Friday, 17 September 2010

Wine, women & song, the best things in the world!

Ok, so I am listening to the song titled that, but I'm just going to focus on wine, to be specific, brewing your very own super cheap wine, with things you have lying around the house, and some wine yeast. (Cause the bread yeast makes gross tasting muck, yes, I have tried that). I have two batches of wine lying around the house at the moment happily brewing away. At the moment, nothing has gone wrong, and they smell lovely, fruity and best of all, alcoholic! I'll outline the basic steps and ingredients I used for both here, and update this when I finally taste my wine in another week or two...

Screw-top bottles or jugs. I find plastic 1 gallon milk jugs work amazingly (keep the lids!)
Water purification tablets (or you can just wash all fresh fruit very well)
Antibacterial dish soap
A very large bowl or pitcher

For wine #1 I used
1/2 packet of Vintner's harvest premium wine yeast CR51 ''used for making light fruity red wines for early consumption'' (I packet will make about 4 gallons)
2 litres 100% grape juice- I used Welch's Concord grape juice
Fresh fruit-fresh strawberries and red grapes (one box of each)
10 clove buds
5 tsp cinnamon
10 tbsp honey
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of black tea (to add tannins)

For wine # 2 I used
3 litres of Welch's white grape juice
1 bag of mixed frozen berries (approx 500g)
1 bag of black tea
2 cups sugar
1/2 packet of of Vintner's harvest premium wine yeast CR51

For wine # 1 I poured a couple cups of boiling water over the fruit and mashed it into a pulp. I then added the honey, cloves, cinnamon, and juice, and finally, the yeast and stirred well. I then poured this into my bottles, and put a balloon over the mouth of the bottle. The balloon is my cheap way of figuring out when the wine is ready to be strained and re-bottled for further fermentation (usually about 3-4 days). Then I put all the bottles in my nice warm airing cupboard, try not to let this temperature go above 20 degrees C, usually an even 15 or so is best, and any lower than 10 may cause problems. I left it for a few days until the balloons inflated with gas, and then deflated. Then I took out my large bowl, a clean dish towel and poured the wine and berry gunk through to towel into the bowl. I discarded the berry skins and kept only the liquid to which I added the tea, and put back into the rinsed out bottles, and screwed their tops on and back into the airing cupboard they went. they'll stay there for a week or two when I'll do the next step of straining them again and beginning to clear them.

For wine #2 I poured a few cups of boiling water on the berries, mashed them, added the juice, sugar and yeast and the bag of dried tea (well minus the teabag, I just ripped it open) and poured it into bottles, and put the balloons on the mouths. Slightly different method and ingredients, as I am experimenting to see what I like best! Everything is now sitting in the airing cupboard, fizzing away nicely :-).
This is what your bottles should look like. When the yeast starts working the bubbles you see in the bottles here will increase, and the balloons, after a day or so will start to inflate a little. When they start to go limp again, then you can strain the wine and re bottle with the lids. Poke a tiny hole in each of the balloons with a pin to et out any excess gases. More sugar = more gas = bigger balloon. Explosions in your airing cupboard are generally not fun to clean up.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Cheers! Enjoy your wine! My father has made wine since we were all children and still does..then again everyone in our family does..being is a must! What an awesome set-up you have...yay! Exciting! Happy Wine making!