Lemon Grass Wine - I'm going for it!

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

BigDaveK

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
2,883
Reaction score
5,621
Location
Hocking Hills, OH
Every year I grow lemon grass from seed and never really use it enough - until now.
Transferred this morning.
Most of the flavor is in the stalk but some is in the grass so I made grass bundles to use during the "tea" phase. And I went with 1 lb of stalk for a 1 gallon batch.
Of course ginger goes really well with lemon grass and it can be tricky. It can be "hot" (which I like) or mild and I didn't want it to be a prominent flavor. I used 2 oz and hoped for the best.
I was happy to see it picked up some nice color from the stalks.
The flavor? Absolutely delicious! I would describe it as an "exotic" lemon flavor. And the ginger is noticeable but subtle.
I'm toying with the idea of back sweetening with palm sugar when the time comes.
Definitely going on the "Make Again" list.

BTW, I read that packing a jar with the stalks and water will keep them alive till next year. They'll be crowded and won't grow until planted. We'll see, I'm going to test it.


lemon grass 1.jpg lemon grass 2.jpg

lemon grass 3.jpg lemon grass 4.jpg
 
Last edited:
I cannot wait to hear the results of the bench tests, comparing 75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 of Lemon Balm/Lemongrass wine! :)
Hmm...interesting thought.
My lemon balm (still in bulk) has good flavor but is a bit too "herbal" for my taste. Blending might be the answer. The lemongrass, great on it's own, might be the answer. We'll see...
 
Thanks for sharing your photos and processes..!! I just grew Lemon Grass this year. Good to know!!
 
Racked yesterday.
Certainly has more clearing to do but it's only 2 months old.
Fragrant, almost floral, aroma.
Still has an "exotic" taste and the lemon grass flavor has held up very well - there's no doubt it's lemon grass.
The ginger is still noticeable but subtle. I used 60 gr of ginger and next time I'll increase it a bit.
The 1 lb of lemon grass/gallon was a lucky choice. I may increase the quantity in the future but I definitely wouldn't decrease.

I oversized the original batch and after racking and topping up I had about 400 ml left over. Bench test!! I back sweetened a little using plain sugar and the lemon grass flavor really popped! The sweetening confirmed it - this is certainly on the Make Again list. Eventually I think this will be a delightful wine.

I would consider combining the lemon grass with another flavor, no doubt about it. It's good as the star of the show but I think it would get lost with a strong flavor ingredient.

There was a minor unfortunate aspect to racking this wine - I was planning on racking and tasting another wine but I drank too much of the leftover. Well, all of it actually. This is really good.

lemon grass.jpg
 
@BigDaveK Would you mind sharing your recipe/procedure? What do my mean by the "tea phase." How did you use the leaves vs. the stalks?

Did you also make lemon balm wine? If so, how do the two compare?
 
For some wines a tea is made first and then the leaves or roots are discarded, like mint or sassafras.
The lemon grass stalks are tough so they were thinly sliced and simmered. The leaves were balled up and added to the simmering pot but then removed. The leaves didn't go into primary. By simmering the ingredients there's no need to add kmeta at this phase because the heat will kill everything. And remember, simmer not boil.
After that it's like any other wine. I added sugar to around 1.085 and adjusted acid to about pH 3.5.

Yes, I did a lemon balm. Still in bulk and I haven't tasted it for a while. I remember it going through dramatic changes over time. It started very medicinal (which I didn't like) and then became herbal (better, but still not a fan) and last tasting was delicious, crisp, and lemony.

The two wines share some lemon flavor, yes, but beyond that they're totally different wines. Each has additional complex flavors that aren't shared by the other. Skeeter Pee is a good but simple lemon wine with uncomplicated flavor. Some day I'll have to do an actual lemon wine to see how it stands up.
 
@
For some wines a tea is made first and then the leaves or roots are discarded, like mint or sassafras.
The lemon grass stalks are tough so they were thinly sliced and simmered. The leaves were balled up and added to the simmering pot but then removed. The leaves didn't go into primary. By simmering the ingredients there's no need to add kmeta at this phase because the heat will kill everything. And remember, simmer not boil.
After that it's like any other wine. I added sugar to around 1.085 and adjusted acid to about pH 3.5.

Yes, I did a lemon balm. Still in bulk and I haven't tasted it for a while. I remember it going through dramatic changes over time. It started very medicinal (which I didn't like) and then became herbal (better, but still not a fan) and last tasting was delicious, crisp, and lemony.

The two wines share some lemon flavor, yes, but beyond that they're totally different wines. Each has additional complex flavors that aren't shared by the other. Skeeter Pee is a good but simple lemon wine with uncomplicated flavor. Some day I'll have to do an actual lemon wine to see how it stands up.
@BigDaveK I’m curious to know what type of yeast you used. I’m planning on making this in the future.
 
@

@BigDaveK I’m curious to know what type of yeast you used. I’m planning on making this in the future.
I used 71B.
It's a safe choice for most fruit and flower wines and I really like the result so far. However, this year I made two 1-gallon batches of a flower wine, one with 71B and the other 1118. Both have turned out well but I preferred the 1118. It was an eye opening experiment high lighting the affects of different yeast strains and I hope to do more in the future.
 
Back
Top