23 August 2010

A Crash Course in Wine-Making

1.  Friends are cheap labor, especially if you spend the first hour picking the wrong kind of berry.

2.  Your brother can help too, even if he's lame.
3.  Beware of the sun bleaching your hair as you pick fistful after fistful of the RIGHT berry - elderberry.
4.  Elderberries come with a lot of stem.  Apparently a little stem is okay but you should get rid of most of it.
5.  Sterilize your ALE PAIL with poison (aka sodium metabisulphite - 1 tbs to 1 gal of water).
6.  Put clean berries into a nylon bag in the ALE PAIL.  If you pretend to help, you can get Mom to do all the work.
7.  Mash the berries with anything but your hand.  They will stain.  It is a known talent of elderberries, in fact.
8.  Dissolve 5 lbs of sugar in 4 gal of water.  (5 gal is ideal but with the bag of berries, it won't fit in the ALE PAIL)
9.  POUR it on the berries when it is still hot.
10.  Check back in a couple days for steps 11 through 96.
Does anyone want any leftover berries?  We picked way too many.
 I know I don't post much anymore.  I'm on vacation from my unemployment - a quick stint up in MI visiting family and friends.  This is how I have been spending some of my time.  I am THIS CLOSE to renaming the blog "Necessity is the Mother of..." because we do so many how-tos here at Of Winds and Water.  I like doing things the old-fashioned way, and I like things to be more all-natural.  I'm a big fan of modern conveniences, but things like wine and cheese are fun to get involved in.  I would really like to make my own cheese once my life is more stable. 

Anyway, it is actually my mother that is making the wine, so when I write the second part of this post, it will probably be sans photos.  Wine is far less complicated than it sounds, if you want it to be.


  1. Oh man. I wish I had the supplies to make wine. Because those elderberries would have a home. I'm sort of invested in the project anyway. Emphasis on "sort of."

  2. Yes, staining of the hands occurs! I squished juice/berries through the mesh bag when we made blueberry wine....blue hands for several days! lol