A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Elderflower Wine - My 100th Post!

I'll start of by giving a quick mention to this being my 100th post. When I started this blog I never expected to actually be still going this long. My expectation would be that I would get bored of it quickly and just use it as a tool for logging my beekeeping rather than writing it in a note book! It has actually turned out to be so much more. In the couple of years I have been blogging I have met new friends through other bloggers and extended the subject range to include home brewing and also increased my writing skills although I still rely heavily on my proof reader and wife, Steph, who is also now an author for this blog. There has been a few time when I have said I will just write a quick blog and ended up writing a several hundred word essay so I will change the subject now and start the real post which is about wine!

In the last few weeks the elderberry trees in the area have started producing their flowers so me and Steph decided it would be a good time to go out and collect the flowers to make some wine with! In just one short walk near some farm land where we live we managed to pick nearly a full carrier bag full of the flower heads. We made sure we left plenty of flower heads on the trees as later on in the year we will probably try to make some elderberry wine as well! The recipe I'm following for elderflower wine can be found here. In the recipe it gives measurements for making either 1 gallon or 5, I am just going to make 1 on this occasion. Below is the list of ingredients copied direct from the website.


The quantities below are for 5 gallons, with the quantities for 1 gallon brews given in brackets.


Elderberry Wine

After the walk I spread the flower heads on the table at home and left them a couple of hours to let any bugs make their own way off the flowers. When I came back I could see loads of tiny bugs on my brand new kitchen window, I imagine they were from the elderflowers!

Elderberry Wine

The recipe says to use 24 heads that should be approx 1 pint of flowers when they are trimmed from their stalks. I didn't bother to count the heads and just measured out a pint of heads. With the amount of flower heads I had collected there was enough for the batch I'm making leaving 2 pints that I bagged up individually and have popped in the freezer for later.

Elderberry Wine

After I had chopped up the sultanas and weighed out the sugar and citric acid I placed them all in a large bowl with the pint of elderflowers and the tea. I then poured 2 pints of boiling water over it all then covered with a tight covering of clingfilm and forgot about it until the next day.

Elderberry Wine

Elderberry Wine

Elderberry Wine

Elderberry Wine

The next day I added the yeast and yeast nutrient and another couple of pints of water, this time cold water. I then covered it up and left it for 4 days. Each day I opened it a small amount and gave it a small stir.

Elderberry Wine

Elderberry Wine

After 5 days in total I poured the mixture into a demijohn using a sterile washing cloth to filter the debris off, then topped the liquid up to a gallon with cold water. At this stage it had a very inviting smell developing. When I checked it later the airlock was bubbling away nicely. I will now leave it to clear and rack the wine a couple of times and it should be ready for Christmas (which is only 173 days away) but will taste best if left until next summer!

Elderberry Wine

Elderberry Wine