I had a go at wine making years ago when we had our small farm. Trouble was that I let the fermenting bubbles get dry and it all went wrong. We even tried marrow rum, and Dave’s Dad drank that and lived but we didn’t fancy it! I’m quite surprised no one makes it here – I’m talking fruit as opposed to grape wine. There are so many fruit bushes in people’s gardens, but they make loads of jams and syrups.
Schnapps distilling is the main occupation here. Usually from the berries of the mountain ash, which I used to think was poisonous or with zirben, a sort of pine cone that drips a thick resin. This is added to a brandy or schnapps base and with sugar is fermented into a lovely syrupy liquor. There are variations on this with all sorts of fruit too. So I’m going to try to make Elderberry. Two trees have self seeded in our garden so I hope that’ll be enough!
Finding the equipment was a non starter – nothing on the net anywhere in Austria. Then my sister in-law said her shop where she works in the UK did all the stuff, so she brought me over all the bungs and bubbles and yeast. The only problem was then the fermenting bottle, and blow me down, Linda had two in her attic, her mother in law used to make it in Steiermark! I went to the local Iron mongers and they had the bung -for schnapps storing/brewing I suppose. I don’t have means to cork the bottles so I’m going to use the beer bottles with the flip over top with a metal spring that seals – a bit like on a Kilner jar.
The fruit is there and green on the bushes, they’ll be ready in a few weeks, just need to beat the birds to them!