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Learning New Skills - Wine Making

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Learning New Skills - Wine Making

Post by assassin on Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:20 am

Its something which has been going on for thousands of years so it cant be that hard to do, particularly as its something I do and something anyone can do, and with the duties and taxes on alcohol its something anyone can do to deprive the treasury and retailers of alcohol of their profits.

Wine making is something you do very easily with something called "country wines" which are wines made in their most basic form, or you can progress and grow your own grapes and produce top quality wines at a fraction of the price of what you can buy it for.
Commercial wines are made from grape juice for one reason which is the fact that grape juice is the most consistent of all the juices that are readily obtained and at a cheap price and they contain the right blend of sugars and various acids to make that specific type of wine cheaply and with a good profit margin for the producers and sellers alike, in reality you can produce quality wines at home from most fruit, vegetables, weeds, flowers, and even packaged fruit juices or the water in which you boiled your vegetables in as you are only after the flavours from them.

Wine is made by turning the sugars contained in a fruit, or sugars added to other things such as vegetables into alcohol by the process of fermentation and all this involves is making something called a "must" which is the liquid made by using vegetable water and adding some sugar and various acids, or using fruit and some added sugar and acids and allowing it to cool in a demijohn and when it is at room temperature you add yeast and fit an air lock to allow oxygen out and not letting anything in as winefly are attracted to fermenting wine and turn it to vinegar.

Basic rules are:

Cleanliness, you always have to clean and sterilise everything coming into contact with your wine.

Keeping it covered when it is fermenting to prevent winefly entering the fermenting wine and turning it into vinegar.

Racking wine when it is fermented, this involves syphoning off the fermented wine from the dead yeast cells which fall to the bottom of the demojohn during fermentation and form a clearly defined line which you leave in the demijohn, and is the reason you always have one more demijohn that you ferment in.

Fining, this is the process of adding "finings" to a racked wine which attaches to any solids and settles them on the bottom so your wines become clear before you bottle them.

In reality winemaking is another way of using up surplus fruit or veg from your garden, but what if you are not a gardener, then buy fruit when it is on offer at your chosen supermarket or go out walking, cycling, or even foraging and pick wild fruit such as elderberries, elderflowers, blackberries, or even the flowers from your garden if you like as you can make excellent wines from all of these, and many more things you can get for free. In addition your wine can be made in the traditional way and these are called "country wines" which were made by housewives as part of their womanly chores. You make a basic wine, you choose what goes into it, and you have no metnanol, ethanol, or various chemical preservatives which are used by commercial wine producers and your wines cost very little in comparison to what you pay for a bottle of commercially produced wine; control is the key here and its the control over what goes into it which matters.

You can substitute many things in wine:

Citric acid - use the juice of a fruit such as lemon or limes which have a high citric acid content.
Tannin - take a used teabag and put it into a cup and cover with 1/4 of a cup of boiling water, instant tannin.
Sugar - substitute white processed sugars for unrefined brown sugars or honey.

Why use one fruit? you can use two or more fruits if you like and I make an apple and blackberry wine, a mixed fruit wine which is surplus of whatever fruits I have available, and a firm favourite is beetroot wine using only the water my other half boils the beetroot in which would normally be thrown away, you can make elderflower champagne in less than 6 weeks from making to drinking, or parsnip which requires at least 5 years in a bottle to mature.

Why stop there, how many people are aware that anyone can access any land and collect windfall apples and many private estates open their gates to allow the public in to gather the windfalls which saves them a fortune in wages for people to clear them up, with an abubdance of apples it would be silly not to make cider and even scrumpy cider if you leave the pips in, if you can get pears then why not mix them with apples and make a pear cider or use just the pears to make a perry, and making it sparkling is nothing more than a second fermentation in the bottle.

You can recycle your bottles for years, you will find friends you never had, and best of all you can stop a surplus going to waste and have some very festive times and not just at Christmas.
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