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Re: Country Wines

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:06 pm
by elfcurry
Weedo - thanks for your explanation. I find facts supported with numbers do help put things in perspective. I didn't think I was at much risk but I feel more relaxed about it now.

You reminded me that I have some very old plum jam which I was given when a friend's mother died. He didn't like plum jam and gave it all ( a number of jars in a box) to me. When I found the stones were still present, I wondered whether the old lady was taking risks. It must still be in a box at the back of the garage!

Re: Country Wines

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:14 pm
by Green Aura
I think elderberries would definitely grow in SE Dorset. I bet it's one of these things you've never noticed - now you'll see them everywhere. The bark of elders are very distinct so even when they're not in fruit you can earmark a few for later.

A few years back I went with a neighbour to get her car MOT'd. While we waited we went for a walk round the village and spotted an entire row of blackthorn bushes. We grabbed a bag and started picking them. Nearly everyone who passed stopped us to ask us what they were and how we'd use them. Sloe gin was our reply, their eyes lit up.

We've never been back because we figure the locals will all be enjoying them now. :lol:

Re: Country Wines

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:38 pm
by old tree man
I'm quite fortunate in North Yorkshire we have loads of elderberry trees around, i usually pick 12lb of berries at a time i don't bother with using a fork to get the berries off i use a pair of scissors to harvest them then put them in a big bucket with 2lb of brambles i then pour 10lts of boiling water over them, give them a good mash up cover and leave for 24hrs.
I then strain off through muslin or an old tea towel into another bucket add the juice of 2 lemons 6lb of sugar and 2 sachets of high alcohol yeast or champagne yeast whatever you fancy really,
I then air lock my container and ferment out on a heat mat,
once fermented out rack into another container and keep as long as you can, i give it about 6 months before i cave in :lol:
If you want to do only one demijohn just half the recipe,
Give it a go, and all the best :flower: :flower:

Re: Country Wines

Posted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:44 pm
by elfcurry
I've had the first 'free' day for a while (ie no need to drive later) and looking at my cellar (various plastic 2 litre fizzy drink bottles containing wine for medium storage) I decided to try my two attemps at rhubarb wine. (Please excuse spelling - I did try it)

My first batch of rhubarb was only half a gallon. The single 2L bottle was very firm (ie rock hard). It has cleared moderately well and on tasting I see needs a little sugar which I added and caused a minor fountain. Quite nice. The later batch was a full gallon, so 2x2L bottles. I tried the first and it was too dry so needed a little sugar to make it taste better but it really started fizzing again.

Now, everyone says you should test wine as you make it and when it reaches the desired strength (ha!) put some chemical in to stop it getting any stronger. (What? Stop it when it's doing so well? Kill off the lovely helpful yeast that produced what you wanted? Why?) No, I don't. If it tastes good but a little too dry, I add some sugar; if it fizzes a bit then it's still 'hungry' and a bit more alcohol isn't something I want to discourage. So I did and it's better. Same with the second litre. Good stuff. It was very vigorous and I managed to capture most of the foam and liquid in a mug. Shame to waste it by mopping it up. :drunken:

Re: Country Wines

Posted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:47 pm
by Green Aura
Well caught.:lol: I love rhubarb wine.

Re: Country Wines

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:01 pm
by BernardSmith
Sorryelfcurry, but the idea is not to stop the fermentation. That's a lot like a stage magician stopping a bullet between his (or her) teeth. Great on stage but will likely cause you a great deal of pain if you try to do it at home. What you do is a) determine the level of alcohol (ABV) you want in your wine and so ensure that you have enough (but not more) fermentable sugar to meet that level, b) use a yeast that can happily ferment to that level and c) allow the yeast to do its thing and finish fermenting every last gram of sugar in your fwermenter. then d) you allow the wine to age (for as long as it needs) and so you allow the yeast to drop out of solution and fall towards the bottom of the fermenter. your then e) rack the wine off the yeast and perhaps repeat the aging process and the racking once or twice more (a well made wine improves with age, a poorly made wine just ages). f) Now you add chemicals to prevent any straggling yeast cells from reproducing and refermenting (K-meta and k-sorbate in tandem - one without the other is not effective). and g) once you have stabilized your wine you can then add sugar or honey or ??? to back sweeten it to the level of sweetness you prefer. and h) you bottle and enjoy.