Called Kalpavriksha in Central India, Mahua flowers carries a promise to fulfill all wishes and desires. Its flowers used widely as a traditional source of distilled liquor. For the tribal heartland of India this tree is considered sacred and grown in huge orchards. However now wine making is also on the rise and also promoted by Government of India.
The sweet taste and presence of phenolics esp. gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, ascorbic acid and tannic acids in mahua (Madhuca indica) wines make them unique flower wines. Its succulent cream-colored corollas fall to the ground in showers during March and April which are collected and dried. These are a rich source of sugars and contain appreciable amounts of vitamins and calcium. However traditional processing of distillation leads to loss of bulk of its aroma, volatile ingredients, physico-chemical and sensory qualities.
Step 1: Collection of fresh flowers (5kgs fresh or 2.5kg dried)
Step 2: wash them, segregate the diseased/damaged flowers by hand
Step 3: Crushing the fresh flowers. (worm screw type crusher or hydraulic wine press) and dilute them with 5 liters of fruit juice (grape, lichi pairs well but you can experiment) In case of dried Mahua, please chop them into pieces and pour them in the must instead of juicing.
Step 4: using Campden to treat wild yeast/mold and pectinase and waiting for 24 hours
Step 5: Adding sugar, yeast, yeast nutrients. Some acid to maintain pH levels is also useful.
Step 5: Stirring the must for 4 days, straining and transferring into secondary with an airlock
Step 6: After a month, use wine stabilizers to stop fermentation and back-sweeten using using (5-10% residual sugar levels to get the right balance of floral aromas).
Step 7: Mahua wines have a strong fruity notes (higher if you have fermented above 25 degrees Celsius) Hence infusing spices can help improve the platibility. Possible spices include Black Cardamom, citrus peels (lime/orange/sweet lime), nutmeg etc.