. I then sealed the bucket and put it in the brew room to sit for a day next to my raspberry wine. I will add the yeast tomorrow after the Campden tablets have had 24 hours to sterilize the must.

Put into primary 6-29-10. Original Gravity measured at 1.085 (11.1% potential alcohol). Will primary ferment for a week before racking to the secondary one-gallon carboys.

Added the yeast on 6-30-10.

Racked to two one-gallon carboys on 7-8-10. Final Gravity measured at 0.993 (12.7% ABV).

Racked again on 7-26-10, adding 1/4 cup of sugar for each gallon to make this a sweet wine. The wine has settled out quite a bit now and is a pretty clear yellow-orange.

Bottled on 12-11-10 into 19 12-ounce bottles. Color is a very light yellow and the wine is very clear.


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7 Comments on "Salmonberry Wine"

  1. avatar RJ says:

    Any tasting notes on this one? It occurred to me to make the same thing, but don’t know if I’d go for a sweet wine or keep it a well balanced semi-dry by back sweetening…

  2. avatar Nate says:

    Hi RJ, it’s been a while since I had any of this, but as I recall after a few months of aging in the bottle this wine turned out quite well. It was a dry wine, and had a pretty delicate salmonberry flavor. I’ve only made this wine once so far, but next time I might try just a bit of back sweetening for some more balance.

  3. avatar RJ says:

    Nice — thanks for the info Nate. I’d love to put in a batch of this to see how it turns out. If you get a chance, I’d be interested in finding out what your gravity in the bottle is now if you do open one up… Was it 0.993 going into the bottle? Or did the extra sugar during racking bring the gravity up a bit prior to bottling?

  4. avatar Nate says:

    RJ, If you make a batch I’d love to hear how it turns out. I’ll see if I can find a bottle of this in my private reserve, maybe tonight. Your questions about the FG is a good one. My notes don’t indicate I took a reading before bottling, so the added sugar did likely increase that number a bit. If I find a bottle, I’ll test the FG as well.

  5. avatar Nate says:

    I found one of two bottles I have left and tried this last night. I tested the FG and it read 1.001, so the added sugar did raise it a bit. The wine was a nice golden-orange color. Its taste was of a dry wine, but with only a hint of salmonberry. I think extra sugar would have helped bring out the berry flavor more, and perhaps using more berries per gallon in the recipe.

  6. avatar Sarah says:

    I was wondering if you’ve tried the salmonberry recipe again since the first time you’d made it. I can’t find much online about it, and I have a massive salmonberry crop in my forest. I was wondering if you had tried making it with more sugar yet, and if so if it helped bring out the flavour of the berries more.

  7. avatar Nate says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I haven’t actually made this wine again yet, but maybe it’s time. If I do make it again, I will skip the heating of the berries. I think this gives more of a cooked berry flavor and reduces the unique salmonberry flavor. I would just mash them at room temperature. I would probably keep the sugar about the same, actually, but you should taste before you bottle and see if you want to back-sweeten. Let me know how yours turns out!

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