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16 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:45 pm

    I thought wine was hard to make, but it is quite easy to do and well worth the effort. Thanks for all the help and advise on your website. The biggest ingredient is patience!

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    1. No problem.. glad it was a success.

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  2. Anonymous8:28 pm

    Hi John we have just made our first batch last Autumn and bottled it tonight. The colour and clarity is something like a scrumy Jack, it's semi clear and a goldenish colour to it. I'm assuming it will clear as we leave it stored, would that be right? We're hoping it will be clear by the summer months. Also we are going to store it in a cool dark place would that be right. Had a wee sip and it tastes not too bad!! Thanks Maxine

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    1. Hi... Yes, the apple wine sounds as though it's going perfectly. Storing in a cool dark place should see it clear over the next few months. Happy summer daze on the way! Thanks, John

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  3. Hi John have just decanted plum wine into demijohns after 11 days in the fermenting bin I know I should have done it sooner! there is no activity smells alcoholic and yeasty but tastes sour ?what do you think Mary ps first time I have tried this

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    1. Sounds like bacteria has got into the liquid and is turning it into vinegar. This is always a risk before you decant into demijohns, while the wine is on contact with the air. Keeping the lid on the fermentation barrel helps avoid this, but I fear the extra days before decanting increased the chances of bacteria getting in. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, M. You will have no option but to start afresh. Regards, John

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  4. Hi John have made this apple wine and it looks fab and tastes pretty good. If there is sediment a little bit in bottles right at the bottom is this usual? as I had a look at the bottled cider from West Country in Marks and Sparks and that too had sediment in the bottom so thought maybe it is ok? I ran out of space in demi john so put rest of my apple wine in a wine bottle and it has cleared but has a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle . Happy Noo Year. Regards Janice Also do you recommend corked bottles or screw caps ?

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    1. Hi Janice... Yes, it's absolutely normal to have a small amount of sediment at the bottom of the wine bottle. That's why you should store home brew wine bottles on their side in the final stages, so the bottle is in the right position for pouring and sediment is left in the dip inside the neck of the bottle.

      Screw caps are easier to fit and undo.

      Happy New Year to you too Janice... happy daze! Regards, John

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  5. Hi, I am following your plum wine, I wanted to use a hydrometer do would I use it after the boiling water is added to the plums or when I add the yeast and sugar. Many thanks, Andie

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    1. Anonymous5:48 am

      Hi... Since the hydrometer measures alcohol content, you'd use it once the yeast & sugar is added.

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  6. Hi John,

    Once the wine has finished fermentation, can I store it in a oak barrel or some other barrel?

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    1. Anonymous5:47 am

      Hi... I've never used a barrel, but believe it does improve the wine.

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  7. Hi John, I made the plum wine & it's now in the demijohn & so far everything seems fine. I've been given a load of cooking apples & would like to make some apple wine. Can you just confirm that this recipe is for 5 gallons & not 5 litres as that's a lot of bottles?
    I don't want to make that much as I don't have enough storage space.

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    1. Anonymous4:01 pm

      Hi John too ... Yes, the apple wine recipe is for 5 gallons, or about 40 bottles. You could try to scale down the measurements to a more manageable size. Recommended you use a mix of apples. If you just use cooking apples the result might be rather tart. Regards, John

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  8. Hi John, loved the look of your clay lined pond. What were the dimensions, roughly? I liked the compactness of your second pond too.Did you use pond liner this time, and what was the size of this one? I've been told that rubber liners eventually get broken down by sunlight, have you found a way to avoid this happening? Best wishes, Tom

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    1. Hi... The clay lined pond was about 4 yards square. The smaller second pond used plastic pond liner sheeting and was about 5 feet square. Good plastic lining will last at least 10 years. Best to protect the lining from the sun by keeping the water topped up, using vegetation around the sides and oxygenating plants in the water, and possibly having any slab edging slightly overhang. The clay lined pond was the most fulfilling one to do and more appreciated by wildlife. Good luck! John

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