I feel like I am becoming a stuck record. But this summer has had the most appalling weather that I can remember. Back in mid-April the news was full of 'Hose Pipe Ban' this and 'Hose Pipe Ban' that. Save for one glorious week in late May it has not stopped raining since. Today, 6th July, it rained from ten past eight (I know this because I was walking to work) until six o'clock without let up. According to news reports we had July's average rain fall in just one day. And the current forecast is for a whole month of this. Still, it hasn't prevented Julia's gooseberries ripening. Which is a Good Thing.
Julia rang on Wednesday to ask when would be a suitable time to bring over three and a half pounds of gooseberries that she had picked and true to her word, on our return from WYSO, they were sitting in a plastic bag on our doorstep. Tonight I combined these with the 2 lb 4 oz in the freezer and 4 oz from our garden bushes to make six pounds of gooseberries. Those from our garden are doing rather less well than Julia's. They are mostly small and bullet-like. Claire thinks this is because the blackcurrants are crowding them out.
I put the fruit in the bucket and crushed them with a potato masher. This was far easier than crushing the gooseberries for my 'Gooseberry & Elderflower' a couple of weeks ago. Freezing them makes them softer. However, it was no walk in the park and I predict blisters on my thumb.
I poured over five and a half pints of boiling water. One teaspoon of pectolase went in on Saturday morning, 7th July.
I strained the liquid into a demijohn on Monday evening, 9th July, whilst listening to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. It is a pale soupy green colour. I put 2 lbs 10 oz sugar into a freshly sterilised bucket, poured the liquid in, gave it all a thorough stir and added the yeast and a teaspoon of nutrient. It all went back into the demijohn on the evening of Thursday 12th July. I am not convinced that it is stable enough to avoid exploding out the top of the air trap, but there is about a quarter of a pint's worth of space between the liquid and the demijohn neck. I may be lucky.
If you want to see how this batch of gooseberry has turned out, click here.