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Thread: Strawberry Wine

  1. #1
    mongolking's Avatar
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    Strawberry Wine

    Wine making has got to be one of the hardest things a man can set his mind on.

    Two years ago I grew a big crop of strawberries. Wasn't hard growing them - they grew all by themselves. Wasn't that hard keeping the birds off them either - I cut old plastic bottles in half and let the berries sit inside their own personal glass-houses until they were almost as big as tennis balls.

    Then I lay them on the bottom of a plastic bucket, poured over some sugar, some hot water, some lemon juice and a little cold tea. Then I let the yeast in on 'em and let them do their work for a week or so. None of this was hard. It was a pleasure in that way watching anything happens is a pleasure.

    After a couple of weeks, I poured the whole heaving mess of it through a kitchen sieve, then filled a gallon bottle with what passed through, stuck in a cork and a bubbler valve. All of this was easy. It was after this it got hard. At first it looked like red milk. After a couple of weeks, the bubbling and the mud fell away, and the most beautiful red liquid you ever saw began to show itself. After 3 months, it was like looking at a liquid ruby. After 9 months, I finally got around to bottling it. I stole a few drops to taste. It was gorgeous even then as a baby. Just wait til it grew up!

    A year has passed. One of the longest years of my life. Today, I got out the first of my 5 bottles, cut off its head, and poured a glass.

    Nothing I have ever had tastes like this. It is the blood of a favoured angel. I cannot believe an entire planet would prostrate itself before a Frenchman and the only crop he could grow - the grape of the dry lands - when the strawberry can offer up such a better.

    Then again, we are men going our own way. What moods the world gets itself sewn up in is something we are well used to doubting, and finding better elsewhere without too much effort, or fanfare.

    See you again in a day or two.
    Last edited by mongolking; 01-09-13 at 07:12 AM.

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    Gladius's Avatar
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    Damnit Mongolking, now ya got me thinking about making my own wine again, I thought I was over that. Thanks a heap pal P~~~~~~

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    Merlin's Avatar
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    Made real Mead once. Just Honey, Water and the trace elements that the yeast need. Came out this beautiful pale gold color and was fantastic. Took a little over a year to make. It tasted like the scent you get when walking through a field of wild flowers. Very light and crisp. Going to have to try making strawberry wine sometime I think.

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    daves0311's Avatar
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    I'm going to make mead sometime. Maybe this winter, maybe next summer, I don't know yet. But I will do it.

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    Notorious (sh)IT's Avatar
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    Care to post a detailed recipe with measurements and such? I could go for the blood of a flavored angel... I could just see the bottle label now... something that look like Marylin Manson bottled it with a nekkid angel and bloody wings.

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    mongolking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost in Training View Post
    Care to post a detailed recipe with measurements and such? I could go for the blood of a flavored angel... I could just see the bottle label now... something that look like Marylin Manson bottled it with a nekkid angel and bloody wings.
    To make a gallon:

    -4lbs fresh strawberries (the better the smell, the better the wine). Lay them in a clean, well-washed bucket, crush them with your hands.
    -boil 6 pints water. Take it off the heat, dissolve 2.5 lbs sugar in it (stir it well so that all the sugar dissolves), then pour this syrup over the strawberries. Cover the bucket with a tea-towel and let it cool.
    -Once cool, add the juice and zest of 2-4 lemons (or limes, or oranges, or a mixture). Avoid the white pithy stuff like the plague - only the juice, and the translucent zest of the skin.
    -add two tablespoons of cold tea.

    If you can get your hands on a campden tablet, crush it and add it now. If you can't, you can go without it, but you run a greater risk of wild yeasts/fungi spoiling your wine. If you add the campden tablet, delay adding the yeast another 24 hours.

    If you don't add a campden tablet, add the yeast now. Use winemaker's yeast. Not beer yeast, and not baker's yeast (these yeasts will die before your wine is full strength, meaning your wine will not keep).

    Cover the bucket with a tea towel, then lay a lid over the towel to hold it in place. You want to stop fruit flies getting into it, but allow all the CO2 gas given off by the yeast to escape.

    Stir it every day for a week with a spoon (I pour boiling water over my stirring spoon first to sterilise it).

    After a week, pour the mixture through a sieve into another bucket to separate the wine from the fruit pulp. Siphon the filtered wine from this second bucket into a gallon bottle using some plastic tubing, and seal this gallon bottle with a rubber stopper and airlock*. This lets the gas out, but nothing in, so that the gap between the top of the wine and the bottle seal is a cloud of CO2 gas.

    The gallon bottle can be those plastic bottles that hold water or fruit juice. That's what I mainly use. Just make sure it will take the rubber stopper and airlock firmly.

    Leave for a month, somewhere cool and away from direct sunlight. Darkness is best. I use a disused closet. At first the wine will be very cloudy - like red milk. The cloudy stuff is yeast. It will settle to the bottom very slowly. After a month, it will be a lot clearer.

    Siphon the wine into a fresh gallon bottle, trying to leave as much of the settled dust on the bottom. Seal again with the rubber stopper and airlock. Wait two more months. Keep doing this every two months until the wine is brilliantly clear and there is next to no dust settling out on the bottom. After 6-9 months, the wine will be very palatable. You can either drink it now, or for even better results, fill some bottles and let them age. 3 months in the bottle is good. 6 months is better. A year or more is superb.

    Aging a wine seems to take out any harsh flavors. Lots of young wines can taste really nasty, but leave them to deal with alcohol for an extended period, and even the roughest flavors get mellowed.

    *airlock and rubber stopper
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    Last edited by mongolking; 09-09-13 at 04:53 AM.

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