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, 30 October 2016

Apple Wine 2016 - The Making Of...

Our crab apple tree back at 14 Carr Manor Mount was less than eight feet tall. It produced many pounds of fruit, virtually all of it within easy picking range. The lowest hanging apples on the apple tree at Bentcliffe Drive are higher than 8 foot from the ground. This makes picking them a challenge. Claire had mentioned that she had some success pulling apples off by snagging them with the teeth of a rake. Even with this knowledge, I needed a step ladder.

Our apple tree and washing line

On Sunday, 16th October, shortly after a heavy downpour, I set up the ladder under the tree and looked over to Claire through the kitchen window. She was shaking her head. On going inside, it was pointed out to me in no uncertain terms that this was a foolhardy endeavour and I would probably break something. Not being one to give up on wine-making opportunities lightly, or to take good advice, I promised that I would be careful, that I would only go two steps up the ladder and that everything would be fine. And (for once) I was right.

The apples and the rake

The apples took some tugging and the rake often got caught in branches, but I managed to repeat Newton's gravity experiment several times over, being careful to spot where each apple plummeted. I managed to get four pounds of apples, enough for a single batch, and decided not to push my luck by going for twice this amount.

I have used exactly the same recipe as my crab apple wine on the basis that my past 'pure' apple wines have been disappointing. First task was to chop the apples into pieces and then whiz them through the food processor, using the 'slice' attachment. These went into the bucket, along with a pound of minced sultanas (again using the food processor) and three pounds of sugar. I covered all this with 7 pints of boiling water.

By Sunday night the liquid was cool enough to add the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase. I strained the wine into its demijohns on Thursday night, 20th October. This was a quick job and entirely uneventful. Probably I could have cut down the water by half a pint. The wine is light brown (always an attractive colour for wine) and I anticipate a massive sediment.

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

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