A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This strawberry and boysenberry wine recipe is not unusual from a seasonal point of view, I had fresh Elsanta strawberries from Sparkford and fresh Boysenberries from Chosen Hill Farm. Even though I wrote this as a strawberry and boysenberry wine recipe the berries here are interchangeable. I mean let’s face it, you’re going to be lucky to find any Boysbenberry canes in the hedgerows. Supermarkets have a frozen fruit area, they usually have names like 'summer fruits' but sometimes they are tropical under-ripe rubbish. Most organic farm shops have boxes of frozen fruit, so if you have the strawberries, replace the boysenberries with some frozen supermarket berries.

As always, be careful adding the sugar. As a rule of thumb for adding sugar: Use a hydrometer and add sugar only a few Oz at a time stirring well so you can take another reading. Aim for a starting point around 1.085. 1.080 is a perfectly adequate point to end up with a 90 point drop to dryness and a guaranteed 12% wine.

1.5 Lbs Strawberries (sliced)
1.5 Lbs of Boysenberries (crushed)
6 pints of water
1 campden tablet
1 tsp pectolase
1/2 litre of Red Aldi Rio D'Oro grape juice or 8 Oz of Raisins
1 lemon or 1 tsp Citric Acid
2Lb 12 Oz White Sugar
1 tsp TronOzymol yeast nutrient
Harvest VR21 Yeast

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We don't have days off from the cattery, it's 24/7/365 but if I start early enough I can get all the cleaning done by 11 AM and head out somewhere for a couple of hours or so before the next kitty delivery or collection. Occasionally we'll cover each other for longer trips, such as when I discovered a PYO farm 30 miles or so north of here; Chosen Hill Farm, Chew Magna who were trialling quite a few of newer varieties or more obscure berries such as Boysenberry, Loganberry and Tayberry.

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TGIF! 1st of July I finished the cleaning, jumped in the car and heaed over to Vale of Camelot PYO at Sparkford and picked 2 Lbs of some of the best Strawberries I've ever tasted. Perfectly conical A+ juicy bright red Elsanta and mouthwateringly chompable.

I was back home by 1 PM and after some dinner and cat duties I'd sterilised the Strawberries, then sliced them, threw over 4 pints of boiling water and left them to cool.

Before bed I added the 1/2 tsp of Pectolase.

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Ahh, the weekend. Saturday was the planned trip to Chew Magna, Katriona will be on guard and I have maybe 2 hours of driving and up to 3 hours picking time to call my own. It's my little luxury to play music loudly for the entire journey. This is the first significant time I've had away from the cattery since the end of April, so I play Zappa all the way ... until I get lost then I put Radio 4 on in case I have to ask someone directions.
Chosen Hill Farm is fantastic, well signposted and worth the trip for anyone in the area. A great day out with great views and an aching back depending on the fruit season. It's a huge area and several rows of everything. There must be an acre of strawberries, the Raspberries are superb, and they have varieties of red currant, blackcurrant and white currant along with lots of veg in other fields and areas.

Saturday 2nd July 2011

Picked 1.5 Lbs of perfectly ripe Boysenberries at Chosen Hill Farm, Chew Magna.

Saturday 2nd July 2011 4 PM

Transferred the boysenberries to the fermenting bucket, squished them with my trusty masher, added 3 pints of boiling water and left to cool. I think I'll forego the Campden tablet, it avoids any bleaching and brings the whole op forward by half a day. :)

An hour later I combined the Strawberry & Boysenberry half gallons together and left overnight for some of the remaining pectolase to work it's magic on the Boysenberries.

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Sunday 3rd July 7 PM

1/2 Lb Raisins
2Lb 12 Oz White Sugar
1/2 tsp Citric Acid
1 tsp yeast nutrient
Harvest VR21 Yeast

SG: Probably 1.085, it was hard to measure with all the fruit around.

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Sunday 10th July 2011

Strained must into demijohn

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Monday 1st August

SG: 1.001

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Tuesday August 9th 2011

1st Rack
SG: 0.999

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Monday 22nd August 2011

SG: 0.998

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Monday 19th September 2011

SG: 0.996

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Wednesday 19th October 2011

2nd Rack
Added crushed Campden tablet
SG: 0.992
(1085 - 992) = 93 / 7.4 = 12.56%

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Now aging in the demijohn

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