Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Carrot and Apple Wine

Carrot28/10/1119/05/12still very sweet on 3rd racking/ bottled – sweet and  clear, good colour, cork popped Sept, 12/1/13 drank 1 bottle, very fizzy, sweet but pleasant
Carrot and Orange10/05/13
2nd R -heavy sediment/3rd R: Heavy albumin bloom decanted out topped with cider and water
Carrot and Raisin 128/11/1204/05/13Added nutmeg, cinnamon and pinch clove, needed a lot of topping up (water) when going into demijohn, 2nd R: dry, great flavor, Bert loves it
Carrot and Raisin 228/02/1324/02/14some parsnips in mix, used demerara sugar 2lbs, nutmeg and cinnamon. Bottled 5. Yummy.
Carrot and Raisin 303/12/13

Carrot and Sultana13/12/1206/11/13using plastic container, 2nd r decanted into glass – light flavour 3rd R: dry, clear topped with nettle
Carrot, Parsnip and Sultana24/10/1302/03/14made with Tam veg. Topped with young rhub at 2nd rack

That's a little section of my wine-making spreadsheet and it's all about The Carrot. As can be seen I've made wine from carrots 7 times. Two are still on the go and 5 have been bottled. Bert and I shared a bottle of carrot and raisin (2) last night and it was rather tasty.

The first time I used carrot I stuck closely to a recipe. There must have been a lot of sugar because it was almost too sweet. It was also fizzy which means it carried on fermenting after bottling. Not a good idea! Carrot and raisin (or sultana) and less sugar produced a far more drinkable wine. I also started using pinches of nutmeg and other spices which added flavour. By the time I was on my third carrot and raisin I had stopped using recipes.

Carrot (and parsnip) wines are made with the liquor from the chopped and boiled roots. The actual vegetable is discarded. Some recipes suggest they can then be used in cooking but as I don't like my vegetables with the life boiled out of them, I give them to the pigs. Using dried fruit means that chemical nutrients aren't needed. I rarely use additives now. Just bananas or raisins for added nutrients, lemon juice where acid is required and strong tea where tannin is recommended.

Rough Recipe for Carrot, Apple, Raisin and Date Wine

Roots are easy to prepare for wine but chopping the raisins is a bit of a fiddly chore. And that is where my new Veto slow juicer comes in. I found a recipe for carrot and apple wine on-line and adapted it. I boiled the 4 lb of carrots as always then made a litre of juice using apples, carrots, all the raisins I had in my baking cupboard and a few dates for good measure. I put a bag of sugar in my sterilised bucket and added the pulp from the carrots, apples and dried fruit. Then 2 litres of boiling water and stirred it into a thick sludgy brown syrup. Time for the carrot liquor which had cooled down quite a bit. By the time I added my litre of juice and topped it up to a gallon it was exactly the right temperature for the yeast. Quick stir, lid on and that was that. Did I mention that it looked like liquid manure? Smelt better though.

So there you are. Another rough enough recipe from Nelly.  I'm sure I must be annoying somebody out there by alternating between imperial and metric measures. If anyone wants me to make it more exact I will. But perhaps better wait a few months to see how it turns out.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Drinking It Young

Spring is here at last, a time for new beginnings and a new flurry of activity on the blog. It might still be freezing but the evenings are lengthening and I've been clearing the freezer of all last season's fruit to make way for this year's harvest.

There were a lot of blackcurrants in there. Since I last updated the Rough Enough Guide I have started 11 gallons of wine and six of them have been blackcurranty. Two plain old blackcurrant and the remaining four blackcurrants mixed with,

  1. blackberries
  2. damsons
  3. apple
  4. strawberries.

Way back in August 2011 the first wine I made was blackcurrant and it disappointed me. Dry, dry as a bone. I think that was why it took me two years to attempt blackcurrant again.

Then Jazzer presented me with the entire crop from her solitary blackcurrant bush and we had another go. We started it together and I continued the racking process myself. We used less sugar and Young's Super Wine Yeast Compound. It finished really quickly and, needing something bottled and Jazzer very keen to see it in bottles, we went ahead. We bottled five and polished off the last bottle from the flagon. It was surprisingly delicious considering it was only 6 months old. Jazzer wanted to get stuck into another one but I explained to her that it would not really be properly ready until next August.

Can I take it home with me?
You can take your two bottles if you think it's wise. 
Two bottles? But...

Her face fell.

Did you think it would be all yours? The deal is, and I do this for anyone who provides me with ingredients. If there are six bottles I keep three. For I do all the sterilising and racking.

She saw my point and she got her two bottles.

You know you should really keep them six months.
I'll drink one and keep one.

She drank them both and now she has the wine making bug, rang me tonight looking for a bit of advice on her first batch which she is making using frozen blackberries and raspberries from Tescos. Interesting. If she keeps this up she'll be in rehab before long.

I'll try to keep my three bottles of the Jazzer Blackcurrant until August but it is rather good. No doubt, next time she's here we will fall to it with gusto.

 Blackcurrant & Apple
Blackcurrant & Strawberry