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Grapefruit Wine

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For many Country Winemakers, winter can be a bit of a dull time with few natural ingredients readily available and all of last Autumn's fruit wines still maturing, but January is a good time to have a go at either Raisin Wine or Grapefruit Wine. Both of these, together with Date Wine to help you use up that box that always turns up in Christmas Hampers, are listed in CJJ Berry's wonderful book, "First Steps in Winemaking".

Cyril's recipe suggests using:

6 large grapefruits
500ml of White Grape Concentrate
1.3kgs of Sugar
4.5ltrs of water

After cleaning the fruit and grating the skins finely, the skins are added to a large bucket with the grapefruit juice, wine concentrate and water with a crushed campden tablet to kill any natural yeast present on the skins, covered and then left for 24 hours. Some yeast and yeast nutrient is then added and the bucket is left in a warm place for 5-6 days to allow the first fermentation of the sugars present in the juice and concentrate to take place. The mixture should be thoroughly stirred twice a day to maintain a good fermentation, before straining through a sieve and adding the rest of the sugar and transferring it to a demijohn to complete the fermentation in the normal manner.

Many of Mr Berry's recipes use very high levels of sugar and produce wines that would, to today's tastes, be highly alcoholic and cloyingly sweet. You may want to tone the sugar a bit if you want this one to produce the "dry" wine he suggests it will produce.

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