Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blackcurrant Wine - Step 4, Month 3

Step 4: ..... Let it stand until fermentation ceases & the wine clears, usually in about three months, then siphon off into fresh, sterilised bottles

And duly, three months later, here we are. Mind you, because the wine is so richly purple, frankly, I have no idea if it has cleared or not – even with a strong light behind the demijohn, it just looks well, purple.

But racking the wine off the little layer of sediment will be a good idea (don’t want the wine sitting in its own yuk for too long in case the yuk taints the taste of the wine), so after sterilising the tube & a bucket it’s time to take off the airlock & see what’s what.

With the bucket on the floor (on newspaper – we don’t want blackcurrant wine spilling on the carpet at all!) & the demijohn on a table, the one end of the tube is put in the wine half way, & the other end gets a good suck to pull some wine up the tube.

Stick your finger over the end then lower the tube into the bucket – take off finger & watch the wine transfer from the demijohn up the tube & down into the bucket.

A clip on the tube is handy here so you can secure the tube to the bucket whilst you keep a beady eye on the wine in the demijohn. Keep the tube end under the falling wine level, but away from the sides/bottom, & when it gets to within about an inch of the bottom, pull the tube up & out of what’s left.

Now you have a bucketful of wine which CJJ says can be siphon off into fresh, sterilised bottles. Good practise says that he’s a little previous – before bottling, wine should be stabilised to stop the possibility of any further fermentation at all – the last thing you want is fermentation happening in the bottles – they’ll explode!

So the final step before bottling is to pour the wine from the bucket back into the rinsed-out the demijohn (not forgetting to take a sample to measure the SG & have a quick taster) & to add a crushed Camden tablet, & a teaspoon of potassium sorbate in order to stabilise the wine.

This is where the reserved portion of wine comes in - the level in the demijohn will be lower than it was, as we’ve left some wine/sediment behind when we siphoned, so carefully top the demijohn up back to its previous level.

Leave it alone for a couple of weeks – any final sediment will settle out, then it’s time to bottle & mature.


  1. Ah, the noble blackcurrant. You can't go wrong with it. We inherited 4 bushes on our allotment which is just as well. The one we had in the garden ended up in the chickens' free ranging area and they managed to kill it! (After scoffing all the berries first).

    If it doesn't throw another sediment I would assume it's clear even though it's not see-through.

  2. Those chickens do destruction on a grand scale when they put their minds to it - and did you say that 3 more are on the way this weekend?? Vinegar spray at the ready & watch the feathers fly!

  3. I love these posts. When I finally get organised enough to have a go myself I shall be ~SO~ glued to these for reference!

  4. When I get some spare time (ha ha ha!) I shall tag the wine posts so that they are easier to find, Bilbo - I've been meaning to do so for a while.


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