If you want to buy my products - all are self-made - it is absolutely necessary to read and to understand this introduction. This introduction is supposed to make it easier to understand the differences between goods produced according to custom and tradition and our products. Only if we keep the conditions - which are explained in the following text - required by law you are allowed to buy our products. Please read our explanations sequentially as one paragraph is based on the previous one.
Of course, you can eat fruit and vegetables as a whole or cook them, but apart from that it is also a good idea to get juice out of it. If you heat this juice it will even keep longer. Generally, you don't need any additives for this procedure, but sometimes you need enzymes, which reduce the pectin content so that your final product is juice and not jelly.
Many fruits have a very strong taste so that it is not advisable to drink the juice undiluted, e.g. black and red currant. But you can water down the juice and add sugar in order to make it drinkable. If I add a lot of sugar to the juice and heat it then the result will be syrup which I can mix e.g. with water from the soda machine.
I can also use herbs to produce syrup by bottling them with sugar without heating them. The juice resulting from this method is also syrup. Because of the "cold" processing method the syrup still contains all essential oils so that the taste is more refined and more natural. Unfortunately, this product does nothave a long shelf life and often starts to ferment. If this doesn't bother you, you have a very precious product.
One possibility to guarantee a longer shelf life of fruits and/or vegetables is to cook them with sugar and pectin. This is called jam. You'll bring the fruits and I tell you the details.
If you cook fruits and strain them it's called "Mus".
If you cook fruit juice with sugar and pectin it's called jelly.
You can cook Fruit "Mus" or fruit juice with sugar a very long time so that it becomes really thick. Depending on the kind of fruit this is called: Fruchtspeck, Quittenbrot, Pflaumenršster, Apfelkraut, etc.
Concerning all kinds of production I mentioned above the law allows the application of additives such as antioxidants, antifoaming agents, etc. Many other commercial producers make use of these additives, but we don't!
If you bring us your own fruits or if you give us an advance order in time you can get all above mentioned products made especially for you, also frozen juice, not heated, containing all vitamins, etc.
My best assistant is called Saccharomycoideae; it's a pure-culture yeast. It eats sugar and produces lots of alcohol, carbon dioxide, heat and new yeast cells out of it. They again eat sugar and produc much alcohol, carbon dioxide, heat and new yeast cells, these again eat sugar and produc much alcohol - but I think we had this already.
During this process the yeast cells cling to something (e.g. turbidities). The more carbon dioxide they produce the bigger the carbon dioxide bubbles get and these bubbles rise within the drink. When the carbon dioxide bubbles become too big they will separate from the turbidities and the yeast will sink to the bottom again. Because of this process the wine is turbid. The yeast cells eat the sugar until there is no one left and then they die. This is the end of the process, all turbidities sink to the bottom, they set and the wine becomes clear. The result of this process is a drink, which doesn't contain any sugar anymore and is therefore called "dry". There are only a few exceptions:
1. The yeast hasn't finished its work yet, the drink is more or less sweet, it still ferments and therefore it is not advisable to seal the bottle as the carbon dioxide would make it burst or at least would drive out the cork. Furthermore, the yeast in this drink has a slightly laxative effect. Because of the existing fermentation companions the drink can produce headache, but it is an extremely delicious swill. I am able to produce this drink within a short period.
2. The liquid contains so much sugar, natural or added, that the yeast produces more alcohol than it can stand and therefore kills itself, poor thing! This drink has a high content of alcohol, mostly above 16 % Alc. and has a certain residual sugar. As this process lasts about two years or more the drink is more or less high-priced. Except from honey wine I only carry through this processing method by special order.
3. The carbon dioxide produced by the yeast is filled into a bottle for sparkling wine or a blow case and is therefore prevented from escaping. A drink produced with this method possibly also has a certain residual sugar, but for sure contains a lot of pressure, which kills the yeast. This high pressure is dangerous and therefor the drink is more or less high-priced. For more details please see the paragraph of sparkling wine.
4. The wine is heated, therefore the yeast is killed and as the time for this process can be set as you like a high content of residual sugar can be saved. I don't use this procedure, as I don't want to sell boiled wine.
