On Tuesday evening, 2nd July, after work, I went to pick strawberries at the Horsforth Pick Your Own fields. At the weighing counter I was directed to a far away field and told that this was where the 'Superb' strawberries could be found. Maybe the adjective used was 'Magnificent'. The man behind the counter must have a different dictionary to me. I would have used the words 'Barely Adequate' myself. Mostly the fruit was unripe or gone over. However, if I was to end up with 4 lbs of strawberries, I could not afford to be fussy. My one requirement was that they were mostly red, but even then it seemed like every strawberry was an effort. I was not helped by feeling dizzy every time I stood up, occasionally seeing brown swirling patches before my vision cleared. It being past six, I was the only person in the field and fainting would have been a poor choice. Despite all this, I ended up with a basketful which, when weighed, came to over 6 lbs - so I have enough for apple and strawberry wine later in the year. I am dubious about the quality, though.
|The Pick Your Own Field with 'Superb' Strawberries|
Mashing 4 lbs of (hulled) strawberries took longer than it should and I don't think the fruit was ripe enough. If this wine turns out badly, this will be why.
|My basket of strawberries|
To the 4 lbs of mashed strawberries, I added 4 pints of boiling water. The following evening, 3rd July, I strained the liquid into a demijohn and stored the fruit in a sterilised bowl. I poured 2 pints of cold water over the fruit and let it sit for about an hour. Next I poured the strained liquid back into my (washed and re-sterilised) bucket and then strained the fruit again from the new liquid, pouring the liquid into the bucket and discarding the fruit. At this point I put 3 lbs of sugar into the bucket and a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient, pectolase and tannin. Wednesday was a busy evening!
|Giving the strawberries a wash|
I left the wine until Saturday, giving it a daily stir. Saturday evening was meant to be spent playing in a concert, but the piece I was meant to play in - Fauré
- got cancelled at the last minute, so I put my wine into its demijohn instead. The wine is far less red than usual and this year it is brick-red rather than post-box red. I am not hopeful.
|Strawberries in my bucket|
I racked this on 15th August and by that point was became more hopeful as the small taste I got was fine. I added over half a pint of water with 2 oz sugar dissolved.
|A few tiny strawberries from our garden that I put in|
On bottling, which happened on 12th March, this wine has turned into something rather good. Maybe a less distinctive strawberry hit than usual - but definitely akin to wine.
|Brick-Red Strawberry Wine|
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here
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