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.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Crab Apple Wine 2020 - The Making Of...

The thing that I have missed most from living at Carr Manor Mount, and possibly the only thing, is the crabapple tree. We planted it in 1999 and every year it produced tens of pounds of crab apples. My previous volumes of this diary show how much wine I was able to produce from it, and we still have a couple of bottles remaining from its final batch in 2015.

Large clumps of tiny apples

To recompense, we planted a new crabapple in 2017. The last two years have produced a disappointing haul. 2020, though, has been amazing. For such a small tree the crop is huge: tightly bunched tiny red apples in large clusters. It is as if the tree is covered in scarlet jewels, and it was almost a shame to harvest them.

I did this on Friday 9th October - my first day of Holiday, where we are going neither to the Netherlands nor to Norfolk because of Covid 19. Picking 4 lbs 3 oz of the reddest apples has still left a decent crop on the tree and I could probably have picked the same again. But it is a new variety of crab apple (I forget which) so safest to stick with a single batch this year.

Harvested crab apples

I washed the apples (drowning a spider in the process, which I regret) and whizzed them through the food processor. These went into my bucket, along with 1 lb of minced sultanas (again using the food processor) and 3 lbs sugar. I boiled 7 pints of water and poured this in, giving everything a good stir. On Saturday morning I added a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient and pectolase.

Sliced apples

I had meant to put the wine into its demijohn on both Wednesday and Thursday, but both days I came back late from a long walk, so I did this Friday morning, 16th October instead. It being later than usual I thought that the ferment would be less vigorous, so filled the demijohn and was a little alarmed at how much sediment it looked like there would be. About half an hour later I was mopping that sediment off the kitchen surfaces and floor. The fermentation had been no less vigorous and the wine had exploded through the air trap.

Bubbling over

I poured some wine out of the demijohn and into a sterilised wine bottle, topping the demijohn up when it was safe to do so (about 24 hours later). Still, it means that I have more wine and less sediment than I might otherwise have had.

Safely in the demijohn

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

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