Has it really only been 6 weeks since I started this wine? It has gone through a lot in that time, and is nearing the drinkable, if still rough stage. As promised, the recipe follows-
Rose Hip Wine - Makes 1 Gallon
-1 1/2 lbs rose hips, well washed, cut in half & crushed*
-2 1/4 lbs sugar
-1/2 pkg Montrachet yeast
-1 tsp yeast nutrient
-2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (minus the pulp, if possible)
-1 tsp citric acid
-1 tsp pectic enzyme
Put the crushed hips and sugar into your primary fermenter (I use a food-grade bucket) and cover with 2 quarts of water. Allow to sit for 24 hours.
Mix wine yeast, yeast nutrient and orange juice in a small container with a tight-fitting lid (a jar or plastic glad-ware type container work well.) Shake well to combine. Let stand at room temperature for a few hours until the mixture begins to look bubbly. Add this mixture (your "yeast starter") to the must (the mash that is currently in your primary fermenter.)
Add the remaining ingredients and give it a good stir. Allow it to ferment for a week. At the end of the week, strain out the solids and pour the liquid into your secondary fermenting vessel (I use a glass gallon jug.) Top up the jug with water if necessary to make one full gallon. Top your jug with an airlock to continue to let the wine ferment and bubble away without blowing the bottle to smithereens. Re-rack (siphon wine into a new, sterilized vessel) every 3 months or so until the wine is clear and the vast majority of the yeast sediment has settled out and been discarded.**
After a week in the secondary fermenter, quite a bit of the yeast has died off and the wine is ready to be racked.
Age the wine for as long as you can bear not to drink it. In our house, it doesn't usually have a chance to reach it's first birthday, though we're trying to exercise a little more self-control in that department. ;)
If you have any questions about the recipe or about wine making in general, drop me a line and I'll help if I can. Though I bought all of my equipment locally, for wine making supplies online, you can check out grapestompers. They seem to have a pretty good selection, and their prices are comparable to what I've paid.
*I actually used 1lb, 4oz of rose hips and 4oz of diced Golden Delicious apple to make up for the shortage of hips. ;)
**I totally encourage you to compost your dregs and must solids once you are done with them. The yeast will do wonders for your compost heap.