Saturday 7th March turned into a busy day. I had plans only for orange wine making, but at 11 a.m. I found myself at the gates to Roundhay Park waiting for a poet to arrive.
|Sitting in a bandstand, discussing poetry|
It has been the second ever Leeds Literature Festival with all kinds of literary events around the city, and one of these was a walk through Roundhay Park with Lydia Kennaway as she read, and her audience discussed, her poems about walking. Not having discussed poetry since A Level English Literature 32 years ago, this was a novel and somewhat daunting experience. Thoroughly worthwhile, though, and maybe I should read more poetry.
This all left the afternoon to buy wine making supplies (where I came away with a tub of tannin rather than the yeast that I had expected) and oranges, and to transform these into wine. I needed 24 oranges for a double batch, so bought two packs of 10 small and one pack of 4 large oranges.
At home I thinly sliced the peel off 10 of the small oranges, which as ever is the very worst thing about making orange wine. It takes such a long time and is mind-numbingly dull. I covered the peel in two pints of boiling water and left that for 24 hours before tipping the water into my bucket and putting the peel on the compost.
In the meantime, I squeezed all 24 oranges (swapping hands every three) and measured the juice - 3.75 pints. I poured this into my bucket with 9 pints of cold water and 5.5 lbs of sugar. This (plus the 2 pints of water covering the peel) was exactly the right amount of liquid. I stirred everything around to dissolve the sugar and added teaspoons of yeast, pectolase and nutrient (slightly more of the last two).
On Thursday 12th March I transferred all this to its demijohns. There was little to sieve out and this was a quick job. The wine is as vibrant and yellow as ever.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here