View Full Version : Yippee, more things on the to-brew list not getting done...

Chevette Girl
07-04-2012, 10:09 PM
I was invited to pick gooseberries and red currants at a friend's place because his mom (who usually makes the jams and jellies) injured her hand and can't do it this year... so I've got a bunch of gooseberries just waiting for me to do something with them (as soon as I get over the mild sunstroke from spending three hours out there picking)...

Common consensus is that they're high in acid and pectin, don't need tannin and for wine you'd want 3 lb per gallon, I think I'd drop it to 2 lb per gallon if I made a mead with it... I think I'm going to use a couple pounds of the gooseberries for jam, but the rest of it's going to be wine or mead (haven't decided, depends on how much honey I have left after I make my twin 3-gal traditionals that I am GOING to get off the list dammit).

The red currants may end up experimental, I want to find out if not scalding them has any effect on the colour retention. That one at least IS on the list, even if the gooseberries are bumping their way to the head of the line. I probably have enough for a three-gallon batch just what I've picked this year, and I think there might be a bag or two in the freezer that I missed last time.

That said, anyone else have experience with gooseberries, jam, mead or wine? I now know that picking them is an exercise in bloodletting... I look like I had an argument with a cat... but I've never made anything with them before. If I have a few handfuls extra after jamming and fermenting, I may try them with custard... there's a name for that but I've forgotten it already.

07-04-2012, 10:17 PM
Got some gooseberries at the farmers market last weekend. That's really my only experience with them. Tasty! Mine weren't all that sour, and I got a red variety that was actually kind of on the way toward blueberry but also a little grape-like. The green ones were good too, but what I assume is more gooseberry-flavored.

I think it would be interesting to pair them with grapes.

Chevette Girl
07-04-2012, 10:53 PM
One of Jack Keller's gooseberry wine recipes uses white grape juice concentrate, so looks like the preceden't already been set for that :)

About every 20th gooseberry was dark red, about half of them had a pink blush, the rest were green but still sweet.

07-05-2012, 05:56 AM
We eat quite a lot of gooseberries over here when they're in season, especially in crumble form. We usually add a bit of elderflower to the mixture (probably because they're both in season around the same time), so you may want to consider pairing them up.

Oh, and make sure you top-and tail them a little bit, as the ends often have no flavour but impart a real bitterness.

Chevette Girl
07-23-2012, 12:25 PM
I munched on a few while I was processing them, the flower tail ends didn't seem bitter so for the wine batch I only took the stem ends off (or else I'd still be at the table with my knife!)... for the jam batch I topped and tailed them though. I got enough for probably two gallons of wine and a batch of jam, so I think what I'm going to do is for the wine, I'll do one with sugar and one with honey and see how it affects the flavours.

It takes a long time to process over ten pounds of gooseberries! I'm glad I left them in the fridge for a week though, while looking for jam recipes I read that doing so can make them redden, and it worked pretty well. I picked out a lot more of the red ones for the jam batch, I figure the colour won't come across so well in the wine anyway.