Thursday, September 30, 2010


Just 4 u

1 gallon primroses 1 gallon water
3 ½ lb. white sugar 1 lemon
2 oranges Yeast; yeast nutrient

Bring the water to the boil and stir into it the sugar, making sure that it is all
dissolved. Put the peel of the oranges and lemon into a crock, bowl, or polythene bucket,
being careful to exclude all white pith, to prevent the wine from having a bitter taste, and
pour the hot syrup over the rinds. Allow to cool to 70 degrees F., then add the flowers, the
juice of the fruit, your chosen yeast, and some yeast nutrient. Cover closely and leave for
five days in a warm place, stirring each day. Then strain through a nylon sieve or muslin
into a fermenting jar, filling it to the bottom of the neck, and fit a fermentation trap.
Leave for three months, then siphon the wine off the yeast deposit into a fresh jar. A
further racking after another three months is helpful, and shortly after that the wine will
be fit to drink, if still young.


Just 4 u


½ pint canned orange juice 1 teaspoonful Pectozyme
½ pint canned pineapple juice Bordeaux yeast
2 lbs. sugar Water to 1 gallon

The sugar is poured into a gallon jar, the juices and nutrients, etc., are added and
the jar is topped up to the shoulder with cold water. Vigorous stirring will dissolve the
sugar and the yeast starter and Pectozyme are added immediately. This wine will ferment
out to dryness in about 3-4 weeks at 75 deg. F. At the end of this time 2 Campden tablets
should be added and the wine racked a week later. After 3-4 months the wine is brilliantly
clear and is drinkable as a rough white wine but is much improved if cask matured for
two months.


Just 4 u

2 lb. dried peaches Yeast
3 ½ lb. granulated sugar Yeast nutrient
1 gallon water

Soak the peaches for 12 hours in the cold water, then place all in a large saucepan
or preserving pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for five or six minutes. Strain the liquid
off into a crock, add the sugar and the yeast nutrient, and stir well until all is dissolved.
Allow to cool to about 70 degrees F., then add a pre-prepared general-purpose wine yeast
starter or a level teaspoonful of granulated yeast.
Cover the bowl closely and keep in a temperature of 70-75 for four days, giving it
a daily stir; then stir, transfer to fermenting jar, and fit air lock. When wine clears and
fermentation has finished, siphon it off the sediment into clean bottles and cork securely.

RICE WINE (or Sake)

Just 4 u

3 lbs. rice Yeast and nutrient
3 lbs. sugar 1 gallon water
1 lb. large raisins A pinch of isinglass

Put the rice and sugar into a bowl, cover with warm water. Add the chopped
raisins and dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and add. Sprinkle the isinglass over
the top. Stir often the first three days, then leave to ferment, keeping well covered. Leave
nine days in all before straining and putting into fermenting jar. Bottle when completely
This produces a strong, sparkling wine which is inclined to be harsh at first but
which improves greatly by being kept.
A variation which you may prefer is to add a little citric acid to the basic
ingredients (say the juice of one lemon), and use a sherry yeast.


Just 4 u

Dried fruits, like grains, are a good standby in the winter months when fruit is not
plentiful. Try this easy raisin wine:

1 gallon water 2 lb. white sugar
1 lb. raisins Yeast and nutrient

Chop the raisins and boil them in the water for an hour, adding more water to
restore the volume to the original one gallon. Then rub them through a sieve. Restore
them to the water and dissolve the sugar in it, and when cool add the yeast, in this case
preferably a pre-prepared wine yeast starter but a pinch of dried yeast will do if necessary.
Ferment the liquor on the raisins, and it is preferable to use a wide-mouth bottle. Fit trap,
and rack for the first time as soon as the wine begins to clear. Re-bottle as soon as it
throws a fresh sediment.


Just 4 u

4 pineapples 3 ½ lbs. preserving sugar
2 lemons Yeast
9 pints water Yeast nutrient

"Top and bottom" the pineapples, then slice them into a one-gallon saucepan and
cover with three pints of water. Bring to boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain on to
sugar in earthenware crock, and add remaining six pints of water, cold. Add the juice of
the lemons. Stir well to dissolve sugar thoroughly, and leave to cool to blood heat. Then
add yeast (wine yeast, a level teaspoonful of dried yeast, or ¾ oz. of baker's yeast), and a
yeast nutrient if desired. (I used a general-purpose wine yeast and a teaspoonful of a
proprietary nutrient). Cover the pan closely for a week and leave it in a warm place,
giving a daily stir, and then transfer to fermenting jars or bottles, which should be filled to
the bottom of the neck and fitted with fermentation traps. Keep in temperature of about
60 degrees until wine begins to clear and has thrown a substantial sediment, then siphon
off into clean bottles. Allow it to throw a fresh sediment, then siphon off into clean
bottles and cork. This is a delicious light wine with a delightful bouquet.


Just 4 u

1 gallon birch sap 3 lb. white sugar
2 lemons (or quart of honey)
1 sweet orange 1 Seville orange
1 lb. raisins Yeast and nutrient

Obtain a wooden beer or wine-barrel tap, a piece of glass or plastic tubing, or even
a piece of bamboo cane with the pith removed. With a brace and bit of the same diameter
as tap or tube bore a hole into the trunk of the tree to just beyond the inside of the bark,
and insert the tube, which should incline slightly downwards to allow the sap to run
easily. In March, when the sap is rising, it should be possible to draw off a gallon or so of
liquor in two or three days. Plug the hole afterwards.
Peel the oranges and lemons (discard all white pith) and boil the peel in the sap
for 20 minutes. Add enough water to restore the volume to one gallon, then pour into a
crock containing the sugar and chopped raisins. Stir until sugar is dissolved; when the
liquor has cooled to 70 degrees F. add the fruit juice and yeast. Cover the crock with a
thick cloth and keep in a warm place until fermentation has quietened. Then strain into
fermenting jar and fit trap. Leave for about six months, then siphon off and bottle. Use
strong bottles, tie down the corks, and store the bottles on their sides for at least another
six months before sampling.
Sycamore and walnut sap wines can be made in the same manner and an excellent
beer can be produced by reducing the sugar to 1 lb.


