Some friends of ours have been teaching us how to make wine so we thought we would start with a simple option but it came out beautifully, what a surprise!
- 1.75 litres conc blackcurrant squash
- 10lb sugar plus extra as fermentation progresses
- 5 sachets of wilkos wine yeast
- 5 pinches of yeast nutrient
- 2tsp citric acid
- 5 camden tablets
- Equipment: 23l fermentation barrel, bottles, milton sterilising tablets, long handled plastic spoon, funnel, siphon tube, fermentation lock
- Make the sugar into a syrup with 7pints of warm water, heating it gently on the stove until all of the sugar is dissolved (you will need several large pans to do this)
- Let the sugar syrup cool a little until safe to handle then pour it into the fermentation barrel and add the blackcurrant squash. Mix well and fill the barrel with cold water until 3/4 full.
- Add the yeast, yeast nutrient and the citric acid and mix well.
- Fit the fermentation lock to the barrel and leave in a warm place for the fast fermentation to proceed, this will take about 2 weeks to calm down.
- Top the liquid up to the neck of the barrel with water and refit the lock.
- Leave for about a week as fermentation proceeds, after about a week if the fermentation has slowed down add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, bubbling should increase again but decrease after about a week.
- Test the wine for sweetness and alcohol either by tasting or using a hydrometer, we did it by taste. If it is not alcoholic enough add 2 more spoonfuls of sugar and see if fermentation picks up, let it subside and then test again. Once it is strong enough check for sweetness and if it needs more sugar add to taste and proceed to the next part of the method.
- Once you are happy that fermentation is complete (either by using a hydrometer or by adding some sugar and seeing if fermentation increases, if not then the yeast is finished and fermentation is complete) add 5 crushed camden tablets and mix well, this ends the fermentation ie halts the yeast’s action.
- After 24 hours siphon the wine off into sterilised bottles and it should be drinkable once the wine has settled and cleared – about 1-2 weeks.
- Make sure you decant the wine from the bottle in one go before drinking so that the sediment does not get mixed into the wine or alternatively re-bottle each bottle by siphoning off the clear wine.