Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Elderflower Wine

Last year I missed the Elderflowers and had to wait until the berries ripened until I could try my hand at winemaking.

This year I vowed to catch the flowers. My Elderberry wine takes about four years before it is matured. Elderflower wine needs only a few weeks!

Back in June, I collected flowers from my in laws Elder tree. You only need about 4-6 heads of flowers to make 4.5 litres (one gallon).
You will also need:

  • a large pan (big enough to hold 4.5 litres)

  • 3 x 2 litre soda bottles


  • 2 lemons (sliced)

  • 750 grams sugar (I used granulated)

  • 2 tablespoons of cider or white wine vinegar

  • 4.5 litres water



Fill the pan with 4.5 litres of water.

Shake the flower heads to remove any bugs then add to the water with the sliced lemons.

Cover and leave for one day.

Elderflower wine - brewing

After 24 hours, add the sugar and vinegar.

Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

Then strain through muslin and a sieve and pour into the clean soda bottles.

Place the caps loosely on the bottles but don't screw them down just yet.

After a few days, you'll see bubbles start to appear. If after a week, no bubbles have formed then add some yeast (I used bread yeast). You only need to a about a quarter of a teaspoon.

Leave for one - two weeks before screwing the lids down. Then leave for 4-6 weeks to mature.

Ooops!

Keep an eye on the pressure in the soda bottles and let some gas out if needed. The picture above is what happened the other day to one of my bottles! We came home from a day out to find the kitchen had been turned into a disaster zone - Elderflower wine all over the kitchen floor, spice rack smashed, fridge magnets broken... I hadn't kept a good eye on the pressure in the bottles and one had exploded. Lesson learned!

When the wine is ready for drinking (and this is down to your taste, the longer you leave it; the dryer it'll be), filter again into a serving jug and enjoy.

Elderflower wine

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