Making Country Wine

Essential equipment

2 x glass or plastic demijohns Airlock + rubber or cork bung with hole Rubber or cork without hole White food grade plastic bucket Siphon tube for transferring liquids Steriliser powder Digital thermometer strip

Useful equipment

Funnel Muslin cloth for straining Corking machine Bottle corks

Method – What you do

I think the best country wines come from soft and hedgerow fruits. It is best to put the fruit in the freezer for 48 hours before use. Then defrost into a white food grade plastic bucket and add the water, sugar and chemical mix, stir well and sprinkle the yeast on top. Loosely cover the bucket with a lid and stir every 12 hours for 6 days. After this strain into a sterilised demijohn, fit an airlock and bung and keep at room temperature. Keep it away from sunlight and strong light.

After 2 or 3 weeks the airlock will stop bubbling and the wine will start to clear from the top downwards. When it is clear transfer it to another demijohn by siphoning. This process is called racking. Fill the demijohn up to the neck adding as much cold sterile water as necessary and refit the airlock and bung. To get sterile water boil the kettle last thing at night and in the morning you have cold sterile water. Leave for another month and rack again into a sterilised demijohn. This time add 1 teaspoon of Campden powder and 1 teaspoon of potassium sorbate to stabilise the wine and replace the airlock and bung with a solid cork. Put away in a cold dark place and leave for another 3 months. If at this time your wine has any taste imperfections (too dry, too sweet etc) it is best to phone me to discuss what to do.

Now bottle and leave a month before drinking. If there is sediment in the bottle when you come to drink it just decant it into a jug using a torch to see the sediment, wash the bottle out and refill with the wine from the jug.

Chemicals and what they do.

Standard chemical mix for 1 gallon:

  • 1 teaspoon of Campden powder – Suppresses wild yeast and bacterial activity.
  • ½ teaspoon of yeast nutrient – Feeds the yeast to ensure a healthy fermentation.
  • 1 teaspoon of pectin enzyme – Brakes down natural fruit pectin that can cause a haze in the finished wine.
  • 1 teaspoon of citric acid – Adjusts the flavour balance in the finished wine.

Standard mix for stabilising wine:

  • 1 teaspoon of campden powder – a help against oxidisation and bacteria.
  • 1 teaspoon of potassium sorbate – Prevents further fermentation.

By Richard Burns.

Any queries phone Paul on 020 8644 0934

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