Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ginger Wine!

Ages ago, I was on a mission to find a ginger wine recipe that might produce something like the commercially available products i.e. Stones etc.

On one of the wine forums I asked if anyone had any recipes. One of the 3 posted was like this

2 gallons of water
12 cups sugar
large piece root ginger
12 lemons
3oz fresh yeast
1/2 pint brandy
raisins (if desired)

- Boil the sugar and water.
- Add the ginger and boil gently for half an hour.
- Peel the lemons and pour the hot sugar and water onto the peel.
- Allow to cool.
- When cool, add the juice of the lemons and the yeast.
- Put it into demijohns and when it has stopped working divide 1/2 pint brandy between the demijohns. - Some raisins can be added at this stage if desired.

I've made a must for some this afternoon, only because, being off work this week, we went and did our shopping, and the local tesco happened to have fresh root ginger at £1.25 per lb, so I vaguely remembered the recipe and just filled a bag full.

On getting home and reviewing the recipe, I discovered that it only needed "a large piece root ginger".

Well, as it wasn't really defined, and I happened to have just under 3 and a half pounds (weight) of root ginger, I thought I'd modify the recipe a bit and made the must up for it.

So, my version is to put a gallon of water (haven't got a pan big enough for the two gallons) and the sugar on to boil.

When boiling point is reached, I put the 3lb 6 oz of ginger I had into the food processor to chop finely, this is then placed into the boiling sugar/water mix for 15 to 20 minutes.

In the meantime, I juiced the 12 lemons. I got a fermentation bucket and put the second gallon from the original recipe into it and grated the lemons into the water.

When the 15/20 minute boil of the sugar/water/ginger had finished, I poured this into the fermenter bucket with the other gallon of water and grated lemon peel.

I left it to cool for a couple of hours, and have since placed it into the chosen fermenter vessel (along with the lemon juice) to finish cooling (down to room temperature).

The only additional ingredients I've added, are some B1 tablets (the mix is about 12 litres so I used 6 i.e. 2 per gallon) and I've added 2 grammes per gallon of Gervit Yeast nutrient powder.

I'm going to pitch the yeast tomorrow - I don't have any "fresh" yeast so I'm going to use Lalvins 71B-1122 Narbonne yeast as it seemed to give quite good results with a recent mead recipe i.e. some residual sugar/sweetness and honey taste/aroma. Hence I'm hoping it will still have the residual sugar/sweetness and given that I've "kicked the arse out of" the ginger, plenty of ginger "bite".

I have absolutely no idea whether this is going to work or not, but I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't. Thinking about it, I'm wondering if I should have added some pectolase, but as lemons are citrus fruit, and I've only used the juice and grated peel, I'm hoping it'll be Ok.

I'll report back when it's done.

Pip pip!

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