5. The wine is sulphured, therefore the yeast is killed and as the time for this process can be set as you like a high content of residual sugar can be saved (often the fermentation of the wine is stopped before this process by adding pressure or cold and is then finely filtered, during this procedure the wine loses a lot of his fine taste). I don't use this procedure as sulphur and residual sugar cause headache. I don't want to expect this of my head and your heads least of all.
6. Adding strong alcohol stops the fermentation of the wine, please see paragraph 2. This procedure is quite fair as you won't have headache afterwards, but it is quite expensive. I only use this procedure by special order. I only use a cold pressing and mashing process. I only heat elderberries or similar fruits as some contents of the elderberries cause nausea if they are not heated. Depending on the kind and the degree of ripeness of the fruits I use a biologically produced, pectin-reducing enzyme called Antigel. As the oxalic acid contained in rhubarb could cause kidney stones I use lime to precipitate it. It is of course indicated where I made use of the a.m. methods.
The law allows "a technically necessary dilution of the juices before fermentation". Normally, this allowance is abused in order to change water into wine. These diluted juices have to be stabilised by adding sulphur, sugar and acid (water, sugar and acid I call lemonade) because otherwise it would be enharmonic. Furthermore, the yeast has to be 'killed' by adding sulphur before the end of the fermentation in order to have a bit of residual sugar, which is expected to replace the lack of taste. Sulphur causes headache (please see paragraph 5).
All my fermented wines (including honey wine) are not diluted and deacidified, if not indicated. Sometimes it is necessary to dilute the fruits because of their low content of liquid (e.g. rose hip, rowan, aronia, berberis as well as honey). Therefore some of my wines have a high content of acid within the first months resp. years. This sour taste only changes after a certain process of ripening. By using this processing method I can avoid to add chemicals like sulphur, nutrient salt, etc. If you like a sweeter taste or if the taste is too intense you can add lemonade, water or similar products.
As I also sell unfermented and unripe products and as I don't use preservatives, please consider that variations of the alcohol content are possible during the process of fermentation and ripening. Furthermore, it is not possible for me to find out the exact alcohol content (inexactness up to 5 Vol. % possible) with the measures I have. Because of the low production quantity of the single fruit wines a more exact determination would be noneconomic for me. I ask you for your comprehension in this respect. Generally, I indicate the presumed final alcohol content even if I just prepared the wine on that day.
If you wish a more exact determination of the alcohol content, it is possible to rent a distillation apparatus and accessories at a price of € 10,00 per hour in my premises. But in advance you have to affirm in writing that you produce the distilled alcohol only in order to examine the alcohol content and that you dilute it with water after examination at the rate of 1:1 and pour it into the sink. The washbasin at the lavatory fits perfectly for this purpose.
Furthermore, the flavour and the colour of the wines change after a while. As the wines are not filtered you may find turbidities sedimented at the inside of the bottle after a while. This doesn't have any effect on the taste, but for optical reasons the wine can be decanted before consumption.
The shelf life of the wines depends on the achieved alcohol content, the density of the ingredients, the lighting conditions, the ambient temperature, the air humidity, the storage method and the applied stopper. It will be from months to several decades. Generally, wines with more than 8 Vol.-% Alc. have a shelf life of more than 1 year, wines with more than 13 Vol-% Alc. have a shelf life of more than 5 years.
Honey wine / Mead
It happens very rarely that honey itself has an intoxicating effect and in that special case only because of intoxicating additives or because of selective production of honey from single intoxicating flowers. Honey mostly consists of sugar (up to 80%) so that yeast can change this into alcohol.
Since ages till the late medieval times honey was taken as additive reenforcing intoxication for fermenting beverages. Only after detection of the sugar cane (and the more favourable price) the sugar became more important than the honey. As the people started to extract sugar of sugar beets at a more favourable price than the sugar cane, they didn't take honey as additive for reenforcing intoxication anymore.
