This page contains winning recipes from club and National shows and useful hints and tips about home-brewing.

Wine Recipes Beer Recipes Food Recipes Hints & Tips

Wine Recipes

Aperitif Table Dry White Table Rose Social Medium Sweet White Social Medium Sweet Red Sweet Mead Sweet White Table After Dinner Liqueurs

First place Annual Show 2002 (Elaine Robinson)

2 lb peaches
1lb 8 oz apricots
4 oz dried apricots
4 oz clear honey
1 ltr white grape juice
1 ltr apple juice
nutrient, pectic enzyme, bentonite, yeast
1lb 8 oz white sugar
8 oz soft brown sugar

Wash, stone and chop fruit. Place in bucket, cover with water, add Campden tablet and leave for 24 hours. Add other ingredients (only 1lb white sugar) and leave to ferment for 5 days. Strain off solids, add brown sugar and ferment to dryness. Add Campden tablet and leave for a few days before racking. Add a further Campden tablet, some wine stabiliser and the last 8 oz sugar to sweeten. Taste to see if further sugar needed (Final gravity should be in range 1015-1020).

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SOCIAL MEDIUM SWEET RED (Loganberry & Bilberry)
First place Annual Show 2002 (Peter Robinson)

2lb loganberries
2 lb bottled bilberries
1lb 4 oz elderberries
8 oz blackberries
2lb 8 oz bananas (boiled for 15 min, use liquid)
8 oz sultanas
370 gm red grape concentrate
nutrient, pectic enzyme, yeast
2lb 8 oz sugar

Wash and chop sultanas, and place in a bucket with fruit. Cover with boiling water and dissolve 8 ox sugar. When cool add concentrate, nutrient, enzyme and yeast. Ferment for 7 days, strain off fruit and continue to ferment adding sugar 4 oz at a time up until a total of 1lb 12 oz has been added. When ferment stops, add Campden, leave, rack and add further Campden and stabiliser. Add further 12 oz sugar to sweeten and taste for sweetness. The final gravity should be in the region of 1025-1030.

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First place National Show 2002 (Elaine Robinson)

4lb Honey
1 orange
1 lemon
1 gallon water
Yeast suitable for high alcohol/dessert wine
Nutrient + B1 tablet if available
Pectic Enzyme

Put honey into the water and bring to the boil. Pour into a bucket and allow to cool. Add juice from lemon and orange and other ingredients. Ferment for about a week and then rack into a demijohn. Allow to ferment to completion. Add Campden tablet, allow to settle for a few days, then rack off and bottle.

Notes: A good supply of nutrients is needed, without the B1 tablet, there is a risk of the fermentation sticking. Mead takes much longer to ferment than a country wine (could be 6-8 weeks), so be patient. The final gravity will be quite high (probably in the range 1030-1040). The Mead improves with age and should be allowed to mature for at least a year.

Our Mead: This was made from a natural honey from one of our club members who keeps bees. It has won a number of prizes, culminating in 1st at the 2002 National Show, when over 4 years old.

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First place National Show 2002 (Peter Robinson)

1 lb. crab apples
2.5 lb. cooking apples
8 oz rose hips
2lb bananas
3lb pears
2 lb. Tinned Peaches
1lb gooseberries
Zest of 1 orange
0.25 oz oak granules (optional)
Yeast suitable for high alcohol/dessert wine
Pectic enzyme
250 gm white grape concentrate
1.5 lb. Sugar (+ sugar to sweeten)

Chop (and core where appropriate) all fruit, and crush rosehips.
Cover with water (not too much) in a bucket and add Campden tablet. Leave for 24 hours.
Add zest, nutrient, yeast, enzyme and oak granules.
Ferment on the pulp for 7-10 days, then strain into gallon demijohn, add concentrate and 8 oz sugar.
Add remaining sugar in 8-oz portions at weekly intervals.
Allow to ferment out, then add Campden, leave to settle and rack.
Add another Campden and Sorbate/Wine stabiliser. Then add sugar to sweeten, finishing at gravity of about 1030, or to suit your taste.

