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 3 November 2018

Apple Wine and Apple & Strawberry Wine 2018 - The Making Of...

Our apple tree
Autumn has settled into the year and has yet to give up her seat for Winter. Leaves have mostly fallen to the ground whereas apples mostly remain on the tree. Not entirely, however. I had a free Saturday on 27th October so decided to start both my Apple and my Apple & Strawberry wine that day. For each I needed 4 lbs apples. Finding 8 lbs of usable apples on the lawn was easy, though I rejected those that had been gnawed by squirrels or suggested that they hosted a whole community of invertebrates. In fact, for the pure Apple wine I denuded our crab apple tree of the 12 oz fruit it produced this year, therefore needing only 3 lbs 4 oz of windfall apples.

Out of the cold, I first of all put 1 lb of defrosting strawberries into the bucket for 'Apple and Strawberry' wine and gave this a good mashing. I then cut the apples into pieces, rejecting anything bruised or manky, and whizzed them through the food processor using the 'slice attachment'. Half went into the 'Apple' wine bucket and the other half went into the 'Apple and Strawberry' wine bucket. Next the 'Apple' wine bucket got a pound of minced sultanas (again using the food processor for mincing, but this time on the regular attachment).

Our crab apple tree
I added 3 lbs sugar and 6½ pints of boiling water to each bucket, giving them each a vigorous stir. On Sunday morning I added a teaspoon of yeast, of nutrient and of pectolase to each.

The fruit ingredients, gathered together
I then left the wine (stirring once each day) until Thursday 1st November, when I spend the entire evening doing things with wine (these two, elderberry and damson) whilst listening to old episodes of Desert Island Discs. I put each wine into its demijohn, removing much of the fruit with a colander before using the jug, sieve and funnel method. I had to squeeze the discarded fruit at the end of the process to retrieve enough liquid for the Apple wine.

The sliced apples
The Apple & Strawberry is an attractive dark pink. The Apple is an unattractive slime-brown. Both have a large yeasty foam head which I am hoping will not escape its demijohn.

If you want to see how the Apple Wine turned out, click here.

If you want to see how the Apple & Strawberry Wine turned out, click here.

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