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Peat Ballan

Latest posts by Peat Ballan

Wine making

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 10:38

I keep me trousers ON !  I am a man of mystery.



Posted: 12/10/2013 at 10:36

Just wondering.......... like the old saw about a swan being able to break a persons a persons arm.............. these competions......... does anybody, know anybody, who has actually WON a competition ? or is there some gnome somewhere, with a pile of prizes that are up for sale on ebay ?

Wine making

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 10:30

It's when the  nose turns red that y'gotta worry !

Wine making

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 10:25

Wor hoose is now reknowned for sending fine and upstanding members and pillars of the community, home to their respective hovels, in a state of 'dishabille' I think this is how it's spelt, and we get the dirt on the neighbours ! Mind you, they too, get the rirt on us, but we have no shame !!!

 Sliante !

Wine making

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 10:00

I has occurred to me that one can make wine out of just about ANYTHING fruity ! She who must, and I, do a lot of juicing  every morning, and I have taken to using the stuff  from the hopper, popping it into a plassy bucket, and when the bucket is 3/4 full of whatever, citrus peelings, oranges, apples, banana skins, rasp and straw berries from jam making episodes, ANYTHING with a nice smell, I then top  it up with hot water, let it soak for a week, and then go through the procedure above, and call it Summer fruit' wine. It daoesn't have the usual strength, or 'body', but it IS palateble and good for taking up to t'lotty on a hot day and havig a nice swally after digging a trench to put the mess from the fruit soaking.   See ? It all comes around to replacing what has been taken. We are doing a service to mother nature. Give and so shall ye receive !   Hic !

Wine making

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 16:56

YO ! Steephill......... I've used airlocks for years, and never had vinegar, BUT to be on the safe side, I use boiled water in the lock with a camden crushed tabled in it. Nae probs, peeps

Wine making

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 16:48

Demijohns keep appearing out of the blue. I have a collection of 'em, growing year by year, and now have about a dozen of them. Only one is coloured, brown, but for white wines, clear is OK. For red wines, just keep the jar in the dark somewhere. Like husbands or mushrooms, we like to be kept in the dark.

Bottling the wine is a good and fun time. Syphoning off the glorious ruby liquid is a celebration in itself. If you get empty wine bottles with screw tops, DO make sure that the wine is stable and fermented out, or you will have minor (or major) explosions from lively stuff spraying out over your house and carpets ! Taste it before bottling. you can always adjust the stuff to your palate. BUT, if adding to the sweetness, make sure you let it settle for a while, as it just might start up again, and then you have to leave it for another few weeks before bottling it.

Wine making

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 17:03

Wine making should be one of the first things a gardener should learn ! It is obligatory ! Necessary !  Desireable !   Now, winemaking is simplicity itself. For blackberry, rasberry, or ANY wine  made from garden produce, it is all grist to the boozer producers heat and mill.   Roughly 3 + lbs of fruit crushed into a plassy bucket. pour boiled water over the mush, Leave it for 3 or so days,

Add some yeast nutrient, a teaspoonful for every gallon, and then add the sugar, barely 3lbs. It is just short of the weight of the fruit, as a rule of thumb. This amount keeps the wine adjustable to taste. If it's too dry, add a bit of made up syrup, just boiled water and sugar, and add to taste.

Then, after three or four days, STRAIN the stuff off into a basic fermenting bucket.Add the yeast,  just sprinkle on top.  After a ew days, and the liqquid has been bubbling away excitedly and has started to settle down, you can then , with the use of a funnel, pour it into a demijohn, up to the shoulder of the jar. 

Now, you can either go into this seriously, OR just enjoy the process. You can either go to a winemakers shop and get an airlock, ( cheap as chips ), OR you can merely stuff some coton wool, or a muslin clootie over the jar mouth, to stop any wine flies, foreign bacteria getting into the wine to be. Patience ! is the watchword. Watch it. DO NOT TOUCH IT !  LEAVE IT ALONE !! and at the end of the fermentation time, which you will know, it will stat to clear. If it doesn't, pop into your local Wilko's and get some 'finings', which has an almost miraculous clearing property. In a matter of 24 to 36 hours, your wine will be crystal clear, and virtually ready for bottling.

You get roughly, if you are VERY careful, over 5 bottles of wine, or barely 6 bottles  per gallon. Remember, you can make a decent wine out of nearly anything ! It is simply, soaking the fruit to get the flavours out of it, adding sugar, yeast nutrient, yeast and keeping it fly free by covering the top of the fermentation jar. Airlocks are for serious boozers !  All decent allotmenteers are serious boozers, bless 'em.



Talkback: Is your garden shed secure?

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 16:37

50 sheds of grey !    I have had my lotty 'done' twice now, this year, but not lost too much to the twats swag bag. The friendly 'constabule' said that it is a regular rascal/person doing this , but they have no proof, ( ~LOL !!!!!!! ) nudge nudge, wink wink ! 

Anyway, 'yer man' told us that glass panes are seldom smashed in these days, as shards of glass can fly some 10 metres or more, and can both cut the offender, or get caught in their clothes and detected by forensic analyisi, he says in serious tone. I agree that coach bolts should be used on every sensible opportunity. A discreet connection to the national grid via your local energy supplier might be useful too. A mere 24000 volts coursing through the system often deterrs !

Finish the pond now or in the spring?

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 16:23

On our lotty, by 'wor shed', we have a well established pond for the local frogs 'n' wotnot. I had suspected that the original liner had a leak in it, so I went to the nearby 'highly priced' garden centre and like the last of the big spenders, decided that a new liner was the easier and quickest option. So, £49.95 lighter, we flapped the new liner into and over the old one, having made the pond a wee bittie deeper, by about 150mm, or, 15 cms, or 6", or 0.5 of a foot. After getting it all re-filled with some of the original muck, slime and pond plants, it has settled down into a much nicer looking stretch of water. Not olympic but enough for the toddler pollywogs in the early spring.


Good 'ere, innit ! 



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