How do you pick your next wine creation?
My process goes like this…..What do I love that I want to turn into wine(Blackberry), what is in season(plum), What fruit can I get for free(Pear), what do I get the most complements on(Mead), what is so delicious that I can keep up the demand for(Mead,Strawberry,Blackberry), what is the family favorite(Mead), what is an interesting science project?(Tea)
The above picture of my current stash is a representation of this, it may also be how it came to be that I currently have 8 different wines brewing right now! I take very good notes on each wine but with that many going at once and another batch of Mead to soon join it, remembering what gets racked when, can get confusing!
A visual aid is how I stay on track, I LOVE my chalkboard!
I started making Tea wine to blend with some of my fruit wines that needed some tannin and complexity. It also turned out to be great all on its own, so on my first rack of the small 2 gallon batch Strawberry I got a little taste and just new it would be great with that Tea. I topped it up each time I racked it with the Tea wine.
These two recipes are my own and have worked well for me, it may seem like a lot of work to start the tea wine 6 months before you start your Strawberry but if you start your Tea wine in the winter when you have no fresh fruit it works well. If your like me you will find you like Tea wine and just always have a batch brewing and some bottles on hand then if you need it your covered.
A chilled glass of Strawberry tea wine on a hot summer day…..refreshing and delicious!
Let’s get started!
Strawberry Tea Wine – 5 gallon
15 lb Frozen Strawberry’s
10 lb sugar
10 tsp acid blend
2 lb raisins chopped
1/2 lb dates chopped
1 tsp Tannin
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 pkt yeast, lalvin 71B-1122
Place all ingredients except yeast in bucket. Crush fruit with hands and cover with 2 gallons boiling water. Stir with wooden or plastic paddle to dissolve sugar and simultaneously mash the strawberries. When cooled to 85 degrees F., add yeast. Cover and stir daily. Strain on 7th day, transfer to secondary fermentation vessel, top up to 5 gallon, fit fermentation trap, and set aside. Rack after 30 days and again after additional 30 days. At every racking use Tea wine to top back up to 5 gallon. Bottle when clear. Allow to age at least 6 months. Will improve to one year.
Tea wine – 1 Gallon
8 to 10 tea bags (good quality black tea, I have also used half black, half Jasmine)
2 lb sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 lb raisins
1 tsp acid blend
1 pkt yeast, Lalvin 71B-1122 (champagne yeast works well also)
Steep tea in 1/2 gallon of water for 30 minutes, then add sugar’s and raisins and bring back to boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and add acid blend, mix and pitch yeast. Add all to carboy and place bubblier. rack at 90 days, then again at 90 days. after this you can bottle or just use to top off or blend with other wines.