|The raw ingredients|
I was in two minds about starting this wine today, 3rd February, because it has been a busy afternoon. Claire and I spent it with WYSO at Wakefield Girls' School, where the heating was firmly switched to 'Off', playing Beethoven's violin concerto to sixth formers. This is my favourite of violin concertos, amongst stiff competition, mostly because it has such a good bassoon part. And the highlight of the afternoon was discovering Sarah is pregnant - due date 14th September, which is the day she had already booked to get married. One day she will see this as an anecdote, and as a reason to cancel a wedding it is one of the best. She has yet to tell her family.
Anyway, once home and having done the washing up, I chopped up four pounds (ish - I didn't measure very carefully) of parsnips into small pieces and put them into our largest pan. These were covered with seven pints of water and put on the hob to boil. I chopped just over a pound of prunes and put these in my bucket with six pounds of sugar.
After having bottled and corked 12 bottles of wine (see above), I drained the parsnips into the bucket, discarding the vegetable (actually, some of it is in the freezer). I worry that I did not boil it for long enough. The pieces of parsnip were soft, but still tasted distinctly of parsnip. I then boiled another seven pints of water and poured this into the bucket too. This was all left overnight and on Monday morning, 4th February, I put in the yeast and nutrient, amylase and pectolase (approximately one teaspoon of each). The amylase is now finished, but had a 'Best Before Date' of September 2007.
I put the liquid into its two demijohns on Friday evening, 8th February. It is fermenting aggressively, and therefore probably just as well that I could have added an extra pint and a half of water in the initial stages.