Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Carried Away

I decanted the elderflower (dried elderflowers) into the demijohn and it smells delicious. It is fermenting away on top of the piano in the second warmest room in the house. I can't leave wine in the warmest room in the house because that is where Pearlie (mother-in-law) lives and I'm sure the carers would talk. I noticed I'm running out of demijohns so had a count. I have 18 gallons in jars and one gallon in the primary. Is this what Judith Irwin meant when she wrote about getting 'carried away'?

I will need to bottle something soon but nothing seems completely ready. The blackberry is top of the list. After all, the worst that can happen is that it pops the corks and we'll have to drink it young. What a tragedy that would be.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Carrot & Raisin Wine 2

I started some carrot and raisin wine back in November 2012 and on racking found it to be very promising indeed. Carrots were cheap in Lidls this week so I thought I'd have another go. Except I didn't buy enough. There were supposed to be 4 lbs of them so I threw a couple of parsnips in to make up the amount.

Method: Chopped the carrots (and parsnips) and simmered them for about 45 minutes. Then strained them on to a pound of raisins and 2 lbs of demerara sugar. Added half a teaspoon of nutmeg and a little more of cinnamon and the juice of an orange and a lemon. Stirred it all up and tomorrow I'll make a yeast starter.

I started a gallon of elderflower from the dried elderflowers I bought in Nature's Way. That was a couple of days ago. That goes in the demijohn on Wednesday.

And that vin de stinky poo? We're drinking it. It's actually not that bad. Not wonderful but definitely quaffable. I'll try another batch using fruit juice but I might use pomegranate or pineapple next time.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Vin de Stinky Poo

I wrote before that I did not start this blog to boast about how delightful and yummy my home made wines are. I also want to share with you all my mistakes and disasters so you don't have to make them too.

I was drawn to the idea of speedy wines and found a recipe for making wine from supermarket fruit juice. I chose orange and apple and used boring old juice from my local Eurospar. The making of it could not have been easier. I started it in October 2012 and it has been through four rackings and has yet to clear and it does not smell delicious. It is meant to be a speedy wine so I'm not keeping it much longer and, in fact, we decanted a couple of glasses from the demijohn tonight to see if it can be drunk. We are brave like that.

Today is the first time in a fortnight that I've been near my wine apart from starting another rhubarb at the weekend. I am about to embark on a racking frenzy. And that means lots of tasting. I discovered another big mistake tonight. In January this year I made two lots of pineapple, two weeks apart. For one I used less sugar than the recipe recommended. Somehow I have labelled them with the same date so I don't know which is which. My only solution is to rack them both tonight and hope I can decide by taste which is the one with less sugar. I'm hopeful. One has already been racked (and tasted) and it is rather yummy. Not like that stinking fruit juice stuff.

But you know something? I'm going to try the fruit juice wine again for Judith Irwin recommends it. I bet that old Spar fruit juice is the problem. If the next lot is stinky too then we'll forget about it for ever.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


I did not start one single batch of wine in February and March of last year. Very bad of me and I vowed that this year would be different. But here we are, the 5th of the month already and nothing has happened. I'm planning on starting elderflower from dried flowers I bought in Nature's Way but then i realised that concentrated grape juice was needed. That means another trip to Belfast and it is horrible out there. Blowing a gale and threatening snow and then there is the 'fleg' protest.

Some research on the internet led me to the notion that sultanas can be used as a substitute for grape juice and, thanks to my love of baking, there are always plenty of sultanas in the cupboard. So what is keeping me from getting started? Three words. Game of Thrones.

Must give myself a shake and get started. Hopefully there will be something to report tomorrow.