- 4 Pounds (2 kg) of knotweed stems (the younger the better), leaves cut off and cut into chunks.
- 3 pounds (1.5kg) sugar
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- Juice of one orange
- Wine yeast (all purpose will do, but champagne yeast would probably work very well).
- Enough water to make up to 1 gallon (4.5L)
- Put the knotweed into a straining bag, and put that into a sterilised bucket. Bring the water, sugar, orange juice and yeast nutrient to the boil and pour onto the knotweed. Let it stand, covered, till cool, and stir in the activated yeast.
Alternatively, boil the knotweed with the sugar, orange juice and nutrient for an hour and strain. Keep the fluid in the covered bucket for around a week, till he fermentation dies down a little, and decant into a demi jon. Treat as for other wines from this point, but if you manage to retain a vibrant pink colour then don’t stabilise when bottling as the sulfite makes the colour vanish.
You can also make tea with Japanese Knotweed by simply simmering the knotweed for 20 mins, adding sugar to taste and serving chilled. The Japanese drink knotweed tea and over there it is known as Itadori tea. It is high in resveratol which is considered to be a ‘super- antioxidant and can help lower cholesterol.
It is illegal to transport Japanese Knotweed so we are assuming that you will be harvesting from your own site. Please be VERY careful what to do with the knotweed trimmings; trim it on site when you pick it, as you don’t want to be dropping ANY knotweed ANYWHERE ELSE. It’s a voracious weed and THE most invasive weed in the Uk; don’t even THINK about composting it.