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  • Wine making

    Has anyone tried the elderberry wine recipe in September issue of Grow Your Own? I'd like to give it a go but it seems like there's a lot of equipment and special ingredients. And I have to say I've tasted some horrible homemade wine in my time!Can anyone recommend wine making at home - is it worth it?

  • #2
    If you get it right it is wonderful until the next morning then homemade wine hurts, as soon as I have room at home I will be making wine, some of the wines I can recomend are spiced parsnip, elderflower, elder berry, red currant and raspberry, cherry
    I dont know the recipies but I find wines made from fresh ingredients are far better than ones from kits although the kits need less work

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    • #3
      Elderberry is a fairly easy one, I make 5 gallons every year which after filtering and clearing usualy yields me about 4 Gallons. Only special equipment as such is the filter, and the fermenting vessels not very expensive.
      I am happy to share recipies if you want

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      • #4
        I have just gor a great book with every herbal wine from elderflower, to fennel, to rosemary. Fantastic!

        Ball, Ian 'Wine Making With Herbs'
        Best wishes
        Andrewo
        Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

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        • #5
          My granny was a methodist and the only booze she ever had was ginger wine to settle her stomach!!! Would be interesting to see if the herbs retain their medicinal properties in that form. Does it mention anything about that in the book?
          "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

          Location....Normandy France

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          • #6
            Yes, the book mentions the medicinal value of herbs. For instance, Balm, remedy for insomnia. Nettle, reduces fever and backaches.

            The book is called 'Wine Making With Herbs' by Ian Ball. It is still in print:
            http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...613925-2490051
            Last edited by Lesley Jay; 06-04-2006, 10:43 AM.
            Best wishes
            Andrewo
            Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

            Comment


            • #7
              Andrewo - what's the book.

              I would love to make Elderberry wine - but found that recipe in the September issue hard to follow and don't think I'll attempt it as it did seem to have a long list of ingredients. The only homebrew I've ever made was blackberry vodka, which doesn't take a lot of effort and after it's fermented it can get very strong - good for my Polish soul - nice and warming on a cold Christmas Eve!

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              • #8
                Made fennel wine many moons ago and it tasted very similar to sherry!
                "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

                Location....Normandy France

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                • #9
                  I've long since lost track of all of the wines I've made. Once you get the basic kit you need (ain't going to set you back a lot of money) then the principle is really easy.

                  But I wouldn't start with elderberry; it takes a while to be ready, you want to start with something faster so that you can build up a bit of a cellar before starting on those that take longer.

                  There are LOTS of good online resources for a beginner, such as:

                  http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/winemake.asp
                  (part of Jack Kellers excellent site with more home made wine recipes than you can shake a stick at)

                  http://www.thewinepages.org.uk/
                  (really simple approach, nicely written)

                  http://www.downsizer.net/Projects/Pr...e_wine_making/
                  (Good beginners article, there's also an article on herb and flower wines on the site and another couple on liqueurs)
                  http://www.downsizer.net

                  http://cabd.livejournal.com

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                  • #10
                    brew your own

                    I have been brewing for years, from pea pods to grapes it mostly all works. The veg supplies a flavour to the wine which is bieng formed by the sugar and yeast working together. You can distill an almost pure alchohol by heating the product, or the waste part of the process, in a deep saucepan with the lid upturned. You float a bowl under the lid which will be kept in place by the handle then load the lid with ice. Raise the temperature to below boilng and wait a while. After an hour or so raise the lid and taste the distilate. Carefully. Do not operate machinery etc. etc.

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                    • #11
                      Never made wine myself but used to have a neighbour who did. All I can say is it was highly drinkable and very, very potent. Yeah, bring it on. Was in Madeira earlier in the year where everybody seemed to make their own wine and insisted on treating visitors to the pleasure. Could just about be persuaded to take it up. Maybe not! What with the plants on the windowsills and the demijohns going gloop the children might decide to seek power of attorney.

                      From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

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                      • #12
                        Never new that Brewer- thought you had to freeze it and pick off the ice! -Or is that another method?? I would think your way is much quicker
                        Come on andrewo....let us know what it does to rhubarb schnapps! Maybe you could compare the two methods ?(all in the interest of science of course!!)
                        "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

                        Location....Normandy France

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                        • #13
                          Brewing with a +

                          Hi! Nicos, We used to have a big enamel casserolle with a raised lid with a handle. this was found to be ideal for small batch distillation. I remember trying the still one morning, I drank about an egg cup full of the distilate and wished I had not as I was out of it for hours.
                          I noticed thermometers at lidl for about 4.99 with two take off points and digital readout. These would make the process really sound as you could ensure that you were getting the best alcohols into youur dish. Just monitor the temperature and bobs (off his head) It is the other alcohols that give you the head ache and you can avoid these if you moniter the temperature.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nicos
                            Never new that Brewer- thought you had to freeze it and pick off the ice! -Or is that another method?? I would think your way is much quicker
                            Come on andrewo....let us know what it does to rhubarb schnapps! Maybe you could compare the two methods ?(all in the interest of science of course!!)
                            Distillation of alcohol off existing products, such as wine or schnapps, is not advisable, it is illegal and dangerous to boot if you are an amateur brewer or wine maker. It is okay when they product is for your own consumption, however if you are giving it to friends or family you get into a gray area drunken area and are creating a distillery rather than producing a product with a high alochol content that you have no control over, by distilling you are introducing control but natual sugars in the drink will change to alcohol and raise the level...be careful
                            Best wishes
                            Andrewo
                            Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

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                            • #15
                              Is there something you can use to check the alcohol level in drinks? Recall something which measured the specific gravity, but can't recall how it ties in. If there is, then maybe this could be used to keep within safe limits? What is the recommended safety limit? My kids brought some Absenthe (sp?) back from holiday in Prague and it was far too strong. Need to find a happy medium really I suppose? I recall hearing about some medical students dying after putting neat alcohol into a punch at Uni a few years back. No wonder it can be dangerous.
                              "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

                              Location....Normandy France

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