Every Spring we look forward to foraging our little wildlife area for nettle tops to make Nettle Beer. There is no doubt, in our opinion at least, that nettle beer is well worth the effort and as good as some ales, however, we're breaking from tradition this year and trying to make Nettle Wine. While Nettle Wine is new to us, we're relying on the knowledge of those who have gone before us and following an old country wine recipe that tells us that this will be a "light and refreshing" tipple
Of course, making wine requires time to make and mature so we have no idea how it will taste but we will make sure to blog our findings at tasting time. If you can't wait for us to let you know if its worth making, the recipe is below so you can join us in finding out if it is worth the effort.
1 kg Nettle Tops
1kg 800g White Sugar
15g Ginger Root
4.5 Litres of Water
Sachet White Wine Yeast
Wash and drain the nettle tops before adding them to a large pan along with the water, sliced ginger and lemon peel (no pith) and simmer for 50 minutes, replacing any water boiled away. Once done, strain and pour the hot liquid into a clean and sterilised brewing bucket, add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add more water to bring it up to 4.5 litres, and leave the liquid to cool down to room temperature. Once cool add the yeast and stir until combined.
Place the lid on the bucket and put in a warm place for four days.
After 4 days syphon the liquid into a demijohn leaving the spent yeast int he bottom of the bucket and fit an airlock to the demijohn. Leave to stand for two months and then move the liquid into another demijohn to encourage clearing, rack off after 3-4 months and leave to mature for a year.