So the idea behind this was to try to make something like a "medicinal" bitters using some of the locally grown herbs I've been learning about. The bitterest herb I've got around here is motherwort. Very bitter. In tincture it has a bit of a cocoa flavor and added to coconut rum it makes a nice cordial. I also originally had in mind wild lettuce but none of that made it in. When I was gathering all the ingredients together, including the small bags of frozen berries, I came across an old packet of shiso leaves in the freezer so that went in too.
It's been fermenting about 4 days now and I've tasted the spoon after each stirring. Really different flavor profiles with each tasting. First stirring/tasting, after I was sure it was fermenting well, was all shiso. Each day as more sugar ferments away it brings out more of the motherwort. Today the cocoa-iness of the motherwort was just edging out the shiso for dominance, and there was some fruitiness in the background. I kinda wanted to drink more, but we wine makers are known for patience, right?
Anyway, here's the full ingredients. Any suggestions as to what to call it?
1/2 cup dried motherwort, packed
~20 green shiso leaves, frozen
2 flowerheads of Queen Anne's lace seeds, dried, crushed
~ 1 cup each, golden raspberries, black cherries, elderberries, all frozen
1/4 cup roasted dandelion root
2 1/4 pounds sugar
1/2 tsp acid blend
The rest of these were really small amounts which I don't expect to taste much of in the finished wine: Queen Anne's lace flowers, Solomon's seal root, spicebush twigs, leaves and berries, sassafras berries, yarrow, and 2 wild hops cones.
Method: 1/2 gallon boiling water poured over everything (in a straining bag) in the primary fermenter, then another quart of boiling water after adding a few of the lesser ingredients that I overlooked the first time. Let that steep 1/2 hour or so and added the rest of the gallon of water to cool it off before adding 1 crushed campden tablet. 12 hours later added 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme (powder). 12 hours later removed 1/2 cup of the liquid to hydrate the yeast, EC-1118, for about 1/2 an hour until foamy. Pitched yeast onto the top of the must without stirring.