Brewed tea can be used as the base for a mild homemade wine. The variety of the tea will effect the flavor of your wine, so select one that you enjoy drinking on its own. You should also select a high-quality type of raisins -- another key ingredient -- as they too greatly impact the resulting flavor.
Fill a gallon glass jug one-third full with cold water and set it aside. Repeat with each bottle of tea wine you plan to make; one gallon jug will yield 5 standard-sized bottles of wine.
Place a large pot on the stove over high heat and add 6 cups of water, 10 teabags and a pound of raisins for each gallon of wine you're making. Simmer the liquid for between 10 and 40 minutes; longer simmering times make the tea flavor stronger.
Strain the raisins and teabags out of the liquid with a colander and return the liquid to the pot over medium heat.
Add 2 pounds of sugar to the pot for every gallon of wine you're making. Stir the liquid until the sugar dissolves and then pour it into the jug or jugs containing cold water. Each jug should be approximately 3/4 full; if they are not, add enough water to fill them about 2 inches from the top. Add the juice of one lemon to each jug and set them aside.
Fill a glass bowl with an inch of lukewarm water, and then stir in a teaspoon of sugar and 1 gram of wine yeast for each gallon of wine you are making. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the yeast to ferment for 15 minutes.
Add the fermented yeast from the bowl to the gallon jug or jugs when the liquid in them is lukewarm. Divide it evenly for multiple jugs. Use the handle of a kitchen spoon to stir in the yeast until the liquid looks milky.
Fill half of a winemaking airlock with water, attach it to a sterile bung and then place the bung into the neck of the glass jug. Do this for each gallon of wine you are making and then leave them to ferment for three to four weeks in a warm location.
Crush a campden tablet with the back of a spoon, remove the airlock from the jug and add the campden tablet. Stir the tablet in with a kitchen spoon, replace the airlock and then wait 24 hours. Do this for each jug. This stops the yeast from fermenting further.
Remove the airlock and stir the liquid in each jug until it is no longer fizzy like a carbonated beverage. Replace the airlock and wait for another three days or until it the liquid is clear instead of cloudy.
Place a jug of wine on a chair and arrange five wine bottles on the floor below it. Remove the airlock and insert a siphon tube into the neck of the jug. Lightly suck on the siphon tube with your mouth to start the wine flowing and then quickly move the tube into a wine bottle. Fill each bottle this way and then repeat with any remaining jugs.
Seal the wine bottles by using a hand corker to force corks into the necks of the bottles and then wait for at least three months before enjoying.
- Discovering Country Winemaking; Daphne More
- Make Your Own Wine; Jarrod Kilgore
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