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This blog is a record of the wine that I make and drink. Each flavour made and each bottle drunk will appear here. You may come to the conclusion that, on the whole, I should be drinking less.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Strawberry Wine 2012 - The Making Of ...

Strawberry is the stickiest of wines in the making. It is ninety minutes since I last did anything strawberry wine related and despite having done a mountain of washing up in the interim I just feel sticky.

I started this wine yesterday, Sunday 8th July. It was a rare and welcome sunny day, and we spent it in the south western reaches of North Yorkshire, nosing around some large and extremely posh gardens - including that of Low Hall in Dacre. Before this, however, we stopped off at the 'Pick Your Own' at Wharfedale Grange Farm, and in best gang-master style, I had Claire, Duncan and Rachel picking strawberries for me. The fruit was large and abundant this year - some of the strawberries were the size of small eggs. Between us we picked about ten pounds of strawberries. This is far too many for the single batch of wine I have made (which only requires 4 lbs) but enough for several bowls of strawberries and cream, a batch of strawberry jam and two bags of frozen strawberries in anticipation of fruit combinations for wine later in the year.

On Sunday night I got myself into a thoroughly bad mood by hulling all strawberries picked, weighing them and struggling to get those destined to be frozen into the freezer.

I put four pounds of fruit into the bucket and added two tiny wild strawberries from our garden - I could not find any more. I mashed these up and poured over four pints of boiling water and three pounds of sugar. This evening I strained the liquid into a demijohn, saving the pulp in a second bucket. This was the particularly sticky bit. I then poured two pints of cold water over the pulp, let it stew whilst I washed and sterilised the original bucket, and then strained the liquid back into this, throwing out the pulp. I also poured in the strawberry liquid from the demijohn. (All very complicated.) I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient, pectolase and tannin.
Mashed strawberries
It went back into the demijohn on Thursday evening. I had half a pint of liquid left over, which I mostly threw out (though added a small quantity to a glass of sloe wine in the hope it would make it nicer. This experiment failed.) In the bucket the wine appeared not to be fermenting but in the demijohn it is bubbling away happily.
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If you want to see how this wine turned out (and it turned out really very well indeed) click here