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That time of year again. Elderflower champers anyone!

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    that time of year again for me, this is a batch of 150 litres of elderflower champagne i made a few days ago. i make on average a 100 litres a year and have been doing so for about seven years and always end up giving loads away to eager family and friends. will end up around 7% mark from the specific gravity and very fizzy and nice indeedy. will bottle next wednesday after fermentation of 14 days, will go into each 500ml bottle with half teaspoon of sugar and will secondary ferment in the bottles. i allow for 8 weeks after bottling to start sampling. will post again when i bottle.

    if mods feel it needs to be moved to the homebrewing section please do.

     

    atb and get brewing!

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    Haha nice work!

    Just been out this morning picking elderflower.

    I'm currently at the boil stage of an all grain elderflower ale. My other half has just made cordial and we're about to start on the wine. Not your sort of quantities just a couple of demijons worth.

    What yeast do you use out of interest?

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    i tried this once and had glass bottles exploding and plastic bottles stretching to there limits. Tasted great with the ones that survived and the shed stunk for ages

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    Haha nice work!

     

    Just been out this morning picking elderflower.

     

    I'm currently at the boil stage of an all grain elderflower ale. My other half has just made cordial and we're about to start on the wine. Not your sort of quantities just a couple of demijons worth.

     

    What yeast do you use out of interest?

    hi mf, that elderflower ale sounds fantastic, at what stage do you add the flowers? i use a half teaspoon of dried bakers yeast per 30 litres as the elderflowers have a natural yeasts on them and the bakers yeast just helps to get things going. have been using the yeast for several years and does not impart any yeasty taste, i prefer to use a lot of elderflower as to get the taste. have experimented over the years with differing quantities and use virtually the same as the river cottage recipe. let me know how that ale turns out!

     

     

    Roadkill i have experienced the glass bomb effect before, very scary, i now exclusively use plastic pet bottles specific for secondary fermentation champagnes and sparkling ales. these bottles do swell but are made to do so. i have had some that have stretched to nearly twice the size. so i advise never to use glass bottles for secondary fermentation.

     

    atb

    7diaw

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    hi mf, that elderflower ale sounds fantastic, at what stage do you add the flowers? i use a half teaspoon of dried bakers yeast per 30 litres as the elderflowers have a natural yeasts on them and the bakers yeast just helps to get things going. have been using the yeast for several years and does not impart any yeasty taste, i prefer to use a lot of elderflower as to get the taste. have experimented over the years with differing quantities and use virtually the same as the river cottage recipe. let me know how that ale turns out!

     

     

    Roadkill i have experienced the glass bomb effect before, very scary, i now exclusively use plastic pet bottles specific for secondary fermentation champagnes and sparkling ales. these bottles do swell but are made to do so. i have had some that have stretched to nearly twice the size. so i advise never to use glass bottles for secondary fermentation.

     

    atb

    7diaw

    I also use the river cottage recipe, i will give it another go next year as got a stockpile of sloe gin going at the minute

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    Excellent, I am out this weekend collecting the necessary to make some. Could you post your recipe?

    hi Zapp

    her is the recipe just follow, you can also follow this link to a set of 9 videos i made which takes you through the complete process from start to finish from ingredients to bottling

     

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVA_rBzAWe5ut63AZ7rHNwcWGS5RQyOVl.

     

    follow these ingredients i give below and instructions, as said you can watch and skip through the videos if you like if you can stand my waffling! any questions fire away and i will do my best to answer. as over the years i have made slight adjustments to the recipe and the ingredients and volumes are what i recommend now and stick to as gives the best quality and strength in my own opinion.

     

    ingredients for 25 litres of brew:

     

    8 lemons

    3 tablespoons tbsp of white wine vinigar

    1/4 teaspoon tsp of dried bakers yeast

    4 kilograms kgs 4 bags ( in the video i am using the extra large 2kg bags so that is the reason only 2 seen) of granulated sugar

    45-50 elderflower heads

     

    dissolve all the sugar in 5 litres hot water, make up to 25 litres with cold water straight from tap, add the peel and juice of the 8 lemons (if they are waxed put in hot water for 30 second and rub) add 3 tbsp white wine vinigar, 1/4 tsp dried yeast and 45-50 elderflower heads and give a good stir. once you have added the sugar and elderflowers it pushes the volume up around 27 litres or so. cover lid and put in a low light room, i put mine in the garage. you dont have to airlock it as long as equipment is sterilised prior. i just like to keep everthing as clean as possible. check 2-3 days later and should be able to hear it fizzling, the elderflowers have natural yeasts on them so using only a small amount of dried yeast helps to get the fermentation started. if you see no bubbles or fizzling after 3 days add another 1/4 tsp yeast but you should not have to. leave for 12 days brewing in total, strain out flowers with seive and leave to settle for 24 hours, add 1/2 teaspoon tsp of sugar to each 500ml plastic bottle and fill leaving a good inch of air space at top of bottle. i personally leave the last 4 litres in the bottom as mostly sediment. leave for at least 8 weeks and then you can start quoffing, i leave mine for 12 weeks, as i make a large amount after about 4-5 months it totally clears with a little sediment in the bottom of each bottle which naturally occours from the secondary fermentation in the bottle which gives it the fizz. when you come to bottling it may look like the fermentation process has totally finished but it has not and will soon liven up.

     

    word of warning use plastic bottles and in no way glass as you will be making glass bombs, check out my video where you see what happens when you decant into glass bottle, scary result. i used to use high strength glass flip top but not even them safe and exclusively use plastic brown PET bottles specifically for use in beverage secondary fermentation. i order mine from the bay, cost about £12 for 20 500ml. the bottles will swell up and this is normal,when opening let gas out on and off very gingerley as if you just undoe quickly you will lose a quarter of it. as said any questions just ask away.

