INGREDIENTS to make about 4 litres (7 pt) :-
1.6 kg (3.5 lb) very ripe plums
4.5 litre (8 pt) boiling water
1.8 kg (4 lb) granulated sugar
7 g (¼ oz) wine or brewer's yeast
Pick off the stalks and leaves, then wash and dry the plums.
Stone the plums, and crush or crack about half the stones with a hammer.
Put the plums and broken stones in a clean bucket with the boiling water.
Stir and mash the plums with a wooden spoon.
Cover securely with a clean cloth, and leave for 10 days.
There will probably be some mould growth on the surface of the liquid.
This should be carefully removed, trying not to break any off into the liquid.
Strain the liquid through muslin into a large saucepan.
Add the sugar while heating gently, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Leave to cool to 21°C (70°F) then strain into a 4.5 litre (8 pt) fermentation jar.
It should be about three-quarters full.
Crumble the yeast and sprinkle it into the liquid, then fit the airlock.
Store at about 17°C (63°F) for several months until the fermentation ceases.
As fermentation slows, the yeast sinks to form a sediment, and the wine clears.
Siphon off the clear wine into another clean fermentation jar and discard the sediment.
Repeat this racking several times at intervals to ensure a clear wine before bottling.
Otherwise, fermentation may continue in the bottles and blow out the corks.
To check fermentation has ceased, move to a warm location and watch for bubbles.
Bottle and label with the date, and store for 6 months in a cool dark place.