Saturday, 4 August 2018
Blackcurrant Wine 2018 - The Making Of...
Blackcurrants seem to enjoy this long, hot, dry summer that we are having. Our bushes are laden with plump, ripe fruit and I will struggle to pick half of it. Despite having several blackcurrant bushes in our garden, I sent a Facebook message to Lindsay in early July asking how hers were getting on. An invitation to come over and pick fruit came back immediately. Lindsay says we are doing her a service, and she gets a bottle of wine out of it, so everyone's a winner.
Claire and I went over on 8th July, were joined by Lindsay and Anthony and we picked blackcurrants in the sunshine for less than an hour. Over the course of the next fortnight I selected the ripest fruit from our bushes (which are later than Lindsay's to ripen), freezing them as I went. By Thursday 19th July there was virtually no room left in our freezer and Something Had To Be Done. I removed the blackcurrants and measured out 6 lbs for a double batch, allowing them to defrost overnight. On Friday night I put these in the bucket and gave them a good mashing. This involved more effort than I had anticipated and the result was a sludge rather than lots of liquid.
I boiled 5½ lbs of sugar in 12 pints of water - and it turns out that an extra half pint of water would have been useful. Once this was boiling I poured it over the blackcurrants and left it all overnight to cool down. I put in a teaspoon each of yeast, pectolase and nutrient on Saturday morning - I have bought a tub of yeast rather than using individual sachets on the basis that this is far cheaper and I suspect the yeast variety makes little difference to the end result.
I left the wine until Tuesday evening, 24th July, stirring at least once a day, and then put it into my demijohns. There proved to be not quite enough water, but not by a huge margin. The wine is now bubbling away noisily and looks entirely happy.