Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday 26th January - Making wine Part 1

Ok so I've lost a few days, again! Perhaps I should call Mulder and Scully of the X-files and get them to look into it, Mulder would be convinced I had 'lost time' because I had been abducted by aliens and Scully would just say that it was a load of nonsense because you always lose days Sue! One day just flows into the next, I hardly ever know what the date is, mostly know what day it is until Friday arrives and then I shriek and say what happened to the rest of the days?? And as for the time...who cares really? I just tend to muddle through the day, eat when I'm hungry, have coffee when I want one and at some point look at the clock to see if Joe will be home soon an dthink about dinner. I'll just add we all know when it is exactly 6 pm because the dogs will tell you, this involves either herding you, (Clyde) sitting on you (Max) and sitting next to you and gouging skin out of your arm with her talons and pressing her nose up against yours and breathing on you (Bonnie) She is the master of attention seeking!

Anyway enough blathering lets play catch up......

More plums and plum wine...............yes ok I know, but you're only reading about them, we picked another big box yesterday evening!! I still have loads left from last week too!
We made some wine with grapes last year, it's bottled and as yet untasted. So I'm doing another batch. This time plum wine. Seasoned wine makers will tell you "Oh it's so easy to make wine" Is it heck as like! What I've found so confusing about it all is the differing opinions and techniques that people use. So I asked for help on Self Sufficientish and I started a thread here. I expect by the time I've finished asking all my questions I will have driven them all to drink, homebrew of course!
First you need something to make it in, we bought this fermenting barrel at the brewing shop, it was $45, it has a tap, and airlock, has both metric and imperial measurements and a thermometer, all pretty flash.

So to the winemaking, I filled the barrel to the one gallon mark with plums
I decided to cut them in half
Then sprinkled on some pectin enzyme, this apparently helps the flavour to come out of the fruit. However I have since found out that I did this wrong, I poured two kettles of boiling water over the fruit which would have killed the enzyme! See what I mean about instructions haha they don't tell ya that bit and it wasn't on the back of the packet either. Oh well it's a learning process I'm sharing with you.
Two kettles of boiling water poured over the fruit to kill off any natural yeasts. Approximately 3 litres.
I left it for about 2 hours because I thought that what I was meant to do, according to the back of the pectin pack! Sigh, I've only just started and I'm confused already! Then I added 5kg(11lb) of sugar and stirred adding another kettle of hot water to help it dissolve.
Then I topped up with cold water to the 5 gallon mark. I shouild have just stuck to the simple instructions on SSish!
Looking good as they are...long way to go yet though........
Once the water had cooled I added a packet of wine yeast

and gave it a stir
I covered it with a teatowel and the barrel was moved to the back utility room. A few hours later it had a nice froth forming on the top, the yeast was working at least. It was at this point I added another heaped teaspoon of pectin enzyme and stirred.
Apparently according to MKG on SSish that at this stage I can't got wrong! You wanna bet! ;-D

Ooh update on the pectic enzyme... frozenthunderbolt on SSish has just told me this in reply to my question ('At what stage do I add the Pectic enzyme?) : "At the same time you add your yeast - once the hot water has gone in with the sugar then cooled to a blood heat"

That's that little mystery cleared up, thanks FT!


  1. Hello Friend!! Have you made wine before? Would any fruit work? I have so many questions, maybe I should just follow you along on the adventure,eh? So far it seems fairly simple....I say that, not being the one doing the great experimentation!!! LOL

  2. Hi ya matey! :D Yes we have made wine our neighbour let us have his grapes from his vine, there was loads! The whole process was very confusing and we just muddled along in the dark, too much info all contradicting itself. So I'm trying it this way, one stage at a time and clarifying the process as I go, have made a couple of minor errors! But you can't go wrong apparently! :D So come on and join me, I've been told you can make wine out of anything.

  3. I'm so looking forward to following along with you on this process. Keep on posting. Looks great so far!

  4. I'll have to make sure I get it right now won't I hahah!

  5. C'mon, girl! The whole of the UK is waiting for an update ...


  6. surlymonkey12:10 pm

    I think she's enjoying the fruits of her labor!


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