Monday, 2 October 2017

Variant "WOW" wine

Ive not been on here much lately, mostly due to work and the like, but that doesnt mean ive not been busy,

I have, just not with radio!

Instead, Ive been wine making. This is something I always intended to to do, but never got around to, despite my experiences of it as a kid helping the chap over the road.

But it occurs to me that my blogs are a good place to record experiments in this line. To date ive completed and drunk a 5L kit Cabernet Sauvignon, I have an apple wine, using my own fruit, bottled. A plum, again using my home grown fruit, in the process of clearing. I have a kit chardonnay bubbling away in early secondary, and a strawberry getting close to the end of fermentation.

This morning, I decided to quickly throw on a "WOW" variant. Now, WOW stands for Wurzels Orange Wine, and in its pure form of course uses oranges. A 'variant' generally refers to a wine made using store bought juices. This is what I have gone for.

This will be an Apple, Watermelon and Raspberry wine. No messing about with hydrometers for this one! Just 3L of 100% juice and 1100g total sugars.

Heres the recipe -

1L 100% red grape juice
2L 100% apple, watermelon and raspberry juice*
820g granulated sugar
1L water
1 cup strong tea (tannin)
1/2 tsp Pectolase
1 tsp glycerine
2 tbsp lemon juice (acid)

*1L in must, 1L in fridge for topping up

A general purpose wine yeast, activated in a  cup of warm water with 2 tsp sugar, was the first thing to get started. After that, the demijohn, airlock and other needed kit was sterilized. Luckily these days, with everyone so health conscious, cartons of juice have the sugar content printed on them. So, I knew I had 308g of sugars in the juice, so needed to add around 808g. With the variability of scales, I probably put 820g in. I didnt mix the sugar well enough with the 1L extra water, so have just had to spend 5mins swirling the must to dissolve the excess. With all the additives, sugar, water and first two juices in, theres a bit over 3L of must, coming to just below the shoulder of the demijohn. The lemon juice provides the acidity, whilst the strong cup of tea provides the tannins. A bit of glycerine to improve mouth feel, and some pectolase enzyme to help break down any fruit pectins.

I pitched the yeast once everything else was in, and when checked this afternoon (about 6 hours later) it was bubbling at about four every minute. So, after getting all the extra sugar dissolved, ive now transferred the demijohn to my usual 'production line', where it can now stand and crack on with primary fermentation. As WOW wines can often become somewhat 'lively', this one is stood in a drip tray!

Once its done with primary, maybe three days or so once it gets properly started, i'll top it up with the remaining juice. This wine should complete secondary in under two weeks, and once cleared should be drinkable more or less straight away.

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