Just 4 u

This is a wine, which, intriguing by its novelty, is also an excellent wine in its
own right. It is probably of Baltic origin and during the last century was a popular drink
in Russia, so much so that upon occasions whole forests of young birch trees were killed
by the peasantry, who tapped them too enthusiastically . . . so beware of that error. No
harm will come to a tree by the loss of a gallon or so of sap in the spring (about the first
fortnight in March) but the hole must afterwards be plugged with a wooden plug, and can
then be used again next year. I am also told, although I can produce no written authority
for it, that birch sap wine was a favourite with the Prince Consort, who doubtless had
plenty of trees at his disposal!


Just 4 u

Buy a big juicy pineapple and try your hand at making this really delightful
liqueur. Slice the pineapple thinly, sprinkle with a little sugar, and leave for 24 hours.
Press out the juice, measure it, and add an equal amount of brandy to which sugar has
been added in the proportion of 2 ozs. sugar to every half pint of brandy. Put in a jar with
a few slices of fresh pineapple and leave for three weeks, then strain and bottle.


Just 4 u

4 lbs, of peeled bananas 1 gallon of water
½ lb. of banana skins 1 lemon, 1 orange
¼ lb. of raisins 3 lbs. of sugar
Yeast and nutrient

Use black or spotted bananas, whatever you can scrounge. Place bananas and fruit
peel into a cloth bag and put the bag, tied up, into a large saucepan or boiler with the
water. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for half an hour. Pour the hot liquor over the
sugar and fruit juice, and when the cloth bag has cooled squeeze it with the hands to
extract as much liquor as possible. When all the liquor is lukewarm (70 degrees F.) add
the yeast. Leave it in a warm place for a week, stirring daily, then pour into a glass jar and
move to a cooler place; it will be a thick-looking mess, like a lot of soapsuds. Keep it
well covered and in a couple of months it will have a large sediment at the bottom.
Siphon off, then add the chopped raisins. Fit an air lock and siphon off again after four
months; by then it will have started to clear. Leave a further six months before sampling.
It improves the longer you keep it.


Just 4 u

4 ½ lb. parsnips 4 lb. Demerara sugar
½ oz. hops 1 teaspoonful gravy
½ lb. malt extract browning (liquid variety)
1 gallon water Yeast
2 lemons

Clean parsnips, but do not peel, and ensure that their weight is not less than four
pounds after cleaning. Cut them into slices and boil gently in half the water until soft (but
not mushy, or the wine will not clear). Then strain into a pan. Put the hops in a bag in the
remaining water and boil gently for half an hour, then stir in the gravy browning (which is
only caramel colouring). Mix the liquids together and stir in the malt and sugar, allow to
cool to blood heat, and then add yeast. Keep warm and closely covered and ferment for
14 days, then stir, siphon into fermenting jar and fit air lock. When the wine clears siphon
off into sterilised bottles and keep for a further six months.


Just 4 u

24 thin skinned Seville 8 lb. white sugar
oranges 2 gallons water
4 lemons Yeast and nutrient

Peel 12 of the oranges and throw away the peel. Cut up oranges and lemons into
slices and put in earthenware pan. Boil the water and pour on boiling. Place in moderately
warm corner and when tepid add yeast, a good wine yeast or a level teaspoonful of
granulated yeast; stir each day for a fortnight. Strain, then add sugar and stir until
dissolved. Put in 2-gallon jar, filling up to top. Put surplus in black bottles (bottles must
be dark or wine will lose its colour). Use this for filling up large jar. Ferment to
completion under air lock, rack when it clears, and bottle two months later.


Just 4 u

12 sweet oranges 1 gallon water
3 ½ lb. white sugar Yeast and nutrient

Peel six of the oranges thinly, avoiding the white pith like the plague (it imparts a
most bitter taste to the wine). Pour a quart of boiling water on to the rind and allow to
stand for 24 hours, then strain off the water into a bowl containing three quarts of water
and the sugar. Cut all the oranges in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Stir until the
sugar is dissolved, and then add the yeast. If you use a general purpose wine yeast, which
is to be recommended, the liquor can safely be strained from the crock into a fermenting
jar, and fitted with a trap, within two or three days. Siphon it off the lees for the first time
when it clears, and rebottle two or three months later.


Just 4 u

5 lb. mangolds 2 lemons
1 gallon water 2 oranges
3 lb. sugar Yeast and nutrient

Wash the marigolds but do not peel. Cut into pieces and boil until tender. Strain,
and to every gallon of liquor add sugar and rinds of oranges and lemons (avoid the white
pith) as above, and boil for 20 minutes. Allow the liquor to cool, and add the juice of the
oranges and lemons. Stir in the yeast (a general purpose wine yeast or a level teaspoonful
of granulated yeast) and leave in a warm place, well covered, for about a week. Then stir,
transfer to fermenting battle or jar, and fit fermentation trap. When the wine clears, rack it
off with a siphon into a clean storage vessel. Keep it for another six months in a cool
place, then bottle.