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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.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Orange Wine 2014 - The Making Of ...

Evidence of Spring
Claire mentioned the possibility of doing a single batch of orange for 2014. This, of course, is sacrilege and I have done my usual double. I acknowledge that I am running out of both wine bottles and anywhere to put them, but this year could  prove to be a poor one for fruit. And orange wine is such a standard that it would be a shame not to have one bottle for every month.

Irritatingly, Noshis was selling their oranges at six for a pound when I bought them, rather than the eight for a pound they have been in the surrounding weeks. This means I have spent one whole pound more on my ingredients than I had planned. How can I justify this extravagance? They are good quality oranges, though, unlike the small and manky ones I used last year.

I started making the wine on Sunday 2nd March. A double batch of orange wine requires 24 oranges. My first job was to peel half the oranges very thinly, trying to avoid any pith. This is a tedious and time-consuming job, and these oranges seemed particularly resistant to a thin peeling. I had a Radio 4 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice to help, but I gave up after 10 oranges. I poured 2½ pints of boiling water over the peel and covered this with a lid, letting it sit for 24 hours or so.


I squeezed all the oranges, which resulted in 3¾ pints of juice and bits. This went into my bucket and I boiled 9 pints of water and put that in, along with 5½ lbs sugar. This is the first time I have added boiling water rather than cold.
Fermenting orange liquid

I added the yeast and teaspoons of nutrient and pectolase on Monday morning and put in the water that had covered the peel on Monday evening. My plan was to put it all into the demijohns on Thursday evening, but I spent most of Thrusday night being the dressmaker's mannequin for Claire's latest knitting project and went straight to bed afterwards. So I sieved out the orange detritus on Friday early evening instead before Book Group. The amount of water I used was nearly exact, and the colour is a bright, pleasing yellow.

A bright, pleasing yellow
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here