Monday, 28 December 2015


Vidda Publishing 1st NEW release of 2016 is titled
'Natural WILD WINES' by M. Plummer & J. Hodges.
Everything you need to know to learn the process and the kit needed for making delicious Wild Wine. Also included are 20 fantastic recipes to make the most of the Wild foods right on you doorstep. Making your own wine couldn't be simpler. Below is an extract from the book demonstrating the step by step process of making 1 Gallon of fruit wine.


How to Make One Gallon of Fruit Wine:
This recipe is adapted from a simple guide from my local homebrew shop whose advice has been invaluable.
8-10Kg of fruit
250-300ml of grape juice
750g-1Kg of sugar (caster or granulated)
Campden Tablets
Red wine yeast and yeast nutrient
Finings / Pectinase or pectolase enzyme / Potassium sorbate

Step one

· Wash the fermenting bucket and lid in a solution of hot water and a crushed campden tablet.
· If necessary soak in hot soapy water for an hour or two and then treat with the tablet.
· Put the fruit into the now sterilised fermenting bucket.
· If the fruit is frozen defrost completely BEFORE adding the campden tablet
· If the fruit is fresh you can remove any stones but this is not essential.
· Stir thoroughly and seal the fermenting bucket with the lid.
· If one is present gaffer tape the air hole.
· Soak the fruit for at least 24 hours in two pints of COLD water (or enough to just cover it) and one crushed campden tablet.

Step two

· Add the grape juice and stir thoroughly.
· Place the bucket on a heat mat – the enzyme will need its optimum temperature of 15- 20°C.
· Leave for about an hour or until the water feels tepid.
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the pectinase enzyme – as a rough guide about 2 level teaspoons per kg of fruit is needed.
· Dissolve the sugar in about a pint of HOT water – do NOT use boiling water.
· Pour into the bucket and stir.
· Add FOUR pints of COLD water and stir.
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the yeast nutrient, about one teaspoon will be sufficient.
· Then add a COMPLETE sachet of yeast and stir.
· Take and note the SPECIFIC GRAVITY (SG) with a HYDROMETER. The SG should be about 1075-1090 depending on the amount of sugar
· Cover with lid and store for the PRIMARY fermentation.

Step Three (primary fermentation)

· This should take between 5 and 7 days and will ferment about 75% of the available sugars.
· If needed place the bucket and must on a heat mat and wrap in a towel (or equivalent) this will keep the must at its optimum fermenting temperature (15-25°C).
· Stir every day as this will agitate the yeast and the enzyme.
· After a maximum of seven days the wine is ready for the second stage of fermentation.

Step Four (Second Fermentation)

· This takes about a 3 weeks to a month to complete but can take a several more weeks.
· The objective is to ferment out the majority of the remaining sugars.
· Take a second SG reading with the hydrometer. You should notice a significant drop down to about 1040 in the SG.
· Transfer the must to a thoroughly sterilised demijohn and seal absolutely air tight with an air lock.
· The must should be poured through a sieve and muslin through a funnel into the demi-john.
· Much of the suspended particles you will see are in fact lees which contain the majority of the remaining live yeast cells.
· Discard any fruit pulp.
· Once sealed you should see a steady stream of bubbles passing through the wine, this will gradually taper off until you see about one bubble every 30 seconds.
· The demijohn should be wrapped in a towel and stored out of any direct natural light.
· The towel acts as a shield but also traps heat from the fermentation (an exothermic reaction) helping to maintain the optimum temperature.
· After a few days to a week you may need to put the demijohn on a heat mat.

Optional step

· After about a week you may notice a layer of sediment in the bottom of the demi-john.
· If the fermentation is still bubbling DO NOT interrupt it.
· The sediment can be removed by syphoning and NOT decanting back into the fermenting bucket.
· You will still see plenty of suspended lees in the wine.
· There will be some discrepancy in the volume which you syphon back into the demijohn.
· This can be made up with a mixture of crushed fruit (defrosted or fresh), sugared water and grape juice.
· Removing the sediment reduces the risk of microbial infection and puts less strain on the finings.

Step 6

· After about a month there should be no bubbles coming through the air lock.
· If you are still seeing bubbles leave to continue and if you have a heat mat you can “push” the fermentation along.
· Ideally the wine should ferment until dry (until all the sucrose and most of the fructose has been converted) to ethanol.
· If bubbles are present this has not happened.
· When the wine is fully fermented by checking with the hydrometer it can be syphoned back into the fermenting bucket.
· The hydrometer should show an SG of about 1000.
· Once satisfied add about half a teaspoon of potassium sorbate and an additional crushed campden tablet.
· The sorbate stops the yeast reproducing and stops the fermentation.
· Stir steadily for two minutes and leave for two days in a cool dark place and wrapped in the towel.

