Making elderflower champagne
After scanning the local countryside for the leafy green weed of a tree I was surprised not to find a single one nearby and so, on a recent trip to visit my parents, picked a good many flower heads from the trees growing along their river. It was a rainy afternoon and I got rather saturated in the process, I hope the end result is worth it.
Preparing the ingredients
Now that we have the flowers (only available in October - December) we can combine with the other ingredients. As I have 12 x 745ml old brown beer bottles I am making 9 liters.
- 7 liters of cold water
- Juice and rind of 4 lemons
- 2kg white sugar dissolved in 2 liters of hot water
- A pile of elder flowers
- A tiny sprinkle of regular bread yeast
Combine together is a sterile plastic vessel with airtight lid.
Keep the brewing vessel in a warmish location out of the way. Check the brew from time to time and release any built up pressure. After a few days it is ready to strain and bottle.
Use a fine cloth or sieve to remove flowers, any stalks, leaves and lemon rinds. Pour though a funnel into bottles and cap. Store the bottles in a cool place so the fermentation slows / stops. If the fermentation continues it will make the end product taste yeasty and will make it so fizzy that opening the bottles becomes messy and potentially dangerous. I have had a glass bottle explode under its own internal pressure. WATCH OUT!
- Create of old beer bottles
- Red funnel :)
- Brewing barrel
- Finished bottle of brew
- Spare caps
- Capping leaver
I opened my first bottle after 6 days of fermentation to see how it was going and it sure was fizzy. I lost about a third of the bottle out the top as foam.