Do not drink beer, ale, lager, barley drinks.
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Ingredients: to make 1 gallon of wine
4 lbs / 1.8 Kg plums or elderberries
or blackberries or rowan.
1 oz / 25g citric acid
3 lbs / 1.3 Kg sugar
General purpose wine yeast and nutrient.
Simmer the fruit very gently in a gallon of water for 2 hours. The fruit should not break but their colour should be extracted by the water.
Strain the liquid into a clean wide mouthed container, preferably of glass or food grade plastic to use as a fermenting jar. The fruit pulp can be eaten.
Transfer the liquid back into the pan and bring back to simmer.
Stir in 2lbs / 1Kg of sugar, continuing to stir until it has all dissolved.
Stir in the citric acid.
Return the liquid to the fermenting jar and when it has cooled to 92°F / 37°C stir in the yeast and nutrient.
Cover the fermenting jar with a sheet of clean polythene (from an unused white carrier bag ) and secure with an elastic band.
Leave the jar close to a radiator or in a warm cupboard for the contents to ferment for a fortnight. If the contents are fermenting the polythene will be pushed up in a dome by the gas escaping round the edges.
After a fortnight's fermentation GRADUALLY stir in ½lb / 0.4Kg sugar. Replace the polythene cover and leave in a warm place to continue fermenting for another fortnight.
After a second fortnight's fermentation GRADUALLY stir in ½lb / 0.4Kg sugar. Replace the polythene cover and leave in a warm place to continue fermenting. It can be left in this jar for up to a year before bottling the wine.
Decant the wines into clean wine bottles. I wash them in boiling water and then place them in a low oven to sterilise them rather than using chemicals. Let them cool slowly before filling with wine.
Corks are not needed on wine bottles. Cover the top of each bottle with a square of high density polythene (unused food carrier bags ) and secure with an elastic band. The wine will keep well for many years and there is no risk of pressure building up from secondary fermentation.
Store the bottle upright.
Decant each bottle slowly before serving to ensure that the dregs do not mix with the wine. Always aim to produce a dry wine - all the sugar used in the fermentation.
If you require a sweet wine to drink add a little sugar to the decanted wine before serving.