"Would appreciate a receipt for locust bloom wine. Prichard, Virginia
The locust are trees of two separate genera. The Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is the species I am most familiar with. It grows to a height of up to 100 feet when mature, but seedlings are most often considered weeds and the tree is invasive outside its native habitat. Individual flowers are up to 3/4 inch in diameter, and grow on a drooping raceme cluster, 4 to 8 inches in length, containing many fragrant flowers. The flowers are white and yellow in color. The trees bearing the latter are often called Yellow Locust, but in fact are Black Locust. The fruit of the black locust are legume pods that are twisted, 12 to 18 inches in length and 1/2 to 3/4 inches in width. The Clammy Locust (Robinia viscosa) is a red flowered cousin of the Appalachians.
The Honey Locust (Honeylocust) (Gleditsia triacanthos), also called sweet-locust or thorny-locust, is a moderately fast growing tree found scattered in the East-Central United States from central Pennsylvania westward to South Dakota and south to southeastern Texas to Alabama. The tree lives 125 years and has a beautiful, extremely hard wood. Those I am familiar with have white flowers smaller than those of the Black Locust. Related to the Honey Locust is the more southernly Texas Locust (Gleditsia texana), with smaller beans. In southern swamps grows the Water Locust (Waterlocust) (Gleditsia aquatica), which has rather small few-seeded pods. It is believed by some that the intermediate Texas Locust originated as a natural hybrid of the Water Locust and Honey Locust.
I have not made locust blossom wine in many years and had to do some digging to find my recipe. To be honest, I don't recall how this wine tasted. I do see in my log that I used 1 1/2 pounds of flowers, which is a lot. I have only made this with black locust blossoms, and only the way I describe below. There may be other ways, but I have not tried them. I no longer live in locust territory, so don't have the flowers to experiment with. The flowers make a white wine.
Wash flowers, remove stems and pour while stirring into 1 quart boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let soak for 10-14 hours. Meanwhile, take frozen grape concentrate out of freezer and allow to thaw (overnight). Strain the flower liquid into primary and discard flowers. Add remaining ingredients (except yeast) and stir until dissolved. Add additional water (luke-warm, but not over 98 degrees F.) to bring to one gallon. Add yeast, cover primary and set in warm place. When vigorous fermentation slows (7-10 days), check specific gravity. If at or under 1.010, transfer to secondary and fix airlock. If wine does not clear in 30 days, put one teaspoon pectic enzyme in clean secondary and rack wine into it. Reattach airlock and wait additional 30 days. Rack, add one crushed and dissolved Campden tablet and 1/2 tsp dissolved potassium sorbate. Wait 10 days, sweeten to taste and set aside additional 30 days. Rack into bottles and age 3 months. [Author's own recipe.]
My thanks to "Prichard" for requesting this recipe.