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.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Crab Apple Wine 2014 - The Making Of ...

Echoes of summer
I think our crab apple tree is infected or infested. Or both. Many of the apples are scabby. Others have gone rotten in pairs and are stuck together, suggesting they are home to some sort of grub. I noticed this last year, but this year is worse. Like Aunty Mim, I suspect its days are numbered. And it is only 15 years old. Still, it continues to produce an abundance of fruit, and picking 12 lbs of apples for 18 bottles of wine on Sunday 5th October proved no problem.

Look closely, and you can see some rotten crab apples
It was a lovely, sunny day - that early October sort of day where the last echoes of summer are sounding. Perfect for collecting apples in a bowl. Under Claire's guidance and balancing precariously on a plastic garden chair, I sawed off a branch of the tree which was shooting upwards, away from the canopy. This was mostly to maintain the tree's shape, but had the added benefit of an extra pound of bright red apples I would otherwise have missed.

Apples I would otherwise have missed
Because we were spending the weekend of 11th-12th October in Harpenden with my cousins, I only picked the apples on Sunday. I started the wine properly on Tuesday 7th October. This year, by accident, I used the 'grating' function on our food processor rather than the 'slice'. I suspect it will make no difference.

Grating 12 lbs of apples took less than an hour. I added 9 lbs sugar and 3 lbs minced sultanas, again taking advantage of the food processor for mincing purposes. Next I boiled 22 pints of water, poured this over and stirred. There isn't much room left in my bucket.

I added the yeast and 2 teaspoons each of nutrient and pectolase on Wednesday morning, 8th October.
Not much room left in the bucket

It took almost exactly an hour to get the liquid into its three demijohns and my first method was to use the plastic collander as a scoop, which worked well. I did all this on Monday 13th October, after having returned from a wonderful weekend with my cousins. I had about a pint, maybe more, of left-over wine at the end, which I have poured down the sink. The wine in the demijohns is mostly orange with a pinkish hue.


  1. How long do you leave it in the jugs?

    1. Hello Coachtara4 (Tara?)

      It stays in the demijohns for 4-6 weeks, and then I siphon it off the sediment at the bottom (using plastic tubing) into a new set of demijohns. This will leave a gap at the top of the new demijohns, which I fill with water which has sugar dissolved in it (usually about four ounces of sugar per pint of water) (and remember, I use UK pints in my measurements - which is 20 fluid ounces). I will then leave the wine in the demijohns for about another 5 months before bottling. However, the timings are rough guides only: no need to be precise.

      There are plenty of home-made wine making resources on the internet. Very best of luck with it.