Spruce needle wine

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Zukizuki

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A little something I made earlier this year.
I think this is one of not so well known recipes so I put it here

My fermentation jar is 30 liters and I usually make around 25 liters of wine (6,6 gallon)

So what you need is spruce needles and you need to collect them early on summer, you dont collect the dark old needles only the fresh growth tips.
you need to fill a big plastic bag with them, not sure of the weight probably 1-3 kilograms. Once you feel like having **** loads of them you get out your hugest pot and put the needles in with water and heat it up and boil them for some time, if possible you should let them stay in the water over night. Afterwards you just pour the water in to fermentation jar and add sugars honeys and yeasts and so on.
(I did mine with 5 liter kettle so that I boiled needles for less than 15min and threw the water into the fermentation jar, added some needles and water rinse and repeat. The last 5 liter patch I let stay overnight and I noticed huge difference.)

I used 4 kilograms of sugar and 4 kilograms of honey. Honey might be optional.
I used wine yeast from a wine kit.


This wine is very good for medicinal use, against flu and sore throat. It's taste is very close to forest and quite manly, not many women including my mother liked it, and trust me she has a thing for almost any alcohols. I really like the strong forest flavor it has.

I still have around 1 gallon of it I might add picture later.
Tell me what you think about it.
 
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Zukizuki,

I have been making a wine (really a flavored kilkju) from spring spruce tips for many years. My procedure is similar to yours. I collect young spruce tips each spring. I do not have my notes for specific weights with me as I type this, but I use maybe four or five double handfuls of spruce tips for each 20 liters of wine. I add spruce tips to about 10 liters of spring water and heat until it boils. I then allow the mixture to cool overnight. Meanwhile, I add about 4.5 kg of sugar (2-2.5 pounds of sugar per gallon of wine) to another 10 gallons of water and heat to boiling - this 'inverts' the sugar. When it is all cooled, I strain the spruce tips and combine with the sugar water (specific gravity around 1.090). Add more, or less, sugar to your own taste.
I use a combination of wine and champagne yeast and ferment to dryness.

After many years of making this wine and experimenting with the recipe I finally have a wine I am proud of. This year I made 60 liters. Most of it is maturing this winter and I am anxious to see how it tastes next spring.

I don't have all my notes with me now but I can give you more information if you want to discuss this in more detail.

Best wishes,
Dan
 

bigplunkett

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Trow some citus zest at it and you have an indian pale wine. Sounds good tho i might try a few gallons of it.
 
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Citrus zest sounds good. I'll have to try it (if I can remember to do so next spring). I forgot to mention that I add lemon juice to the sugar boil mix, but not enough to give it any flavor.
 
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Zukizuki

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So by boiling the sugar it caramelizes changing aromas and color? Damn, another step to the making.
Thank you for the feedback.
 
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Hi Zukizuki,

Boiling does not caramelize the sugar but it does "invert" it. Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of the two monosaccharides glucose and fructose. Boiling the sugar water mixture helps to split the disaccharide and make it easier for the yeast to ferment it. I prefer non-sweet 'dry' wines and think I get a better tasting wine this way.

To be honest, the main reason I do the boil is to sterilize everything. The spruce tips likely have some contaminants and my water comes from a spring. There are bears, moose, and other critters living upstream from my spring and I like to boil it to be certain that everything is clean. The one time I did not boil the mixture my wine had a bacterial contamination.

Best wishes,
Dan
 

TasunkaWitko

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A little something I made earlier this year.
I think this is one of not so well known recipes so I put it here

My fermentation jar is 30 liters and I usually make around 25 liters of wine (6,6 gallon)

So what you need is spruce needles and you need to collect them early on summer, you dont collect the dark old needles only the fresh growth tips.
you need to fill a big plastic bag with them, not sure of the weight probably 1-3 kilograms. Once you feel like having **** loads of them you get out your hugest pot and put the needles in with water and heat it up and boil them for some time, if possible you should let them stay in the water over night. Afterwards you just pour the water in to fermentation jar and add sugars honeys and yeasts and so on.
(I did mine with 5 liter kettle so that I boiled needles for less than 15min and threw the water into the fermentation jar, added some needles and water rinse and repeat. The last 5 liter patch I let stay overnight and I noticed huge difference.)

I used 4 kilograms of sugar and 4 kilograms of honey. Honey might be optional.
I used wine yeast from a wine kit.


This wine is very good for medicinal use, against flu and sore throat. It's taste is very close to forest and quite manly, not many women including my mother liked it, and trust me she has a thing for almost any alcohols. I really like the strong forest flavor it has.

I still have around 1 gallon of it I might add picture later.
Tell me what you think about it.
Hello -

Any thoughts on scaling this down to 1 gallon?

I assume that if this recipe is equivalent to 6.6 gallons, it would it be a simple matter of dividing everything by 6.6, but wanted to check, first. For weights, I can certainly convert from KG to pounds/ounces easily enough.

Thanks -

Ron
 

Krawu

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One question regarding this recipe: does it have to be the young growth tips of spruce?

I called up my local forestry and they were very sceptical about doing that, given how the spruce population in Germany is in pretty rough shape in recent years due to climate change and pests and it looks like the tree may actually be going extinct here.

Is there an alternative tree, or could I possibly use just the older needles from when they de-branch the lower sections of spruces?

The forester was pretty happy that asked before taking a pair of gardening scissors to his forest and in an accordingly helpful mood, so he suggested Oregon Pine as an alternative since it's an invasive species here and displacing native species despite their best efforts. Would either of those alternatives work, taste-wise?
 
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