Aunty Hildas Wine Making Secrets...

Thank you Aunty Hilda..

Home made Wine making is my passion,and has been a long family tradition. Here i will give some tried and tested wine recipes and tips handed down to me be my great aunty Hilda who had a fantastic reputation when it came to family occasions.

She sadly passed away last month and i have published this in her honour... Thank you Aunty Hilda... x

I do hope you find this Hub useful, and have as much fun with this great home making skill as i did.

I no longer drink alcohol, but had great fun giving out the bottles and demijohns full of home made goodness to friends and relatives... HAPPY PARTIES.....

Equipment

Fundamental Rules.

Always start by sterilizing all the equipment.

Measure pints( litres ) of flower heads or other produce by placing them in a measuring jug and pressing them down very gently.
Wash all fruit, flowers and vegetables before use.
Sultanas or raisins should be soaked in several changes of hot water then drained.
Use ordinary granulated sugar, brown sugar will change the colour and taste of the wine.

Where boiling is indicated, simmer gently and avoid vigorous boiling.
Make sure that the fermentation bucket is covered and the demijohns are sealed carefully to keep out wine flies or airborne bacteria that could spoil your wine.
Store fermentation buckets or wine fermenting in demijohns in a warm room, but nowhere too hot,
Once siphoned into storage jars or bottled, store in a dark place with as constant a temperature as possible.
Keep the airlock topped up with cooled boiled water.
Fermentation is complete when the bubbles of carbon dioxide stop blipping through the airlock.
Tip up demijohns with cooled boiled water after siphoning off to maintain the quantity of wine.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Kitchen scales, Measuring jug, a large saucepan - avoid brass, copper or caste iron pans as the metal can affect the taste of the wine. Long handled plastic or wooden spoon, a large fermentation bucket with a lid, do not use coloured plastic buckets as the colour can react with the acid in the wine and make it poisonous.A large funnel and large nylon sieve or straining bag are used to strain the liquid into a demijohn.
A clear glass demijohn is needed with a rubber or cork bung with a hole in it, this fits to the top of the demijohn and a glass or plastic airlock fits into the bung.
a second demijohn will be needed for siphoning off the must, another bung this time without a hole will then be used to seal the wine.
you will also need a long transparent plastic tube some have a tap on the end.

Sterilizing

Dissolve 2 campden tablets in 1 pint of water in the fermentation bucket, put on the lid and swirl the water round to sterilize the inside. Wash all the equipment to be used in the solution in the bucket and leave to drain. Soak all demijohns and equipment to be used in a similar solution and then drain ALWAYS.

Yeast

Sachets are best. Just mix with a little warm water and leave for about 5 minutes, then add to the wine mixture.

Corking

Corks need to be soaked before they are used, so dissolve 1 campden tablet in 1 pint of water, Immerse the corks in the solution using a plate to keep them fully submerged.


STORING

Lay the bottles down on their side in a cool dry place for at least 2 months before drinking. The best place could be in the back of a garage.
Bottles corked with plastic stoppers can be stood upright, but do need to be checked occasionally as the corks do have a habit of rising over time especially in warm weather. If this does happen put them back straight away.
Almost all wines improve with age.

DO NOT FORGET TO LABEL YOUR BOTTLES OR DEMIJOHNS.

Dandelions

Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect the roots act as an antiviral agent, appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and may help promote gastrointestinal health. The flower has antioxidant properties.They may also help improve the immune system.
Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect the roots act as an antiviral agent, appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and may help promote gastrointestinal health. The flower has antioxidant properties.They may also help improve the immune system.

Spring

I shall now include some wonderful old recipes that my Aunty taught me.. living in the Hertfordshire countryside most are made by using what is available in the hedgerows or the garden at different times of the year.

Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~Chinese Proverb

Dandelion Wine time to mature approximately 7 months

Ingredients

6 Pints of Dandelion Flowers
Finely peeled rind and juice of 1 Orange
Finely peeled rind and juice of 1 Lemon
8 Pints of Water
3 lbs of Sugar
4 fl oz of Strong black Tea
1/4 oz of Wine Yeast

Method

Take care to discard all the green parts. Pick the dandelion heads straight into a muslin bag or old pillow case, secure the top of the bag and place in a large saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bag, squeezing it to remove all the liquid.
Dissolve the sugar in the liquid.
Pour into a fermentation bucket and add the orange, lemon juice and tea.
Start the yeast, if using fresh, i tend to use the little packets of dry wine yeast as it is much easier and far less messy. then add the yeast to the cooled must. Cover and leave to work for 3 to 5 days. Stir the mixture daily.
Siphon the liquid into a demijohn,seal with and airlock and leave for about 2 to 3 months.
When fermentation is quite finished siphon into storage jars or bottles.
This wine will be ready for Christmas, but will improve with keeping - THE LONGER THE BETTER

Nettle Beer time to mature approximately 2 weeks.

Ingredients

1lb Nettle Tips

4 pints of water

Finely peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon

8oz demerara sugar

1/2 oz cream of tartar

1/4 oz brewers yeast

Method

Place the nettle tips, lemon rind and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain on to the sugar and cream of tartar in a bucket and stir well. Start the yeast then add to the cooled must with the lemon juice. Cover and leave in a warm room for about 3 days. Strain into strong bottles. Do not screw up too tightly. Wait a week or two to settle before drinking.


Nettles

Extracts of this plant can be used to treat arthritis, anemia, hay fever, kidney problems, and pain
Extracts of this plant can be used to treat arthritis, anemia, hay fever, kidney problems, and pain

Summer.

Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. ~Author Unknown

Elderflower Champagne ( ready almost immediately)

Ingredients

5 - 6 Elderflower heads

2 lemons sliced

8 pints of boiled water

1 1/2 lbs sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or

1/2 oz citric acid

Method

Put elderflower heads and sliced lemons in a bucket and pour on the water. Leave to soak for 24 - 36 hours. Strain and add the sugar, cider vinegar or citric acid, stir well until the sugar is dissolved and either pour into champagne bottles ( wired - corked ) or screw top bottles. If the latter is used, do not screw up the tops very tightly for about 7 - 14 days as the champagne continues to work in the bottles.

DO NOT KEEP MUCH LONGER THAN 3 MONTHS.


Peach Wine time to mature approximately 6 - 8 months.

Ingredients

3lb ripe peaches, sliced and stoned

8 pints of water

2 lbs sugar

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 oz wine yeast

Method

Place peaches in a bucket with 6 pints of cold water. Boil the other 2 pints of water and add the sugar to the boiled water with the lemon juice then add to the peach pulp, Start the yeast and add to the bucket. Cover the bucket closely and leave in a warm room for 4 - 5 days crushing the pulp daily.

Strain the contents into a demijohn, seal with an airlock and leave to work out.( until no more bubbles can be seen moving in the airlock). Siphon into a clean jar and leave until the liquid is clear when it can be bottled.

Store for at least 6 - 8 months before drinking.

Elder

Elder berries can be used to help cure the common cold and flu, they also contain ingredients that can help activate a healthy immune system
Elder berries can be used to help cure the common cold and flu, they also contain ingredients that can help activate a healthy immune system

Peaches

Peaches can help to combat infectious diseases, reduce cholesterol in blood,also alleviation abdominal colics and rheumatism pains.
Peaches can help to combat infectious diseases, reduce cholesterol in blood,also alleviation abdominal colics and rheumatism pains.

Autumn

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale

Elderberry Wine

( my favourite) approximate time to mature 6 months.. but the longer the better, i have actually kept a couple of demijohns of this for 2 years, when they were sampled they tasted like a very good old port... :)

Ingredients...

3 lbs of Elderberries

9 Pints of Water

1/4 oz Wine Yeast

1 teaspoon of citric acid

3 lbs of sugar

Method..

Strip the berries, weigh and crush them in a bucket. Pour on 8 pints of the water which has been boiled and allowed to cool. Start the yeast and add to the bucket with the citric acid, then dissolve the sugar in the remaining 1 pint of Boiling water. Strain the berries onto the sugar solution then pour into a dark demijohn and seal with an airlock. After a few days, when the first vigorous fermentation has subsided fill the demijohn to the bottom of the neck with cooled boiled water. Replace the airlock and leave until fermentation is complete. Siphon into clean bottles of jars, close tightly and leave for at least 6 months. The longer this is left the better the result .. if you can be patient.

