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, 10 March 2018

Orange Wine 2018 - The Making Of...

My colleagues say that I am a creature of habit. I won't have my first cup of coffee until 9:30 and it must be 11 before my second. When 'lunch hour' was shifted by thirty minutes, I complained. This was not part of my established routine. Taking all this into account, it is unsurprising that I have stared a double batch of orange wine in March. It must be at least fifteen years in a row that I have done this.

I bought the oranges from Sainsbury's rather than going anywhere more exotic. Whilst I prefer shopping at small, local businesses, we were off to Sainsbury's anyway and their quality is consistently good. Plus the weather was poor - our road was still icy.

The thinly sliced orange peel
I started the wine on Sunday 4th March. The first job was to slice the top layer of peel from 12 of my 24 oranges as thinly as I could, and then cover this peel with 2 pints of boiling water. This is the most tedious part of making orange wine and I did particularly badly avoiding the pith. It took an age (helped along by Radio 4 Catch-Up) and by the end I just didn't care. Having completed this task, I covered the bowl containing peel and water with cling film and left this to one side.

The orange wine in its bucket
Next I squeezed all 24 oranges and measured the juice - 2¾ pints. This is one less pint than last year, which suggests this orange wine will not be as good. I put the juice into the bucket along with 10 pints of cold water and 5½ lbs sugar. I also added the yeast and a rounded teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient at this point. 24 hours later I poured in the water that had been covering the peel into the bucket and I discarded the peel.

Orange wine fermenting in the bucket
I had meant to put the wine into its demijohns on Friday night but was otherwise distracted and did this on Saturday morning, 10th March, instead. The wine currently looks like orange squash - a jolly, opaque yellow.