Robin at Seaton Wetlands and some work being done.
Robin at Seaton Wetlands and some work being done.
For each gallon of wine at least 4 lbs of Blackberries
Sugar Brown or White. up to about 3lbs, start with 2lbs and adjust during fermentation.
Yeast Nutrient 1 teaspoon per gallon
Pectolase 1 teaspoon per gallon
Yeast as per quantity 1 tsp per gallon or use a starter .
Tannin 1 teaspoon per gallon .
Water and Juice of one lemon
Taste the must at all stages.
Freeze fruit as you collect until you have sufficient to make the quantity of wine. Freezing will preserve the freshness release the juices and flavours more easily when defrosting.
I do this for all fresh fruit. Do not be tempted to use old or bruised fruit. ( unless you are making Cider.)
Defrost in the fermentation container. when defrosted mash or crush with a potato masher or use whatever you have, make sure the tool is clean and sterile. Add one Camden tablet per gallon to the must. If making five gallons use only two tablets. Allow time for the Sulphite to dissipate which can be two or three days. You can add yeast at any time but remember to allow the sulphites to disperse.
Melt sugar by boiling in water and, add to crushed fruit.
when cool add pectolase to assist in breaking down fruit.
Add the yeast dry, or a starter you made earlier.
Leave it to ferment for at least two weeks in a covered food quality container, stirring daily to break up the cap. This is important. I stir twice a day.
Taste the must after two weeks, if too sweet leave until sugar is consumed by yeast.
Strain the fruit and juice through sterile cloth into another clean container, press out the remaining fruit until dry as possible with a press or whatever you have available.
Place in demijohns or 5 gallon kegs with airlocks.
Taste again. Add sugar to the must if too dry.
Eventually the must will clear and rack off the wine to clean containers, demijohns or kegs.
Blackberry wine is one of the easiest home wines to make. It clears quickly and easily and does not normally need any clearing agents. It can be drunk early.
The addition of fresh Elderberries will give it a more robust body but will need time to mature.
Add Camden Tablets 1 per gallon to maintain a clean wine free from bacteria when racking.
Measuring the SG is useful as guide to sugar content as I rule I do not bother, preferring to use my taste buds as a guide.
Keep all your equipment clean using a sterilizer such as VWP. do not be tempted to use bleach or any other household detergent. Do not even allow it near your brews.
Bottle it when fermentation has ceased or bubbles no longer rise. Again taste it!
Use a crushed Camden tablet per gallon before bottling.
Sometimes you might get a malolactic fermentation in the bottle. Makes the wine fizzy, I like this.
Attending a re-enactment of the 18th century with the IBWCP is a walk in the past, the incredible array of historically correct costumes bathe one in a cheerful visit to the 1775 in a small town in a province of America in the British Empire.
Here I found myself at the end of the authoritative explanation of American cartography by a man dressed in the uniform resembling that of a British Officer Red Coat but he was indeed a representation of an American Officer. His very uniform commanded a respect and air of authority often denied in the modern armies of today.
He explained to me ( a visiting Englishman) how the maps were so decisive in 1775 to the emerging American troops.
He paused and gathered a vintage glass bottle corked in the fashion of that period containing an amber liquid, with a flourish two small glasses of similar vintage appeared, I took one and he slowly began to pour what I had imagined was a glass of good old Bourbon and he insisted despite my warning to fill the glass to the top, explaining that “wars had been fought over this liquid”. On sipping the drink I realised it was a glass of sweet tea, and very pleasant it was too, and downed two glasses and chuckled , no hangover.
The day was full of surprises, from the bread and food cooked in the manner of the time in a dutch oven, and I would add eaten in the same way! The costumes ranged from the richest clothes to the beggars and colonial fighters, all authentic in every way.
Musket volleys were fired, a large field gun blasted away, even a re-enactment of an execution was completed.
This was as close to the real world, the world our ancestors inhabited as you can get. I could see how our modern world is so divorced from reality of a real life. Our world full of gadgets and the soft life. This world was one of walking everywhere unless you were rich enough to own a horse.
Just collecting water was hard work with heavy wooden buckets.
