18.10.16

Mouldy wine making


A few weeks ago, Jean-next-door came round with a bucket of over-ripe damsons. She is a very waste-not-want-not person. I didn't like to refuse, so they came inside and sat in the bucket for a few days, softening, while I tried to find time to deal with them. They went a bit mouldy. At last I got round to soaking them in boiling water, in a wine bucket, snapped the lid on and left it for some time.


This is not the orthodox way of making wine; it is the old 'country' way. Brian-next-door can remember that people used to do it this way and I have found a few recipes online which follow this method. Anyway, it gave me an excuse not to have to sort them out for a  while. And so the mould grew.



I don't actually think I left it for long enough, as the cap of mould is supposed to be so thick that you can lift it off in one go. However, I tackled it bravely, just to get the job out of the way. Admittedly, it was very pretty. If somewhat brain-like.


It was a long-winded, ramshackle affair, straining off two gallons of soaked damson with the aid of three saucepans, a colander, a jug and a jelly-bag. The damsons had (unsurprisingly) started fermenting on their own. And it all smelled a bit...odd. I strained it all twice and returned it to the cleaned bucket, with added sugar and wine yeast.       


As of now, it continues to have a life of its own. The mould has grown back and it is still fizzing. I dipped my finger in, to test it, with some trepidation and was surprised to find it has a sweet, fruity taste. It will need straining again and decanting into demi-johns. Who knows, it could be the best wine ever - or I may die of botulism. 

8 comments:

Lorna said...

My damson tree is still going but I only eat them when they are fresh. So a lot drop to the ground. This results in them fermeting and the local black bird who spend's his time in the garden is shit faced until the frosts. He seems quite content.

frayed at the edge said...

I was given some damsons yesterday ....... but I think I shall make damson gin with mine!!

Soozcat said...

Hoping hard for the first outcome! You are not to die of botulism any time soon, young lady. :)

Frances said...

Dear Gretel, I am reminded of dialogue from various horror movies. "It's alive! It's alive!"

Your laboratory experiments with the moldy damsons are filled with drama. Have you and Joe yet decided which of you will be the designated sipper? You do know I am joking! xo

Lin said...

ooooh, the danger element has got me intrigued. Never heard or saw this method. I hope there are some "after" shots...

When I was little, my dad made some dandelion wine. yes, I remember picking them in the yard. He put the bottles in the coat closet to ferment, but forgot to leave space for the air...

Mom was none too pleased to find all of our winter coats coated in dandelion wine.

Yes, that was the first and last time he did that.

the woolly dog said...

Yeah see, I'm a big believer in 'every man to his own trade' so I'm quite happy to buy a bottle, especially after making something years ago (can't remember what it was but it was dark coloured like syrup) and after drinking it had a headache for days after. Let's just see if you post again in the near future shall we...

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Steve Berke said...

I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

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