Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Apothecary Rose Wine


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 05:09 AM

Here are some pictures of the Rose Wine I just bottled up tonight.  I made it about three years ago, but it's been "bulk aging" in gallon jugs until tonight.  Last year, it still tasted like rose perfume.  This year it still has a lovely rose flavor and scent, but it's not harsh and in your face.  So I've bottled it up to keep.  :-)

 

https://imgur.com/a/ZkMtRb3


  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#2 FrozenThunderbolt

FrozenThunderbolt

    Senior Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 151 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:50 AM

Be-autiful. Do you have a recipe?


  • 0
"Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one." You may call me Jed.  

#3 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:39 PM

Be-autiful. Do you have a recipe?

Thanks!

 

I wish I could say yes, I do have a recipe! but I rarely use one these days.  The basic process is:

 

Pick a bunch of fragrant rose petals - I usually pick a couple of gallons for a small batch. Taste the white ends (the part where they are attached to the rose stems) and if they are bitter, pinch them off.   My Apothecary's Roses are not very bitter at all, so I don't bother doing this. 

 

Let the petals sit out on a clean towel for a couple of hours or so to let the spiders and such crawl away.  It's way easier than handpicking them from the pile of petals and you won't be straining dead spiders out of your rose water later.  

 

Put a pot of water on to simmer - how much depends on how many petals you have and what size batch of wine you plan to make.  I generally make small batches, so I start with about a gallon or so.  

 

Dump the rose petals into the simmering water, turn off the fire, and let it steep until cool.  Strain out the petals and check the strength.  If it is not as strong as you'd like, pick another batch of petals and do a second infusion in the same water, after bringing it briefly back up to a low simmer.  Do not boil or continue to simmer the petals, or they will lose their fragrance and flavor and may become bitter.  

 

The water will likely be a dull purple at this point.  Add lemon juice, a tablespoon or so at a time, until the water becomes slightly tart in taste and the color perks up and becomes bright rose.  Add sugar or other sweetener (if you add honey this makes your wine into "rhodomel" which is also nice) until the water is mildly sweet.  Too much sugar inhibits the yeast, and you can always add more later if needed.  

 

Pour the cooled rose water into a suitably sized fermentation jug (reserving any leftover to top the jug back off during aging - I put it into a container in the freezer so it stays in good shape) then pitch in your yeast (I use yeast made for white wines and champagne) and add a fermentation lock.  Let ferment until the bubbles stop, probably a couple of weeks or so, and then rack for the first time into another clean jug.  Taste the new rose wine, and if it's like drinking slightly sweet rose cologne, you're on the right track.  This harshness will fade away during aging.  

 

At this point, you will need to use experience or the experienced taste buds of someone who has made a fair bit of wine, because you have a choice to make.  The choice is whether to add more sugar, probably triggering a second fermentation and ending with more alcohol, or leave it as is to "bulk age" in the jug for a year or two.  Someone who likes a lighter, drier wine might call it good at this point.  Someone who wants to age this a bit and have a little more sweetness in the finished wine might add more sweetener and give it a second fermentation.  

 

Rack the wine at least one more time while it's aging.  If the level of the jug is lower than ideal, thaw and add your reserved rose water to top it off.  Each time, taste a little bit to see if the cologne taste has mellowed out.  If it is still harsh, another six months of aging is probably a good idea.  When the wine is clear and still, taste it one last time, rack it into your bottles and finish aging.  At this point you can drink some if you like, and the rest will continue to mellow and keep for another couple of years or more, depending on how much alcohol you allowed it to develop.  If you let it undergo a second fermentation, you may be able to keep the finished wine for five or six years, with it becoming a bit more mellow and distinctive each year.  

 

I especially like this for Beltane and Summer Solstice, but it's good any time.  I also like it chilled.  It would probably also be a nice addition to a summer punch instead of a white or rose wine from the store.  


Edited by woodwitchofthewest, 23 November 2019 - 06:54 PM.

  • 2

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#4 Sagefire

Sagefire

    Senior Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 25 November 2019 - 03:52 PM

That is awesome.  All of my fermentation projects have ended in dismal failure.


  • 0

#5 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 25 November 2019 - 04:17 PM

That is awesome.  All of my fermentation projects have ended in dismal failure.

 

What kind of failures have you been having?  I'm happy to try to help troubleshoot this with you if you like.  


