Friday 15 March 2013

Parsnip wine stage two (bottling)

Expectations are high; I love fruit and vegetable wine and I really want this to work! My parsnip wine was left to ferment for a little over two weeks. I did sneakily open the fermenting vessel a couple of times to have a little sniff. The liquid was very gently bubbling and there was an audible hiss as the yeast worked its magic. After about two weeks the alcohol content reaches a high enough level to kill off the yeast and fermenting stops. This means it is time to bottle the wine and wait for the flavour to develop.

This second stage is very simple, if a little fiddly. The liquid is poured through a jelly strainer and a muslin so that as much sediment is removed as possible. And from this second vessel (another, smaller bucket) it is funnelled into bottles. Everything was sterilised first, as this is a point in the process where contamination can be a problem.

I have six individual bottles of 500ml each. These are going to be my test bottles. The first will be opened in four to six weeks and then every month after that to determine from when the wine is truly palatable. However, I did have enough left for a cheeky little glass and after only a couple of weeks it actually tasted very nice. It didn’t have a very well developed flavour but was perfectly drinkable. It was also very strong; I do have a hydrometer that I will use to determine the alcoholic content.

My next job is to make a big batch; I’m thinking at least a dozen 1l bottles or possibly more. Initially I will make some more parsnip and then try beetroot. I’m going to do this soon so that I get a head start, I don’t want to wait until I am happy with the flavour before starting to make some more. I can’t wait that long. So far, so good; just hoping that it tastes as good as I desperately want it to!

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