I would encourage all of you readers to come and visit the real world of our ancestors and “walk in the past” for just a short while, feel the grass beneath your feet, smell the black powder as it fills the air with its blue smoke.
Meet a Native American, see how they built their shelters and made their weapons, the food they gathered.
So put down the 21 century for just a little time and learn first hand how you once lived.
Some time spent in the garden with a macro lens.
Some time spent with a macro lens today.
Oyster Catcher feeding young, taken from Tower Hide
This crab spider was sitting on some cow parsley and provided a good subject at Seaton Wetlands which is more known for its bird watching.
Shellduckling at Seaton Wetlands and coot
This guy was singing his heart out, oblivious to all who stood and listened to him on the path to the Tower Hide.
These images were taken in May 2015.
I experimented with oil on water using a oven dish with water and a sprinkling of oil. I used the Christmas tree lights and placed them below the dish. The dish was on a small plate glass table with a convenient shelf beneath for the lights shoved below there in a bundle.The moulding lines of the oven dish can be seen.
As it was abstract I did not bother with a tripod and used 1600 ISO and AF setting. The lights provided sufficient light.
I was pleased with these results which took no time to do and was fun. This is the best use you can give to your Christmas lights.
White Egrets represent a major success for nature conservation in Somerset. Kevin Anderson will tell us how these birds came to nest here in 2012, how they have been doing since, and the story behind their protection.
In The United Reform Church Hall Somerton, beginning at 7.30 pm but with Tea & Coffee available before this time. Suitable for wheelchair users/limited mobility. Members £2.50 Non Members £3.00
Many charities are either collecting cash for food to feed the five thousand, or help on projects.
Few offer educational self help alternatives. Alternatives that are cheap and effective.
A charity based in Somerset in the sleepy little town of Ilminster is teaching the third world to teach themselves, using media.
Nothing quite hits the spot like a good image. The same is true for those people living in Africa with no access to electricity. So that was until PFP or to give it its full name Purple Field Productions* came into existence.
Now with a good bicycle and strong legs the village can sit down to episodes of how to combat Ebola. Confronting ignorance is difficult but minds can be reached with media.
A meeting is arranged…..be there to help. Take your camera or some money or both.
Here is the invite
Please come along to a talk and presentation we are holding on Wednesday 14th January at 7pm in the Stocklinch Village Hall to hear all about Purple Field Productions six week pedal powered film festival that took place this summer in Malawi.
George Salt, the PFP UK representative, who delivered the festival along with two Malawian charity workers, would like to share his adventures with all of our supporters, volunteers and donors who have helped to make this project possible.
We very much hope you will be able to join us in what promises to be a hugely entertaining and informative evening.
(For directions to Stocklinch Village Hall, Stocklinch, nr. Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9JG please go to the following link www.bing.com/maps using the postcode given.)
I would be very grateful if you could let me know if you will be able to attend.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Very best wishes
Purple Field Productions
Our trip to India 2014 included the reserve at Rajistan Forest Chowki Singhdwar. Tiger Reserve where we were lucky enough to come into contact with a tiger with her three cubs. She tried to drive an Axis deer into her cubs for practice we presumed.
Another batch of signs completed. These are for Ham Wall RSPB as all birders will know. I also make ones that say ” keep your dogs on leads please” as well. (those are my favourite!)
Just need a coat of varnish to finish. Made from Oak with lettering carved deeply and filled with black paint, protected with a layer of exterior varnish. I Use a router hand guided not always as neat as I would like but looks friendlier that the stuff made commercially. More on my Pinterest folder.
The bird hide has had some long needed attention and now has new door handle, tighter fitting flaps to the viewing ports and even a shelf for books and a coat hook!
Its a great place to hangout without the milling throng at more public places like the Chard LNR
You get there with a walk across farmland to the reserve where a number of gravel pits now filled with water is home to visiting water fowl and local birds. See my earlier postings.
Much of the reserve is old quarry workings now filled with water much to the delight of Dragonflys and invertebrate. I am attracted by the insect life here. The waters are not filled with Carp so no anglers and plenty of water weed and insects.
Bird-life is increasing with sightings book complied by a local bird watcher almost daily.
Link here to the Quarry owners page
Cormorant at Seaton Wetlands, cropped heavily! long way away