Using Sparkolloid Wine Finings

Sparkolloid is a proprietary wine fining made by Scott Laboratories. It is a combination of diatomaceous earth and polysaccharides. It is more suitable for vegans in that it is derived from fossils of algae. It is easy to prepare, you need only boil it in water for five minutes and add it to your wine hot. It has a neutral odour and very little effect on the flavour of the finished product.

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Using Isinglass Wine Finings

Isinglass is a wine fining made from the byproducts of the fishing industry, specifically it is a gelatin made from the swim bladders of sturgeon and other fish. It has a dubious smell in dried form and is difficult to mix. If you allow it to get warm after mixing or you keep it too long after hydration it smells pretty foul. However, if used correctly, it is a very effective fining agent that can render a wine or other liquor crystal clear, and because it settles out completely none of its undesirable properties remain in the wine. Overall, if used properly, it is a very good fining. Even though it settles out of the beverage it is not vegetarian.

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Rice “Whisky”

This recipe is adapted from Marguerite Patten’s 1963 book “500 Recipes for Home-Made Wines and Drinks” though the quantities have been adjusted to be more convenient and correspond to the typical sizes in which the ingredients are packaged. This recipe has the advantage of requiring few special ingredients beyond the basics and makes a delicious beverage like dilute bourbon. Continue reading “Rice “Whisky””

Short Mead

Short Mead is a wonderful and very easy beverage to make. It is easier than beer, and a little simpler than wine. Unlike Great Mead, Short Mead has a lower alcohol volume, and you should keep it below about 11 % ABV as if you go too high fermentation will not be quick and simple as desired.

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Wine from Dried Elderflowers

Elderflower is a traditional wine that was historically popular because it ferments on the wild yeast in the elderflowers, though this recipe uses commercial wine yeast for consistent results. The recipe begins by making a tea with dried elderflowers, though you can also use freshly collected elderflowers without the stalks if you like (You need about 20 heads). The elderflower tea begins to smell very appealing on the second day, so suspend judgement when the tea is fresh. Continue reading “Wine from Dried Elderflowers”

Plum Wine

A favourite in Asia, plum wine is easy and inexpensive to make, though it has a reputation for not always clearing fully, but this recipe gives you a good chance because of the inclusion of Pectolase. This recipe is also sound for peaches, nectarines and other stone fruits, so keep an eye out for seasonal and inexpensive sources of fruit. Continue reading “Plum Wine”

Corned Beef

This recipe uses Sodium Nitrite to turn 1 to 2 kg of beef into corned beef. You can use Sodium Nitrite if you are very careful or you can obtain Instacure #1 / Prague Powder #1 / Pink curing salts. Quantities for both are given. Ensure that your Pink Curing Salts are 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 93.75% Sodium Chloride. Any other concentrations will require recalculation.

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