Step 7 (Settling ad bottling)

· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the finings.
· Leave for at least three weeks. Then……..
· If necessary sweeten with a little extra grape juice. Do NOT stir it in, pour in a little (about 50-100ml) and leave for another day or two.
· You are now ready to transfer to wine bottles. You will need about 6 750ml bottle per gallon.
· Check for sweetness; if the wine needs more grape juice add about a capful to each bottle.
· Syphon the wine into the bottles and leave to stand for an additional three weeks.
· Check for sweetness if necessary add about HALF a capful of grape juice and leave for another few days.

Step 8 (drinking)

· Assuming there have been no mishaps, believe me you will know by now, pour into glass.
· Say cheers or equivalent and enjoy.
· Repeat the whole process as often as you can, you know it makes sense!

VIDDA Publishing

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pre-Christmas Cinnamon Bomb Smoothie

Only sixteen days to go until Christmas Day so I've started to get in the mood in my own special way. Forget the dodgy christmas music, wrapping the house in enough sparky lights to melt the national grid, oh no, Christmas start in our house with a Cinnamon Bomb Smoothie.

I made this four pinter at 07:30 and it's just turned 14:00 and the four pints are gone. All the nutritionAL baseS are cover with this beast, I'm full of energy so the dog is going to get another loooong walk this afternoon.

The mixture of Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, Cinnamon, Persimmon, Grapes and Ginger make the mix really smooth, sweet and spicy. You wouldn't even know the green leafy veggies were in there, if you drank it with your eyes closed.


Photography Has a New Way

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


John Hodges here from
One of the most common questions I get asked about my smoothie lifestyle is 'what blender do I recommend?'

If been making Green Smoothies everyday since 2009, it's transformed my mental and physical health beyond measure. 
I've gone threw at least six blenders in this time, simply just wearing them out. The blades go dull or the motor burns out.

I always got my monies worth because I was only spending approx £30 at a time on a model from Argos. I know what some of you are think, it's not very environmentally friendly and you'd be correct. The problem is when you have a limited budget, beggars can't be choosers.
The year had only just begun and my latest blender gave up the ghost. It had worked hard for almost a year so I forgave it. The smoothies we're on the rough, fibrous side but they did the job so who was I to complain.
I'd been hearing for a while about the amazing Vitamix blender but it was 100's of dollars and though I was having dreams about owning one I couldn't financially justify it.
I spent a day reading crappy reviews of over 20 different brands and models and the same name kept popping up with excellent reviews. People were saying that the Magimix blenders were as good as the Vitamix but for a faction of the cost.
As a family we decided it was time to make the leap and invest in a Magimix 11619 via Amazon. It arrived the very next day and we mixed our maiden green smoothie.
WOW what a difference.
As everyone who knows me can verify I don't mess about with smoothies. Lots of greens loaded with fibre. I often add wild greens into the mix and these unless really smooth are beyond most people. My Magimix obliterated them in 60 seconds. Smooth, creamy smoothies at last.

We'll never go back to our old, naive ways. This blender should last years. Even if it dies in another 12 months it's still been worth every penny
I can make four and a half pints of green, smooth goodness, enough for the three of us in the family. It's a doddle to clean, no hard to reach places that start to hum and move after a month. The motor has a range between 600rpm - 1500rpm. You could throw your sofa in there and still get a smoothie!
I can't recommend this blender enough and I can't believe we drank so many chunky smoothies, LOL
If anyone is interested in the blender or other juicers, gadgets, supplements and healthy, cruelty free products please go and have a look around our store. Hands up I do get a small affiliate commision from Amazon. But I only stock items that I've either tried or have been highly recommended by a college or a friend.
Maybe Santa will bring something nice on Christmas morning if you leave some links and hints around.
Hope everyone has a magnificent day. 
Regards John Hodges

Giving a Kindle eBook as a gift in UK

Have you ever thought of giving a Amazon Kindle Gift Card for Christmas or a birthday?
It couldn't be simpler.
You either go to KINDLE GIFT CARD
Or in the UK you can purchase gift cards at the following retailers:
  • BP
  • Clinton Cards
  • Co-op
  • Martin McColls (MRG)
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury's
  • Shell
  • Spar
  • Superdrug
  • Wilkinsons

 Click Here