For Mulled Elderberry Wine.

Add 1/2 a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cinnamon per glass. Serve warmed but do NOT boil ...

Berry and Flower Wine.

Keep the wine in its jar until the following spring when the flowers are in full bloom, then add 5 elderflower heads and 1 lb of sugar to each gallon of wine. Allow it to stand for 4 - 5 days. Siphon off into clean casks or jars, bung down tightly and leave until the following spring.

Carrots

carrots can be used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, and tonsillitis or constipation.
carrots can be used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, and tonsillitis or constipation.

Winter..

“Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain, and see even here, upon a winter's day, how beautiful the shadows are! Alas! it is the nature of their kind to be so. The loveliest things in life, Tom, are but shadows; and they come and go, and change and fade away, as rapidly as these!” Charles Dickens.

Carrot Wine approximate time to mature 6 months to 1 year.

Ingredients

4 lbs old Carrots

4 oz raisins washed and chopped

8 pints of water

2 lbs sugar

juice of 2 lemons

1/4 oz wine yeast

Method

Wash and slice carrots without peeling and simmer in the water until tender. Strain onto the sugar in a bucket then add the lemon juice and chopped raisins. Add yeast to the cooled luke warm must then cover and leave for 7 days, stirring daily. Strain into a demijohn, seal with an airlock and leave. When the contents have cleared siphon into a clean jar and close with a bung. Leave for 6 months, it can be bottled in 6 months but is much better if left for a year.


Michaelmas Wine approximate time to mature 2 years.


Ingredients

8 oz rose hips

4 1/2 lbs apples

4 1/2 lbs balckberries

2 1/4 lbs elderberries

6 lbs sugar

1 lb Sloes

2 oz demerara sugar

1 teaspooon Wine yeast

1 lb raisins

Method

Hammer the rosehips with a rolling pin if hard otherwise gently squash them. Chop, crush or mince the apples and place both fruits in a bucket with the crushed blackberries and elderberries. Add 7 pints of boiling water and 2 1/4 lbs of sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. When cooled add the yeast. Allow fermentation to proceed for 7 days. In a 2nd bucket prepar the raisins by scalding with 1 3/4 pints of boiling water and add a further 1 1/4 pints of cold water. Dissolve 2 1/4 lbs sugar in the water and strain the liquid from the 1st bucket on to the 2nd.

After a further week cut the sloes in 2 and scald with 1 3/4 pints of boiling water followed by a further 1 34 pints of cold water. Disslove the remaining sugar into this mixture before pouring into the bucket contaaining the fermenting fuuits. After a further week strain the liquid in equal amounts into 2 demijohns. Top up with a solution containing all of the remainign white sugar.

After 5 weeks rack the liquid and make up the air space in both demijohns by dissolving 2 oz demerara sugar in sufficient water for topping up each vessel.

Rack again when fermentation is complete. If the wine remains dry top up with 2 oz white sugar dissoved in water and repeat the process until the wine remains sweet.

Sloes may be gathered after the wine has started fermenting.

Sloes

Sloes are full of vitamin c and antioxidants and the syrup is a traditional remedy for fighting off flu.
Sloes are full of vitamin c and antioxidants and the syrup is a traditional remedy for fighting off flu.

Please leave your comments and feedback, i very much look forward to reading them.. x

Comments 4 comments

Nancy in Georgia, USA. 3 years ago

Will defiantly try you elderflower champagne recipe, sounds like fun. Love your site!


muslima61 profile image

muslima61 3 years ago from manchester UK Author

Thank you Nancy.. hope you enjoy it .. my Gt. Aunt always did .lolols


hi im oggy 3 years ago

hi im currently making the elderberry wine once the wine has stopped fermenting can you drink it then or do you have to leave it for months because i want to taste the wine soon as possible and im going to leave 2 demi johns for a couple of years thx


muslima61 profile image

muslima61 3 years ago from manchester UK Author

Hi there, you can drink it as soon as it has stopped fermenting but, it will not taste anything like a matured wine.. in fact it probably will not taste very nice.. although i cannot say i have tried it before it has had the required maturing time.. it will not hurt to try though .. let me know how it goes..

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