Jim's been doing a little homemade winemaking over the last few months. His first batch, a quickie, ready to drink in two weeks recipe, was less than stellar tasting and strong enough to fuel a small city. Based on the recipe, we weren't surprised. Here's the recipe for anyone who's curious. I realize that it uses honey and therefore is not vegan. I think that's why I'm happy it was so lousy!
His second batch has been brewing (is that term used for wine or only for beer?) since December. This one is vegan and uses grape juice rather than honey as its base. I realize that any serious wine drinkers have just recoiled in horror but what can you do. I'm curious to see how it turns out. Here's the link for the recipe we used.
The latest twinkle in his eye revolves around all the dandelions popping up on our lawn. You guessed it, he's planning on making a batch of Dandelion Wine next. Here is a Dandelion Wine Recipe. We've found a few others in old cookbooks as well but the basic elements of the recipe remain the same. There does seem to be some debate about whether or not it is necessary to remove the green portions of the flower. Some say it lends bitterness to the wine.
BTW, we actually do have a fair amount of basic winemaking equipment that we got from our local ecycle group (it works like freecycle but is not connected with the freecycle organization.) Having the large fermenting pails and the airlocks definitely makes dabbling in wine making a lot easier. Craigslist would be another great place to check for equipment that people are looking to get rid of.