A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This damson wine recipe started from a stand of damson trees near Evercreech, Somerset and some roadside crab apples near Glastonbury, Somerset. A nice seasonal mix.

2 Lbs of Damsons
3 Lbs of mixed Crab Apples
1 gallon water
1 crushed campden tablet
1 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
2-3 Lbs of sugar
1 tsp Citric Acid
2 tsp of yeast nutrients
1/4 tsp Tartaric Acid
Ritchies Port Yeast

I recommend freezing and thawing both fruits, then covering them in boiling water. It makes removing the damson stones and crushing the crab apples much easier.
I'd also try reversing the fruit ratio, so 3 Lbs of damsons and only 2 Lbs of crab apples and if you don't have 5 Lbs of fruit to spare, then use a combination of 3.5 Lbs of damson & crab apples and use a red wine yeast. It's a 3 in 1 wine recipe!


Clearing 18 Lbs of Damsons from the freezer takes a little imagination and one of the things that occur are jams and wines and the other thing that occurs is finding other bags of fruit that you thought were piles of damsons. I only make jam three jars at a time, one to eat, one to give away and one to go mouldy in the cupboard. I have almost 30 gallons/180 bottles of country wines aging in the shed so the best use of fruit in larger quantities is a Port Style Wine. I've done several before, not because of an abundance of fruit but because I was given a can of Youngs Concentrated Juice and it seemed like a good idea to try it out.
The main thing about Port Style Wines is that the sugar is boiled in water and cooled and it's added in three stages. Once on the pulp in the bucket, then in the demijohn, and the final top up. The last is the one that always screws it up because if you add too much the yeast will be killed by the high alcohol content before it can eat the sugar up. I'm not going to get caught this time so I'm going to be vigilant about the SG readings, calculate each drop and not try to push it past 14% alcohol ... My guess is that it's more like 2.5 Lbs rather than the standard 3 Lbs people like to use. This all might be a personal taste thing, but for us, dry is best but there's nothing wrong with the taste of a wine with a final SG of 1.000 if you've made it yourself.

Friday 20th January 2012

2 Lb's of frozen Damsons from Evercreech
1.5 Lbs of frozen Yellow Crab Apples from Glastonbury
1.5 Lbs of frozen Red Crab Apples from Glastonbury

Poured 3 pints of boiling water over the Damsons
Waited until cooled and de-stoned them by hand

Poured 3 pints of boiling water over the Mixed Crab Apples
Crushed Apples and skimmed the pips from the surface

Mixed both buckets together
Added crushed camped tablet

Saturday 22nd January 2012

1 tsp pectic enzyme

Sunday 22nd January 2012

1 Lb of sugar dissolved in 1 pint of water
2 tsp of TronOzymol
1 tsp Citric Acid
1/4 tsp Tartaric Acid
Add activated Ritchies Port Yeast
SG: 1.050


29th January 2012

Ferment for 7 Days and then strain pulp out
SG: 1.002 (Drop of 48)
Added 12 Oz of sugar in 3/4 pints of boiled water then cooled
SG: 1.012 (Increase of 10)


4th February 2012

1st Rack
SG: 1.000 (Drop of 12)
Added 12 Oz sugar in 1/2 pint of boiled water then cooled
Added 1/4 tsp TronOzymol
SG: 1.012 (Increase of 12)


15th February 2012

2nd Rack
SG: 1.001 (Drop of 11)
Added Campden tablet
Added 1/4 tsp TronOzymol & Port Wine Yeast

2 1/2 Lbs of sugar in total
48 + 12 + 11 /7.4 = 9.6%


March 1st

Final SG:


Clearing & Maturing: 1st March 2012

Bottled: 1st May 2012 - 6 x bottles

Drinkable: November 2012 ... better in May 2013