Sunday, January 17, 2010

The brewing conclusion

Ok so the last post left you with the stewing stage. Where the grapes would leach out their beautiful flavours. Also I should mention at this stage I went and bought some cranberries at the lovely Hale Mirowskie as well, as I have always wanted to make a liqueur with them.

Over the next 2 months, these soaked and released their lovely flavours. I would assist them by shaking them fiercely on a regular basis, and also sampling them on odd occasions too. The grapes developed wonderfully in flavour. To be honest, they have the taste of an alcoholic Ribena! The cranberries had a fresh and wonderful smell, but their taste was really astringent. After tasting it, you would end up making the face as if you had eaten a lemon. So I was forced to add a touch more brown sugar. Not much, about a half a cup or so. This worked well, so then just before Christmas, it was time to finish them off.

First I needed to drain the liquid away to leave just the fruit.I did both the grape pulp above, and the cranberries below which I hadn't pulped like the way I had with the grapes.
So as we didn't have a press or any fancy muslin bags, we went and bought some sterile gauze from the pharmacy. I then squeezed away, releasing all the trapped liquid, and most importantly, lots and lots of flavour.
The end result is a much drier pulp than went in. And of course a delicious and dark looking liquid.
Finally we poured it all into some bottles we had saved from previous alcoholic "research", and of course, this is environmentally friendly, as we are re-using these bottles which is better than recycling!
The end products are really lovely. The grape is on the left and the cranberry is on the right. From a distance, you would think they are just a red wine and a rose. But they both have beautiful flavours to them, and the natural and brown sugars within have made them slightly syrupy.
Happy days!

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