You need …. for 4½ litres (1 gallon)
Crush the sloes in a pre-sterilised white plastic bucket. Pour the water over the contents together with the rest of the ingredients. Stir thoroughly. Cover the bucket with a cloth and leave to ferment in a warm place for 5 days. Stir the contents of the bucket daily. Then strain into a demijohn (4½ litres) or fermenter (22½ litres) through a nylon straining bag. Press as much as possible and discard the pulp. It may be necessary to top up with cooled boiled water to 4½ litres or 22½ litres. Fit a bung and airlock and leave in a warm place to continue to ferment out completely.
Fermentation should be complete in 2-5 weeks. It should then be checked with a hydrometer. The hydrometer will indicate the remaining sugar level and finishing levels are as follows:
|DRY = 0.990 – 0.996
|MEDIUM = 0.996 – 1.009
|SWEET = 1.009 – 1.018
At the end of fermentation add 1 crushed Campden tablet and half teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon. Leave in a warm place for 3 days to kill off the yeast. Then the wine should be left to clear in a cool place (15C) before siphoning from the sediment.
Some wines will not clear on their own and it is often necessary to add finings. Winefine finings are very effective. When clear you can pass the wine through a Vinbrite filter to obtain a professional finish before bottling.
The wine should now be stored in bulk in a cool dark place to mature for at least 6 months. During this time any rough tastes will be smoothed out and the wine will improve in bouquet and flavour.