Saskatoon Serviceberries


The purple-fruited -- almost black -- Saskatoon serviceberry is one of about 25 species of the serviceberry genus native to the United States and Canada. The botanical name is Amelanchier alnifolia, but it is commonly called the Saskatoon serviceberry or simply the Saskatoon berry. It resides on mountain slopes, moist hillsides, praries, and around lakes and streams as a shrub or small tree and sometimes forms thickets. It can be found from the Dakotas and Iowa west to the Pacific coast and north to Alaska and the Canadian tundra line. It is found throughout the Rocky Mountains and down into the Wasatch (Utah), Sisikyou California) and Klamath (California-Nevada) Mountains. The berries form from white, showy, 5-petal flowers that grow in clusters in the early spring. The berries, which resemble highbush blueberries in size and shape but are unrelated, also form in clusters and turn from light green to rose, then red, then deep purple, ripening in mid- to late summer. When ripe, the berries are very popular among birds and other wildlife.


SASKATOON SERVICEBERRY WINE (1)

Pick only ripe berries. Wash, destem and crush berries. Put in primary with sugar, lemon juice, water, and crushed Campden tablet, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Cover with muslin and put in warm place. Add pectic enzyme after 12 hours and wine yeast and nutrient after additional 12 hours. Stir twice daily for 5 days. Strain through a medium-meshed nylon sieve, pressing lightly to extract juice, returning liquor to primary.. Recover primary and wait 24 hours, then siphon off sediment into secondary and fit airlock, adjusting volume to allow 3 inches of space for foamiing. Move to cooler place. When vigorous fermentation subsides (10-14 days), top up with water or reserved juice. Ferment additional 2 weeks, then rack into clean secondary. Refit airlock and rack after 30 days. Wait another 30 days, rack again and bottle. This is a very good dry wine, fit to taste after 6 months. Improves with additional aging. Two gallons of berries should make 5 gallons of wine. [Author's recipe.]


SASKATOON SERVICEBERRY WINE (2)

Pick only ripe berries. Wash, destem and crush berries. Heat to low boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Fold top berries under, recover and simmer another 10 minutes. Pour into nylon jelly-bag and allow to drip over primary until pulp is cool. Meanwhile dissolve sugar into 3 cups boiling water and allow to cool. Add juice, jelly-bag, juice of 2 lemons, yeastnutrients, and pectic enzyme to primary. Wait at least 10 hours before inoculating with wine yeast. Cover well and set in warm (70-75 degrees F.) place, stirring twice daily. When S.G. drops to 1.040 (about 5 days), gently press jelly-bag to extract clear juice, discarding remaining pulp and seed. Siphon off sediments into secondary, top up, fit airlock, and set in cooler (60-65 degrees F.) place. Rack after 30 days and again after another 30 days. Bottle when clear, racking only if additional sediments have formed. Store in dark place to preserve deep ruby color. May taste after 6 months but improves with age. One and one-half gallons of berries should make 5 gallons of wine. Author's recipe.]


SASKATOON SERVICEBERRY WINE (3)

Pick only ripe berries. Wash, destem and crush berries. Heat to low boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Fold top berries under, recover and simmer another 10 minutes. Pour into nylon jelly-bag and allow to drip over primary until pulp is cool. Meanwhile dissolve sugar into 3 cups boiling water and allow to cool. Chop or mince raisins and put in second jelly-bag. Add juice, both jelly-bags, all but 2/3 cup sugar-water, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients to primary. Wait at least 10 hours before inoculating with wine yeast. Cover well and set in warm (70-75 degrees F.) place, stirring twice daily. After 5 days, gently press jelly-bag of Saskatoon serviceberries to extract clear juice, discarding remaining pulp and seed. Recover and ferment additional five days. Gently squeeze raisin jelly-bag to extract juice, then dicard pulp. Siphon off sediments into secondary, add remaining sugar-water, top up, fit airlock, and set in cooler (60-65 degrees F.) place. Rack three times at 30-day intervals. Bottle when clear, racking again only if additional sediments have formed. Store in dark place to preserve deep ruby color. May taste after 9 months but improves with age. This is a full-bodied wine. [Author's recipe.]




Last update was November 3rd, 2000.


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