Apologies for the mix of measures in this, and the wafty directions - i've copied and pasted from my facebook note, and recent foraging in the reduced fruit section of the supermarket reminded me of it
12 Large Oranges
1/2 lb Dates
1/2 lb Raisins
1lb kibbled Maize
4 lbs Sugar *
1 gallon Water
Halve Oranges and squeeze out as much juice as possible, fold the skins and squeeze out oil into the water, add spent orange halves too and leave for 24 hours. Strain through jelly bag & bring juice to boiling point, simmer gently 2 mins. Pour hot juice over sugar and stir until all dissolved. Add raisins, kibbled maize and dates and stir. Allow to cool and add yeast. Cover and let stand for 14 days then strain into fermentation jar.
The above family recipe and method was on a scrap of paper in the front of my mum's 40 year old recipe book and is probably a lot older. Have made it a few times and variations, here's a few things to think about if you want to attempt it.
I use a mix of orange citrus fruits and get about 500ml - 800ml of juice, avoid sevilles as they're very bitter but a couple make it interesting
Cracked corn chicken feed instead of maize works well (rinse it well through sieve) and demerara sugar, but castor or granulated will do. *recipe works just as well with only 3 1/2 lbs of sugar*
chop and rinse dates. I use cheap mixed dried fruit which has peel in it too.
If you use lemons or citrus with a lighter colour/flavour, use dried apricots in place of dates, sultanas in place of raisins and make sure fresh fruit isn't waxed and dried hasn't got added oil.
Desert/High alcohol yeast is best as this recipe has tons of sugar in it and will be very sweet even if it reaches it's max strength of over 18% (using lesser amount of sugar) wait until juice is cool before adding it and a pinch will do.
a couple of other things :
a gallon of water is a lot (4 1/2 litres). If you've only got normal size demi-johns and pans, then suggest start with a litre, add another if juice doesn't cover orange skins. you'll probably need another litre (boiling - from kettle) to dissolve sugar. measure how much liquid you have before you add fruit and make up to 4 litres. The sugar and juice add a lot to the bulk and you'll have more than a gallon.
Stirring daily during the 14 days is a good plan too. has been known to escape out of airlock, so stand demi-john in bowl for a couple of days.
Demi - john needs keeping where it won't be in direct sunlight, get knocked or get too cold.
needs 'racking' at about 3-6 months, clear after a year & ready for bottling. ready to drink a year later, keeps forever if you can hide it well enough.
Makes 6 1/2 bottles of very sweet, very alcoholic orange/brown wine for just over £1 each, if you already have equipment & buying oranges @ cheapest (jan/feb). Airlocks, bungs, yeast etc will double cost, but can be used again.
update: additional info after playing with recipe a bit - this recipe sticks if you use all the sugar in one go, lemon seems to be a bit acidic and is harder to keep going, it needs racking a couple of times as the sediment is thick,
Suggest starting with 3lb's of sugar, at each racking add cooled syrup (half a pound of sugar in a pint of water simmered for 20 minutes) and top up with cooled boiled water if this isn't enough liquid.
I don't use campden tablets - i sterilise with boiling water and use water in the airlock, I've never had any problems and rinse out the airlock if i find any floating drosophila.
Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
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