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Old 10-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
jessihope
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Default Medicinal herb Wine

I am a newb to brewing! I have done a few batches of cider and wine and am pretty familiar.

I am a herbalist and was interested in making some wine batches with medicinal herbs added to them. I was thinking along the lines of skull cap or other calming herbs. Also doing the opposite; just trying to try out different herbs with different propertys.

My question is more or less WHEN I should be adding these herbs? Primary fermentation? I have put fruit into a batch of cider before and it ruined the batch; would herbs have less bacteria being dried? I was also thinking about making tea with the herbs first and topping up during second fermentation.

Any suggestions? I was going to do a primary and then do a few small test carboys with different herbs.

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Personally if I was to do an herbal alcoholic beverage I would make it more like a metheglin (mead) rather than a wine that uses simple sugar, fructose, sucrose or dextrose as the main fermentables. I know I know when you get down to the chemistry of it sugar is sugar, so why does it matter? I like honey for this firstly because honey is anti-microbial and anti-fungel. Properly treated meads are hard to infect and ruin. At least I have never been able to ruin a mead. So with a mead you can do many things to extract medicinal properties and add to your brew.

Honey is hydroscopic so you can take fresh herbs and submerge them in honey and the honey will leach out the liquids over a period of a couple weeks to a month. Then the resulting honey can be fermented with simple water nutrients and yeast. I have made some metheglins by simply adding the herbs to a nylon or muslin bag and just steeped the herbs while the honey water ferments. I have also seen many make a strong tea and add that to primary, secondary or both.

The point is....... Play with it. I don't know if there is any way you can go wrong. Just know that tastes will be more subtle if you add the ingredients in the earlier stages of fermentation and are stronger if added afterwards. I would be prone to add the medicinal herbs up front in one of the above mentioned processes and then adding a lot of mint or favorite tea blend to the secondary to cold steep. That way it has the flavors I want with the benefits of the other herbs still.

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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if the herbs have sugar in them which im assuming they do, its best to add them after fermentation, if you add them prior to fermentation they will just get turned into alcohol, remember alcohol is a poison, it is not beneficial for you so I would add the herbs after so you do benefit from them while you are drinking.

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:05 AM   #4
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I made a PassionFlower Mead that the husband absolutley loved. I may not have been the correct way, but I used an off the internet recipe, before I knew this site existed, (which called for boiling the honey and water, YIKES) and dumped it over about two gallons of flowers, and let it sit for 24 hours before straining, and pitching the yeast. The passionflower did retain it's sedative qualities, although it might have been mistaken for the alcoholic properties. :P I tried to make an Hoja Santa/Lemon Balm&Grass wine, that did not fare so well. It retained none of the flavor, or, I am assuming, the medicinal properties. I was a big bucket of skank. I agree, that any herbals should be made using a mead solution, for flavor and if it is going to be medicinal. Although, contradicting that statement, I do have a HibiscusFlower/Pomagranate/Blueberry wine in the primary, as we speak. One of these days, I will read up on the fermented teas, in this forum, but I still think that mead is a better base for herbs.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:08 AM   #5
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Like this kind of medicinal herb wine?

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MzAnnie
I was a big bucket of skank.
Aw c'mon now, you know that ain't so
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Aw c'mon now, you know that ain't so
I was drinking some banana wine when I wrote that!!!!
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