Wine has been a common drink since biblical times, in fact the first miracle that Yeshua ever performed was in John 2 where He turned water into wine.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.......This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Of course the Bible is very clear on the overindulgence or abuse of alcohol yet at the same time wine was often prescribed for ailments. (1 Tim 5:23) Used correctly, fermented drinks with no alcohol or even full alcohol can be a beneficial part of our life.
Today I am going to share with you how to make a simple home made country wine, using grapes, berries, and Bulk Herb Store's Berry Herbal Brew powder. The alcohol of a home made brew or wine can vary from no alcohol to upwards of what the average wine contains depending on amount of sugar and fermentation time. There are methods of computing alcohol content using specific gravity and a formula however that is beyond the scope of this article.
Herbs and Berries for Health and Well BeingThe health benefits obtained from drinking small amounts of this Berry Herbal Brew are due to the individual herbs, grapes and berries, as well as the actual fermentation process. The fermentation process will create natural alcohol and enzymes that will help extract the beneficial properties from our herbs as well as providing benefits to digestion, including balancing bacterial flora. Before getting into the actual recipe let's take a brief look at the benefits in each ingredient. Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry)- This fruit commonly used as an herb in Ayurveda is rich in Vitamin C, quercetin, flavonoids, and tannins. The list of health benefits and uses of this herb is amazing and long, however it is commonly used as a nutritive and rejuvenating herb, enhancing the digestion of food, balancing stomach acid and supporting the liver. Bilberry Fruit (Vaccinium myrtillus)- Rich in flavonoids, this fruit is used commonly for the digestion, circulation and eyes. Bilberry Leaf- Also used for improving the vision and disorders of the eye, as well as for diabetes. Pomegranate powder- Pomegranate is said to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hypertensive effects. It is rich in vitamin C, and contains potassium. (Zarfeshany, Asgary, Javanmard 2014) Fig Leaf Powder- Fig leaves have been studied for the benefits in cancer, the cardiovascular system, and their ability to lower blood sugar. Grape Leaf Powder- Provides anti-inflammatory effects and has been used for diarrhea as well as externally for some skin issues. Grapes- Rich in flavonoids, vitamin C, polyphenols, and reservatol- all said to have a multitude of health benefits. Blueberry- Rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and flavonols, these delicious berries are said to benefit the cardiovascular system, brain, eyes, and be beneficial in cancer support.
How To Make Deliciously Healthy Berry Herbal BrewWhile we are not miracle workers, we are able to use God's amazing creation to create a healthy, healing, naturally fermented Berry Herbal Brew. This recipe will be adapted somewhat from the original recipe provided by BHS and found in the book The Vision in that I will share some information on stirring and the option of straining off early and using an airlock. This brew is described by BHS as:
Berry Herbal Brew is a unique blend of specially formulated ingredients that combine during the fermentation process to release their healthful benefits. ....Combine this nutritional mix with your own fresh or frozen red grapes and blueberries and you will have a delicious powerhouse!(This is a small recipe and may be doubled to fit your jar size) Ingredients:
- 1 C Berry Herbal Brew powder
- 3 C Pure non-chlorinated water
- 2 Cups Concord Grapes
- 1 Cup fresh or thawed blueberries
- 1 1/2 Cups organic sugar
- 1 or 2 gallon jars
- Food processor or blender
- Clean cloth, cheese cloth, and a rubber band
- Clean wood or stainless stirring utensil
- Lidded jar or airlock
- Add 1 cup of Berry Herbal Brew mix to a glass gallon jar and pour 3 cups of clean warm water over powdered herbs.
- Mix well with a clean utensil and cover the jar with a cloth. Allow to sit for 3-5 hours.
- Blend whole grapes, blueberries, and sugar in a food processor or blender for approximately 1 minute.
- Add to the herb mixture in the gallon jar, stir well.
- Cover with a cloth and apply a rubber band to keep out flies.
To Stir or Not To Stir, That is The QuestionThere are several different techniques in making a homemade naturally fermented wine. My goal with the instructions here is to preferably create a wine with minimal mold, good bacteria, and a healthy ferment. You will be stirring this mixture at least once a day but may stir several times a day. Stirring the mixture will help agitate the mix, create air, and drown any mold that may start to grow. (Bradley 2014) Some people prefer to stir only the top of the brew gently moving the fruit around to breath as Rosalee de la Foret does in her Dandelion wine recipe, while others stir the entire blend. However, the original Berry Herbal Brew recipe differs in that it only includes stirring after 1 week of brewing and is not strained until the final 3 weeks of fermentation time. As I said I will be sharing an alternative option.
Straining the Ferment EarlyWithin a few days you should begin to see some bubbles, continue to stir at least daily and keep well covered with the towel. After 3-5 days when the bubbling calms down prepare a clean glass jar with a canning lid or a clean jar with an air-lock on the lid. There are multiple types of airlocks depending on what size jar you will be using, just keep in mind that you will want your jar to be close to full with a small amount of space at top depending on the type of airlock. Make sure you follow the directions specific to the airlock you use, adding water to it if the directions tell you to. Strain the brew through a strainer covered with several layers of cheesecloth. Make sure you keep flies away while the wine is straining. Use clean hands to gather and squeeze out the rest of the wine. Discard the herb-berry mixture. At this time either apply your lid or pour into the jars or bottles that you will apply an airlock on according to the maker's directions. If you use a lidded jar, you will need to release the pressure from the lid once in a while until you are done fermenting and then occasionally if you store it. Your brew will now continue to ferment, you may taste it weekly for the next few weeks until you get the desired taste. However, you may enjoy it at any time before your final 3 week fermentation end as well. A wine left longer to ferment will have a higher alcohol content. Store in a cool dark place. After you are happy with your brew flavor you may leave the airlock in place or cap it with a cork type lid to help prevent any potential explosion because your brew will continue to ferment some. A Word of Caution: The alcohol of a home made brew or wine can vary from no alcohol to upwards of what the average store bought wine contains. The alcohol content varies depending on amount of sugar and fermentation time. Caution is recommended in children, nursing mothers, or pregnancy.
Varied Traditions in Wine MakingHomemade young or new wine-making has been around since biblical times. Almost every culture has a tradition of making some type of simple wine out of a variety of fruits, berries, herbs, and spices. Just as there are many traditions and types of wines there are many different recipes and ways to make it. This article is not meant to be an in-depth study on wine making as there is so much more to learn. The purpose of Berry Herbal Brew is to add one more healing herbal remedy to your daily lives for health and deeply rooted wellness.
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Have you ever made your own fermented brew? Let us know in the comments below!(Links in this post may be affiliate links which allow me to receive a small percentage of the sale. The price, however, does not change for you. Thank you for supporting my blogging activities.) REFERENCES:
- Wine Alcohol Content Calculator - Winemaker's Academy. (2013, June 19). Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Dandelion Wine Video-De La Foret, R. (2010, April 17). Retrieved October 21, 2015
- Bradley, K. (2014, March 24). How to make Wild Fermented Young Country Wine (it’s easy). Retrieved October 21, 2015
- Phytochemistry, traditional uses and cancer chemopreventive activity of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica): The Sustainer. (2011). Retrieved October 21, 2015
- Biddleman, R. (1995, January 31). Vaccinium spp.: Bilberry, huckleberry, whortleberry, etc.
- Blue berries. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2015
- Figs. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2015
- Grapes. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2015
- Zarfeshany, A., Asgary, S., & Javanmard, S. (n.d.). Potent health effects of pomegranate. Retrieved October 21, 2015,