Ingredients

  • 4.5l - Birch Sap
  • 2 - Lemons
  • 2 - Oranges
  • 250ml - White Grape Concentrate
  • 1.2kg - Brewing Sugar
  • 1 sachet - Brewing Yeast (we recommend Harvest CL23) 
  • 1 tsp - Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 tsp - Campden Powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp - Potassium Sorbate (optional)
  • Kwik Clear Finings (optional)

 

Method

Stage One

Bore a hole 3-4cm into the tree, to just inside the bark, and insert a length of pipe. Make sure the tree is 12 inches or more in diameter. This is to ensure the tree is well established and won’t be damaged by the sap collection. Angle the inserted pipe so that it is slanting downwards. Once the pipe is in position, place a bucket or demi-john beneath it. If it's hard to position a buck/demi-john correctly you can extend the tube with a length of plastic tube or similar. It may take 2-3 days to collect 4.5 litres of sap. Plug the hole after sap extraction to avoid more sap leaking out and to protect the tree from infection. For more information on sap extraction see our blog post Taking the Sap.

Stage Two

Juice and zest (avoiding white pith) your oranges and lemons. Boil juice, zest and sap for 20 minutes.

Stir in the sugar and grape concentrate until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a bucket and allow your 'must' to cool to 21°C. At this stage, take a hydrometer reading. It should be somewhere around 1.080. Add yeast and yeast nutrient. Cover loosely with a lid or towel and leave in a room which will stay at a suitable temperature (for best results ferment close to 21°C) for 5 days.  If you don't have a suitable room consider buying a heat belt - a constant temperature will help immeasurably.

Stage Three

Strain the 'must' into a sterilized demi-john. Top up with water to the neck of the demi-john if necessary  and fit an airlock and bung. As in the previous stage, leave in a warm place, 21°C, until fermentation has finished (usually 10-14 days). The hydrometer should now read about 1.00 for a dry wine, 1.010 for a medium and 1.012 for a sweet. Add camden powder and potassium sorbate to stabilise, particularly if you’re aiming for a medium or sweet wine, this will stop any residual sugar in the wine from fermenting therefore stop it from 'drying out'.

Stage Four

Rack the wine off into a clean demijohn, leaving behind as much of the lees as possible, and leave in a cool place to clear (approximately 12°C to 14°C). If the wine is not clear after four weeks add Kwik Clear finings. Carry out one more racking off process into a clean demi-john before bottling the wine. This can help avoid getting sediment from the clearing process in the bottles. 

Stage Five

Once the wine is clear rack it into 6 x 750ml wine bottles and seal with corks and shrink caps. Leave to mature for roughly 6 months and enjoy drinking in the Autumn.