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10

 

Wines

There is only so much that you can do when you ferment grapes. Here are some interesting alternatives:

Like all wine preparation, you should endeavour to make all of the utensils that you use as clean as possible at all times. Never contaminate wine with animal products as these will lead to off-flavours and shorten the life of the wine.

Always pick your own fruit (or flowers) and if you are going to build up a stock by freezing, take the fruit or flowers through the cleaning part of the process before freezing as the action of freezing itself will break down the cell structure and any subsequent washing will simply wash away the flavour (it is possible to use freezing to break down cell structures and release flavours in this way).

One general tip is to add the sugar a lb or two at a time as adding too much sugar may lead to a wine that needs to be fermenter further to bring it into even the palatable part of the sweeter end of the spectrum. If you have added too much sugar, you can always add more water and referment.

The following wines may be fermented as sweet or as dry as you wish - whatever you do, enjoy it.

Plum Wine - a nice fruity red wine.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs Plums (off the tree)
  • 2 - 3 lbs Sugar
  • Yeast (use bread yeast - chromatographic testing shows that it gives cleaner results)
  • 1 gallon boiling Water

Method:

Clean and chop the plums, placing them in a bucket. Pour on approximately of the water, cover and leave for 2 days. Add the sugar and remaining boiling water. When dissolved and down to blood temperature, add the yeast, allow to ferment for a day and then transfer to demijohns and continue to ferment until the reaction comes to a halt (2 - 3 weeks). Add two campden tablets and allow the yeast to settle. When clear, filter into bottles and allow 3 months to mature.

Variations:

Try adding a little grape concentrate (or some sultanas). Another possibility is to add some cloves.

Storage:

Keep in bottles on their side for at least three months.


Carrot Wine - a delicious `orange' wine (somehow, the colour paradigm used for the one dimensional grape only wines doesn't seem to lend itself to more sophisticated and versatile wines).

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb Carrots
  • 2 ounces Fresh Root Ginger
  • 4 lb Demerara Sugar
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • Juice of 2 Oranges
  • Yeast (use bread yeast - chromatographic testing shows that it gives cleaner results)
  • 1 gallon Water

Method:

Grate the carrots and the ginger and put into a very large saucepan (see next if you haven't got such a thing). Pour the water over the shredded carrot and ginger and then boil for around 20 minutes. Finally, strain into a clean bucket.

If you haven't got a large saucepan, divide the carrot and ginger up proportionately between two saucepans and add boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes and strain into a bucket and then repeat the process with more water until you have around a gallon of liquid that has been boiled with the carrot and ginger.

Add the demerara sugar and the lemon and orange juice while still hot and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to blood temperature and then add the yeast.

Allow to ferment for a day and then transfer to demijohns and continue to ferment until the reaction comes to a halt (2 - 3 weeks). Add two campden tablets and allow the yeast to settle. When clear, filter into bottles and allow 3 months to mature.

Variations:

Try different citrus varieties or types of sugar.

Storage:

Keep in bottles on their side for at least three months.


Dandelion Wine - a quick maturing golden wine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon Dandelion heads (pick them from somewhere that is free from cat territorial borders, dogs and car exhaust fumes - you can remove the petals, clean them and then freeze them until you have enough)
  • 1 gallon boiling Water
  • 4 lb Demerara Sugar
  • ounce Root Ginger
  • lb Raisins
  • rind and juice of 1 Lemon
  • rind and juice of 1 Orange
  • Yeast (use bread yeast - chromatographic testing shows that it gives cleaner results)

Method:

Remove the petals from the flowers (leaving them on will result in the fermentation process coming to a halt early on and you will not be able to restart it) and put them in a saucepan. Pour on the boiling water and leave for two days (stirring several time each day).

Strain into a saucepan and add the sugar, grated ginger and citrus rind. Boil for 30 minutes, making up the volume as required. Strain and cool, adding the citrus juices and yeast when cooled to blood temperature. Pour into a demijohn, add the chopped raisins and allow to ferment until the reaction comes to a halt (2 - 3 weeks). Add two campden tablets and allow the yeast to settle. When clear, filter into bottles and allow at least 6 months to mature.

Variations:

Miss out the ginger, substitute sultanas for the raisins and leave as a sweet wine. This (with effectively white grapes instead of red grapes) will mature faster and may be drunk after only one month.

Storage:

Keep in bottles on their side for at least one month in the case of the recipe with sultanas, and 6 months, for the recipe with raisins.

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