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.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Prune & Parsnip Wine 2016 - The Making Of ...

I was furious when I bought ingredients for this year's Prune & Parsnip wine. The weather was miserable; the worst sort of February rain; and I was hungry. The picture framing shop was closed, which meant a pointless trip had been made, and there had been nowhere to park in Roundhay near the butchers. My usual place for buying vegetables had neither prunes nor parsnips. And there I was in Tescos, an unfamiliar supermarket, struggling to find what I wanted. Not a great start for this wine.

The raw ingredients

Once home, I ignored the fact that Claire was feeling ill with a heavy cold and insisted that she put all the shopping away and bring me coffee and cake. I think I am the world's worst husband.

Leaving wine-making until today, Sunday 7th February, was a wise choice. It has been much better: the sun has shone and I have spent the morning palying bassoon quartets and watching Chris Contrabassoon try to fix his car with bits of string.

Parsnips in a pan
In the afternoon I chopped 4 lbs of parsnips into small pieces, cutting myself just the once and getting only the smallest amount of blood all over the vegetable matter. I boiled the parsnip pieces in 16 pints of water for about 25 minutes. This was done in two stages - 2 lbs parsnips in 8 pints of water at a time.

Prunes and a very sharp knife.
I put 5 lbs 10 oz sugar and 1 lb prunes (actually 500 grams) into my bucket. The prunes were already de-stoned, and I chopped each one into two, three or four pieces depending on their size. Once the parsnips had finished boiling I poured the water over the sugar and prunes, keeping the parsnips out of the mix. These will almost certainly end up in the bin but Claire has suggested using some of them for soup.

After 5 days' fermentation

The yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient went into the bucket on Monday morning. It all got a general stir once or twice a day until Friday 12th February, when I put the liquid into its demijohns. This was mostly done while Claire was sorting books in the kitchen - for the first time ever (possibly) we now have more shelf space than books. The wine is its usual orangy-brown colour and fermenting enthusiastically.

If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here.

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