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, 11 November 2018

Damson Wine - The Making Of...

Two years ago, Claire and I planted a damson tree sapling in the front garden. Where Claire had images of damson jam and damson gin, my thoughts were of wine. We both looked forward to branches weighed down by their fruit. So far it has produced not a single damson. Therefore, when Emma mentioned at work that her mother had been storing damsons in her freezer and I was welcome to have a bag, I indicated that I would be a glad recipient.

Our damson tree
On Thursday 1st November, Emma brought the damsons in and it was important that I turn them into wine that evening - defrosting fruit never lasts beyond a day. I was busy with wine-making duties anyway - racking my elderberry and putting apple wine into its demijohns.

3 lbs 2 oz damsons
On consulting four recipe books only one told me to de-stone the fruit, so I ignored that one. One told me to put chalk into the wine, another advised wheat or barley and a third talked about sultanas. This is my first time of making damson wine and advice is there to be ignored. So I went for the simplest option - using only damsons, sugar, water and yeast.

The recipe books I ignored
There were 3 lbs 2 oz damsons, which is a little under the 4 lbs advised by recipe books (to which I was paying no attention anyway) so I declared this sufficient and put them into my bucket. They mashed easily. I put in 1 lb of sugar and then found I had no more sugar in the house. (A further 1 lb 12 oz went in on Saturday morning.) This was covered by six and a half pints of boiling water, stirred and left over night to cool. I then put in 1 teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient, pectolase and citric acid.

The wine with the yeast having been sprinkled in
The wine went into its demijohn on Tuesday 6th November, even though I was out all evening playing quintets in Ilkley. This meant that I had to be organised, so I got everything ready to sterilise before I left for work that morning. On my return I took time only to feed the cats before setting to and covering all equipment with a sodium metabisulphite solution. Putting the wine into its demijohn took about half an hour and I now have my first ever batch of Damson Wine bubbling away.

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

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