Rose Petal Wine - Petal Amount

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brandonman

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This is a pretty basic question, that I can't find an answer to.

I have a few rose bushes that I have been harvesting flowers from this year. I want to make a rose petal wine. I am freezing the petals to preserve them until I've harvested enough off the plant.

How Much Is Enough for a gallon batch? All the recipes I can find are the nebulous "2 pints, lightly compacted", "about 6 cups", "2 quarts", etc. Which, as you can imagine, is incredibly fungible based on how hard "lightly compacted" is.

For people who have done a rose petal wine, what was the OUNCE or GRAM weight of the rose petals you used per gallon? Thanks!
 

Vinobeau

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I've been doing Rose Petal wine for close to 40 years, but i've never bothered to weigh the petals! I've only made the wine from wild petals and use between 1.7 - 2 qts per gallon. They naturally compress a bit by the time you pick the 2 quarts - seems like you never reach it. I often will have to pick and then freeze the petals and wait for some more to pick. If you make it - add some sprigs of dill with the seed to a few bottles!
 

brandonman

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Thanks for the Dill tip! I had this worry of not getting the right amount through freezing and then thawing before doing the measurement by volume (loss of liquid, etc). Seems that's not a concern. Thanks.

I think part of the reason I wanted to get an actual weight measurement was to *know* when I'm ready to go. I don't want to thaw these out and measure the compressed volume, only to need to freeze them again. Seems like it could do some structural damage doing that over and over.

If it ends up that nobody has measured this before, I'll provide a chronicle of my escapade here, once I feel I've got enough petals!
 

BernardSmith

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I have to say that the volume people cite for making any kind of flower wine drives me up the wall. Volume has no meaning whatsoever when it comes to measuring solids. I know that cook books in the US use cups and spoons as measures but that is the same piece of malarky: a cup of finely ground sugar can be almost twice as much (by weight) as a cup of roughly ground sugar and a cup of flour that is loosely packed is far less than a cup of flour that is scooped from the bag. Give me solid measures by their weight and liquid measurements by their volume and when you give me a liquid volume give me that volume in a universally understood metric such as liters (or ml). What the hell is a cup? Is a cup in Texas the same size as in London?
 

brandonman

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I have to say that the volume people cite for making any kind of flower wine drives me up the wall. Volume has no meaning whatsoever when it comes to measuring solids. I know that cook books in the US use cups and spoons as measures but that is the same piece of malarky: a cup of finely ground sugar can be almost twice as much (by weight) as a cup of roughly ground sugar and a cup of flour that is loosely packed is far less than a cup of flour that is scooped from the bag. Give me solid measures by their weight and liquid measurements by their volume and when you give me a liquid volume give me that volume in a universally understood metric such as liters (or ml). What the hell is a cup? Is a cup in Texas the same size as in London?
I'm generally fine with volume measurements. But, for something as fungible as "lightly compacted flower petals", it becomes incredibly questionable, at best, to me!
 

Tessa999

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I have to say that the volume people cite for making any kind of flower wine drives me up the wall. Volume has no meaning whatsoever when it comes to measuring solids.
Yes! So annoying! I prefer numbers too. I have a rose petal wine recipe that cites 1 liter of softly compacted rose petals equals about 70 grams. It uses 13 liter rose petals (910 grams) for 10 liter wine.
Now that's a recipe :) I've been scouring flower wine recipes trying to find similar clear instructions but had very little luck so far :/
 

brandonman

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So. I'm in secondary. This is a VERY slow fermenter. Coincidentally, my peach wine from the same timeframe (August) is also fermenting very slow. Anyways.

Over the summer and fall, whenever I had a red or pink rose that was in full bloom, I would cut it off, bring it inside, and pluck the petals off, put those petals into ziplock bags, and pop those bags back in the freezer.

I eventually had 100g of rose petals, measured at frozen temperature, subtracting negligible tare weight of zip lock bags, given how light petals are. I made a gallon recipe with approximately 3 pounds of sugar (I don't feel like going to get my notes, but I felt I needed to post here for people. Use your intended ABV and use that much sugar). And, of course, make sure you rinse the petals really, really well. Aphids (or some little green bugs) love them. You froze the petals, but want to wash their frozen bodies off the petals, and, who knows if they come back to life from freezing.

I've finally fermented down to 1.000, which worked out to around 10.8% in my case, and did a tiny taste test. I then added more sugar to work that up to 12%. My thoughts at this stage, after a couple months fermenting:
100g is a *bit* much for a gallon, I believe. However, I wouldn't go too much lower. Next time, I'm going to try 80 or 90 grams. I'll also add, I'm somebody who rarely gets the whole idea of "Flavor is mostly made up of your nose's response". In this case, I actually understand that. I imagine if I plugged my nose, I'd have a very different experience. When I mention this experiment to people, they ask what it tastes like. All I can say is, "Well, it tastes like a rose smells". It's really really interesting, and worth trying.
I think the increase in ABV, though subtle, will help. This didn't feel thick (because it's not), but, there's some sensation of "wew, this just feels thick on the palete and stomach". I'm hoping more alcohol will help cut a bit more.
It's a BEAUTIFUL pinkish-red color. I have pink, red, and white rose bushes. I used only pinks and reds. Another thing I did was, if a petal was looking more than a tiny bit yellow, I discarded it. I got a very vibrant color that way.
This is a slow-burner fermentation. I didn't add much in the way of nutrients. In future batches, I think a very good play would be to add a very generous amount of yeast nutrient, boiled yeast hulls, etc. I think it could be worth playing with acidity, too.
When this first starts, it's going to be an off-putting green color. Don't worry.
So far (we'll see after aging, ABV increases, etc), I don't know that I could drink more than a couple glasses of this without it making my stomach feel a little queezy. It tastes and smells incredible. It's just something that you could imagine messing with your stomach. I'll add more notes on that once I feel the wine is finished, and have indeed imbibed a few glasses.

All in all, I hope this helps the very rare internet-traveler searching for information on rose petal wine. If you have rose bushes, you should try it. It's really interesting, and I'm hoping that in the end, I'll be really happy with it. This just needs more time and care!
 

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