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 16 October 2011

Crab Apple & Soft Fruit Wine - the making of ...

I started making both Crab Apple & Strawberry, and Crab Apple & Blackcurrant wine on 9th October.

As is usual, I have been storing fruit in the freezer for several months. Unlike other years, though, this has partly been by design for October experiments. In July, Claire suggested that I try making Crab Apple & Strawberry as a flavour. Then, when I picked our blackcurrants and got 1 lb 10 oz, I thought some of that could go towards Crab Apple & Blackcurrant. Pleasingly, this particular wine is entirely from our back garden (unless one counts the yeast, sugar, chemicals and water of course - which I don't).

The basic recipe and method is the same for both wines - 1 lb of soft fruit, 4 lbs crab apples, 3 lbs sugar and 6 ½ pints of boiling water.

I picked 8 lbs of crab apples in the drizzle after an irritating Sunday lunchtime visit to Sainsbury's to buy sugar. There are still plenty of apples on the tree and these will either be turned into jelly or left for the birds. I suspect the latter. I spent Sunday afternoon boiling water, crushing fruit, whizzing apples through the food processor and weighing sugar. As the soft fruit was frozen, I poured half a pint of boiling water over each variety whilst it was in its respective bucket, and then mashed them. This made the process easier. I spent the time, whilst the food processor was not spinning loudly, listening to the CD that I was involved in recording back in May - the St Dogmael's Shakespeare one. I recognise that this is a little narcissistic.

The strawberry version in its bucket
I added the yeast and one teaspoon of nutrient and pectolase to each bucket the following morning and stirred.

Both varieties went into their demijohns on Saturday afternoon, 15th October. The day proved to be a busy one: in the morning I drove my bassoon over to Crossflats for its annual MOT, and in the afternoon I helped Julia pick hundreds of apples from four of her trees.

The blackcurrant version in its bucket
The strawberry version is fermenting aggressively, and has begun its bid for freedom out of the demijohn (which is why I keep it in the bath at this stage). I have put the somewhat tamer blackcurrant version into a darkened demijohn.

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