Notes: A good recipe if you have access to plenty of fruit from a garden. The wine does not taste too sweet, because there is plenty of acid to balance the sugar. This wine was about a year old when it won the Table Sweet White Wine Class at the National Show.

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Beer Recipes

Bitter Beer

Annual Show 2002 1st place Bitter and Best Beer of Show (Peter Robinson)
To make 2 gallons
4lb 8 oz pale malt
6 oz crystal malt
4 oz carapils
6 oz flaked maize
3 oz wheat malt
8 oz light spraymalt
1.5 oz Goldings
0.5 oz Challenger

Mash at 65C for 2 hours. Sparge. Add Goldings and boil for 50 mins. Add Irish Moss and Challenger and boil for further 10 min. When cool add yeast. O.G for this beer was 1042. Rack into demijohn after 4 days. Leave for further 2 weeks before bottling.

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Food Recipes

Italian Style Beef in Wine Apple Trifle

Italian Style Beef in Wine
Annual Show 2004 1st place Savoury Dish (Colin Lovett)
45ml (3tbsp) olive oil
750g (1.75lb) braising steak, trimmed and cut into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500ml (17 fl oz) red wine
15ml (1tbsp) tomato puree
5ml (1tsp) sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
200ml (7fl oz) beef stock
20ml (1.5 tbsp) cornflour
100g (4oz) button mushrooms
425g (15oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
12 black olives, stoned
chopped fresh herbs, to garnish
1. Put 15ml of the oil into a non-metallic container and add the steak. Mix together the onion, garlic, wine, tomato puree, sugar, seasoning and thyme and pour over. Stir well, cover and leave overnight in the fridge to marinate.
2. Strain off the marinade and reserve.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat and onion mixture in batches, transferring each batch to a slow cooker.
4. Tip the reserved marinade into the saucepan and add the stock. Bring to the boil and pour over the beef.
5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. About 40 minutes before the end of cooking time, blend the cornflour with a little cold water to make a smooth paste and stir into the slow cooker with the mushrooms, artichokes and olives.
6. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve.

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Apple Trifle
Annual Show 2004 1st place Sweet Dish (Peter Robinson)
900g (2lb) apples (Granny Smith)
1 lemon
110g (4oz) granulated sugar
3 tbsp orange liqueur (high alcohol kit)
175g (6oz) fatless sponge cake or trifle sponge cake
2 tbsp orange marmalade
350g (12oz) thick cream

1. Peel, quarter, core and slice the apples.
2. Finely grate the lemon rind and squeeze the juice.
3. Put the apples in a saucepan with the sugar, lemon rind and juice. Cover and cook gently for 15-20 minutes, until the apples are soft.
4. Place a large sieve over a bowl and drain the apples. Allow to cool.
5. Mix apple juice with the liqueur.
6. Cut sponge cake into slices and lay out half in a glass dish. Spoon over half the liquid, then half of the apple.
7. Repeat with remaining sponge cake, juice and apples spreading the apples smooth.
8. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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Hints & Tips

At a Wine Clinic in June 2004, Peter Robinson set up a pack of useful notes for the members. Click here to read them.

The following hints & tips came from a talk given to the club by Harry Bishop in 1996.
  • Use 1/2 teaspoon of household bleach to a gallon of water for sterilising equipment. Rinse 4 times.
  • Liquidising fruits increases the surface area to maximise flavour extraction.
  • Do not use fruit juices that contain the preservative sodium benzoate. It kills yeast instantly. If you must use it, boiling might help to destroy it.
  • Aerate the must and leave a big air space in a demijohn to allow the yeast to multiply before the start of fermentation.
  • Ferment to dryness, sweeten to taste when bottling; but allow for this by making a slightly higher alcohol content in the first place.
  • Adding sodium metabisulphite when racking after fermentation prevents oxidation of the wine even if the demijohn is not full.
  • Add glycerol (a natural polymer produced by fermentation) to after-dinner wines to give added smoothness.
  • Add campden tablets (or equivalent sulphite solution) at the rate of “1 for red, 2 for white”.
  • Adding glycerol to the water in the airlock helps prevent it from drying out.
  • Mature finished wine in bulk, bottle when required.

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Last updated: 15/08/17
Copyright: 2001 WWBC