Probus members get a taste of homemade wine

Ellon Probus Club president David Crosley welcomed 30 members and introduced speaker Walter Gill, who talked about his homemade wine-making skills.

Walter, or Wattie as he is more well-known locally, has worked on the land, maintaining the Meadows, and clearing up the golf course to name but a few tasks, and a long-time hobby has been making homemade wine.

The first part of his talk involved the explanation of the various utensils and equipment needed. This was followed by a basic guide to the processes involved to get a good result.

Scrupulous hygiene to prevent bacterial contamination and maintaining the right temperature is very important, also checking the density using a hydrometer is an essential part of the process.

Wine-making kits can be acquired from various sources and a reasonable, drinkable product can be obtained in around three weeks. However, it is best to aim for a slow fermentation and six weeks-plus is best, especially if fruit is the base.

Wine can be made from a variety of fruits and vegetables, from the many grape varieties to apples, brambles, rhubarb, carrot, and beetroot to name but a few. The amount of sugar added is crucial in acquiring the right alcohol content. A rough guide being one pound of sugar added to a gallon of fermenting wine will give a 5% alcohol content.

A way of boosting the strength is to add a measure of brandy to the wine, but it’s not something that expert wine buffs would ever do.

Wattie brought some homemade samples for members to sample, the general consensus being that it was very good indeed.

Ian Smith gave the vote of thanks.