Grape Wine

Select good, ripe fruit, exercising care not to take any which is overripe. Unripe fruit is more acid, and does not have the delicate flavors found in the ripe fruit; and overripe fruit contains germs of fermentation which, if they are not all destroyed during the process of wine making, will cause the wine to ferment.

Wash the grapes well, and separate from the stems. Mash them a little with a wooden potato masher, that there may be sufficient juice in which to cook them. Place in a granite stew-pan, and cook until the seeds are freed from the pulp. Pour into a jelly-bag made of two thicknesses of cheese-cloth. A good way to make the bag is to double the cloth and cut it square, like Fig. 1. Place the edge ab upon the edge bc, and it will then look like Fig. 2. Then sew these edges, ab and bc, on the machine with a short stitch, so that none of the fruit will ooze through. The line dc is [228] the opening of the bag. Scald the bag with boiling water; when cool, wring out, and place in an earthen or granite dish, and pour the fruit into the bag. Tie the mouth of the bag with a stout twine, and place over the pan a jelly stand, lifting the bag and fastening it to the top; or, if there is no stand handy, fasten the bag to a straight stick, letting the stick rest upon the backs of two chairs, and allowing the point of the bag to hang over the earthen or granite dish. Do not squeeze the bag, as that will press out some of the pulp. Allow it to drain overnight, or for several hours. In the morning heat the juice which has accumulated in the vessel, until the boiling-point is reached; then sweeten with 1/2 cup of sugar to each quart of juice. Pour the hot juice into well-sterilized cans, and seal the same as fruit. Beer bottles, with rubber, self-sealing corks, are excellent for canning wine. The sugar may be omitted if desired.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 2.

Fig. 2.

Strawberry Wine

Take good, ripe strawberries, and wash well, removing all sand and dirt. Remove hulls, and rewash very carefully, not bruising the berries. Let them drain until dry; then place in a granite or earthen dish, and mash with a wooden potato masher. A glass bottle, if large enough, will serve as a masher. When well mashed, turn into a jelly-bag, made as described under Grape Wine, and hang up the bag, allowing the juice to drain out. Do not squeeze the bag. In the tunnel-shaped bag, the juice will settle in the lower point, and the weight of the fruit above will cause the juice to ooze out. The contents of the bag will be quite dry, after standing for a few hours. Heat the juice to the boiling-point, turn into cans, and seal.

Huckleberry Wine

Take good, ripe berries, those that are large and juicy. Look over, throwing out all green and soft ones. Put in a granite stew-pan, adding a very little water (about I cup for 5 quarts of berries), and set on the stove to cook. Stir them frequently, and just as they start to boil, remove from the stove, pour into the jelly-bag, and let the juice drain out. Heat the juice to the boiling-point and can. It is best not to sweeten the juice when canning, as it can be sweetened when used; and if it is desired for jelly, it is better without sugar.