A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This white currant wine recipe is going to be a rare occurrence for anyone without their own bushes. I just have one of my own at 3-4 years old and a cutting that may have rooted by now :)
The only other recipe anyone knows about for white currants is to make the world's most expensive jam. Expensive because the seeds are removed by hand with a quill so that the fruit appears to be whole in the preserve. It's called: Bar-le-Duc confiture and sells for around £16 per 100 grams.

4 lb White Currants
6 pints of water
1 campden tablet
1 1/2 tsp Pectolase
2-3  Lbs of sugar
1/2 litre of White Aldi Rio D'Oro grape juice or half a pound of Sultanas
1 lemon or 1 tsp Citric Acid
2 tsp TronOzymol yeast nutrient
Yeast Munton's Varietal D (acid reducing)

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.

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One of the reasons I went back to Chosen Hill Farm, Chew Magna, Somerset was because of the conversations I'd had with the owner about winemaking with their fruit. It's certainly something they'd talked about and definitely something they'd do if they knew how to and making wine didn't coincide with their busiest time. There were the Red Currant and Cherry Wine of course, but the main deal was that they had three huge white currant bushes that no one had ever picked, because other than the most expensive jam in the world, no one really has a clue what to do with them. Laura made an offer that I could hardly refuse - I could have the white currants for free if I dropped in a bottle of white currant wine next year. Of course I made a counter offer in their favour to pick as many as I could and deliver them 6 bottles or a demijohn they could bottle themselves. They chose the bottles and I picked over 5 kg in an hour.
There is a funny aside to all this, inasmuch as when I came to pay for the red currants, I discovered I'd lost my wallet. I at first thought that lying on my back under the red currant bushes was the reason and ran back to the bushes I'd been clearing, but found nothing. My phone was in the car so I rang Katriona and asked her to look in various obvious and unusual places until she found it. I had enough petrol to return home, but it was embarrassing to say the least leaving with something like £40 worth of fruit and paying nothing. I have the IOU I made her write out so I didn't forget I owed them £7 for the red currants!

Friday 15th July 2011

Picked 5 Kg of white currants at Chosen Hill Farm and left them overnight in buckets.

Saturday 16th July 2011 4 PM

Destalked 9 1/2 Lbs of white currants and placed in 5 gallon Fermentation Bucket
Added 23 pints of boiling water and left to cool

Saturday 16th July 2011 8 PM

2x crushed Campden tablets
Squished the fruit up when it was cooler.

Sunday 17th July 2011 9 AM

Added 3 tsp Pectolase

Sunday 17th July 2011 9 PM

Added 7.5 Lbs of sugar to reach an SG of 1.080
4 tsp TronOzymol
Yeast Munton's Varietal D (acid reducing)

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27th July 2011

Strained into 3 demijohns
SG: 1.010

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Gallon 3 went like a dream and I topped up with the Butleigh Crab Apple because Gallon 1 needed some work.

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Tuesday August 2nd

SG: 0.992
1st Rack
Topped up with reserved wine from the fridge
Topped up with sugar dissolved in water … approx 2 Oz
SG: 0.998

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Sunday August 28th 2011

2nd Rack
Crushed Campden tablet added
SG: 0.994

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Sunday September 4th 2011

Topped up with 1-2 pints of Butleigh Green Crab Apple

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Monday September 19th 2011

SG: 0.994

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Wednesday 19th October 2011

3rd Rack - Added crushed Campden tablet
SG: 0.993
(1080 - 992 + 6 + 1) = 95 / 7.4 = 12.8%

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Gallon 2 too went well

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Tuesday August 2nd 2011

SG: 0.992
1st Rack
Topped up with reserved wine from the fridge
Topped up with sugar dissolved in water … approx 2 Oz
SG: 0.998

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Sunday August 28th 2011

2nd Rack
Crushed Campden tablet added
Topped up with White currant from Gallon 3
SG: 0.994

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Wednesday 19th October 2011

3rd Rack - Added crushed Campden tablet

SG: 0.993
(1085 - 996 + 4) = 94 / 7.4 = 12.7%

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Gallon 1 was a little hazy .. never having seen white currant (versailles variety) wine anywhere I have no idea if it should be clear or translucent like a light coloured Prehnite so I tried the only way I know of trying to clear a hazy wine.

Tuesday August 2nd

SG: 0.992
1st Rack
Topped up with reserved wine from the fridge
Topped up with sugar dissolved in water … approx 2 Oz
SG: 0.998

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Thursday 25th August 2011

I'm going to try to see if this wine haze is pectin haze so I've added 1 tsp of Pectolase to half a pint of the wine and am stirring the mixture every hour for four hours. Strained thru muslin cloth and added back to the demijohn … now I'll wait till the 29th to see if it's all clear.

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Monday August 29th 2011

2nd Rack though straining bag
Crushed Campden tablet added
To keep this wine a single source I topped up with wine from Gallon 3 - This left me short in Gallon 3 and I topped that up with a nicely coloured Crab Apple wine.
SG: 0.996

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Wednesday 19th October 2011

3rd Rack
Added crushed Campden tablet
SG: 0.991
(1085 - 996 + 4) = 94 / 7.4 = 12.7%

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All three are now aging in their demijohns

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