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.

Friday 5 July 2013

Gooseberry Wine 2013 - The Making Of ...

I arrived home last night, 28th June, to the message that Julia's whitecurrants were in urgent need of netting and the gooseberries were ready to be plucked. Now, I am particularly keen on preserving the whitecurrants as they will tick off another letter from my wine alphabet project, so I arrived at Julia's allotment at just after ten this morning. It was a fine day and after a quick inspection of her plot, including a brand new high-tech been hive and a plum tree laden with more fruit than it knows what to do with, I set to work on the gooseberry bush.

There were plenty of berries, but most were not yet ripe. I concentrated on the largest fruits and this involved practically crawling underneath the bush. Nearly twelve hours later my arms look as if I have been tormenting Aggie when she is in a ferocious mood. However, the scars are worth it. I came away with exactly six pounds of gooseberries and safe in the knowledge that the whitecurrants were securely netted.

At home I weighed and washed the fruit and intended to spend the afternoon picking elderflowers. Instead, I got otherwise distracted and decided the elderflowers could wait a day.

Washing the fruit
In the evening, after cooking a particularly delicious pork, cashew nut and lime stir-fry and bottling my blackberry wine, I sliced the gooseberries using the food processor. This was a much faster and less painful process than trying to crush them with a potato masher, which has been my method in previous years. I have added 3 lbs of sugar and 6 pints of boiling water. This is a simpler, quicker method than directed by C J J Berry and I suspect just as effective. I put the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase into the mix the following morning.

I sieved the liquid into its demijohn on Thursday night, 4th July. It is an opaque phlegm-coloured mix, and I predict a relatively large sediment. I have filled the demijohn to its neck and this may prove to be a mistake.
The space between the liquid and the neck shows how much wine bubbled out

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