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Experiment with "exotic" fruit wines.

COUNTRYSIDE: I've been reading this magazine for several years now, and thought I would share something about homemade wines.

In 2003 I found a used wine making kit at a yard sale and have been making wine since. It can be a very rewarding and challenging hobby. It also gives me the opportunity to use up a lot of the fruit growing here on our little farm. We have grapes, pears, plums, apricots, apples and cherries, all of which I've made or at least tried to make wine with.

The cherries and plums made the best wines; the pears were very difficult as they have a lot of sugar in them already. I also manage the produce department at a small grocery store and have opportunity to make wine with fruit that isn't locally available. So, visit your local grocer's produce department and see if they have any fruit they're about to toss out.

Some of the best resources I've found so far are, of course, E.C. Kraus for recipes, corks and chemicals; recycling yards for bottles; and RV parts stores for tubing and spigots. Spigots? Yes, what I've done was drill a hole about 1-1/2 inches above the bottom of my five-gallon bucket and mounted the spigot there. This allows me to pour the wine off the top of the sediment gathered at the bottom and into the bottle. If I still had to siphon it into the bottles I probably would've quit wine making by now.

Space is very important too. I've got an old stone house where the temperature remains fairly constant. I heat a section of it during the winter and open it during the cool summer nights to control the inside temperature, and it is the perfect storage for the wine.

I would like to find cheap solar photovoltaic systems to do this with. I like to experiment with things like that. Any advice would be appreciated here.

Also, I would like to thank my friends for bringing me elderberries and blackberries when they visit from the coast.--R.D. Kramer, Soap Lake, Washington
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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Author:Kramer, R.D.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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