Goldenrod wine - I'm going for it!

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BigDaveK

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Yes, goldenrod, the much maligned weed that often gets blamed for hayfever symptoms. It's innocent. In fact, an antidote can be made with goldenrod!

And like many other plants in the yard it has a boatload of benefits - it's good for the bladder, urinary tract, and kidneys and is thought to be good for pain, bacterial infections, fungal infections, diabetes, and rheumatism. Ah, yet another healthy country wine.😄

Not difficult to collect - it's everywhere!

goldenrod 1.jpg

I have the most common variety, solidago canadensis. Some varieties are potent and extremely fragrant and wine recipes only call for a pint of flowers. Not this one, it needs a gallon!

goldenrod 2.jpg

After adding hot water and steeping overnight the aroma was driving me crazy, very familiar, couldn't quite identify it. It reminded me of something Mediterranean or Asian. After adding the sugar it was obvious - it smelled and tasted like the best darn green tea I've ever had.
Slow ferment (for me) only dropping .010 per day.
Transferred to secondary a couple days ago. The color obviously carried through fermentation.
The flavor is actually surprisingly complex. I had a taste of orange initially but after that it's all over the place and hard to describe. I think I made my first "unique" and "unusual" wine only because I can't identify the flavors. I'll just have to wait and see where this goes.

goldenrod 3.jpg
 
Racked to bulk last week!
Still has good color.
And the flavor? Like many other foraged country wines it shocked me - it's a delicious orange flavor, no doubt about! And it's still complex, a berry flavor following the orange. Best description at this point is a "tropical" wine to be enjoyed in the summer.
We'll see where it goes...

goldenrod.jpg
 
Racked to bulk last week!
Still has good color.
And the flavor? Like many other foraged country wines it shocked me - it's a delicious orange flavor, no doubt about! And it's still complex, a berry flavor following the orange. Best description at this point is a "tropical" wine to be enjoyed in the summer.
We'll see where it goes...

View attachment 106785
It may seem a daft question Dave, bur how do you separate the flowers?
 
It may seem a daft question Dave, bur how do you separate the flowers?
Not a daft question! Some flowers are a pain and some are easy. Fortunately the goldenrod is easy but a little time consuming because of the quantity needed. I firmly grasped the stem and pulled between 2 fingers of my other hand, the flowers pop right off.
 
Not a daft question! Some flowers are a pain and some are easy. Fortunately the goldenrod is easy but a little time consuming because of the quantity needed. I firmly grasped the stem and pulled between 2 fingers of my other hand, the flowers pop right off.
Thanks Dave. I'll put that on my list for next year.
 
I assume you add acid to these herbal/flower wines? What does that look like? Acid for pH at the beginning then taste test later on and add more if necessary? Are you shooting for a similar mouth feel as white (grape) wine?
 
I assume you add acid to these herbal/flower wines? What does that look like? Acid for pH at the beginning then taste test later on and add more if necessary? Are you shooting for a similar mouth feel as white (grape) wine?
Acid is added to all my wines unless the ingredient itself is very acidic. Generally I shoot for a pH of 3.50-ish in part for microbial protection. The pH will go up and down during fermentation and aging, measurable but not enough for me to "fix". Some of my berry wines can be around 3.2-ish which I like - I think it "truer" to the fruit.
And for herb and flower wines I find I prefer citric acid over acid blend. It's "crisper".
If I think the wine will be too light and watery, mouthfeel wise, I'll throw 4 oz of raisins into the bucket. Even that small amount helps. If it's not enough I'll make a note for next time and use a bit of glycerin. Keep in mind yeast choice can also affect mouthfeel.
 

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