Before detection of the sugar the people didn't have much honey because bee professional husbandry only started in the late medieval times. A beverage with no honey added generally had an alcohol content of approx. 2-5 Vol.%. If the sugar content was increased by adding honey the alcohol content rose to approx. 8-12 Vol.-% resulting in a stronger short-term intoxication without any negative side effects. Therefore a beverage to which honey was added before fermentation was called mead = divine potion. The producers of mead knew that only much honey (approx. 1 part) added to a relatively small amount of water (up to 2 parts) resulted in a strong beverage (approx. 16 Vol-% Alc.) with a low content of residual sugar. Furthermore, they knew that a mild and therefore expensive honey and approx. 2 years of ripening were necessary in order to get a beverage of this high quality.
Whenever there wasn't enough honey available the people had to be content with a beverage of lower alcohol content and without residual sugar. In order to become intoxicated anyhow the people took different intoxicating additives such as mandrake, henbane, agarics, wax myrtle, hop, Labrador tea, thorn apple, belladonna and/or wormwood (vermouth). Furthermore, they added meadow sweet for a better taste.
With the increase of the trade cheating became more and more trendy. The trader knew that the buyer wanted a sweet honey wine as he expected a strong intoxication from that. Therefore they produced a thin beverage with one part honey (a cheap honey which still had a strong taste after dilution), three to six parts water and/or apple juice. They added sulphur (for stabilisation purposes) and nutrient salt. Just before the end of the fermentation process they again added sulphur (at abt. 9 to 13 Vol.-% Alc.), treated it with clarifying and filtration agents and sold it after two months as mead. When the customer noticed in the evening that the mead didn't have the expected intoxicating effect the trader was gone already.
Therefore the law regulated the minimum requirements for honey wine (ultimately in 1930). At least one part by weight of honey, at most two parts by weight of pure water, addition of caramelised honey, hop and spices. The general instructions - partly with maximum tolerances - allow the addition of yeast, ammonium salt (as chloride, carbonate, phosphate or sulphate), sulphur, ascorbic acid, sorbic acid, carbonic acid, air bladder, gelatine, agar-agar, tannic acid, egg white, silica sol, mechanical filtration agents (asbestos, cellulose), wood or bone charcoal, copper potassium cyanide, calcium or magnesium compounds of inosit-hexa phosphoric acid.
I don't heat my honey wines above 40° C and I indicate all ingredients, spices and auxiliary agents. You won't find anything in my honey wines, which is not indicated on the label.
For your guidance: In order to produce 1 kg of honey the bees have to fly 150,000 times, they have to pollinate 20,000,00 blossoms and they need a perimeter of 50,000 square meters.
Sometimes I add herbs, spices, etc. to my wines if it corresponds to my taste, to the taste of a customer or to an old recipe. I don't do this for a special effect. Mostly I use a large quantity of spices because I like it that way, but you can dilute it so that it fits your taste. Please excuse any side effects, which may happen.
Contrary to conventional production processes of champagne - first a normal wine is produced, then sugar is added and the wine is filled into bottles for fermentation - I effect the fermentation of my sparkling wines in bottles or blow cases right from the start. Consequently my sparkling wines have less alcohol, but more carbonic acid and pressure.
My sparkling wines produced by bottle fermentation are shaken (but not stirred) and parted from the yeast manually. For this purpose the bottles are cooled down to approx. 0¡ C, then the bottle neck is frozen up to -80¡ C, dipped into hot water for a short time and then the bottle is opened. Now the excessive pressure drives out the frozen turbidity, the bottle has to be plugged at once after this process.
Therefore the bottles are not always equally filled, it is not possible to fill them up, they would brim immediately and the bottle would be empty. Furthermore, the bottles filled with sparkling wines should be handled with care because they still are under high pressure even after separation from the yeast. Attention - EXPLOSION RISK! You should consider this, especially when opening the bottles.
Furthermore, the sparkling wines should be cooled 24 hours before consumption as the strong taste of yeast - caused by the bottle fermentation and the variation in temperature - will be reduced consequently.
As a result of the fermentation process the natural pressure in the blow cases is sufficient for a total emptying without adding carbonic dioxide. Because of the fixed discharge cock no extra dispensing equipment is necessary.
