Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The second eldergoose episode

Alas, the season has now passed for elderflowers but I’m a bit behind on t
he blog posts and thought I’d put this up for people to bear in mind next year!

A short blog piece, in homage to John of River Cottage fame for this brilliant recipe.... ours has just finished bubbling so we will be siphoning it off soon and tasting the fruits of our labour. Excellent. Don’t get too worried if you don’t hear from me for a few weeks. I’ll be basking in a self-indulgent but happy elderflower and gooseberry wine stupor. I suppose I should let it develop for a few months but will definitely sneak a glass or two from the demijohn first.

The original recipe
2kg green gooseberries (washed, frozen, then defrosted)
Florets from 10 elderflower sprays
1.2kg sugar
3.5 litres water
1 sachet white wine yeast
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon grape tannin (optional – it fills a "gap" in the palate with many wines)
1 level teaspoon pectolase (there is a lot of pectin in gooseberries which must be removed to prevent cloudiness)

The mucking about with freezing the gooseberries breaks down the cell walls to release the juices and makes the difficult mashing process a bit easier. Place the defrosted gooseberries in a clean ceramic mixing bowl and gently crush them with the end of a clean rolling pin. It is important not to crush the pips too much as this will release more pectin (and why a blender is no use).

The whole business is messy, with gooseberry juice squirting everywhere. Never mind. Once it is all nicely pulped, transfer to a large, food grade plastic bucket and pour on about three litres of cold water. Add all the other ingredients and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and leave for three days, stirring occasionally.

Strain through a sterilized, doubled muslin cloth, squeezing out as much juice as you can into a clean bucket. Make the quantity up to 4.5 litres with more water.

Siphon into a demi-john and fit a bubble-trap. Rack off into a new demi-john at least once, then, when all fermentation has ceased and the wine has cleared, siphon into bottles.


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