Friday, June 10, 2011

First strawberries - and making strawberry wine

Strawberries mark the beginning to true summer for me.  We just used up the very last berries from the freezer in a small strawberry-rhubarb pie, and now the first berries are ripening in the yard right along with the first sweet and spicy radishes.  We have planted early, mid and late season strawberries which we got from our friend Brenda who has an organic pick-your-own strawberry patch near town.  Then we have little alpine strawberries filling in the front gardens, and they bloom continuously throughout the summer from June until frost!  They produce berries the first year planted.  They make a great edible ground cover, and we have them mixed in with our herbs and flowers in the front yard.  Beautiful!

There are so many wonderful ways to eat strawberries - well, the best is just straight from the garden.  However, here is the simplest Strawberry Wine Recipe I've ever seen - if you can save enough fresh berries after eating your fill (in a pinch, you can use thawed strawberries from the freezer to make this wine).  This would be well enjoyed in the long winter months when you are dreaming about eating fresh berries again.  I'm planning on making at least one batch.

Simple Strawberry Wine

3 lb fresh strawberries
2 1/2 lb white sugar
2 tsp citric acid
filtered water to make 1 gallon
wine yeast and wine nutrient (available at any wine making supply store)

1 gallon crock
large piece of cheesecloth and sturdy rubber band
1 gallon glass carboy
fermentation airlock and bung
wine bottles and corks
wine corker (rentable at wine supply stores)

1) Place strawberries, sugar, citric acid in a large 1 gallon crock
2) Crush strawberries with your hands and cover with 5 pints boiling water
3) Stir with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar and blend with strawberries
4) When cooled to 85 degrees F add wine yeast and wine nutrient
5) Cover with tight fitting cheese cloth and stir well each day for one week
6) Strain the berries out on 7th day and transfer liquid to 1 gallon size secondary fermentation bottle (glass carboy)
7) Top the liquid up to one gallon by adding filtered water
8) Fir with fermentation trap (airlock and bung) and set aside
9) Rack after one month and again after a second month
10) Bottle wine when it's clear (i.e. no more sediment while racking)
11) Allow to age at least 6 months - enjoy with family and friends!

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    My first try at a cabernet was a disaster (I think I ended up with some cleaning solution/acid in my batch). Since that first attempt, I have found that it is both a science, and an art! My second batch was a success, and a good one if I don't say so myself. I did find a website that helped a ton though (broke down and paid, but well worth it) at I am sure there are others too. Cheers!