Wattle Drops is a golden, foudre-aged Australian Wild Ale fermented wholly by wild yeast and bacteria residing on freshly picked Wattle blossoms from 'Carawatha' in Gerringong, NSW.
Back when I was working on starting Wildflower, I foraged yeast off many native flowers that I found here in New South Wales, but none of the resulting ferments were as consistent and flavoursome as the beer I made with golden wattle blossoms. You can read a bit more about these early processes here or here if you like. In case you weren't aware, we are called 'Wildflower' because of this origin story... our house culture that we use to ferment all our beers was built using dozens of captures of yeast and bacteria off of native flowers foraged here in NSW. It is this culture that gives our beer its distinctive, unique characteristics and the reason we work so closely with old-world techniques such as blending and barrel-ageing of beer. I could go on about this for a very long time, but if it interests or is new to you, I'd suggest you look through our older blog posts to get some info on what all this means.
So in the middle of last year, when the Wattle was blooming everywhere and the countryside turns a bright yellow in the shoulders of winter... I wanted to reattempt these early captures and once again make a beer wholly using the wild yeast off blossoms. In fact, there was a specific tree on my in-laws old farm which had been very generous to me in those early captures, always producing excellent results. The new owners of that property were generous enough to let me harvest from that tree once again last year in order to continue making this beer.
Wattle Drops was made by taking freshly cut wattle blossoms from that tree and dropping them into a sanitised 300 litre variable capacity stainless fermenter.
After an initial ~2 week fermentation on ~40 litres of our Gold wort (10°P, 28 IBU, 5.25-5.25 pH) we fed the culture again with an equal volume of the same wort and let it ferment to dryness over 3 weeks. We then last week removed the flowers from the ferment, halved the volume back down to 40 litres and topped the ferment up with approx 220-230 litres of wort. In less than a week it has fermented down to 1.3°P (1.005 SG) and 4.17 pH. It has aromas of bee pollen, melon and clove with a balanced, fruity palate. This 280 litre balance was the inoculant for a full size batch of Wattle Drops which rested in foudre for six months before bottling in January 2021. At bottling the beer was 1.3P and 5.6% ABV.
Expect a nose full of melon and nectarine with funk, delicate citrus and warm pepper background. Sweet stonefruit and ripe orange citrus flavours. Compact but intense. Nectarine skin and fuzz finish with pithy and mildly acidic finish, instantly refreshing.
We will have 300 bottles available online and 180 at cellar door. We will also be offering a handful of cases to our lovely stockists across Australia you can find here.
Like all our beers, Wattle Drops 2020 is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).
We really love the bright, primary characteristics we coaxed out of this capture and hope you enjoy the unique flavours of NSW it contains.