wirral forums

Homemade wine

Posted By: kittykat

Homemade wine - 3rd Nov 2017 10:20am

Does anyone on here make their own wine? Iím thinking of giving it a try and was hoping someone could tell me if you need s lot of space to do it and also is it palatable. Any advice most welcome.
Thanks.
Posted By: Excoriator

Re: Homemade wine - 3rd Nov 2017 1:41pm

I've made it in the past. It doesn't require a lot of space. You can make it a gallon at a time, although it takes months to mature so if you drink a gallon a month you might want to have half a dozen gallon jugs on the go at once. It needs to be kept indoors, not outside as cold will stop it fermenting. It is a bit fiddly and messy and the results are very variable.

I've given up and buy the wine I drink now.

What IS worth doing is sloe gin. There are lots of recipes but basically it involved bunging sloes, sugar to taste and gin into a bottle and leaving it for three or four months. The sloes can be picked from hedgerows if you can find them before the farmers flail them to death or you can buy dried ones on the internet. You can use damsons if you don't want to muck about with sloes. Its a bit late for PYO sloes now I think, although there may be some still about.

This year, we are experimenting with wild plums, having found a load of them growing alongside the canal at Whitchurch.

The result of all these is a beautiful deep red liqueur tasting not of gin but of plums. It is an excellent thing to enjoy at Christmas in front of a roaring fire whilst enjoying a good book or just chatting.

Posted By: kittykat

Re: Homemade wine - 3rd Nov 2017 1:55pm

Thanks Excoriator smile
Posted By: Gibbo

Re: Homemade wine - 3rd Nov 2017 3:35pm

There's a good homebrew shop on Oxton Road.
Posted By: Cobby

Re: Homemade wine - 3rd Nov 2017 7:31pm

There are certainly still sloes around if you know where to look! Best bet is to try following public footpaths that go alongside the hedgerows through farmland, any roadside hedgerows tend to get cut back so the sloes don't get a chance to develop. This year has seen a bumper crop, I've never seen so many. Easy to spot, they are black fruits around the size and shape of a grape, with a white "bloom" that disappears when the fruit is rubbed. Sloe gin is just delicious!

There another home brew shop on Derby Road in Tranmere
Posted By: Excoriator

Re: Homemade wine - 4th Nov 2017 2:48pm

I think the Tranmere one (Semplex?) is no longer there.

Flailing hedges is certainly bad news if you are looking for sloes. You need unkempt hedges. They are the fruit of the blackthorn tree, so be prepared for thorns.

There was a brilliant crop of wild plums too, this year. There were so many that the weight had broken the branches in some trees. We tried them as a substitute for sloes, and I will report back on how they turn out. We have six litres of it on the go, and so far it seems to be doing fine. It has turned a deep dark red anyway, and the plums are shrivelling as their juices are leached out. You are supposed to prick them to help this, but I doubt if it's really necessary. I think osmosis is the main thing that is going on. The colour comes from the skins, of course, and I assume the juices 'osmosing' through it is how the colour is brought out.

Some people stick them in the freezer and freeze them solid which is supposed to break up the cells to release the juice, but again I am sceptical.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Homemade wine - 4th Nov 2017 7:53pm

Semplex (named after Peter Semple) closed down many years ago and the building was sold to the Jehovah Witnesses.

Shortly after, or about the same time the Tranmere Homebrew Centre opened on Greenway Road but closed on (semi?)retirement of the owners in 2016. They still operate a delivery service http://www.tranmerehomebrewcentre.co.uk/
Posted By: Excoriator

Re: Homemade wine - 5th Nov 2017 8:40am

At one point, the shop in Greenway road was called Semplex, but I'm going back a long way to recall it.

Until it closed it was run by a Dutch guy I think, although it wasn't open very often. I assumed he was 'Mr Semplex' but it would seem he must have bought the shop from Semplex at some point. I have no idea where their HQ was, but I guess that was what was sold to the Jehovah Witnesses. Rumour had it that it exported a lot of stuff to UK expatriates in Saudi!
Posted By: neilhbb

Re: Homemade wine - 5th Nov 2017 9:52am

I have been making wine from kits for a few years. I have had great success with the Beaverdale kits, both white and red (Pinot Grigio and Shiraz are my faves). The 5 gallon kits yield around 28 bottles with a bit lost during transfer/sediment etc. Take about 30 days to ferment and bottle end to end and if you leave the wine to mature it gets better with age, but is perfectly palatable to start with.

I've found sediment a bit of a challenge to get rid of, it settles at the bottom of the tanks but can get sucked up during transfer etc. Tried various filtering methods with varying success. These days I just transfer from one the fermentation bucket to another vessel and then being careful when transferring into bottles. Recently acquired a conical fermenter which I hope will make that aspect a breeze (sediment settles in a container at the bottom and can then be disposed of easily).

I get everything online but have been to the Love Brewing shop over the water in West Derby Road which is quite good.

Once set up looking around £1.40 to £1.50 a bottle, a significant saving to buying from a supermarket etc.
Posted By: venice

Re: Homemade wine - 6th Nov 2017 3:57pm

Yours for Xmas then Neil? All of us?
Posted By: neilhbb

Re: Homemade wine - 8th Nov 2017 9:57am

Originally Posted by venice
Yours for Xmas then Neil? All of us?


I'd better get a batch on quick! wink
Posted By: kittykat

Re: Homemade wine - 8th Nov 2017 11:18am

Thank you for the help and suggestions. Iím going to give it a try. eek
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