     

    here is anther link to a previous pw post i done on it, as said use the ingredients above.

     

    http://forums.pigeonwatch.co.uk/forums/topic/322973-homemade-elderflower-champers-very-agreeable/?hl=elderflower

     

     

     

     

    atb

    7diaw

    Edited by 7daysinaweek

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    hi mf, that elderflower ale sounds fantastic, at what stage do you add the flowers? i use a half teaspoon of dried bakers yeast per 30 litres as the elderflowers have a natural yeasts on them and the bakers yeast just helps to get things going. have been using the yeast for several years and does not impart any yeasty taste, i prefer to use a lot of elderflower as to get the taste. have experimented over the years with differing quantities and use virtually the same as the river cottage recipe. let me know how that ale turns out!

     

     

    Roadkill i have experienced the glass bomb effect before, very scary, i now exclusively use plastic pet bottles specific for secondary fermentation champagnes and sparkling ales. these bottles do swell but are made to do so. i have had some that have stretched to nearly twice the size. so i advise never to use glass bottles for secondary fermentation.

     

    atb

    7diaw

     

    Awesome, sounds like you've got your recipe and brewing process nailed.

     

    The elderflower ale is one I did last year and to be fair it was the best ale I've ever made (based on feedback). I use a basic recipe of 6KG pale malt, 500G crystal malt, 100G cascade hops.

     

    Brewed biab style which I've mentioned here before (easiest route into all grain), I added a normal sized mixing bowl of elderflower at the end of the boil as I switch heat off along with 80G of the hops, first 20 go in at the start of boil for bitterness.

     

    That way you end up with a really nice floral aroma with the right amount of bitterness for me anyway.

     

    Yeast used was US05 which I made into a starter a few days prior to brewing, that way it kicks off within a couple of hours. It's going like a rocket now.

     

    I'll post some pics of the finished article :good:

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    plenty about paul, don't leave it too long you probably got a couple of weeks of flowering at most left. if you want the flavour a little less, ferment for 10 days, i like mine to have a strong taste so leave it for a little longer. as said i leave mine for a minimum of 12 weeks before i drink. in my opinion needs to be left for around this period for the flavour to settle and find if not left to mature too overpowering in the first 8-10 weeks or so. the longer it is left the dryer it becomes. i have drank mine up to 12 months later and very nice it is.

     

    atb

    7diw

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    25 litres made up today, had a bit of a job finding enough elderflowers but i think i had enough in the end, if this brew turns out ok i think next year i will get more organised and do a bigger batch. have you tried making anything from elder berries, i am assuming they will make wine?

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    well done on getting a batch going. i have made wine from the berries but it was many years ago and had some exploding bottles because i did not let it finish the fermentation process. make sure you use plastic bottles when you bottle it and in no way glass. see my previous posts re exploding glass bottles.

     

    atb

    7diaw

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    just got back from picking. I have enough bushes around my hedges so did not need to go far.

     

    I am going to have my first go at this today, for once my wife is excited about me making booze.

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    Just bought some of the kit needed for this (bubblers and some 30ltr buckets).

     

    we have a lot of elderflower trees around so looking forward to trying this out.

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    I brewed some mild last weekend. When I was sorting out my hops for the last 10 minutes I realise I hadn't enough. So I added about 60gms of fresh elderflower from the garden with a small amount of hops.

     

    I kegged it last night and it tasted great even though it was warm and flat so I'm looking forward to drinking this.

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    I brewed some mild last weekend. When I was sorting out my hops for the last 10 minutes I realise I hadn't enough. So I added about 60gms of fresh elderflower from the garden with a small amount of hops.

     

    I kegged it last night and it tasted great even though it was warm and flat so I'm looking forward to drinking this.

    This sounds delicious!

     

    A bit like a maltier version of Golden Glory... :good:

     

    LS

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    mines been in 12 days tomorrow so i will remove the elderflowers. i have got 20 brown pet bottles, would i be ok sterilizing them tomorrow ready for sunday ?

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    Kept quiet about this incase it went south but I put a batch on last sat and its gassing like a good un and it smells great! Cannot wait for it to be ready to drink, had to walk out the front door and 10 yards to get the elderflowers and they were stuffed with pollen.

    image_zpskgychgb9.jpeg

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    Not sure if mine are working.

     

    Been in the buckets for about 3 days now - I'm seeing on the bubbler airlock that there is gas building up inside the buckets (the side of the airlock that leads into the bucket is pressing the water down lower than gravity should be) but I'm not hearing any hissing or seeing any bubbles.

     

     

    Have I done something wrong?

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    Congrats, hoping I get to that stage!

     

    One of my buckets is bubbling and fizzing away now.

    The other is fizzing a bit, will see if it picks up by tomorrow and if not, will dump some yeast in.

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    Can anyone confirm things are good, I have just taken out all the lemon and elderflowers and left it for half a hour and its bubbling like mad, its due to be bottled tomorrow but it still seems to be going strong, is this normal and just because its been shaken up a bit?

     

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    Can anyone confirm things are good, I have just taken out all the lemon and elderflowers and left it for half a hour and its bubbling like mad, its due to be bottled tomorrow but it still seems to be going strong, is this normal and just because its been shaken up a bit?

     

    hi rovercoupe

     

    how many days have you brewed it for ? if it is around the 12 days mark, will be fine to bottle, as said just make sure you use plastic bottles and not glass as i have said. sorry for any unanswered questions just back from holiday today.

     

    atb 7diaw

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