A characteristic of the blow cases is the possibility to add carbonic acid before fermentation in order to increase the pressure. This reduces the scope of the yeast for the fermentation process and results in a lower alcohol content of approx. 1,5 to 6-Vol.% Alc. Therefore, the beverage contains many vitamins, sparkles and refreshes perfectly.
If a wine - accidentally or intentionally - is connected with vinegar bacteria you get vinegar. The quality of this vinegar corresponds to the quality of the original wine. From time to time you can also find vinegar in my stocks, if required I can also produce vinegar especially for you. As I don't define the acid content of the vinegar it can happen that the vinegar doesn't contain enough acid in order to comply with legal requirements. In this case, I kindly ask you for your understanding.
"Grandma's" liqueur or self-made liqueur is allowed to taste as delicious as mine, but no one else. I take fruit, alcohol and sugar - in this order - and that's all. If required by the customer I add more sugar or I refine the liqueur with whipping cream - for an extra charge. I produce liqueurs also on demand and it will be more favourable for you if you bring your own fruits. Normally, the conventional products contain artificial flavours, activated carbon, chemically treated kinds of sugar etc.; the liqueurs are filtered and "sugar-coated" anyway.
Almost same procedure as with the normal liqueurs. I take herbs and alcohol, let this mixture steep for a while, strain it, mix it with water and sometimes sugar and that's it. In this case you can also talk to me about your special wishes and I will try to realise them.
Basic substances and concentrates
There are laws, prescriptions and regulations. They were enacted for the security of each citizen. If we want to realise unusual things these laws, prescriptions and regulations - even if they generally make sense - represent an obstacle, which can hardly be surmounted. This also refers to some special products: They don't correspond to one or several regulations, they exceed the fixed maximum tolerance or they are not effective enough etc.
But there is a solution: I am allowed to produce basic substances and concentrates, which have to be diluted before consumption because of the herbal content (not the alcohol content). You won't find any dangerous ingredients in "normal" beverages because the law already outlawed them. That's why it is very important that I talk to you about some possibly dangerous ingredients in detail. As some of my explanations may be not considered when you pass these basic substances on to another person I only sell my basic substances and concentrates for your personal requirements. So please dilute them before consumption and don't pass them on!
Furthermore, the content of active ingredients varies every year even if you pluck the herbs at the same place. As I produce my basic substances and concentrates only for reasons of taste, history and culture and not for therapeutical reasons I don't analyse the content of active ingredients. That's why I can only estimate the figures for the necessary degree of dilution and the dilution multiplier is always very high for safety reasons. I kindly ask you to comply with these instructions in order to avoid undesirable side effects.
As it is known to people interested in medieval times and fantasy that I collected some historical information concerning herbs, etc and their use on the occasion of rituals in the past they often asked me if I can make the necessary ritual products. Well, I can. As I already have some experience with this kind of products I call myself "small-time shaman" and I can also explain the use of these products for different rituals. Some of the spices and herbs are so strong that pharmaceutical law forbids their external and internal use. This means that it is strictly forbidden to drink them or to rub your body with them, they are only for ritual acts and in this case I am allowed to make and sell them and you are allowed to buy them. If you are interested in ritual products like liquids, ointment, oils or incense please talk to me as well.
I make all my ritual products only for ritual acts and not for external or internal use!
Please bear in mind that I am cook for dietary foods and no pharmacist. I produce all my beverages only for the wonderful taste and/or for preservation of traditional flavouring methods and not - as you maybe think - for a particular effect except for the effect of the alcohol! However, if you recognise one or other side effect I kindly ask for your understanding. The people in medieval times also enjoyed these effects.
In case you would like to produce beverages yourself I sell the necessary accessories, I offer a course in which I show you how the correct processing method and I back you up in word and deed. If you bring your own fruits I will produce juice, syrup, jelly, jam, wine, sparkling wine, liqueur, herbal liqueur or vinegar of it. If you bring your own containers, especially when they are made of glass, I assume no responsibility for breakage safety and sterility.
If you need demijohns for your party it will cost you € 2,00 to € 5,00 per day depending on kind and size and furthermore a security guarantee of € 75,00 to € 125,00.