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Woodland Wine !!

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Re: Woodland Wine !!

Postby SimonFisher » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:23 am

When I was a kid my dad made some wine from rhubarb using a recipe called Golden Dream from the first winemaking book by CJJ Berry (yes that really was the name). I recall needing to prep the rhubarb to remove the oxalic acid before fermenting. He laid it down for a few years after bottling, under the floor actually, which we then found a few years later. It was delightful. We tried to repeat it a number of times but never had any success.

During my teens and early tenties I'd make a variety of wines from the garden but was never overly impressed with the flavour of most of them - certainly nothing compared those made from a decent bought grape concetrate. I still find it amusing when people say things like "oh, you can make a wine from almost anything", well yes you can if you're adding three and a half pounds of sugar per gallon as well. That's where the alcohol's coming from, not the parsnip, peapod, dandelion or whatever your plant of choice.
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Re: Woodland Wine !!

Postby smojo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:29 am

Years ago in the 1950s my mum used to tell a story of her next door neighbour. He was a postman and made wine. He had dozens of bottles nicely maturing under his floor. He either died or moved away and left all his wine. The new neighbours moved in and one day there was a strong smell of alcohol drifting from next door. My mum went to investigate and found the neighbours had tipped it all down the drain. They said they had found all this "old wine" which must be no good now as it was a few years old so decided to ditch it!
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Re: Woodland Wine !!

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:22 am

The jury is currently out on my 40 bottles of Chateau Paws 2014. Its a simple elderberry Red. The colour is wonderful, the initial taste is quite pleasant, but a few minutes after ingesting the initial trial tastings I've felt rather spaced out in an unpleasant way, mildly dizzy and queasy. I suspect I should have boiled the 'mash' for a bit longer to break down the glycosides in it. I've read it can have slight traces of cyanide which make it not dangerous but a bit unpalatable. It only cost about a fivers worth of sugar and its still young, plus they recommend its left 6 months- something of a challenge in our house.

Pre-woodland ownership I got into the habit of kit wine, doing 30 bottle batches. Flipping good at about £1.30 a bottle, trouble is when its very good and very cheap it becomes a bit habit forming. I would spend the evening quietly quaffing, frequently refilling from the tap, nibbling cheese and watching dreadful B movies until 2am most nights, falling asleep halfway through. After 4 weeks the barrel seemed to have gone and there was no cheese left in the fridge, and I was putting on weight rapidly. Post wood purchase I spent a good few hours most days working out in the wood, and I discovered the new drugs of fresh air and adrenalin from exercise, far better.
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Re: Woodland Wine !!

Postby smojo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:30 pm

oldclaypaws wrote:The jury is currently out on my 40 bottles of Chateau Paws 2014. Its a simple elderberry Red. The colour is wonderful, the initial taste is quite pleasant, but a few minutes after ingesting the initial trial tastings I've felt rather spaced out in an unpleasant way, mildly dizzy and queasy. I suspect I should have boiled the 'mash' for a bit longer to break down the glycosides in it. I've read it can have slight traces of cyanide which make it not dangerous but a bit unpalatable. It only cost about a fivers worth of sugar and its still young, plus they recommend its left 6 months- something of a challenge in our house.


Funny you say that. I made some too a couple of years ago. It made me feel queasy in a nasty waytoo. I didn't connect it till I'd had a few sessions with it. I won't be trying it again. I think the poison is in the stalks. It's often hard to get rid of them all. Now Elderflower wine is gorgeous. I also make a sort of beer with them using lemons, sugar and elder flowers and just brew in a clean bucket with any old yeast for about a week. Beautiful and refreshing.
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