The Wine Pages: Homebrew winemaking
As we all know, a proper dessert wine is made from grapes which have been affected by Botrytis mould - the noble rot. I neither grow grapes, nor have a good river next to my non-existant vineyard to encourage the growth of the right sort of moulds. The principle however, made me think. Noble rot sucks the water out of grapes and makes the juice more concentrated. Where can a get some dried grapes? Sultanans!
I purchased 3 kilos of sultanans. I have a nice kenwood mixer that has a mincing attachment. I used this to mince all 3kgs of sultanas into a paste. I added a litre of grapefruit juice, and made it up to 1 gallon with water. A couple of chopped bananas and a handful of barley was added.
The whole stodge was boiled for 10 minutes and left to cool.
A bit of careful straining and the gravity was found to be around 1140 - about perfect. So I pitched some Sauternes yeast and retired to a safe distance.
The year caugh well, and the stodgy pasty mass started to ferment well. After a week I strained the sludge to make something that at least had the consistancy of wine. This is a long and slow process.
Once the gravity reached about 1040 I racked the wine and added two campden tablets. After a long clearing process and wine was very sweet and extremely full bodied.
I have left it in the demijohn to mature for a year.