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Tea and Tisane based wines?

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LSDan

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I’ve currently got about 100g of loose leaf green tea with elderflower, and 125g of an orange and passion fruit tisane (that also contains apple, hibiscus and rosehips), and I want to brew a wine from each separately, but I’m a bit of a novice so I could do with some advice!

Would it be absolutely necessary to use grapes/currants/gjc in both of them, as I would rather maintain more of those flavours than a stereotypical grape wine flavour? Or would they be completely lacking in body?

And if anybody has any experience with making wine from teas, do they have any advice as to the amount of water to use for ~100g of green tea (and sugar for that matter to hopefully leave some residual sweetness), and also for the tisane which is effectively just dried fruit devoid of actually tea leaves?

And finally, I have some turbo yeast, and I know that using turbo yeast for winemaking seems to be blasphemous, but would it be a possible to brew a small (1 gallon?) batch of tea based wine to see what it would taste like in the short term, or would the flavours be completely different from a proper fermentation?

Thanks in advance, I just don’t want to wait months for these batches only for them to be awful!
 

bernardsmith

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Hi LSDan and welcome. How much water to use? I would suggest that you want to make a tea with the same strength that you would enjoy drinking if you were not fermenting. My guess is that 50 g makes about 20 cups and in the US about 16 cups makes 1 US gallon.

How much sugar? About 1 kg of sugar dissolved in liquid to make 1 US gallon will give you a starting gravity of about 1.090 - 1.100 and that produces a wine of about 12-13% ABV which is typically well balanced given the flavors and acids, mouthfeel and tannins of most wines BUT unless you know how to stabilize and backsweeten you need to add more sugar than your yeast can convert to alcohol and if you are using anything but a wine yeast then that is going to need a great deal more yeast.
The best way to deal with that (assuming that the quality of your finished wine is not anything that you are interested in) is to begin with about 1 kg of sugar per gallon and then when the yeast has eaten through all that sugar, keep on adding say, another 200 g of sugar until the yeast quit. How alcoholic your wine will be will depend on the tolerance for alcohol of your yeast. So that's a game of Russian Roulette you will be playing.

Turbo Yeast? For the price of that yeast AND the flavors and aromas it will enhance (none) you might save your money and simply add a pack of baker's yeast. It will highlight the same flavors and aromas for far less cost. Wine yeasts are cultivated to bring out sought after flavors and aromas and mask other less desirable aromas and flavors but turbo yeast is produced for folk distilling spirits from their ales and wines and so is made simply to turn sugar into ethanol so that that ethanol can be distilled, a process that strips all flavor stripped from the mash or wash (and if it doesn't then the distiller is anyway likely to strip off any off flavors with carbon filters and off aromas using copper pipes.

That said, turbo yeast generally is blended with nutrients so you probably will not need to add any to feed the yeast. Sugar is like candy - it provides the yeast with the energy it needs but it does not keep the yeast healthy and does not allow the yeast to repair cell wall material and the like -For that the yeast need organic and non -organic nitrogen, minerals and the equivalent of vitamins. I doubt that the teas you will make will have any of those compounds so if you do decide to select a wine yeast then you might need to buy some yeast nutrient too.

Making wine from tea can make delightful wines. I've made wines from lapsang souchong tea and wines from chai teas and I often make a tea from flowers and make wine thataway. But my suggestion is that you might practice making wines from juiced fruit that you can buy from your supermarket before you make wine from herbs or flowers. Fruit juice has about a half kilo of sugar per gallon of juice so it is more like a hard cider than a wine but the juice is already made for you. Again, if you like the flavor of the liquid before you ferment it then it is likely that you will like the flavor of the liquid after you ferment it - and I say "it is LIKELY"... because after fermentation you do not have the sweetness from the fruit. You have the flavors of the fruit and those flavors have been altered by the process of fermentation.

Good luck
 
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