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, 21 September 2013

Apple Wine - The Making Of ...

I have made apple wine only once before, and that used a ridiculous quantity of fruit - 24 lbs of windfalls. This time my recipe is more sensible, but largely invented.

Apple wine was not one I had planned, but Julia required some emergency apple picking yesterday, Saturday 14th September. It was a balmy early autumn day but the forecast for Sunday was gales and rain. Therefore Julia had to get much of the fruit off her trees to avoid widespread apple catastrophe. As we had no plans for the afternoon, Claire and I went to help and inevitably my thoughts turned to wine-making as I filled sacks with apples. Julia has five apple trees, and I got some off each one, though I shall keep the russets for eating. Of the remaining four, one was a Bramley, one a John something and I do not know the other two. I will try to find out and put in a foot note later.

Five varieties of apple
The apples picked were mostly not quite ripe, and we probably got less than a third off the trees. In fact, the gales that were threatened have yet to arrive and there has been a good deal of sunshine today, so emergency fruit picking was premature.

I have loosely based my recipe on C J J Berry's, but it is a distant cousin. I chopped 6 lbs of apples into small pieces and put them in our largest pan. These were covered with 6½ pints of water and brought to the boil, then simmered for 15 minutes. Meanwhile I put 3 lbs sugar, thinly peeled lemon rind, juice from the lemon and 4 oz minced sultanas in the bucket.

Apples in the pan - 6 lbs with the water only just fit
After the apples had done their 15 minutes, I poured them and the water into the bucket and stirred to dissolve the sugar. In fact, some of the water missed and ended up over the kitchen floor, but probably less than half a pint. It turns out that the remaining amount of water was just about perfect - I have ended up with less than a quarter of a pint of extra liquid.  Anyway, I added the yeast (champagne variety), pectolase and nutrient on Monday morning, 16th September, and sieved the liquid into the demijohn on Thursday evening, 19th September. This took a long time as the apples had turned into puree and I had to be careful not to get the 'solid' (not that it bears this desciption with ease) into the demijohn. Instead, I got much of it over my shirt. Clean on today, too. Bah!

The wine is cloudy with just a hint of sunset to its colour.

If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here