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homemade wine for beginners

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default homemade wine for beginners

Post by Dandelion on 13th June 2010, 8:01 pm

Mr D and DD1 have become interested in making some wine after watching River Cottage. Hugh FW was making gorse wine - they don't want to do that particular recipe, but would appreciate some advice on a good wine recipe for beginners (or a book to help them.) We have no equipment yet, and little experience (apart from the ginger beer which exploded!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Dandelion on 13th June 2010, 8:06 pm

Big apologies for putting this in the wrong place - in my defence I have just had a large glass of red!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Compostwoman on 13th June 2010, 8:20 pm

We make wines of various sorts and cider, have made beer in the past but not now...

So...if you fancy a trip over here, I could show them how we do it and the sort of kit we use?


if that is any help?

C J Berry is THE book to use, IMO and there are some good websites around as well...I shall have a look at my bookmarks list and see what I can find, but again we have various books so you could have a look and see if they are helpful.

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Post by Dandelion on 13th June 2010, 10:29 pm

Thank you!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 13th June 2010, 11:45 pm

Just to add that CJJ Berry's books are very easy to come by and can often be bought for pence in charity shops or at bootfairs so keep your eyes peeled.

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Post by Chilli-head on 14th June 2010, 8:19 am

Coo. I remember reading my dad's copies of CJJ Berry's books, mostly because I liked the little cartoon jokes.

I have made a few things myself, mostly mead and the ilk - cyser (i.e., fermented apple juice and honey), metheglin, hippocras ... and the occasional blackberry wine, though the blackberries are a bit tannic for my taste. I've also once reduced two carrier bags full of plums down to a single rather potent bottle with the aid of some quickfit chemistry kit, but perhaps I'd best not go into too much detail

I hava always stuck to things with a fair amount of natural sugar in them, ie fruit and honey. I've never quite understood the point of some of the stranger concoptions that Berry (and my dad !) used to make. Can't see the point of drinking fermented granulated sugar flavoured with old boots (or whatever ).
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Post by Compostwoman on 14th June 2010, 8:39 am

I agree with you CH! CJB makes some pretty strange concoctions.....

We are fairly simple winemakers.

We make fruit ( or country) wines...and yes I know about the argument that only a drink made from grapes can be called a wine.... Smile

Fruit, mashed up,with water and then sugar and yeast....left to sit for a bit (depends of the fruit) in a fermentation bucket then filtered off, into DJ's, left to do its stuff...might get racked off into another DJ ( if we can remember) or maybe not.

When it has stopped "blooping" and has had a length of time to mature we try a bit, if it seems to have finished we bottle it.

Then at some point we drink it!

Cider is even easier. no yeast or anything, even

Juice the apples, put the juice in a DJ with an airlock, leave for 6 months....rack off at some point during that time and into another DJ with an airlock.

Drink.

So I hope that helps the Dandelion clan to see its not difficult, Dandelion. The only thing is the space the kit takes up....

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Post by Dandelion on 14th June 2010, 12:49 pm

That shouldn't be a problem - there's a corner of the utility room which badly needs clearing out, so it's a good reason for doing it. (Does this mean that we have to drink a lot of shop bought wine now to get the bottles??)

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Compostwoman on 14th June 2010, 1:04 pm

I use screw top bottles, or if ever any doubt that it has finished fermenting, I use plastic.

I would rather clean up a sticky mess, than a sticky mess embedded with shards of glass...or worse still, be hit by flying shrapnel....

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 14th June 2010, 1:36 pm

in addition to CJJ Berry I would hugely recommend "Trittons guide to Wine and beer-making for beginners" (Faber - can be picked up for pennies) and "Drink your own garden" by Judith Glover.

I semi-agree with Chilli-head about wines made with sugar - effectively you making sugar wine and flavouring it with fruit or whatever. However, I can't think offhand of any British hedgerow wine that can be made without sugar.

Elderflower wine is one of the nicest IMO and now is the time to be doing it.

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Post by Guest on 14th June 2010, 1:43 pm

We have been brewing for only a couple of years. The slow start was because we had to get the demi-johns, yeast and the rest of the kit from the UK....make your own wine from anything other than grapes in France...deportation!!!!(or worse)

Anyway we have enjoyed the fruit wines of blackcurrant and elderberry. My parsnip wine has now achieved the "bright" stage and is waiting bottling. I'm not sure about the beetroot..last to me I tasted it, it tasted of beetroot!

Kit wise you need a bucket with lid for the first active fermentaion and mixing. Demi-johns (min 2 so you can rack from one to another) with bubble trap air locks. A min. of 2 meter clear plastic tubing for syphoning. The hyrometer and it's tube flask is probably optional. Bottles and a corker is needed if you are going to mature the wine. You also need a warm place and a cold place for fermenting quickly or slowly!

I would buy new and keep it specific for wine use as the art is to grow "good" bugs in your wine not "bad" buds! So sodium meta-bisulphate is also important to sterilise all the kit, very carefully.

We have also made cider without sugar from the apples off one of our trees. It was definately worth making and we will hopefully make this a normal activity for drinking at Christmas (it didn't get bottled!)

Some people are very clinical as described by Chilli-Head. I've a more natural approach but I think that means some will go wrong sooner or later!

One new book I have is "The Joy of Home Wine Making" by Terry Garey.

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Post by Compostwoman on 14th June 2010, 2:19 pm

5 litre water containers are exactly the same as plastic DJ's, btw...you DO have to drill the hole in the top but apart from that they are less than a quid, as opposed to 3 ish from Phillip Morris in Hereford (which is the only place around us to get the supplies)

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Post by Guest on 14th June 2010, 2:36 pm

Wilko's seems to be where my stuff gets bought...and then has to get over the channel!

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