Several years ago my partner T. suggested I try some wine for my stomach. I’ve had stomach ‘issues’ from way back and while the prescription meds do help tremendously, there are occasionally times where I need a little more. Hardly believing it would help I finally gave in and tried her suggestion. I was surprised when it actually worked. Not wanting to get drunk, I was glad it didn’t take much.
Fast forward several years. I have a garden with wayyy too many berries and need a new hobby like I need a hole in the head. Of course I HAVE to attempt wine making. Never wanting to do anything half way I requested wine making supplies for Christmas and my birthday which are just days apart. The first gallon was raspberry from a bag of frozen berries I had gathered last year. A couple of days later I put together two different types of mead (honey wine), blackberry and believe it or not ginger. I now have 5 1 gallon jugs in process. Today I racked the raspberry for the first time. I started it a couple of days after Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t ready yet but I sipped on a few tablespoons and added some sugar and water to top off the jug. I decided to try the ginger again for the stomach. I often drink ginger ale for a bad tummy so I thought why not try to combine the two.
I won’t get into the intricate details on wine making (there are way too many people who know more about this than I do out there. Buy a book if you are interested) but the process is really very easy and doesn’t require a lot of supplies to get started. Basically sugar (fruit juice) and yeast are thrown together with some other goodies. The yeast is allowed to multiply in the presence of oxygen. Once the population gets up to a certain point the mixture is put into a container that is fitted with a contraption that allowes the gasses that form to escape while keeping the oxygen from getting in. When the yeast feeds on the sugar the byproduct is alcohol. Assuming the temperature is in the proper range (room temp) the yeast will keep feeding and producing alcohol until one of two things happen. They run out of food or they die off because they have reached the limit of alcohol concentration they can tolerate. If the former happens the wine tends to be dry if it is the latter they wine tends toward the sweet side.