Hello Forumites! However well-intentioned, for the safety of other users we ask that you refrain from seeking or offering medical advice. This includes recommendations for medicines, procedures or over-the-counter remedies. Posts or threads found to be in breach of this rule will be removed.

Adventures in Homebrewland (image heavy - you have been warned!)



  • missychrissy
    missychrissy Posts: 741 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Yes ciderboy I add sugar to M and S cherry juice. To make 5 galls I use 5 L of cherry juice, 3 L of red grape and 5 n half kg of sugar plus pectolase, citric acid, yeast nutrient and yeast. It used to be one of my favourite homemade wines. Thank you for responding. I hope we can get this thread going again..
    Hi squirrel girl - how do you make vodka and gin?
  • Hi missychrissy! 
    I buy in the vodka and gin (I have seen ways to make your own online but I'm not willing to spend the time building a still plus I'm not sure about the legality in this country 🤔) and then I add fruit and sugar, swish it daily for a week, then leave it for about 5-6 months. I strain it through muslin at the end of this period and bottle the liquid- I always keep the fruit, blitz it and use it as a boozy topping for desserts - it's lush! 😊 
    A few years ago, I made some 'poor man's brandy' using potatoes I think (I'll drag the recipe out and post it when I find it 😉) which is part of the demijohn stash under the stairs! 🙈 I have no idea at all what it's like - it's probably about 5 years old now! - but will report on it once I dig them all out next weekend 😊 
    I'm really looking forward to starting again - now that the house and garden are sorted it will be lovely to spend the time doing something I used to really enjoy (plus I drink shed loads so it will save me a fortune!! 😂) 
  • missychrissy
    missychrissy Posts: 741 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    sounds similar to the raspberry gin I make where I add raspberries and sugar to gin and steep for at least a month. I’ve seen distilling equipment for sale online. I’ll have to look into it.
  • Okay - found the Poor Mans Brandy recipe 😉 
    1kg old potatoes; 500g crushed wheat; 1kg seedless raisins; 1kg light brown sugar; 2 large lemons; 2tsp citric acid; 0.5 tsp grape tannin; 7 pts water; 1 sachet cereal yeast; 1 sachet tokay yeast; 1tsp nutrient; wine finings. 
    Scuba potatoes  (don't peel). Thinly slice or grate, place them in bin. Wash and chop the raisins and add to bin with the washed and crushed wheat. Thinly pare the lemons (avoiding all pith) chop the rind and add to bin. Pour on 6pts hot water, stir, cover and leave to cool.  Squeeze the juice from the lemons and strain. Stir in the juice, citric acid, grape tannin, activated cereal yeast, tokay yeast and nutrient. Cover the bin, leave in a warm place for 7 days stirring gently twice a day to keep the floating cap moist. Strain out all the solids, press and discard them. Stir in half the sugar, pour the must into a demijohn, fit airlock and leave for a week.  Remove a quarter of the must and stir in half the remaining sugar then return to the demijohn.  Replace the airlock and a week later add the remaining sugar in the same way then top up with water. When fermentation finishes, stir the wine and move it to a cool place for a few days to begin clearing. Syphon the wine from its sediment, stir in finings and leave for 2 weeks in a cold place. Rack again and store for 2 years. Bottle and keep for a further year. 
    I used a cereal and a high alcohol yeast - couldn’t find Tokay yeast for love nor money but as it's just so it carries the alcohol content to the max, I decided a high alcohol one would suffice 😉 

  • missychrissy
    missychrissy Posts: 741 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    That’s a long time to keep it squirrelgirl. I think I’ll stick to my wine that’s drinkable after about 6 weeks.
  • 😂😂😂 it certainly is! I doubled everything as I knew it was a long haul one - didn't want to really love it and only have six bottles 😉 I'll let you know what it's like when I fish it out from under the stairs! Hopefully it will be worth the wait....
    Other than the 7day kits I have bought in years gone by, I've never had a wine ready in 6 weeks - do you have a recipe? 

  • missychrissy
    missychrissy Posts: 741 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    The recipe I use is a jennyjelly recipe off this site years ago. 
    1L fruit juice
    half L grape juice -red grape or white depending on colour of fruit juice
    1kg sugar
    1 teaspoon pectolse
    1 teaspoon citric acid
    1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
    1 teaspoon yeast
    Water to make up to a gall
    Dissolve sugar in water (warmed til dissolved). Add all ingredients together except yeast. Add yeast following day. 
    Add airlock to fermenter and store in a warm place.
    I use 5 gall fermenters with taps. I rack off after a month and about 2 weeks later it’s usually clear and drinkable though I rack off again after another month. I’ve adapted the recipe over the years and have tried all sorts of flavours. I actually have 13 5 gall fermenters, all bar one with taps. I’ve loaned one to my youngest son and at present I have 25 galls fermenting: apple, pear and grape; apple; blueberry and apple and blackcurrant. I’m planning on starting off 5 galls of elderflower this week. I have a couple of books by C J J Barry that are very useful.  By my calculation I think that leaves me 4 empty 5 gall fermenters to use. Always have to keep at least one empty for racking off
    A word of warning from jennyjelly was that orange wine is yucky. I took her word for it and never tried it.
  • missychrissy
    missychrissy Posts: 741 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I should have said that I tend to make wine from May onwards, because it’s warmer it ferments faster. I find wine set off earlier can still be unfinished when wine set off in May is ready.  However, I do sometimes use a low temp yeast that will ferment in temps down to 8 degrees.
    I’m hoping to do blackberry later in the year. I need approx 20 lbs of blackberries to make 5 galls.  I will have to rope my family in to help collect them.
    As my fermenters have taps I only bottle wine when I’m giving it away which, to be fair, is quite often. I stand all my fermenters when fermenting on buckets with lids or I use those round plastic containers that the birds fat balls come in. That enables me to fill the hydrometer tube to test the specific gravity.
  • missychrissy
    missychrissy Posts: 741 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I went elderflower picking yesterday. It was surprising how many people stopped to ask me how did I know they were elderflowers. They are quite similar to cow parsley but the smell is the best giveaway and elder is a tree not a wild flower. I picked all the flowers off into a 5 gall bucket and poured over 2 galls of boiling water. I will leave them to steep for a few days and then strain them into a fermenter along with sugar,  citric acid, grape tannin, yeast nutrient and yeast with water making up to 5 galls.  I have a few recipes and there are lots to be found online but I am experimenting with one of my own.
    My grandmother used to make wine including rice,potato, carrot and blackberry. She used to do it in buckets in the pantry with a cloth over the top. I’m not sure how she racked off but the wine was clear, tasted good but blew your socks off.  I’ve decided I need to try carrot wine as carrots are reasonably cheap. I would also like to try beetroot wine, it would be a glorious colour, so I’m going to grow some in my new raised beds next year.  
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 343.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.2K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards