Elderflower wine

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Tom Good
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Elderflower wine

Post: # 2814Post sunpuppy
Mon May 09, 2005 8:19 pm

Has anyone got any good recipes for making Elderflower Wine. The Elder Tree on my allotment is just starting to coming into flower and I want to make some organic wine (in the hope that I'll get less hangovers from it!)

:bom:

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Post: # 2838Post Andy Hamilton
Tue May 10, 2005 12:12 pm

Yep if anyone has one would be nice to have one on the main site too.

I think my mum & dad have made this infact, might have to give them a nudge as they have promised me a few wine recipes for the last few months now.
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Post: # 3119Post alcina
Thu May 19, 2005 7:38 pm

I too have fond childhood memories of my parents making elderflower wine - including one quiet Sunday afternoon the sound of exploding bottles in the pantry as the not quite finished fermenting wine, finding itself prematurely trapped in bottles, decided to escape...

I have their recipe, purloined over Christmas for this exact time of year :wink: It's from a 1971 book called "500 Recipes - Home Made Wines and Drinks" by Marguerite Patten. It cost 30p! I'm sure the Goode's would have had a copy of this!

You will need:
Grated rind of one lemon
1 pint of elderflowers
8 pints of boiling water

To each gallon of juice add:
3 lbs sugar
Juice of one lemon
Half an ounce of yeast

1) Put lemon rind with the elderflowers
2) Pour over boiling water
3) Allow to stand for 4 days, stirring from time to time
4) Strain through muslin
5) Measure the amount of juice and stir in sugar, lemon juice and yeast
6) Keep in a warm room 65-75F to ferment
7) When you are sure all the bubbling has ceased, stir the wine
8) Allow to settle for 3 days
9) Strain again carefully
10) Put in a corked container (not bottles)
11) After several months maturing, put into bottles.

I give the elderflowers about another week here, then they'll be ripe for picking. Time to dig out the demi-johns and air locks!

Alcina

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Post: # 3266Post Guest
Tue May 24, 2005 10:22 am

Thanks Alcina,

I'll be trying that!

:drunken:

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Post: # 3267Post sunpuppy
Tue May 24, 2005 10:23 am

Whoops, sorry, that was me - forgot to login.... :shock:

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Post: # 3268Post Wombat
Tue May 24, 2005 10:38 am

I've got that book! they were a good series :cheers:

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Post: # 3316Post alcina
Wed May 25, 2005 9:22 am

Ah...in which case, Wombat, you'll notice there are some variations available in the recipe. I pared it down to the method my parents used as I know that that tastes like! :drunken:

Alcina

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Post: # 3431Post alcina
Sat May 28, 2005 9:36 am

I probably should add, although it doesn't say it in the book, apparently you should separate the flowers from the stems (in which case a pint of flowers is a *lot* - they are little flowers!). Apparently the stems contain cyanide! :shock: Not sure that my parents were that bothered: I'm sure I recall seeing stems in there and we're all still alive! But just thought I'd mention it! :)

Oh, and the consensus of opinion is that elderflowers (indeed all flowers picked for wine making) should be picked on a dry, sunny day as this is when the nectar is flowing at its highest; and when they're fully open. Rather like today...

(ooh...ooh this makes post No.24..that means my next post turns me into Jerry!)

Alcina
Last edited by alcina on Sat May 28, 2005 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post: # 3435Post Wombat
Sat May 28, 2005 9:46 am

I have mentioned elsewhere making elderflower champagne, and I used the whole thing. My faher drank the bloody lot (I thought it was awful) and lived to a ripe old age before passing away from non-elderflower related problems.

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Post: # 3459Post ina
Sat May 28, 2005 11:10 pm

Wombat wrote:and lived to a ripe old age before passing away from non-elderflower related problems.

Nev
How do you know? That might have been some cumulative long-term effect.... Sorry. :(

I made elderflower bubbly once and woke up one night because WW3 had broken out in my kitchen. One bottle survived, and that was duly drunken next day (before it could explode like the others). :occasion5: Since then I've been a bit reluctant to try again, especially as that time, just for once, I had actually followed a recipe to the letter!

I have, however, discovered some absolutely delicious elderflower and oakleaf bubbly, made in Scotland, available for a lot less money than champagne would cost! It would be a nice step towards selfsufficiency, if I could find out how to use oakleaf in winemaking - anybody any ideas? (Can't really ask the makers of this stuff, they want to earn their breakfasts by selling it...) :wink:

Cheers
Ina

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Post: # 3462Post Wombat
Sat May 28, 2005 11:46 pm

How do you know? That might have been some cumulative long-term effect.... Sorry. :(

Ina[/quote]

Cheeky!

I suppose the oak leaves are to add tannin, I suppose you could just scrunch a few up & toss 'em in, but I would think that you wouldn't want too many! :wink:

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Post: # 3463Post ina
Sat May 28, 2005 11:55 pm

I think that's not entirely right, Nev - they make very good oakleaf wine, too, in dry, spring and autumn oakleaf varieties... And that's mainly leaf (don't think they add anything else, well, must add something sugary I suppose). The worst wine I've ever drunk was homemade celery wine. A bit like alcoholic soup!
:sad1:

Ina

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Post: # 3465Post Wombat
Sun May 29, 2005 12:29 am

Fair enough Ina, I have never heard of it so probably shouldn't comment and alcoholic soup..........Yuuuuuuuuuuk! :pale:

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Post: # 3470Post alcina
Sun May 29, 2005 12:56 pm

ina wrote:I made elderflower bubbly once and woke up one night because WW3 had broken out in my kitchen. One bottle survived, and that was duly drunken next day (before it could explode like the others)
Did you put it in ordinary wine bottles or proper champagne bottles with wired corks? Ordinary wine bottles and corks are not strong enough to withstand the pressure of sparkling wines. If they were in champagne bottles...my my...that was some wine! My parents explosions were because they hadn't intended to produce a sparking wine, but had bottled it too early whilst it was still fermenting :?

I picked elderflowers yesterday (suprisingly easy to pick more than enough) and have 4 gallons of wannabe elderflower wine sat sitting absorbing the flowers' flavours. Wednesday/Thursday I add the yeast and sugar and let the fermenting commence! :drunken:

Alcina

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Post: # 3482Post ina
Sun May 29, 2005 8:19 pm

As far as I remember it was screwtop bottles, as recommended in the recipe... Which made me decide not to rely on recipes in future but to use more of my own common sense!

Funny enough, we have all sorts of stuff growing in the area, but no elder. I have one small plant in a pot, which I am hoping to plant out in autumn, but it'll take few years to produce (if the rabbits don't get it first - do they like elder???). I'll have to try something or other with raspberries, the glen was red with them last year. I'm sure they'll make nice wine, too... :sunny:

Ina

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