  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#6 Sagefire

Sagefire

    Senior Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:02 PM

I have been trying to produce a reasonable Rowan wine for years.  It started with a recipe I found online years ago that I have been trying to fine tune.  First I tried to use only the Rowan berries.  They fermented, there was alcohol content, it was even pretty, but it could also remove paint from a battleship.  In a word, nasty.  I took advice from others and used other fruits in the recipe including apples once, plums once, and blackberries most recently.  The process for the rowan takes around 10 months, and I ferment the other fruits separately and add them to the finished product as a blend.  The blackberry mix wasn't bad, but it has a terribly bitter finish.  I have tried double fermenting with no real change.  I have not tried using honey as a sweetener, which I may try this time around.  However, my attempts thus far haven't even produced something a frat boy would drink on a spring break binge.


  • 1

#7 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 26 November 2019 - 01:04 AM

Ok, how long did you age your wines after they finished fermenting?  Some wines just take a fair bit of time to become drinkable, especially if they have an alcohol content on the higher side.  For example, some of my meads take at least 4 years to lose their harshness and be drinkable.  One of my best huckleberry meads was at its peak at 6 years old.  The rose wine here is three years old now and until some time this year, it was like drinking straight up cologne from a bottle.  I suspect it will be at its best next year and for the next one or two years after that.  

 

If you aren't aging your wines before deciding if they are success or failure, that could be the main issue.  I generally keep new wines in a gallon jug (since that's my most common batch size) in a dark part of my kitchen, so I can keep an eye on the water level in the fermentation lock and sneak a bit every few months to test for maturity.  This is called "bulk aging," if you've not run across that practice before.  Once the wine loses the harshness, I adjust the sweetness if needed, give it a little time to make sure fermentation doesn't start back up, and then bottle it for keeping.  

 

Btw, if you ferment blackberries for a long time on the seeds - especially if you have boiled them first - they will leach bitterness into the wine.  Although rowan berries, as I'm sure you know, can also be pretty bitter on their own.  To counteract this you might want to rack the wine off the fruit lees pretty quickly - generally within a few days or at the most, a week or two - basically, right after the first fermentation has "stilled."  The flavor will already be there, and it will keep the deeper acids and bitters from leaching in.  If the flavor isn't strong enough, try using more fruit next time.  


Edited by woodwitchofthewest, 26 November 2019 - 01:12 AM.

  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#8 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 26 November 2019 - 01:08 AM

Btw, I once had an apricot mead that probably matched your rowan wine for its battleship paint stripping ability.  Gawds, that stuff was naaaasss-ty.  I couldn't imagine it would ever be drinkable, but I decided to give it time and see what happened.  FIVE YEARS later, it was just lovely!   Aging really does wonders.  

 

Oh, and maybe think about adding a bit of "oak" to your rowan wine.  I suspect that would be a wonderful combination!  I added just a touch of lightly toasted oak chips to my huckleberry mead just before I bottled it and it took it from really really good, to sublime.  


Edited by woodwitchofthewest, 26 November 2019 - 01:21 AM.

  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#9 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 26 November 2019 - 02:16 AM

Oh, one more thing!  I have found that using a steam juicer (Mehu Liisa is one brand, but there are others) to extract the juices from the seeds or pits, and then using the juice to make the wine yields a very nice product. You lose a little of the scent, but not enough to really worry about, because the steaming is gentle on the fruit. The flavor ends up somewhat concentrated as well.  The resulting juice is effectively pasteurized, so you don't have to use campden tablets on it before you pitch your yeast.  That could be another way to keep the bitterness down when using fruits with bitter seeds.  


  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#10 Sagefire

Sagefire

    Senior Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 29 November 2019 - 08:49 PM

I think maybe I just haven't been letting it age.  I would try again but my Rowan tree didn't bring any berries.  I am truly concerned...


  • 1

#11 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 30 November 2019 - 02:20 AM

I think maybe I just haven't been letting it age.  I would try again but my Rowan tree didn't bring any berries.  I am truly concerned...

I hope it resumes fruiting for you next year!   


  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...


#12 Onyx

Onyx

    Senior Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 611 posts

Posted 01 December 2019 - 06:46 PM

Hubby and I made Dandelion Wine, not very successfully but it did make a good mixer for Vodka!
  • 2

#13 FrozenThunderbolt

FrozenThunderbolt

    Senior Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 151 posts

Posted 02 December 2019 - 07:57 AM

Taking inspiration from you, I've used the last of my roses with the first of my elder-flowers to make rose and elder-flower champagne, instead of pure elder-flower.


  • 1
"Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one." You may call me Jed.  

#14 woodwitchofthewest

woodwitchofthewest

    Advanced Member

  • Seekers
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 02 December 2019 - 10:33 PM

Taking inspiration from you, I've used the last of my roses with the first of my elder-flowers to make rose and elder-flower champagne, instead of pure elder-flower.

 

Ooh, that sounds like it will be wonderful!  


  • 1

If I were more clever, something interesting would appear here...